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Single Cast On Knitting Method – Great for Beginners


The single cast on knitting method is also called the thumb cast on, and backward loop cast on.  Whichever way you want to call it, it is one of the easiest ways of casting on in knitting.

It’s so easy in fact that it’s often used for teaching kids how to knit.

The backward loop cast on is very handy.  It’s great when you need to add a few stitches to your knitting. A knitting pattern may ask you to cast on a couple of stitches and this is the go-to cast on to use as it’s fast and easy. This is when I use it the most.

It’s also a great cast on method for lace projects because it creates a thin, loose edge.

For me personally though, it isn’t my favorite cast on but I do use it sometimes and I know lots of knitters that love its simplicity.  I find that the first row can be a little difficult to knit as the stitches tend to tighten up on the knitting needle. And if your tension is very loose you may end up with a row of loopy stitches. You just have to go slowly. Once you get through the first row everything is fine.

Try it and see what you think.

Single Cast-On Instructions

First of all you start by making a slip knot.

Begin by holding your knitting needle with the slip knot in your right hand. Grasp the working yarn (ball end) in your left hand and grasp it with your fingers. Place your thumb over the yarn.

single cast on

Bring your thumb down to loop the yarn around your thumb and bring your hand back up to an upright position.

single cast on

With your knitting needle in your right hand insert it below the yarn at the base of your thumb using an upward motion.

single cast on

Then just remove your thumb leaving the new loop on the knitting needle.

single cast on

When the loop is on the knitting needle just gently pull it until it is snug on the needle – not too tight.

single cast on

Continue until you cast on the amount of stitches you need.

Pretty simple right?

Below is a great knitting video demonstrating the single cast on.

Single Cast On Knitting Video

When you’re done with the single cast on and you have all your stitches you’re ready to start knitting.

Head over to my knitting instructions page. See you over there.


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4 thoughts on “Single Cast On Knitting Method – Great for Beginners


  1. This is a post from Leslie Reed today that was accidentally deleted:
    IMHO Single cast-on is not good for beginners. Yes, it’s easy to form the loops on the needle, but the first row of knitting is a bear because it’s difficult to control tension. A bad experience with this in an first knitting class is one reason my daughter decided she “can’t” knit. By the time she got to the end of her first row, she had a big long gap of string and was NOT happy. Proceed with caution.

    1. Hello Leslie. I agree with what you’re saying wholeheartedly and I do mention those issues in my post. On the other hand I’ve had many comments from people who say they like this cast on and it’s what they used when they learned how to knit. I still do believe that the single cast on can be good for beginners however for some it may not be and if that is the case there is always an alternate cast on method to try.

      Actually my mom taught me this method when I was little and I had the same problems so she decided to show me the knitted cast on instead. It’s a matter of finding something that works for you and going with it. I sure hope your daughter found a way to knit that worked for her. Happy Knitting!

    2. The wonderful thing about the internet is the endless tutorials. You have to realize we all learn differently, so what works for some might not for others. It’s a shame you made this person feel badly for you/ your daughter’s experience. I just came from another knitting tutorial that didn’t help me at all, super confusing even with the video………….i forgot how to cast on, but these photo’s and descriptions totally got my project started!!
      Thank you, and remember that haters gonna hate……you just keep doing you!!!!!!!!!

      1. Aww thank you so much. I really appreciate it and I’m so glad my page helped you to get started with your knitting project. Happy Knitting!

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