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Casting on

All knitting begins with the term casting on, which means making the first rows of loop on the needle.

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There are only two basic methods of casting on, each producing different types of edges. These methods include:

Thumb method
The thumb method is used whenever a very elastic edge is required or when the rows immediately after the cast-on edges are to be worked in garter stitch or stocking stitch. In the thumb method, only I needle is used.

Things to do

1. Make a slip knot at least 101m from the end of the wool and place it on the needle.

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2. Hold the needle in your right hand and wind the thread or yarn across the front of your thumb and around behind it, close to the needle tip.

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3. Insert the needle tip under the front thumb strand and bring to other yarns, leading to the ball under and round the needle tip close to the thumb loop. Using the needle tip, draw a loop through the thumb.

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4. Slip your thumb out of the loop and gently pull the tail of the yarn to close the new loop on the needle. Rewind the yarn round your thumb as before and make another loop in the same way until you have the required number of loops.

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Cable or between needles method
This method gives a very firm neat finish and is best for use before ribbing or any other firm type of stitch. Both afore stated methods commence with a slip knot and this is the starting-off point for almost everything you do in knitting.

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Two-needle casting on
To do this, start by making a slip knot and position the yarn end by folding it over to form a loop near the end and drawing a double loop from the yarn towards the ball to form a new loop.

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Next, hold the needle in your left hand and slip the loop onto it, making sure it is not too slack. Hold the other needle in your right hand and slip the point of it through the loop from the front to the back.

Bring the yarn from the ball up under the right hand needle tip, close to the slip knot. Using the right hand needle tip, draw a new loop through the slip knot, using your left hand thumb and forefinger to hold the first loop steady.

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Place the new loop onto the left hand needle beside the slip knot. Place the right hand needle tip between the two loops and bring the yarn up under the right hand needle tip, close to the loop. Using the right hand needle tip again, draw a new loop through and place it on the left hand needle.

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Each new loop you add is made in the same way, beginning by placing the right hand between the last two loop on the left hand needle.

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