Learn Something New: The Crochet Cast On

The Crochet Cast On from the new Knitting Daily video, 45+ Knitted Cast Ons and Bind Offs with Ann Budd

I was lucky enough to take my friend Ann Budd's Sock Summit class, Beginnings and Endings, all about cast ons and bind offs. She's turned that class into a new DVD, 45+ Knitted Cast Ons and Bind Offs with Ann Budd.

You'll learn that there are more cast ons and bind offs than you ever imagined, and you'll learn how to knit them all! Ann also teaches you when to use each technique and why it works on some projects better than others.

As I was watching the video, I was reintroduced to the crochet cast on. Hello, old friend! I learned this cast on when I first started knitting. One of my knitting group friends used it a lot and I liked how easy and fast it was, as well as the part where you didn't have to estimate your tail length. I'm still terrible at that!

I abandoned this method for the more versatile long-tail cast on, but when I saw the crochet method in Ann's video, I remembered it fondly.

This cast on looks like a chain, which is probably why it's also known as the chain-edge cast on. It matches the standard bind off (knit two stitches, pass the right over the left), and it's great to use on something like a washcloth or a scarf, where you want the cast-on row to match the bind-off row.

To teach you the crochet cast on, I took some screen shots from the video.

Step 1. Tie a slip knot on a crochet hook. (Choose a hook that matches your yarn weight. For worsted, choose a size G.) Step 2. Hold your needle next to the crochet hook, on top of your working yarn. Step 3. Use the crochet hook to grab the working yarn.
Step 3b. Pull the yarn through the loop on the hook. You'll see the first stitch cast on. Step 4. Take the working yarn to the back, moving it between the needle and the hook.

In Step 3, notice how Ann is holding both the needle and the yarn tail in her left hand. This is essential for getting the correct tension, for making sure that the tail doesn't flop around and get in the way! It might look a little fiddly, but when you're casting on, you'll notice that you automatically figure out how to manipulate both the needle and the tail. If you don't, you'll find it hard to work the cast on.

With this video in your library, you'll never be caught short again when a pattern says "use the Channel Island cast on," or some other cast on or bind off that you don't have memorized. Download 45+ Knitted Cast Ons and Bind Offs with Ann Budd or pre-order the workshop on DVD.

Next time I talk about this video, I'll share a bind-off technique!


P.S. What's your go-to cast-on? Leave a comment and let us know!

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Cast on, Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

13 thoughts on “Learn Something New: The Crochet Cast On

  1. I have to say with knitting almost a year under my belt, i use the long tail cast on most. And I so agree with you that its kind of a pain since i always wrap my yarn around the needle as many times as the cast on calls for, thats fine when your casting on 70 but UGH when your casting on 250 stitches..this crochet cast on would also help immencely when knitting circularly, you wouldn’t have that issue of casting on too tight like i do lo…
    Thank you so much, i love learning new techniques and I will definitely be trying this crochet cast on next..it looks awesome and easy..thank you for sharing so many great tips..as a newbie your newletter has proved invaluable..
    carolyne from Pa

  2. I use this cast on method for my provisional cast ons. Because it’s a crocheted chain, it’s easy to unravel as you place the live stitches back on a needle!

  3. I do like the crochet cast on, and do use it on occasion, but most of the time I use one of the long tail cast ons (it’s called “old…” something or other – can’t remember; Alzheimer’s must be setting in) which is a stretchier cast on. When I use this “old…” cast on I use the invisible bind off, which looks almost the same. I don’t like the “regular” bind offs that look like the flat side of a crochet chain. Besides, it tends to “stretch out” my work. I don’t like that. My friend tells me I’m doing it wrong. Maybe I am, but after over 50 years of knitting I have difficulty changing. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like learning new things; I do. It’s just that I seem to be in a rut that gets deeper the older I get. I know, I know. Seventy year old knitters are able to change if they want to. My friend is trying her best to teach me that.

  4. I’m glad you mentioned the WHY or what-advantage-is-this-to-me reason to use the crochet cast on. I have knitted for decades and have two favorite cast-on techniques. What would be really handy would be a small laminated chart that listed cast-on and bind-off methods and the use of each!!

  5. Thanks for sharing! I’ve never used this type of cast on and I’m excited to try it out. Learned to crochet long before I learned to knit so this seems very familiar and easy.

  6. I call my method the “Sling Shot” as I am self taught and this was easy.
    I tie a loop onto my knitting needle and then hold yarn in left hand and knit my next stitches using right hand needle.

    Very easy & fast, at least for me~

  7. This is my favourite provisional cast-on. I always make a long crochet chain after I finish my cast-on so I know which end will rip out (one stitch at a time!) and leave live stitches. Shiny waste yarn is best to use, like bamboo or other rayon crochet cord or yarn to match the weight.
    @NastyH is thinking of the Old Norwegian or Twisted German cast on, which is a type of long-tail cast-on I just learned for sock tops that is extra stretchy, but doesn’t hang sloppy and loose, it snaps back in! Try youtube videos to see long tail and twisted German cast-ons.

  8. …and I thought I had created something new!!! In order to knit a bag attached to wooden handles I used a crochet hook with my knitting needle next to the wood and cast on using the same technique as described as “crochet cast on.”
    I’m 73 years young and have been knitting since I begged and begged my mother to teach me knitting. I must have been 8 or 9 years old. Lo and behold, my 10 year old granddaughter showed me the very same technique that Ann Budd describes (crochet cast on) which is the very same my granddaughter’s teacher taught her in school. I’m always on the lookout for intricate and unusual techniques. I’m still perfecting!!!!

  9. BRILLIANT TIMING! I’ve been struggling with a crochet cast on picot edge for a pair of gorgeous lace gloves and could not fathom it! Now just in time this fabulous instructions. Thanks.