Beginner Knitting: Long Tail Cast On

Hi, it's Nancy Queen from NobleKnits and I'm here to talk to you about the long tail cast on. This is a nice sturdy cast on and it's a little bit easier to knit than the loop cast on. It's kind of a "next level" knitting technique. 

What the big part is in the beginning, is that you want to start with a longer tail. You are going to be using the tail and the end of the yarn that is attached to the ball to do your cast on. 

So we'll be using a pair of needles. I have a set of size 8 needles and a ball of worsted weight yarn. So let's say you are knitting a project that is going to be about 6 inches wide. Well, as a rule of thumb, you'll need a tail that is about 3 times the length of that. So if your project is 6 inches wide, you'll need approximately an 18 inch tail before you make your slip knot. 

Start with your slip knot, then have the long tail. Keep the long tail in front and you are actually going to put it on the needle, then tighten it up. And it's going to go onto the side of the needle that you traditionally are going to be knitting onto. So if you are going to knit, you'll be knitting from left to right. So you'll cast on to the right needle where the knitting would end up.

We want to get our tail in the front. This is our tail, right here. So with the tail in the front, you are going to catch the tail in your thumb and wrap it around your thumb. With the other end of yarn, you are going to wrap it around your finger and you are going to kind of hold them, like that. Now, you'll use your right hand index finger to stabilize that stitch that's on the needle. 

Now what you are going to do, is that you have a loop that you've made here, and a loop that you've made over here. So you are going to go under the thumb loop, over the finger loop, and then draw through both and tighten.

Again...I'll take my time on this. So you've got both strands held here. This is the tail. Now you are going to lean back and you are going to go up through the thumb, over the finger, then back in. 

So if you think of this as a little come out of the hole, jump over the fence, and go back into the hole, and you tighten. I'll do that again. Come out of the hole, jump over the fence, go back in the hole. 

It's a really nice, smooth method once you get the hang of it. You just want to make sure you have a nice grip on these two tails but that they are not too tight. So we'll go come out of the hole, jump over the fence, then back in the hole...and then you put your thumb back in there to tighten. 

As you can see, here's the stitches we've cast on. This is the starting slip knot and then we have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 stitches cast we have 6 stitches total. You will count that slip knot. 

So that's 6 stitches and if that's what you needed to cast on, you are now ready to knit. You just want to make sure that you don't start knitting with that long tail. If it's a little too long, trim it to about 6 inches so it doesn't get in the way. And, now you're ready to start your knitting. Thanks so much for watching! Please like, comment, and subscribe to our YouTube Channel