How to Cast On Stitches
Note: The cast-on should be as elastic as the body of your knitting. If needed, the cast-on may be worked using a needle two or three sizes larger than your gauge needle. Knit the stitches onto the smaller needle as you knit the first row.
Making a Slipknot
The first stitch on your needle for most cast-on methods is a slipknot.
Step 1: Hold the yarn in your left hand about 8 inches from the end. With your right hand, make a circle with the yarn. If it's helpful, hold the circle together between your index finger and thumb to prevent it from slipping away.
Step 2: With the working yarn behind the circle, insert the knitting needle through the circle from front to back and catch the working yarn, pulling it through the circle and forming a loop.
Step 3: With the new loop on the needle in your right hand, gently pull both yarns (the tail and the working yarn attached to the ball) beneath the needle, then pull on the working yarn to tighten the new loop so that it fits snuggly around the needle.
This cast-on is especially good when you need a firm edge. Work loosely, without pulling the stitches too tight.
Step 1: In your left hand, hold the needle with the slipknot and hold the working yarn in your right hand. Insert the right needle through the slipknot from front to back.
Step 2: Wrap the yarn around the right needle from back to front and pull up a loop, creating a new stitch on the right needle. Insert the left needle tip into the new stitch, and slip it onto the left needle.
There are now 2 stitches on the left needle.
Note: To prevent the cast-on edge from becoming too tight, insert the right needle from front to back between the 2 stitches on the left needle before tightening the yarn. Gently pull the working yarn to snug up the stitch.
Step 3: With the right needle in position between the 2 stitches on the left needle, wrap the yarn around the right needle as shown, and pull through a new loop.
Step 4: Using the tip of the left needle, slip the new stitch from the right needle as before, and slip the right needle out of the stitch.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 to cast on additional stitches. End with step 4 to complete the last cast-on stitch.