Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Casting on Without a Knot

I used to start all my cast  on rows with a slip knot. That little knot always irritated me when it came time to do the finishing. Sometimes it gave the corner a slight unevenness, or I had to adjust how I executed my mattress stitch to work around the bump the knot created. Sometimes it was just because I could feel the little hard knot it created. In a bulky yarn it was worse because it was bigger and in lace weight it was occasionally more visible depending on the stitch pattern I was using above the knot.

Set up the same as for long tail cast on.
I now use a simple twist in the yarn. When doing a long tail cast on I make the first stitch as a loop and then carry on in the usual way. When I'm using the cable cast on I make the loop, move the needle to my left hand and then continue working in the same way that I would if it was a slip knot. Once the first stitch is completed it holds the knot-less loop in place. One thing to aware of is when you use this on long tail cast on, the work will be one row shorter on the end without the knot. This is because Long Tail creates a cast on and works the first row at the same time. I've done it many times and the difference disappears after blocking. I always question these details because variations between knitters can create differences in the final results. So as they say your mileage many vary.

Place the needle facing down behind the strand of yarn.

Turn the needle up allowing the yarn to twist around the needle.


  1. This is a great tip. I've been doing the cast-on this way for a few years now and it is so much nicer. No more pesky knot-bumps at the beginning.

    You have a great blog here!

  2. Do you turn the needle one full turn?

    1. It is a 180 degree turn not a 360 degree turn. I would say the turn is a diametrically opposed turn as compared to a full circle turn back to the starting point. Does that clarify? It is hard to describe movement isn't it?

  3. Yes it is. I will give it a shot. It is easier I think with the materials in hand than trying to just picture it in my head.