Last week I was talking to my friend, Lisa.  We were talking about the shop; about knitting; about blogging and podcasts; and about spring. SPRING.   She suggested that since meteorological SPRING is on March 1st, 'tis the season to talk about new beginnings -- like cast ons and SPRING -- in the blog.
Spring, y'all

Last week, with this post in mind, I wrote about the slip knot.  This week I'm going to de-construct the long-tail cast on in the hopes that my explanation helps you fully understand its structure so you can get stitches on your needle easily.  I'm confident once you grasp this cast on you will accomplish it flawlessly and contendedly every time.

The long-tail cast on is actually a backwards loop foundation row and a knit row all in one.  The easiest way to start it is with a slip-knot, which will count as your first stitch. 

For the long-tail cast on you will need to estimate the amount of yarn needed for the tail.  I like to take the width of my garment multiplied by 3.  Say the pattern directs you to cast on 77 sts for the back of your sweater and the finished measurement of the back is 17".  Your tail will need to be 17" x 3 = 51" (plus a few inches for good measure) long, say 55".  This is where you will place your slip knot.

Since the cast on is a foundation row (a bunch of loops on the needle into which you will be knitting) and a knit row, the first thing you do is create a loop or stitch on your needle into which you will knit.  Often called backwards loop it is accomplished by winding the tail yarn around your left thumb like so:

Next insert your needle tip into this loop like so:

Your middle finger, ring finger and pinky are in on the action:  they must hold the yarn in place like so:

Now you will knit into this loop holding the yarn in your right hand like so:

One stitch created!  Two motions learned. 

Still space in the Beginner Class scheduled for this Sunday, March 10th.  Yarn and needles included in the $125 tuition.

Batten down the hatches,