Chained cast-on: how to knit a nice edge

No more tail too short or too long when you cast on! The chained cast-on eliminates the annoying problem of the length of the tail when casting on. Plus this cast-on creates a nice edge.

how to knit the chained cast-on tutorial donnarossa

You have probably already made the long-tail cast-on and run out of yarn. Or you have a much too long yarn tail left after the cast-on. Does that sound familiar?

If that bugs you, then the chained cast-on is just the thing. Imagine never having to worry about how much yarn you need to cast on. That means: you can simply start right away. Great, isn’t it?

I use this cast-on, for example, when it is important that the cast-on and the bind-off edges look the same. I’m thinking sweaters, shirts and mitts.

The difference to the provisional cast-on is that the chained one uses the working yarn directly.

So are you ready for the pair dance with the crochet hook and knitting needle?

What kind of material do you need?

  • Working yarn
  • Knitting needle
  • Crochet hook

How do you knit the chained cast-on?

  1. Make a slingknot with the working yarn and put it on the crochet hook.
  2. Hold the knitting needle in your left hand, together with the tail of the working yarn.
  3. Wrap the yarn around the knitting needle counterclockwise.
  4. Crochet a chain stitch.
  5. Repeat steps 3 + 4 until you have cast on one stitch less than desired.
  6. Now place the loop on the crochet hook onto the knitting needle.
  7. Start knitting.

The 1st row can be a right side as well as a wrong side, as the chained cast-on has no defined right or wrong side. If you use this cast-on instead of the long-tail cast-on, work one wrong side row first.

Practising examples for the chained cast-on

The chained cast-on creates a pretty edge that is definitely something to behold. At the beginning of this cast-on technique, however, a little coordination training is needed. But once you’ve got the pair dance down with crochet hook and knitting needles, this cast-on will soon become your favourite.

  1. […] You can also use this cast-on for decorative edge (knitting with contrasting yarn) or directly with the working yarn for a matching cast-on when you use a simple bind-off (then it’s not a provisional cast-on). This cast-on is then called chained cast-on. […]

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