How to knit Judy’s magic cast-on

You can’t get around Judy’s magic cast-on when knitting socks from the toe-up. But this wonderful, invisible cast-on technique has much more to offer.

how to knit Judy's magic cast-on Tutorial donnarossa

I am a big fan of knitting sweaters from top-down. The same goes for socks (toe-up). The advantage of this is that I can try on the knitwear in the middle and see if it fits.

When I knit socks from the toes up, I need a special cast-on. I don’t want a hard edge on my toes. That’s where Judy Becker’s cast-on comes into play: Judy’s magic cast-on. This cast-on is invisible on both sides and gives a nice “edge”.

Required material

  • circular needles or DPNs
  • yarn

How to knit Judy’s magic cast-on

You can start the cast-on with a slip knot. But I don’t recommend making one. Since with socks, the knot at the toes bothers me. But if it’s easier for you, use a slip knot.

  1. Hold the two needles together with your right hand, tips pointing left.
  2. Hold the yarn with your left hand in the slingshot position: with the tail over your thumb and the working yarn over your index finger. Now you loop the yarn around the top needle by move both needles from top-down with the yarn is in between the needles and then move the needle tips to the front. You cast-on the first stitch on the top needle.
  3. While holding the stitch in place with a finger on your right hand, rotate the pair of needles up and wrap the yarn on your finger around the bottom needle, as if making a yarnover. Gently tighten the loop. You cast on one stitch on the bottom needle.
  4. With the top needle wrap the thumb thread by rotate the needles from top to the front while the thumb thread is in between the needles. You cast on one stitch on the top needle.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 until the desired number of stitches and end with step 3.

How do I start knitting after Judy’s magic cast-on?

  1. Turn the needles so that the bottom needle is now the top one and vice versa (the tips look to the right). The end of the thread passes over the working yarn. It is helpful if you hold the end of the thread with your right hand when knitting the first few stitches. Now knit the stitches of the top needle.
  2. Turn work and knit the second half of the first round.

From now on you continue to work in the round.

Where is this cast-on also helpful?

Judy’s magic cast-on is perfect for things where you want to knit in both directions. This can happen simultaneously or one after the other.

  • This cast-on can be used as a provisional cast-on and you only continue knitting on one needle in rows, e.g. for a scarf.
  • top-down mittens
  • the bottom of a bag
  • top-down hats

Knitting patterns to try out this new technique

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