Monday, January 16, 2012

Adventures in Knitting: How to Tie a Slipknot and Cast On Like Nobody's Business

If you're so new to knitting that you don't even understand half the words in the title of this post, then read on; this one's for you, babycakes.

Before 8:00 a.m. this morning, I had never cast on in my life, and now I'm writing a tutorial on it. So trust me when I say that it's easy as pie (scratch that idiom, I actually suck at making pie), and you'll have it down pat in no time.
Knitting needle with some stitches cast on
Quick side story: this dive into the world of knitting started (unbeknownst to me) last week when I was at the chiropractor's for my twice-weekly adjustment and physical therapy session. One of the ladies who works in the office admired my scarf and asked me if I had made it. I told her no, that I couldn't knit at all, but was hoping to learn in the near future.

So I show up this morning and there's Beth, needles and ball of yarn in hand, ready to get me started (did I mention it was 8:00 a.m.? and I hadn't even had my coffee yet?). It's a testament to Beth's excellent teaching skills that by the time my appointment was called ten minutes later, she already had me well on my way to a cotton dishcloth.

Beth sent me home with the needles and yarn and told me to keep practicing. The actual knitting stitches aren't too pretty yet, but I've got the basics down and felt confident enough to share this first step with you today.

So let's get to it! I used a number 9 needle and some scrap yarn I had from a previous failed attempt at crocheting, but for practicing purposes, you can use whatever you have at hand.

Tying a slipknot and casting on is much better shown than described, so I made this video tutorial to show you how.

Keep in mind that by no means is this the only way to tie a slipknot or cast on. It's just the way that makes the most sense to me.

My goal for this first adventure into knitting is to make a cotton dishcloth like the one Beth got me started on. On Saturday I'm going to a MaryJane Farmgirl meeting to get more help with the dishcloth, so I'll share what I learn after that.

Happy casting on!


  1. LOL! Congrats in learning a new skill! Ps- I've never tried a pie yet, so you've got me beat! :)

    1. Haha thanks Brooke! I'll be sure to post when I figure out the pie thing...

  2. Congrats on starting! I would have to recommend a know-it-all/ great book t have on knitting is Stitch and Bitch. I taught myself to knit from it and it will teach you everything you need to know about patterns, stitches, etc. You can find it here,


    1. That's the second time I've heard of that book this week! I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation, Ronni!


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