Cast-on Techniques

While there are a multitude of publications that list many techniques for cast-on, I wanted to describe the different ones used in Kristin patterns, and the differences between them.

Slip Knot: make a loop; hook another loop through it. Tighten gently and slide the knot up to the needle. 

Long Tail Cast On (aka  Continental Cast On):

Provisional Cast On (aka Invisible Cast On): knot working yarn to contrasting yarn. With needle in right hand, hold knot in right hand. Tension both strands in left hand; separate the strands with fingers of the left hand. Yarn over with working yarn in front of waste yarn.

Single Cast On (aka Back Loop Cast-On):

Cable Cast On: Make a slipknot and place on left needle. Knit into the stitch and place new stitch on left needle by inserting the left needle in to the stitch from the right side of the loop, without dropping stitch off left needle. *Insert right needle between two stitches on left needle, wrap yarn around the needle as if to knit, pull the new loop through to the front, place the new stitch on the left needle. Repeat from * for desired number of stitches.

Cast On Picot Technique: Cast on four stitches using cable cast on, *knit two stitches, bind off one, knit one stitch, bind off one (picot made), place remaining stitch on right needle back on left needle as if to purl. Cast on six stitches, repeat from * for desired number of stitches, end by placing remaining stitch on right needle back on left needle. 

Knitted Cast On: Start with a slip knot. *Knit 1, leaving stitch on left needle. Transfer new stitch onto left needle by slipping it knit-wise. Repeat from *.

Chained Cast On: Make a slip knot in the cotton contrast color yarn and place it on the crochet hook. *Hold the needle and yarn in the left hand, and the crochet hook with the slip knot in the right hand as though to crochet. Place the needle on top of the yarn held in the left hand. Holding the hook over the needle, crochet a chain stitch over the top of the knitting needle. Move the yarn under the knitting needle and back toward the left. Repeat from * for required number of stitches. Cut the yarn and fasten off. Tie a knot in the end of this tail to remember from which end to remove the chain.

Tubular Cast On: with cotton yarn in contrast color, work chained cast on for half the number of required stitches, plus one. With the main yarn, knit one row, purl one row, knit one row. With the purl side facing, *purl the first stitch on left hand needle, insert the right hand needle from top to bottom under purl bar of main color buried in the contrasting color yarn three rows below. Place this stitch on the left needle by inserting the needle from front to back into the stitch, and knit the stitch in the front of the loop. Repeat from *, end with the last purl stitch on left needle. Next row begins 1x1 ribbing and is considered Row 1. Unravel the chained cast on, starting from the tail with the knot. As you pull the chain out, a strand of the contrasting yarn will be in the middle of the tubular cast on.  Gently pull it through after you unravel the chain. If the chain does not unravel, there is an error in the cast on and you will need to work the cast on again.  

Knit and Purl

k: knit
p: purl
k1b: knit 1 stitch through the back loop
p1b: purl 1 stitch through the back loop
sl1: slip 1 stitch from the left needle to the right needle without knitting it
psso: pass the slip stitch over
yo: yarn over aka yarn forward(bring the yarn forward between the needles and take it back over the right needle ready for the next stitch)
yo2: yarn over twice

RT right twist: k2tog, leaving stitches on the left-hand needle; insert right-hand needle from the front between the 2 sts just knitted together, and knit the first stitch again; then slip both stitches from needle together.

LT: left twist: with right-hand needle behind left-hand needle, skip one stitch, and knit the second stitch through the back loop; then insert right-hand needle into the backs of bothstitches, and k2tog through the back loop.

 Specialty Stitches

  1. Looped stitch: usually worked with the yarn doubled for fluffier texture, insert the needle as to knit and knit one stitch, but leave the the stitch on the right-hand needle (do not slip the stitch off the left hand needle). Pass the yarn through the needles to the front (as to purl) and hook the yarn around your thumb), then back between the needles. Knit into the same stitch and slip it off the right hand needle. Pass the first stitch over the second stitch on the right hand needle. One stitch made. This is a right side row. You could work purl rows or knit rows on the wrong side, depending on the texture you desire.
  2. CB4: Slip next 2 sts onto cable needle and hold in back of work, K2 from left needle, K2 
    from cable needle. 
  3. CF4: Slip next 2 sts onto cable needle and hold in front of work, K2 from left needle, K2 
    from cable needle. 
  4. Wrap and Turn (w&t): slip next stitch to right hand needle; bring working yarn to other side of work, then slip the same stitch back to the left-hand needle; return working yarn to first side of work by wrapping the next stitch with the working yarn; turn the piece to work back along all the stitches just worked (excluding the slipped stitch). On the next row, make sure to knit the slipped stitch and the wrap together.

 Pick Up and Knit



1. Yarn Over (yo):

a.) before a knit stitch, with yarn in front of needle, knit next stitch.

b.) before a purl stitch, with yarn in from of needle, bring yarn over needle and to front again, purl next stitch.

2. Kfb: knit into front loop and back loop of same stitch (1 increase)

3. M1:

4. M2: 


1. k2tog: knit 2 stitches together
2. k3tog: knit 3 stitches together (2 stitches decrease)
3. p2tog: purl 2 stitches together (1 stitch decreased)
4. p3tog: purl 3 stitches together (2 stitches decreased
5. ssk: sl next 2 sts as to knit, insert left-hand needle through both sts from right to left and knit them together
6. skp: slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitch, and pass the slipped stitch over (1 stitch decreased)
7. sk2p: slip 1 stitch, k2tog, and pass the slipped stitch over (2 stitches decreased)
8. s2kp: slip 2 stitches, knit 1 stitch, and pass the slipped stitches over (2 stitches decreased)
9. s2k2p: slip 2 stitches, k2tog, and pass the slipped stitches over (3 stitches decreased)

Bind-off Techniques

1. knit two stitches, then slip first stitch over second stitch and off of the right hand needle. (1 stitch bound off)
Depending on how loosely, or with what size needle you use, this technique can be either tight, straight or very loosely used.
2. knit 2 stitches, then knit those 2 stitches together. Knit the next stitch on the left needle. Knit the 2 stitches together that are on the right hand needle.
This technique creates an extremely loose edge. This is a wonderful technique for lace edging.
3. 3-needle bind off: hold both needles parallel with right sides facing; hold needles together in your left hand; with a third needle in your right hand, {*knit into the first stitch on each needle and knit them together, while gently slipping them off of their original needles*; repeat from * to * once more; pass the first stitch you made (on the right needle) over the second stitch and off the needle.} Repeat from { to } until one stitch remains on right hand needle. Fasten off.
This technique is used to bind off two things at one time. You will need to have the same number of stitches on both needles.
4. Picot bind off: bind off two sts; put remaining stitch on right needle back on left needle as if to purl; *cast on one stitch using cable cast on; bind off three stitches; place remaining stitch on right needle back on left needle as if to purl*. Repeat from * to * until all stitches are bound off.