The Long Tail Cast On is the most basic cast on. The white bread of cast ons. The Ford Taurus of cast ons. Not flashy, but totally functional.
The Long Tail Cast On is used about 90% of the time (at least by me), and is absolutely serviceable. It’s probably the cast on that your mom taught you how to do back when you were a kid. It’s moderately stretchy, and fairly easy to use. It’s not exactly beautiful, and not as stretchy as some cast ons, but we still love it.
There are a few ways to perform the Long Tail Cast on, but this is my favorite:
Measure out your long tail (make it about 4 times as long as you want your cast on to be). Start by making a slipknot and (ahem) slipping it onto your needle. Then, hold the yarn in your left hand, slipping your index finger and thumb between the two strands of yarn. Like this:Use the point of your needle to catch the thumb loop of yarn. Then, slip the point of the needle over to your index finger and grab the loop of yarn over there. And pull the index finger loop through the thumb loop, like this:Then drop the yarn from your left hand, and snug up your stitch. Keep repeating these steps until you have all your stitches, turn your work and start knitting.