Casting On: Backwards Loop Cast On

Today’s cast on is the easiest cast on of all time.  For real.  The backwards loop cast on only uses one strand of yarn (no fussing with tails or scrap yarn).  If you can do a loop increase (sometimes called a make-1), you can totally do the backwards loop cast on!

My favorite part of the backwards loop cast on is that you can use it in the middle of a project.  Need to cast on extra stitches for an underarm?  Making a baby sweater, and need to start knitting sleeves?  The backwards loop cast on is for you.  Let’s see how it works:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKnit along, until you’re ready to start your increase.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAForm a backwards loop with your yarn, and slide the loop onto the needle.  Pull it snug.  (It’s really that easy!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKeep making backwards loops and adding them to the needle until you’ve got as many cast-on stitches as you need.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen, keep on knitting.  The very first row after the cast on might be a bit tricky; sometimes the backwards tail cast-on stitches try to fall apart.  But, if you go slow and knit carefully, you won’t have a problem.

This isn’t a cast on that I would use for an entire sweater or blanket, it’s a little delicate, and doesn’t look great.  But it’s very useful in small doses, especially when you need to cast on extra stitches mid-project.  So file it away in the back of your brain and pull it out when you find a project that calls for the backwards loop cast on.

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