Posted on 6 Comments

The only Long Tail Cast On method you’ll ever need.

Knitters, don’t say I never give you guys anything!

This long Tail Cast On method is flawless.
You’ll never scrabble for yarn to make those last few stitches ever again.
Long Tail anxiety will be a thing of the past! And it’s so gosh darn easy.

Let me show you how.

Before we begin our long tail cast on.

Start off with your needle, and both ends of your yarn ball. Every ball has an inside end and an outside end. Fish them both out and have them ready to rock like this.

two strands of yellow yarn set horizontal on a table top. A sinle knitting needle is being held above them, ready for a long-tail cast on.
Inside and Outside yarn ends and my 6 mm knitting needle

Knot the ends together

Yea, no… seriously.
I know a lot of knitters are averse to knots, but don’t worry, you can undo it later.
For now, gather your courage and make that knot!

a hand points to a knot joining two strands of yarn. Both strands are feeding out of the same ball of yellow yarn.
Leave a good 6 inches between the knot and the ends. You’ll sew the ends in later.

Slip the needle between strands.

Your first cast on stitch is an easy one. Just pop your needle between the strands, and place the knot flush with your needle.
The front strand will act as your long tail, the back strand will make up your cast on stitches.

a knitting needle sits between two strands of yarn. The knot holding them together is pressed against the side of the needle.
keep the knot pressed against the needle.

And then set your hands up as you would for a regular old long tail cast on.
Remember, the thumb holds the long tail, the index finger holds the new stitch.

a pair of hands holding two strands of yellow yarn, ready to start making long-tail cast on stitches.
Pro tip. Check the knot is still lying against the needle. We don’t want it wandering off anywhere!

After that, it’s just a matter of casting on as normal.
The bonus here is that your long tail will be exactly as long as you needed it to be because you’re feeding yarn out of your ball as you need it.

a knitting needle holding 24 cast on stitches. A hand holds two strands of yarn in long-tail fashion.
Aren’t they gorgeous?

Do you have a tail or two more to weave in at the end?
Sure you do, but I think that’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind you get from possessing an infinite long tail!

Once you’ve cast on everything you need…

Simply snip the long tail strand…

a set of 24 stitches on a knitting needle sits on a table. A hand points to a cut in one piece of yarn that is feeding off the newly cast-on stitches.
Snip snip!

…and carry on knitting merrily.

several rows of garter stitch in yellow yarn being held above a table by a pair of hands. The ball lies on the table in the background slightly out of focus.
Happy Days!

Back To Top

Like what you see? Check these out!
They’re both knit/crochet combo patterns.

6 thoughts on “The only Long Tail Cast On method you’ll ever need.

  1. Thank you! So much better than a tail that goes on forever.

    1. Or a tail that quits too soon!!

  2. Really clearly explained. Thanks Aiobhe.

    1. You’re entirely welcome, Marion!

  3. Thank you! Excellent method! No more confusion about how long the tail should be.

    1. You’re welcome, Jerilyn.
      I’m delighted this trick will save you somer bother. ❤️
      Thanks for letting me know!

Leave a Reply