For anyone who wants to learn how to knit, learning how to cast on is the first step. With a quick internet search, it's easy to see the techniques for casting on are as numerous as they are varied. The double cast on is the best method to get you started. This method is known by many names (double, long tail, continental, sling shot, two-strand, and y cast on to name a few) but is easy and is suited for almost any project.

If you're a lefty or a righty it doesn't matter, the steps will be the same. Grab your knitting needle and yarn!

Some questions I'll address in this video post:
  • what size yarn and needles should I use?
  • how many stitches do I need to cast on?
  • how long should my tail / short end be?

Here are a few keywords you'll want to know:
  • short end - yarn end that does not lead to a ball of yarn, also known as a tail
  • ball end - yarn end that leads directly to your ball of yarn
  • slip knot - a knot made with a loop that moves easily along your needle 


To recap, when learning how to cast on:
  • you will need a knitting needle and a ball of yarn
  • check your pattern for yarn size and needle requirements (its important to use the correct yarn and needle size to achieve the right gauge for your pattern)
  • your pattern will also tell you how many stitches you need to cast on
  • your tail / short end should be roughly 1" for every stitch you need to cast on plus an additional 12" (for example: if you need to cast on 20 stitches you will need 20"+12", that's 32") 

So that's it! It's that easy! How did you do? Let us know by leaving a comment below or on twitter @tinselmint. Be sure to follow our YouTube channel for more videos on how to knit.


  1. My new favorite knitting blog! I can't wait for more.

  2. You saved my life! I couldn't cast on for the life of me until I found you and this video. Thank you!!!

  3. You are such a good teacher! Very clear, thank you :)