Crochet Cast On

How to Knit the Crochet Cast On

Regular or Provisional

I like the crochet cast on because it matches the standard bind off perfectly, which makes it ideal for scarves and other pieces that you want the bind off and cast on edges to match.

This cast on is also great to use as a provisional cast on. To do it provisionally, use waste yarn for the cast on and switch to your project yarn for the first row.

You need:

  • The knitting needles and yarn required for your project
  • Crochet hook of the same diameter or a little larger than your knitting needle
  • Waste yarn (for provisional cast on only)

In this video, I’ll demonstrate the cast on in both the Continental style and English style. In both styles, you will hold one knitting needle in your left hand and the crochet hook in your right hand; and begin by putting a slip knot on the crochet hook.

After demonstrating both styles, I’ll address how to adjust your tension and ensure your cast on matches your bind off.

Written instructions for the Crochet Cast On

Continental Style

Continental style knitters – those who hold the working yarn in their left hand – will prefer this method of doing the crochet cast on. English style knitters who know how to crochet may also prefer this method.

  1. Put the slip knot on your crochet hook
  2. Hold the crochet hook in your right hand 
  3. Pick up the working yarn in your left hand, as you normally do
  4. Pick up your knitting needle with your left hand so that the YARN IS BEHIND THE KNITTING NEEDLE
  5. Bring the CROCHET HOOK IN FRONT of the knitting needle and pick up a loop of yarn
  6. Pull that loop of yarn through the slip knot that is on the crochet hook. Now the working yarn is in front of the knitting needle and we need the YARN TO BE BEHIND THE KNITTING NEEDLE. So… 
  7. Bring the working yarn between the crochet hook and knitting needle, around the back of the knitting needle.
  8. Bring the CROCHET HOOK IN FRONT of the knitting needle and pick up a loop of yarn
  9. Pull that loop of yarn through the loop that is on the crochet hook. 
  10. Repeat steps 7-9 until you have 1 less cast on stitch than the pattern calls for
    Note: it does not matter which way you wrap the yarn around the crochet hook as long as you do it the same way for the whole cast on. See the photo below. 
  11. Transfer the loop on the crochet hook onto your knitting needle to make the last cast on stitch
English Style

English style knitters – those who hold the working yarn in their right hand, will prefer this method of doing the crochet cast on.

  1. Put the slip knot on your crochet hook
  2. Hold the crochet hook in your right hand 
  3. Pick up the working yarn in your right hand, as you normally do
  4. Pick up your knitting needle with your left hand
  5. Wrap the working yarn from the back to the front around the knitting needle and crochet hook
  6. Catch the working yarn with your crochet hook and pull it through the stitch that is on the crochet hook. 
  7. Repeat steps 5-6 until you have 1 less cast on stitch than the pattern calls for
  8. Transfer the loop on the crochet hook onto your knitting needle to make the last cast on stitch

Crochet Cast On Success Tips

  • You may need to practice this cast on to get the tension right. I’ve found that it is usually better to err on the side of doing it too loosely rather than too tightly.
  • Tension is affected by the size of hook you use and how tightly you make the stitches. Resist the temptation to tighten up each stitch. You can change your hook size to adjust tension, but if you tighten between each stitch it won’t matter what size hook you use – your cast on will be too tight.
  • If you want your cast on to match your bind off, it would be wise to do a swatch to ensure you use the proper tension on your cast on. Otherwise, you might end up with a scarf that has a 6” wide cast on edge and a 10” wide bind off edge. 
  • After you bind off and before you cut your tail, double check to see if your tension matches on your bind off and cast on. At this point, you can redo your bind off if you need them to match better.
  • If you are doing a provisional cast on:
    1. Cast on the total number of stitches (rather than one less)
    2. Chain several extra stitches with your crochet hook before cutting your waste yarn. By doing this, it will be obvious which end to unravel when it’s time to pick up your cast on stitches.
    3. Finish the cast on by knitting one row with your working yarn.

Want to Try it in a Project?

The crochet cast on is used in the Goat Whisperer’s Reversible Cabled Scarf pattern. You can purchase the pattern here or join the Knit Along Club, where we will guide you through every step of the pattern with written and video tutorials similar to this one. 

If you are the kind of knitter who desires to knit heirloom-quality garments that you’ll be proud of and your knitworthy friends and family will treasure, then join me in the Knit Along Club and take your knitting to the next level!

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