In our last post we covered how to make a slip knot. That is the first step in knitting. Step Two is putting the yarn on the needles, also known as casting on. Since most people are really eager to get started, we are going to begin with the easiest cast on. It is known as the Thumb Cast On or Loop Cast On. There are lots different ways to cast on, and we will cover some of my favorite cast on's later, after we learn the knitting basics.
Thumb Cast On/Loop Cast On
Holding your needle in your left hand, gently use your finger to keep the slip knot from sliding off the needle. Place the thumb of your right hand under the long strand of yarn (the end attached to the yarn ball) and grasp the yarn with your fingers.
Lean your right hand back so that your palm faces the needle and you will notice the yarn wrapped over your thumb as formed a loop. Insert the needle into the loop.
Place the loop onto the needle, slide your thumb out, and gently tighten on the needle. The stitch should be fitted around the needle, yet loose enough that it can still glide smoothly.
Continue making loops until you have the required number of stitches on your needle. A knitting pattern will always tell you how many stitches to cast on. In our case, let's cast on 10 stitches. Notice that the beginning slip knot is also counted as a stitch.