Assistance for an absolute beginner

Hello. Just recently I decided to learn how to knit. I bought a book and went through several sites for beginners, including this one. Problem is, I cannot do anything right with it. whenever I try the “casting”, I end up with something that looks like a 2-year old tied several knots around the needles. I tried everything I can, from alternate methods to going through the videos on the site frame-by-frame. nothing works, I am starting to get very frustrated, and all I am doing is wasting yarn at this moment.

We can’t really tell you what your problem is from this. You say you have tried watching the videos for multiple ways of casting on as well as tried pictures? You could either persist in trying to copy the videos… it should click eventually, or go to a knitting shop and ask someone to help you with casting on, if they have a knitting group I am sure someone would be happy to help also.

First off, when you get that frustrated the best thing to do is to slowly and carefully set the knitting needles down on the nearest flat surface and walk away. Do something else for a while and come back to it after you’ve succeeded at accomplishing another thing. Knitting is fun and when you’re that annoyed with something it ceases to be anything close to fun.

Then when you come back try again. I honestly didn’t learn to cast on here at KH. I used another site. The Lion Brand site is the one I found most useful for myself ( I’ve watched someone do the method where they use their thumb instead of a right hand needle and for some reason I just can’t do it. I also used some of the videos at Michael’s website(

I just cast on over and over for a while when I started knitting. It’s good practice since you’ll use it for a good long time. I call it a foundation skill. I’d just cast on for 50 or so stitches and then unravel it all and do it again. Your hands haven’t memorized the motions yet! It’s okay!

I’m so sorry you’re having trouble! I tried to learn from a book and I was miserable.

Could you try taking a class? Is there a yarn store in your area? Try the yellow pages, or Joann’s and Michaels offer classes too.

Have you tried knitting after you cast on? It may not be as bad as you think.

I would also suggest not chopping and changing approaches. ALL approaches will have their pluses and good points and if you simply watch one method after another this will tend to blur memory and your ability to retain understanding.

Chose a method of cast on and stick with it. I use a knit form; many others here use long tail. Just choose one and watch and copy, watch and copy and I agree with flea about walking about when it gets too much. If you stick to one approach and after a week of trying every day still can’t get the technique then I suggest a visit to a shop.

One day you will look back and think…gosh… I’ve just knitted a beautiful scarf/shawl/jumper…what was going on back then!! :slight_smile:

Cast on and then just keep going. You need to sort of “train” your fingers and mind to do it. It probably won’t look good in the beginning, no ones does, but keep going. You will soon start to see how it improves.

In the long run, you’ll become an expert at casting on, since you will frog more pieces than you’ll finish. So, eventually it will become easy.

I recommend finding somone live to help you with casting on. You may be doing some little quirky thing which someone in a knitting store or a friend or someone at church or somewhere will be able to catch.

I almost always use a knitted cast on - and it was the only one I knew for over 20 years of knitting. I just recently learned there were other ways and figured out the thumb cast on. So even if you end up with one you can figure out and you only use it for 20 years, you’ll be fine.

I’m really new at this too and I learned everything I know from this website’s videos… I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and I just practiced casting on like 20 stitches, unraveling, and trying again. It took me watching the video like a million times before I finally got it. I did the same thing with the stitch techniques. I’d cast on, knit like 5 rows, unravel. Cast on, purl 5 rows, unravel. It somehow made it easier for me to start over from scratch each time i was learning something new.

I’ve only been knitting for a year. When I first started, I had some “practice yarn” that I used to get the technique. My first swatch looked SO funky…I would accidentally add stitches or drop stitches, and my tension was SO inconsistent. Once I’d gotten that down, I bought some yarn for an actual project. Sometimes, the cast on edge can look funky. Stick with it! You can do it! :cheering:

I guess my biggest problem is that I am not very good when it comes to learning from books or videos. I need someone actually there instructing me and showing me what I am doing so very, very wrong. Fortunately, my grandmother knows how to knit, so the next time I go over there, I will ask if she can help me… Chances are she won’t, but there is a chance…