Help needed

I’m in need of some help. I’m getting really frustrated with starting from a backward loop cast on. Is there some different way to start the first row when casting on this way?

I’ve been able to get about halfway done with the first row until it becomes nothing but a mess of loose knots instead of knit stitching. I’ve been looking at videos on how to do the knit stitch and I’m pretty sure I’ve got that down but I feel like there must be something wrong with the cast-on because it gets so loose midway into the first row.

I’ve tried the continental cast on but its too hard for me; probably because I’m right handed. If it helps I’m using a worsted weight yarn on #9 Bamboo needles.

Any ideas on how the looseness could be happening when I get off to such a good start?:frog:

If you are casting on for a project I’d suggest long tail cast on. Is this what you are calling continental? It’s only “continental” in that you have the yarn in your left hand to cast on, but us right handers use it all the time. It’s the best one IMO. Did you watch the video? If so here’s another link that might help. There are others there, too.

If you are in the middle you can use cable cast on instead. Backward loop is a pita.

I’ve just started learning… the other cast on methods were frustrating me.

Hi, I think that cast on tends to do that. There may be some people who use that cast on for there regular cast on who may have some advice for you, but it might be good for you to try another cast on.

The long tail (it has several other names) cast on is pretty standard and good for most anything. You can do it a couple of different ways, and can be used whether you knit English or Continental.

If that is the one that has you stumped, you might find one of the knitted on cast ons easier. Regular knitted on cast on, or the one commonly called the cable cast on. The idea of a knitted on cast on is to make a slip knot and then knit into that as though it were a stitch and then pull the loop up and put it on the needle. You keep doing that over and over. There may be a “right” way to put the loop on the needle, but I think either way you do it, if you are consistent it will make a cast on that may be more workable than a backward loop cast on. Cable cast on is similar, but after you have two stitches, you knit up the new stitches from between stitches. (check out the videos)

BTW I love the backward loop cast on, but never use it for my initial cast on, but for buttonholes and some instances where you need a relatively small number of stitches cast on in the middle of a project.

I’ve tried all of the other casting methods. I can’t do them. This has been the only one I’ve been able to do successfully. Maybe I should just give up on knitting and return what I’ve bought. This is so damn aggravating


Don’t give up too easily. If someone could show you personally I’m sure you could figure this out. But maybe we can still try to offer some more help.

I’d like to ask, are you making the backward loop cast on as Amy shows it in her video? Looping it around your index finger just like she does it?

Get back to me on this and maybe I can try to help some more.


Thats the exact one I’m doing. I give up… I’m tired of it seeming like I’ve got the knit stitch and then winding up with a mess of knots instead actual knitting. I’ve gotten nothing but sarcastic comments from other knitting communities basically saying that cast on is rubbish. People seem to miss the part where I said I’m a novice knitter. If I knew other methods I’d do them…and people who say well I never do that; do this instead really arent helping me just frustrating me

I’m sorry you are having such a hard time. I wouldn’t say that that cast on is rubbish, but as you have found, it is hard to knit from. I’m certainly not being sarcastic or trying to give you a hard time. If you are frustrated to the point that you want to give up that is always an option. Not everyone likes to knit.

I didn’t miss the part that said you are a novice knitter and I don’t think Jan did either. We have helped a lot of novice knitters here. It is hard for some people to learn just from videos or pictures or words. Maybe you will be able to find someone to help you in person if you can’t learn it this way and don’t want to give up on knitting entirely.

The reason we are suggesting you try another cast on, is because you have discovered on your own that knitting from the backward loop can be hard. And that is not because you are a bad person, it is because of the cast on you are trying to use.

What I was going to suggest is that with the skill you already have doing the backward loop cast on the way Amy shows it you could quite easily learn to do the long tail cast on. The way I learned to do the long tail cast on is listed in Amy’s videos as the “Alternative Method”, or “Thumb Method”. And I think it is a little easier to grasp than the “sling shot method” doing it all in one hand. I still do it this way and I teach it to beginners including young children (but in person; you still have that disadvantage).

If you look at Amy’s video on how to do the long tail alternative method, you can break it down into four steps and you already know the first one. She does it with her thumb, but it is exactly the same as what you are doing with the backward loop cast on with your index finger. You don’t have to use your thumb.

You have to start this cast on with a “long tail” (it seems like kind of a misnomer since it is the short end)of yarn off to your left and the yarn from the skein on the right. In other words don’t start right at the end of the yarn.

Watch the video and along with this you may be able to get it. Using the long tail part, start just like the backward loop up to the point where you have the needle through the loop on your finger. Then with the yarn that goes to the skein wrap the yarn under the needle, like she does on the video. Then take the loop on your left index finger and put it over the needle and pull slightly on the “long tail” (the part you used to make the loop on your left index finger).

Like I said, watch the video. What you do at the beginning of the backward loop will work for that first part. Then just wrap the yarn, put the loop over and snug up the stitch.

Learning new hand skills feels awkward for everyone at first. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have trouble and don’t be too hard on us for having a hard time trying to help via computer. Someone else may have some advise on making the backward loop work for you. I can’t do that, but I offer this.

Good luck.

You CAN do this. We do understand that you are new knitter and we all had trouble when we first started, too. It’s awkward and frustrating and the knitting will seem loose and loopy and weird, but keep going. It’s sooo worth it in the end

Is there anyone that can show you in person? An LYS nearby that has classes?

Also…the knitted cast on is fairly easy and is much easier to knit from.


When I said people were being sarcastic and saying it was rubbish I said at other forums not here.

I’ve had someone show me in person and it still hasnt helped me. I thought I had it down but this setback is making me so frustrated I want to toss the yarn in the rubbish bin and forget about trying to learn.

I know you all are trying to help and I appreciate it. I’m just aggravated at this set back

What is an LYS?

LYS is local yarn store. Chicago is a big city, I’m sure there are several yarn stores. Go to google and type in “yarn store” and your zip code.

If the backward loop is all you can manage now just do it and keep going. Don’t worry about it looking awful. Just do that first row and then turn and do another. And another. If you keep going several inches you’ll start to see your knitting get a little better and it’ll get a little easier. Your practice piece does NOT have to be perfect. I wish I’d saved mine… it was a wreck. :wink:


Jan’s idea of keeping going and forgetting the cast on row’s faults for now is a good one. When I teach people, I like to have them begin with some stitches already cast on and a few rows already knit, just to get them started. Then I teach them to cast on after they learn the knit stitch. The cast on is a daunting thing at first.

Thank you, Jan, for that good advice. :thumbsup: I had my head set on the cast on and didn’t think of that. But that is probably the best idea for now.

Hi! Just wanted to add my voice to those encouraging you to
not give up! When I started, I used the backward loop cast on
also and didn’t have anyone to show me anything else. I just
got so frustrated with it that I put it all away and said forget it!
Fortunately, I hated the idea that I gave up because I couldn’t
get it (love a challenge!) and so started researching cast on
techniques until I found one that made sense to me. I crocheted
for years and discovered the crochet cast on and that worked for
me! Here is a link to some good close up pictures and an
explanation of how to use a crochet hook to help make a nice
even cast on edge. Don’t know if it will help at all but maybe…:slight_smile:

Libbie :slight_smile:

I’ve been using a knitted cast on ever since I started to knit. Unless the pattern states otherwise it is the only cast on I use. It is soooo easy. Make a slip knot.

[B]Step #1:[/B] To make a slip knot, wrap the yarn around your finger twice, take one of the loops and lift it up and over the other loop. Now take the loop that you did not move over the top and pull it up so that it makes a nice big loop. Pull this all off your finger. Put your needle into the slip knot loop and then pull down on the yarn hanging that is coming from the ball of yarn. This will snug the slip knot up on the needle.

[B]Step #2:[/B] Now you knit into this stitch as if you were going to actually knit, but instead of slipping your new loop onto the right needle and dropping the stitch off the left needle, slip the loop of the new stitch onto the left needle beside the stitch you just knit into. Snug it up by pulling on the working yarn (the yarn coming from the ball of yarn). Repeat step #2 until you have the number of stitches you need on your left needle and then you can begin knitting.

I only suggest you try this method because it is the easiest to learn in my opinion, gives an nice even cast on edge, looks good once you have finished casting on and are ready to start knitting and the stitches are easy to knit into once the cast on is finished and they don’t get all loopy on you.

[B]I KNOW you can do this[/B]! If I can, anyone can. Please don’t give up until you try a few other methods.

If these instructions are not clear enough for you or you are a visual learner, try going to the top of the home page and clicking on View Videos. A drop down menu will come up below that line. Click on Cast on and look for the “knitted cast on”. It will show you an actual video of Amy doing this method of casting on, while she talks you through trying it yourself. You can play the video over and over again until you think you are comfortable with doing the cast on yourself. There are times I have watched her videos twenty or thirty times before I got a step right!

[B]AGAIN, PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP YET![/B] Just the fact that you are asking for help means you want to continue trying to learn to knit. It’s really worth it once you actually get past this hard part and can produce something knitted.

Don’t throw out that yarn and needles.

Good luck to you!

Thanks! I perserved with my saggy cast on but finally got it! I finally got it!

[COLOR=royalblue]Good for you! now you are on your way. I know what you are going through. I had to have someone show me about the cast on and more than once too. A LYS is a local yarn shop near you. They are very helpful. Keep up the good work and don’t you give up.[/COLOR]

Thanks! I saw that one but don’t have a crochet needle handy or I’d have tried it.

Thanks again.