Knitting from cast-on side?


Complete and utter novice here. So this is probably a really stupid question.

I’m close to finishing my first knitted thing, a scarf. So here’s what happened: I finished the scarf, and realized that the tension for the first 20 rows was looser (from when I was first learning to knit) and it was more noticeable than I thought it would be.

I thought oh, I can just re-knit those rows. So I unravelled the cast-on managed to get the loops back on a needle properly (I think).

Then I realized that I can’t just knit as normal because it’s going to be backwards (I think?) At least, it doesn’t look like it usually does at the end of the needle because I suppose it’s in reverse.

So my question is, how do I add those 20 rows back onto the scarf?


Do you mean the working yarn is on the other end? If so you just need to work on the other side of your knitting.

If you’re using circular needles slide the stitches to the other end and turn your work.

If you’re using straight needles you just transfer them to the other needle and turn your work. You transfer by sticking your needle straight into the stitches and slipping them to the other needle.

Watch for twisted stitches, too. They will look like the back leg of the stitch is further to the right when the row is stretched. If they are don’t panic. You can lift the stitch off with the right needle and turn it around OR the easiest way is knit into the back of the stitch. It’s called Ktbl and there is a video. Go to the glossary linked above.

If you mean something else just ask.

Hi Jan,

Thanks for your quick reply. No, the working yarn is on the right end. The stitch looks different than it usually does when it’s at the end of a row.

I assumed that it’s because I unravelled from the cast-on end and therefore everything was backwards (?) but maybe I just screwed it up when I picked up the yarn again?

UPDATE: Okay, so looks right, but it’s on the wrong side, as though I have to knit left-handed now or something.

Can you post a photo? Not sure if you have enough posts yet.

I suspect if it looks like you have to knit left handed then what I suggested would work though.

I’m not sure what stitch pattern you’re using but with patterns like stockinette you can knit it forwards or backwards and it’ll line up just fine. This tutorial is for changing the length of a sweater but the idea is the same. The working yarn should be dangling off the tip of the needle in your left hand and you should be able to pick up the yarn and start knitting. You may be starting with the front or the back side, depending on which side is facing you and you’ll have to pick up the pattern stitch accordingly.
Good luck with this, which should work well and congrats on finishing (almost) your first projects.

Yes, when you start working the other direction, the sts are offset half a stitch. But if it’s plain stockinette or garter it won’t matter. If it’s garter stitch make sure the purl bumps are facing you on the left needle to keep in the garter stitch pattern. If the knits are on the left, then you can purl the row instead of knit it and it’ll stay garter stitch.

Okay, well you guys have given me hope because right now it seems like a mess… but your questions (the fact that I didn’t know what a stockinette pattern was – it seems mine is actually just “knit knit knit” not “knit purl knit” which I now remember choosing a year ago when I started the scarf, lol) have made me realize that I need to take this to a knitter friend of mine who can actually look at it, because I’m not sure that I picked up the loops the right way etc. Thanks for your replies!

It’s a great idea to have someone actually look at the knitting.
I’ve attached videos for stockinette st and garter st using the English method just to be clear on the stitch pattern. There are also videos on the Tips page if you happen to be a Continental knitter.

There’s videos on the Tips page under Fixing Mistakes, which show how to put the sts back on the needle. But even if some are on it twisted, if you always knit into the leg closest to the tip of the needle, they’ll come out untwisted.

The reason I said what I did is because when I was new I did the same thing and picked them up so the working yarn was in the wrong place, so it looked like I had to knit left handed.

Just thought I’d let everyone know the answer – I showed it to my knitting friend. I had 2 or 3 stitches reversed which she fixed, but overall the answer was to purl instead of knit (I’d been knitting forward knit / knit / knit etc. so I need to purl backward purl / purl / purl).

Thanks for your help everyone!