Long-tail cast on: slip knot required?

I am reading an article on the Craft Yarn Council website that says that when casting on, you must always first make a slip knot, and that slip knots always count as a stitch. For example, if a pattern calls for casting on 12 stitches, you first make a slip knot, then cast on 11 more stitches. I like to cast on using the long-tail method I learned on this site, which never specified making a slip knot. If I use this method, do I still have to make a slip knot before beginning the cast-on?

I like long-tail cast on…and I always make a slip knot…and yes, you count it as the first stitch.

However, you do not have to make a slip knot. It’s all up to you.

Either way, count your cast on stitches by the number of stitches sitting on your needle when you’re done.


Yes, it’s counted as a stitch, it’s part of ‘casting on’. However, you don’t have to make one, just do a loop around the needle. There’s less of a ‘knot’ and it’s less bulky.

When I do my first cast-on (exactly like in the video you posted), I end up with two loops. So does that count as two stitches? If that’s the case, when a pattern says to cast-on 15, for example, does that mean you will end up with 30 stitches? Or do they mean 15 stitches? The smallest details are so confusing to me! :zombie:

:doh: never mind, I just realized that only the first cast-on makes two stitches… subsequent cast-ons make one single stitch, so my question is indeed very silly. :blush:

There really aren’t any silly questions. The video uses a loop over the needle to start and then proceeds with the long tail kind of cast on. So the loop counts as one and the subsequent sts add one each to that. Just look at the number of loops over the needle and match that up to the required cast on in the pattern instruction.

You have to get the yarn on the needle somehow to ‘cast on’ in whatever method you choose. So there’s always going to be a first loop, then another one appears each time you cast on one more. You can also cast on by just wrapping the yarn around the needle X times, but it’s very hard to knit into that loop.

I always do long tail without a slip knot. The first stitch creates two stitches and it works just fine to count them both.