New to knitting, what do I do

with the tail from the slip knot??? I’ve been learning how to knit from a mix of book instructions and a few online videos but the tail is never mentioned. Thanks,

When you’re done with the project, you can weave it into the back.

Okay, that makes sense. I was worried I was supposed to work it into the stitches from the beginning. Much appreciated!

If you watch the cast on videos on this website, she always knits the first few stitches with both the working yarn and the tail. You have to pull these stitches a little tighter, but it works fine. I use this method because I don’t have to weave in the end later. I hate all that sewing and this way I can just cut off the tail.

I too hate the tail and wondered how to get it in the piece without it coming out … knitting it with the working yarn works for me … if I can ever get past that stage!!


If you’re making something that requires seaming, such as a sweater, you can use the tail to start sewing the seam.

another brand-new knitter (as in two days ago) here w/ a question about double casting-on and the tail:

as i cast on, is the tail supposed to grow shorter? i’ve tried casting on a few times now but the tail end always gets eaten up so i just frog it and start over, and don’t know what i’m doing wrong. if this is not (as i suspect) what to do, how do i prevent this from happening and use the skein-end of the yarn instead?

also, when casting on my loops end up crooked – what can i do to correct this?

sorry for what must seem like such basic questions, i’m so new…and thanks for whatever advice you all can offer!

Leave enough of a tail for the length and diameter of the stitches you will cast on. If you are finding you don’t have enough tail every time, you obviously have a tendency to underestimate how much you’ll need, so use more than you think you’ll need. If you really hate to waste twenty centimetres of wool, use both ends for double cast-on, and cut one when you have finished. Don’t forget this site has a search function!


the nice stiches on the needle before you work them
if they are WAY bigger or smaller that will make a difference
but they all tend to even up with woork and time
and the first few things you make have “Character” anyway
and you will appreciate your improved skills as the projects get finished one after the other

you will see


Yes, you’re supposed to use up the tail with a long tail cast on. If you run out before you have the right amount of stitches on, rip it out and use a little more. Keep going until you end up with 3-6 inches of tail. It happens to me all the time, and I’ve been knitting for years.


thanks so much, everybody, for your helpful comments and encouragement. it is good to hear that i am indeed supposed to be using up the tail – thanks, sue! i am now pretty excited to try again today…