Keeping Track of Cast on

Tuesday Tip – Keeping Track of Cast On

Tuesday Tip copy

Long tail cast on is a great go to cast on for many of us, but there are a few issue. One of them is estimating yarn, another is that annoying untwisting of the yarn, and the last is . . .

Keeping Track of Cast on.

In this  Tuesday Tip, I’ll tackle all three.

First issue is estimating yarn for long tail. What I like to do is:

  1. Leaving a bit of a tail, wrap the yarn around my needle 10 times.
  2. Test that amount of yarn to make sure I can cast on 10 stitches.
  3. Use this to measure out my yarn (e.g. 7 times that length for 70 stitches)

Next there’s the issue of the yarn getting untwisted. Butterfly to the rescue!

Keeping Track of Cast on

After I measure out the yarn. I make a butterfly

Keeping Track of Cast on

Make a loop with the tail

Keeping Track of Cast on

Tighten down. Repeat this

Keeping Track of Cast on

Tuck it over the butterfly and . . .







Now, when you are casting on and the yarn starts to get untwisted, drop the butterfly off your thumb and the weight of it will spin the yarn back to it’s former self!

My favorite trick involves keeping track of how many stitches I’ve cast on. How many times have we lost count while casting on hundreds of stitches? Not fun. That’s where a bit of smooth cotton waste yarn comes in very handy.

Keeping Track of Cast on

Cast on 10, hold scrap yarn in front of stitches

Keeping Track of Cast on

Cast on another 10, move your scrap yarn

Keeping Track of Cast on

Repeat every 10 stitches

Keeping Track of Cast on

Easy peasy to keep track!

Keeping Track of Cast on

When you’re done, just pull out scrap yarn

For more tips LIVE, join me in one of my live classes.  Keep watching the Upcoming Classes page.  I update it frequently.

Join my Ravelry group for more knitting fun and KAL.

Or book a private lesson with me live in New York, or streaming online.

For other knitting tips from Patty’s Knitting Bag of tricks you can learn 2 1/2 hours worth on my new DVD

Interweave Knitting Bag of Tricks

Also available as a digital download

To read past Tuesday tips, just click on the Tutorial category of the blog (or here I did it for you!)

If you have a “is there a better way to do that”, or “how do you do that” question, leave me a comment, and I’ll add it to the Tuesday Tip list!

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  • Joanne Hagar April 13, 2016   Reply →

    Love the yarn trick to keep count when casting on. I used markers but sometimes that gets uncomfortable in quantity or causes a gap in the stitch.

  • Teresa January 25, 2017   Reply →

    I agree with Joanne – love the waste yarn trick on the cast on. My other pet peeve is casting on a few hundred stitches for a bottom up sweater, carefully joining in the round, and then discovering 2″ up that the cast on was twisted. Would LOVE a tip to prevent that!

  • smonakey January 16, 2019   Reply →

    Love the yarn trick! I add stitch markers every 10 – 20 sts, but this even easier!

  • Daryl N. January 16, 2019   Reply →

    I recently had the pleasure of casting on 540 stitches for a top-up-in-the round sweater, so I used the two ball method for the long tail cast on (use a separate ball for the long tail instead of making a slip knot in a single yarn), and the pattern wisely instructed to mark the 45-stitch pattern repeats with markers so that you could more easily keep track of the count. I decided to knit the few rows of ribbing before joining in the round exactly for the reason of avoiding the dreaded twist. Easy enough to seam a few rows at the bottom than to try to ensure it was untwisted with that many stitches, even on a 60-inch needle. Thanks for your tips!

  • Genevieve January 16, 2019   Reply →

    I’m in Canada and would love to buy the book but not digital. Is it possible?

  • Margaret April 25, 2020   Reply →

    Great tip for counting cast ons!! THANK YOU!

  • Catherine Everingham June 23, 2021   Reply →

    This makes me want to cast on 345 stitches just to try it out!

  • Sharon Shields August 27, 2023   Reply →

    Great tip for tracking cast on stitches. Love all your tips.

  • Sharon S August 27, 2023   Reply →

    Great tip for tracking cast on stitches. I appreciate all your insights.

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