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The Complete Beginner's Guide to Knitting: Part 2
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Before you begin knitting, you must learn how to tie a slipknot and how to cast on.
Casting on- After you make a slipknot, you need to cast on, which is the method by which your foundations stitches are made that you then knit or purl (see definitions below). This is also sometimes referred to as binding on. There are many different ways to cast on including:
The back loop method is good for beginners because it only requires the use of one needle and your fingers, but it does create large gaps between stitches. Hold the needle with the newly made slipknot in your right hand and the tail end of the yarn in your left (wrapping around your pinkie finger to hold it taut). Make a loop around your thumb or index finger, leaving a long tail in the yarn. Insert the needle into the loop and bring the right yarn, connected to the ball, around the needle point. Holding tension in the yarn, bring the wrapped yarn through the loop on your thumb or index finger. Pull the ends to tighten around the needle. If you had trouble visualizing this (as I certainly did), here is a video on basic casting on. The pattern instructions should tell you how many stitches you need to cast on.
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