Double Cast On / Long-Tail Cast On

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This cast-on is the one that most people learn first.  It is important not to make your cast-on too tight - not only because it makes your first row harder to work, but also because it will make the starting edge of the fabric tight and inelastic.  Many people prefer to cast-on over both needles in order to assure a nice, loose cast-on row.

This cast-on makes a "right side" row:   if you will be working in stockinette, it is easiest to work a purl row first after this cast on is complete.

To work the Long-Tail / Double Cast-on:

Double Cast On, Step 1

Step 1:  Make a slip knot on your right needle, ensuring that your tail is of the appropriate length.  This slip knot will count as your first stitch. The generally-accepted length for a tail is 1" for every stitch you will be casting on plus 12" extra, but this is a rough estimate only.  For fine gauge yarns this may be too much, and for bulky weight yarns this may be too little.

Wrap the tail end of your yarn around your left thumb and wrap your working yarn around your left index finger, as pictured.  Secure the ends of the yarn in your palm with your other fingers to keep tension on the yarn.

Double Cast On, Step 2

Step 2:  Insert the hook from bottom to top through the loop of tail yarn on your thumb.

Double Cast On, Step 3

Step 3:  Keeping the needle in the loop created by the tail yarn on the thumb, insert the needle from top to bottom over the working yarn held on the left index finger.  Draw this strand through the loop of tail yarn...

Double Cast On, Step 4

Step 4:  ...to create a stitch on your needle.  Remove your thumb from the loop and pull on tail to tighten stitch (avoid making too tight!).  Continue in this way until the desired number of stitches have been cast on.