How to Do the German Twisted Cast On

German Twisted Cast
Kara / Flickr / CC By 2.0
  • 01 of 08

    Getting Started

    Starting a new knitting project is always exciting. Be sure to gather all your materials ahead of time. For most projects, you'll need a pattern, a sufficient amount of yarn, appropriate sized needles, and scissors. It's helpful to read through the entire pattern once or twice to fully understand all the steps before you begin. 

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  • 02 of 08

    Preparing to Cast On

    Positioning the yarn
    The Spruce / Sarah White

    Casting on is the technique for starting new stitches and is essential in starting any knitting. There are several cast-on techniques that all vary in look, style, and the final result. The German twisted cast on is a stretchy cast-on method

    The German twisted cast on, sometimes referred to as the Old Norwegian cast-on, starts much the same way as the long-tail cast on. First, you have to measure out a long tail based on the number of stitches you need, make a slip knot and position the yarn in your left hand.

    The tail end should be facing front, wrapped around your thumb, while the ball end is looped over your index finger. Hold the needle in your right hand.

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  • 03 of 08

    Starting the Stitch

    Setting up the stitch
    The Spruce / Sarah White

    To begin forming the stitch in German twisted cast on, simply place the needle behind both strands of the yarn around your thumb.

    This is different from the long-tail method, in which you would just put the needle behind the front thread.

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  • 04 of 08

    Making the Twist

    Going through the loop
    The Spruce / Sarah White

    Give the needle a little twist and go down through the middle of the threads on your thumb, coming out underneath the strand around the front of your thumb.

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  • 05 of 08

    Grabbing the Other Thread

    Grabbing the ball-end yarn
    The Spruce / Sarah White

    Now the thread on your index finger gets involved in the German twisted cast-on process. Simply bring the needle back behind the yarn on your index finger and then bring the needle up under the yarn by moving the needle in a clockwise fashion.

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  • 06 of 08

    Forming the Stitch

    Slipping through the X
    The Spruce / Sarah White licensed

    Look closely at the thread that's wrapped around your thumb. There should be an X that is formed where the yarn crossed itself. 

    That X is where your needle needs to go next. Keeping the loop from the ball-end yarn on the needle, slip the needle through the bottom part of the X.

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  • 07 of 08

    Finishing the Stitch

    The stitch on the needle
    The Spruce / Sarah White licensed

    Just drop the yarn off your thumb and pull the stitch tight on the needle. This cast-on method makes relatively tight stitches, so you might want to consider using a larger needle to cast on than the one called for in your pattern and then switch back to the called for needle once your cast-on is complete and you begin knitting. 

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  • 08 of 08

    Continuing to Cast On

    A finished bunch of German twisted cast on stitches
    The Spruce / Sarah White licensed

    Keep going in the exact same way until you have as many stitches as you need for your pattern. Remember that the slip knot counts as a stitch.

    In addition to these instructions, it can be helpful to find videos of the cast on in action and watch them a few times to see the live motion of the fingers and yarn. Also, local yarn stores are always a helpful resource when learning in person is necessary.