Two-Color Cast On

  • 01 of 03

    Two-Color Slip Knot

    A slip knot formed with three strands of yarn to prepare for the two-color cast on.
    Sarah E. White

    A two-color cast on is never strictly necessary, but it's a great way to start a double knitting project, a project that starts with two-colored or corrugated ribbing, or just as a fun way to start a project that will incorporate two different colors.

    The main thing to understand about working a two-color cast on is that it looks just like a long tail cast on except you don't actually need long tails to work with.

    You do, however, need three strands of yarn: two of one color and one of the other. You can work with three separate balls of yarn or work from the center and the outside of the same ball.

    The first step in casting on with two colors is making a slip knot, which is made the same way as a regular slip knot in knitting, you're just making it with three strands of yarn instead of one. This knot does not count as a stitch; you'll take it off the needle when you get back to it on the first row of knitting.

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Casting on with Two Colors

    Making a stitch with a two-color cast on method.
    Sarah E. White

    Once the slip knot is in place, you just have to get the yarn in order to form stitches just like you would if you were doing a normal long-tail cast on.

    Put one strand of yarn from each color together and put those threads around your index finger. The single strand of the yarn you have two strands of goes over your thumb. The "slingshot" looks the same as a long-tail cast on, just with two strands of yarn in the back.

    As with a regular long-tail cast on, take the needle under the thread at the front of the thumb, scoop back behind the two strands on the index finger, then twist the loop on your thumb to bring it up and over the needle. Pull the yarn tight and reposition the yarns to form the next stitch.

    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Continuing the Cast On

    The finished two-color cast on, with gray and yellow stitches alternating.
    Sarah E. White

    The main thing you have to remember when forming a two-color cast on is that you want to keep the colors alternating -- in this case I want a stitch of gray followed by a stitch of yellow throughout.

    The way to do this is just to be mindful that the colors are staying in the same order as you form the stitches. If the yellow yarn were coming first, I'd give the threads a turn to make sure I was getting a gray stitch and then a yellow stitch.

    Cast on in this fashion as many stitches as you need. When you're finished, you can cut the thread that was over your thumb and continue on with the two that were being held together. Remember that when you get back to the slip knot that will be at the end of the first row, just untie it; do not work it.