How To Cast Off Knitting
Knitting is a hobby that has been used for centuries, allowing people to create their own clothing and accessories in the comfort of their home. For those who have just started learning how to knit, the cast-off is considered the most challenging step of the entire process. Fortunately, Catherine Hirst shows how easy it is to complete this step.
I'm going to show you how to cast off - both casting off using only the knit stitch and casting off in-pattern, which combines knit and purl stitches. Casting off is the method that's used to close the loops along the top of the piece of knitting. If you just pulled this off the needle without casting it off and pulled on the yarn, the whole thing would unravel.
So we need to close these so that everything is secure. To cast off, you're going to start by knitting the first two stitches in the row like normal. So, yarn to the back, inserting from the left, and we're knitting those first two stitches.
You're then going to take your left needle and you're going to insert across the front of the first stitch that you knit from left-to-right, across the front of that loop and then you're going to take that stitch, and lift it over the second stitch and off both needles so that it hangs to the front of the second stitch you knit, and then you're going to knit the next stitch in the row. So again, you've got two on your right-hand needle. You're going to take your left needle and lift the stitch over the last stitch and off the needle.
Again, knit another stitch. You should only ever have one or two stitches on your right-hand needle when you're casting off. I use my left needle to pick this stitch up and lift it over and off the needle.
All the knitting across this row has already been cast off - this is still to cast off. So, so far, I've been using only the knit stitch to cast off, but if you have a pattern like this one that combines knit and purl stitches, like this moss stitch, you might choose to cast off "in pattern." That means you're going to knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches or vice-versa since this is moss stitch, while casting off throughout.
So for example, this next stitch is a knit stitch, and since we're doing moss stitch, we would purl that. So we're going to bring this forward and purl this stitch, but we're still going to be casting off, lifting the stitch over and off between every stitch - knitted or purled. So, we need to knit the next stitch in the row to maintain our moss stitch pattern and we're still lifting our stitches over and off to close as we go along.
So, purling the next stitch and lifting that stitch over and off, you want to cast off loosely because your cast off row doesn't stretch as much as the rest of your knitting. So you want to make sure that it lays flat and doesn't pinch in at the top. So I'm carrying on across the row, knitting and purling the stitches as appropriate, and this would work for any combined knit-purl stitch pattern so if you're doing ribbing or moss stitch or any combined pattern, you would still use this in-pattern cast off method.
Once you get to the last stitch, you're going to knit or purl it as appropriate. Lift the stitch over and off. So you've got one stitch remaining on the needle; between both, you only have one stitch left.
At that point, you're going to cut your yarn. Just get some scissors, leaving a four to six-inch or 10-centimeter tail. Then this tail that you've just created is needed to pass through that last remaining loop, to close that loop.
You can take your needle out of it, open that loop up just a little bit and then that tail needs to pass through that loop. You just pull to tighten; that piece of knitting is now cast off. And that's how to cast off. .