Tips and Tricks: Old Norwegian Cast On

Recently, I’ve been teaching my friend Susie to knit.  She’s a great student, in large part because she’s knit before, not to mention she crochets already (including teeny tiny crocheted bracelets made with quilting thread and #11 seed beads).  As I do with most new knitters, I first taught her the knitted-on cast on, because it uses the knit stitch.  This means the new knitter doesn’t have to learn some bizarro two-strand loopy thing in order to have a nice, firm cast-on row. (I never teach the backwards-loop cast on as a first cast on, because new knitters invariably stretch it out and get very discouraged.)

Susie, having finished her first project (legwarmers for her little girl), wanted to learn a stretchier cast on for the second pair.  Enter the Old Norwegian Long Tail Cast On, aka the Twisted German Cast On!  (The latter name always makes me think the Germans are kinky… ) I showed Susie how to do it, and made up a little set of words to say while doing it.  She said it made sense to her, and wished there were a video … so without further ado, this video is for you Susie!


10 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks: Old Norwegian Cast On

  1. Ooh I like this! It took me many times to figure out how you “get the needle out of trouble” but I think I’ve got it. I kept advancing the end yarn as much as the working yarn, but I am practicing and love this method!!! I love the sketchiness of this Norwegian method. Thank you so much for posting the video.

    I also cannot stress Enough how easy it is to see the work going on because of the way you are holding the camera! Happy stitching 🙂


  2. My granny taught me this cast on when I started my second knitting project (socks). It was … terrible. Simply terrible. I got frustrated almost immediatly while my granny got furious that I couldn’t learn something THAT simple … 😉

    I know use a “normal”(?) long tail cast on – much better for my granny’s nerves and mine. :mrgreen:

      1. That’s often true, you’re right. But I have to admit that it was VERY bold of my wanting to start socks right after a scarf that hadn’t much to do with knitting due to the yarn (it’s a bit complicated to explain, it was this “bobbly” yarn you simply throw over the needles …)..

        My granny was almost having a fit when she found out I couldn’t even purl! But now that I have grasped the basics she truly is a great teacher – patient and open for every question I have. 🙂 and she’s great at motivating and encouraging me if things don’t work out right from the beginning.

  3. I can follow everything on your video up to the “get your needle out of trouble” which seems to be done so quickly that I am not able to see what you are doing. Is there any way you could slow that part down? Otherwise it’s a great video. Thank you so much. I think I do this cast on the same as you right up to the out of trouble part, but then I do something else.

    1. To “get your needle out of trouble” you need to follow the same path out that you followed on the way in — over the one strand of yarn, then under both, all while keeping the loop of working yarn on the needle.

      I no longer have the original video file for this one, so it’s not really possible to produce a different speed for you. Sorry!

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