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‘Learn to Knit’ MINI SERIES with Rebecca, Week 1: The Cast On

Yes, that sweet new baby of mine and I are doing great!  (Thanks for asking…)
And so are her big brother and sister.  They are still completely fascinated by her and all of her wiggly parts.
New pics to come soon, I’m sure. :)
. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Oh, I have something really exciting to share with you.

Like, I almost spilled the news 17 different times because I was so excited to share it.
Remember how we did that little Mini Series with ‘Our Best Bites’? (Thanks again Kate and Sara!!) In case you missed it (and I’m sorry if you did, because that was some great fun!)….all of the posts from that Mini Series can be found here.
Well, today we’re starting a brand new Mini Series.
And it’s all about knitting.  Yes, knitting.
And I’m so excited about it……I can hardly stand it.  I have wanted to learn to knit for a long time and the time is here.  And I’m sure many of you feel the same way and just haven’t known where to start.
Are you curious who will be teaching us all how to knit?
Many of you may already know her. But in case you don’t, the lovely little
Rebecca Danger, from Danger Crafts, will be posting here once a week.

And don’t worry……she’s starting very basic.

Perfect for all of us first-timers.  Yay.

Yes, she’s the creative mind who designs all of those darn adorable knitted monsters, found here.
(Remember how my sister knitted some for my kids at Christmas-time from her pattern?  Love them.)
Okay, and she also creates sewing patterns like the ones below.
(All found in a separate shop, here.)
Darn cute, right?
Her talent goes on and on.  And so does her spunk.  I’d love to bottle her up!
(check out her blog here……you’ll see what I mean.)
So I’m so excited that she agreed to team up for a bit.
So join in on the fun for the next few weeks and learn a new crafting skill.  And even if you already know how to knit, follow along anyway…….you may learn something new.  Or feel inspired to tackle a new project.  (Her creations tend to do that to me.)


Hello MakeitandLoveit-ers!
This is Rebecca Danger from Danger Crafts and Ashley has asked me to stop on by once a week, for the next few weeks, and help you all to learn to knit. Yeah! Sounds like fun, huh?

I am so pleased to be doing this, I have always wanted to do a knitting tutorial. I have taught literally hundreds of people to knit since I started knitting about 14 or 15 years ago. I do many others crafts as well, I ran a sewn handbags business for 7 years and have recently started writing some sewing patterns in addition to my knitting patterns. But, there is just something about knitting though that makes it my all-time, all-around favorite craft. I hope I can help you learn this awesome skill as well!
I like to start folks knitting with cotton washcloths. One all knit one, one all purl one, and one knit and purl one (this will make more sense soon, I promise). They are practical and knit just like a scarf, but they are a much quicker and sometimes more practical than a scarf. I think you’ll love them.
Alrighty, I’m ready to get started, are you? I am going to take it very slow so that I can keep my posts on the short side. This week I am going to get you going with materials and just the cast on. So we won’t technically learn to knit until next week. But, without the cast on, you can’t go anywhere so it is incredibly important to learn!
You will need:
  • “Worsted Weight” Cotton Yarn: I am using Lion Brand Yarns “Lion Cotton” available at Joann’s and Michael’s. You should be able to do all 3 of my learn-to-knit projects with one ball. Worsted weight refers to the size of the yarn, check the label on the yarn to know what you are getting.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help at your Local Yarn Shop!
Alrighty. Got your supplies? Good. Today we are going to learn to “Cast On,” which will set up the first row of stitches on your needle from which your project will emerge. This is called the Long Tail Cast On and it is how I cast on 99% of projects (unless a pattern says otherwise).
Take your yarn and find a tail, sometimes you can find one in the center, sometimes it is just easier to go from the outside. Pull out about a 24” tail and make a slip knot (You will need a long tail to do this cast on, hence the name). Make a slip knot like this:
Make a loop in your yarn like so

Loop your yarn through the loop

and pull until your loop makes a knot around your yarn

Voila! Place your slip knot on your needle

Tah-dah! One stitch on the needle. Now to add more stitches. Grab your yarn in your left hand

Divide the 2 tails of yarn. Wrap the bottom tail AROUND your thumb.

Wrap the other tail OVER your index finger. Continue holding the yarn in the palm of your hand, pulling your needle back towards your pinky to create tension on the yarn.

Now, take the tip of the needle and scoop UNDER the yarn held on your thumb

Next go OVER the yarn wrapped around your index finger

Then, bring the yarn back THROUGH the loop you made on your thumb

Remove your thumb, dropping the loop and tightening it around the loop you made on the needle. One stitch made, one slip knot, 2 stitches.

Get your hand set back up so the yarn is wrapped around UNDER your thumb and OVER your index finger, just like how you started. Ready to make another stitch? Repeat the above steps until you have 24 stitches on your needle. Cast on complete.

Yeah! You have learned the first step to knitting! Practice the cast on this week, making sure you have 24 sts on your needle for next week when I will teach you the knit stitch. I’ll see you then!


If you were really confused on this or need to see it “in action” (as opposed to “in stills” as I’ve shown it here) check out this handy video I like from Youtube.
Ashley Johnston

Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!


  1. Brianne says:

    Tip that I learned the hard way: DO NOT cast on tightly. I couldn't do step 2 because my yarn was too tight. It took me a lot of time and frustration to figure that out.

  2. Marie says:

    i wanna join this too! i've attended few knitting classes before but still cannot master at it..i love the art of knitting and of course the pretty outcome…
    now i still wanna do it!! let's start back from basic..;)

  3. Rebecca Danger says:

    Hey The Momma-

    You want them tight enough they are not falling off the needle, but not so tight that you can't get your second needle through there.

    When learning to knit, always lean towards less tight, it will make your life much easier further down the road!

  4. Becca butler says:

    I LOVE to knit and i have been doing it for a couple years now and i Love all of you patterns and I am really excited to see what new things i can learn.

  5. the momma says:

    I just cast on!!! My hubby walked in and said, "Well – this just looks funny ~ you're sitting there with antique knitting needles looking at your laptop" (not antique – I MADE them myself today! )

    I'm wondering – how tight should these stitches be on the needle?? thnx!

  6. Angie says:

    I'm REALLY looking forward to this series! I bought my needles, some yarn, and some time. Now I just wish it was more than once a week. I've got this cast-on thing mastered :-)

  7. shirley says:

    I'm doing a happy dance right now!! I know how to crochet and have tried learning to knit several times on my own but could never get past casting on. I am so looking forward to this series. YAY!!!

  8. GaMtnScrap says:

    I am so SO happy about this series! I already know how to crochet (been crocheting for like 20 years now!) but have been wanting to learn how to knit for over a year now, but just never took the time to start it. It just seemed so overwhelming for some reason. So I've procrastinated. But now that you're doing this series, I am INSPIRED! I love that you'll be doing it in steps, and I love that you added the video. I'm definitely someone who learns by watching! I've already done my casting on (way easier than I thought it would be!) and waiting for the next step! I'm SOOOO excited about this, so THANK YOU for doing this series!

  9. Ashley says:

    This is only the first week of the knitting series. Rebecca will be teaching a little bit at a time, while those learning at the same time can master each step before moving onto the next one. So grab your knitting needles and join in! (Next knitting post will be up on Wednesday, March 16th..)


  10. Allison Hoag Photography says:

    I"m lost! Where are the rest of the posts to learning to knit?

  11. Amber says:

    Ever since you posted the pictures of the animals made from Rebecca's patterns, I have loved her work. I am a YouTube taught knitter, but would LOVE love love to know how to make her animals and such. Is there any chance of her sharing a pattern with us at the end?? Pretty please???

  12. Brandy says:

    I am so excited to start knitting! I got my supplies earlier today and now have my 24 stitches casted on. I am looking forward to the next step. Thanks for doing this awesome tutorial! BTW-I didn't understand the instructions until I watched the video. It was a huge help and very easy to see what to do.

  13. Brianne says:

    I just did it… Twice. It was fun and I wanted the practice. Plus my first attempt had a few weird looking stitches. Thanks for including the video, I tried following the written tutorial and a book my mom gave me and I couldn't figure it out. I got it in seconds from the video. Thanks! I can't wait until next week!

  14. the momma says:

    oh!! I am so stinkin' excited about this!!! I have been anting to learn to knit. I bought a book just a few weeks ago – may as well be Greek…. This should be just the ticket for me. Thank you SOOO much!!

  15. alaskafam says:

    Oh Boy!!! I'm so exited to see this series. I've been wanting to learn to knit for a while now and I LOVE the monsters that you make. Can't wait to get the basics down. Thanks so much for doing this!!!

  16. Cheree says:

    Thanks for doing this! I've wanted to learn for a while…and this seems to be the perfect speed for me. Thanks!

  17. Rebecca Danger says:

    Hey Aly and Theresa-

    When you are looking at the threads hanging from the needle they should want to "lay" the same way ever time. Does that make sense? Once side of the knot will come off towards and one will be away from you. By "bottom" I mean the one that is closest to you. No, it doesn't really matter which one you use, as long as you use the same one in the same spot every time.

    Hope that helps!


  18. HOMEmomMADE says:

    just learned to crochet and really want to knit, love this thank you!

    Glad to hear about you and new baby girl! My lil guy just hit 4mos today. Bless you and fam .)

  19. Brianne says:

    Thanks for this new mini series. I've been wanting to learn to knit. I hope I can keep up!

    Enjoy your time with your new sweet baby!

  20. Misty says:

    Very neat! BTW some of the fonts you use are so tiny, they are near impossible to read! :(

  21. bethanndodd says:

    I am SO excited about this mini series! I have been saying for a month now that I want to learn how to knit or crochet so I have something creative to do during all of the upcoming baseball practices I will be sitting at. Headed to Micheals in the morning…yippee!

  22. says:

    I'm a huge fan of yours and your blog and I love that you are now putting this together because I recently decided that I will learn to knit… even if it kills me!

    Anyways, just wanted to tell you I'm a big fan and let you know that I gave you a little award on my blog today and wrote about your blog… so feel free to check it out and play along!

  23. Anne Magee says:

    Yay! this is great! I've always wanted to learn how to knit!

  24. D.I.M. Incorporated says:

    I'm so excited about this! I know how to crochet but never quite got the hang of knitting. Hopefully I catch on quick!

  25. Resplendentquetzal says:

    I love knitting! It is my stress release. I'm excited to watch this and see if I can pick up something new!

  26. Leah says:

    I'm so excited to see this! I'm just learning how to knit (teaching myself), and I am in serious need of some inspiration!

  27. Celeste says:

    PLEASE! Include a "fix it" segment in the knitting series. I've learned the basics of knitting a few times but I always quit when I mess up because I don't know how to go back.

    Great idea for a series. So excited.

  28. Pam says:

    I'm looking forward to this! I haven't knitted in 40 years (did I just tell my age?). My 7 year old granddaughter told me last week that she wanted to learn how too. I'm really looking forward to this!

  29. Julie says:

    I learned to knit last year watching You Tube Videos :) There are several ways to "Cast On". I'm a "gotta see it" girl so these videos were very helpful for me and I thought they might help some of you, too : )

    Double-Tail Cast On:

    Knitted Cast On:

  30. Susan says:

    Just so you know, I am nerdily excited about this! I've been wanting to learn to knit or crochet (and up until a month or so ago, I thought they were the same thing) for a REALLY long time… Yay!

  31. nima says:

    i taught myself to crochet few years ago, but never got to learn knitting…i can't wait for next part of the series

  32. Annie says:

    Those monsters are KILLING me! I love them and am so excited about this mini series!

  33. Courtney says:

    I just recently taught myself to crochet, so i'm interested in seeing if knitting is as easy to learn!

  34. Aly says:

    by "bottom" string, do you mean the tail end of the yarn?

  35. Theresa says:

    im a bit confused….

    When you say "Divide the 2 tails of yarn. Wrap the bottom tail AROUND your thumb" Which tail are you wrapping around your thumb? the one that is connected to the rest of the yarn or the tail that ends? or does it matter?

  36. laundryontheline says:

    This is perfect timing! I have just decided that I need to learn how to knit – there are too many amazing patterns out there not to. Can't wait to dive in!

  37. Laree says:

    I've been interested in learning to knit for awhile now. I'm heading on vacation tomorrow, so I'll have to catch up when I get back!

  38. alli.raw says:

    How did you know that I have been staring at pictures needing to know how to knit??? I'm off to buy some needles right now!!! Thank you!!

  39. Lil Mama Stuart says:

    o.m.g. that fat monster with the bow! to die for…going to your store right now!

  40. Malori and Jon Saline says:

    I am seriously so darn excited!! I have been crocheting for years, but just recently inherited some knitting needles from my great grandmother and have learned the basics of knitting from you tube. I borrowed a whole slew of books from the library and am slowly trying to learn. I can't wait for this!!!
    PS – I'm so glad you and the baby and the family are doing well!

  41. shaina says:

    Ok, so I know how to crochet, but have never tackled knitting. So excited!

  42. Evans Family says:

    I can't wait to learn this! I am not a sewer and have always wanted to knit! Love your stuff by the way!

  43. Speckled Kat says:

    I'm already confused…:/
    Can't wait to follow along, I've been wanting to learn how to knit soooo bad! Now I need to run out and buy some needles and yarn in preparation for next week! yay! Thanks for doing this!!

  44. Marilyn says:

    super excited about this ;)))

  45. Marie says:

    I am so excited about this! I just took it upon myself to teach myself how to knit a few weeks ago from books and youtube videos, and I just know I am going to love this series!

  46. Megan says:

    How did you know I've been dying to learn how to knit? I can crochet pretty well, but I've been yearning to knit. I think I'll go buy some needles and yarn this weekend!

  47. kyla says:

    OMgosh I am so excited!! This is going to be awesome!! I have knitted before, but I really struggle with it, so this is perfect!!

  48. Trista Teeter says:

    Yay!!! I just learned to crochet a few months ago, but got a bit bored and although I wanted to learn to knit, ventured into the world of sewing, but have really been wanting to learn to knit lately, and I can definitely handle one step each week!! Thank you!! Will definitely mention this to others who have expressed interest in learning!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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