How much thread should I leave in order to cast on the necessary number of stitches?


One of the concerns that normally arise when we are learning to knit is estimating the amount of thread that we should leave in order to cast on the number of stitches that we need to begin our project

 Sometimes, we realize too late that we haven’t left enough yarn…. And we’re forced to tear it out and start casting on stitches a second time! Other times, however, we exceed the necessary amount and end up wasting half the yarn ball…

 At We Are Knitters, we provide you with some tricks that will help you estimate the length of yarn that you will need for casting on stitches.


A foolproof method for calculating the amount of yarn is to cast on 10 stitches onto one of your wooden WAK needles and then carefully undo them in order to see the amount of yarn used for these 10 stitches; from this point, you now have a measurement for calculating the length of yarn that you need to cast on the necessary number of stitches to start the project.

 Another trick is to wrap the yarn loosely around one of your wooden needles (without tightening it), taking into account that each wrap around will be equivalent to a stitch.

It’s a very quick way to see the amount of yarn that you need!


Do you know how long your arm is? Depending if it’s chunky wool, petite wool or Pima cotton, this measurement will help you calculate the yarn that you need to reserve for casting on stitches.

Grab the end piece with your hand and unwind the yarn up to your shoulder in order to measure the length of your arm. This is the length you need to cast on 18 stitches with chunky wool, 20 with petite wool or 25 with Pima cotton. 

We hope that these simple tricks help you to calculate the correct length of yarn to cast on stitches.


Are you eager to try these tricks with a new technique? Coming soon, on the We Are Knitters blog.

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