How to Cast Off Knitting Stitches

Now that your knitting project is finished, you're going to need to cast off knitting stitches to take the stitches off your needle.

Casting off stitches is a way to take the live stitches off your needle safely and securely. 

And it creates a nice finished edge and stops the stitches from unraveling.  

And you know what casting off knitting stitches means right? It's almost time to start a brand new knitting project. 

You know the one; the one you were thinking about when you were finishing knitting this project. Haha

It never fails, when I'm getting close to the finish line with a knitting project, I'm already thinking about my next knitting adventure. 

Top Four Knitting Questions And Answers About Casting Off In Knitting 

1.  What's the difference between binding off and casting off knitting?  There's no difference at all. They both mean the same thing.

2.  Should I use a larger needle to cast off stitches? If you are a tight knitter like I am than using a larger needle is a great idea.  Why? 

It will help to keep your cast off edge stretchy and it will be less likely to curl. 

3.  How much yarn do I need to cast off?  Here's what I do. Loosely wrap your yarn around your knitting project three times.

It will seem like a lot of yarn but it always works for me with enough of the end to weave in when I'm done.

4.  When it's time to cast off stitches do I cast off on the right side or the wrong side?  

Most of the time you'll cast off stitches on the right side of your work. 

You'll need to check your knitting pattern. The odd time they may ask you to cast off on the wrong side. It's not very often though.

Super Important Note When You Cast Off Knitting Stitches

The most important thing to remember when you cast off knitting is to cast off very loosely. 

And it's something I'm not very good at doing myself. I'm a tight knitter.  

Completely loosen your grip on your needles and very softly and gently cast off stitches.

If you cast off too tightly you'll find that your knitting will kind of pucker and it won't really drape very well. 

Sometimes it'll even start to curl a little. So try to keep the stitches a little looser than the regular tension you use. 

If you still have trouble then as I suggested above, use a larger knitting needle and that should help. Go up one size larger and see how it works.

I also explain more about this on my bind off knitting tips page so you may want to take a look there too. It might help.

 Cast off Knitting Instructions

Step 1:  To cast off knitting, start by knitting two stitches.(Pictures just below)

cast off knitting

Step 2:  Push left needle through the first stitch you knit on the right needle 

Casting off in knitting

Step 3:  Lift the first stitch over the second stitch kind of like you're leap frogging.

Cast off knitting

Step 4:  Then just let the stitch fall.

Cast off knitting stitches

Knit one more stitch and repeat steps 2 - 4 until you have one stitch left.

Then continue on with my instructions below to finish knitting your project

cast off knitting

Leave about six inches and cut the yarn. Bring yarn right through the loop 

cast off knitting

Yarn is right through the loop

cast off knitting

Then just pull it snug 

Cast off knitting

And you're all done, well there's still the weaving in the ends of course but it's always a good feeling to finish a knitting project.  

Here are two videos demonstrating the cast off knitting technique I just showed you. 

One is the English knitting method and the other is Continental. 

Cast off Knitting Video - English Style

Cast Off Knitting Video - Continental Style

Pretty simple right? Maybe it's time for a cup of tea.  Enjoy!

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