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German Twisted Cast-ON


Why use the German Twisted Cast-on?

The German twisted cast-on adds weight to the edge of a garment and helps prevent stockinette from curling; it is also adds slightly more elasticity to the cast-on edge than a long-tail cast-on. This cast-on can be used for plain stockinette garments where ribbing or another edging would distract from the simplicity of the garment. For smaller pieces, the German twisted cast-on will add enough weight, but for larger garments, the double German cast-on may be necessary to add sufficient weight. 


Step 1

Measure out a tail of the necessary length* for the cast-on edge. Set up and hold as for a long-tail cast-on, with slip knot on the right hand needle. The long tail should be stretched around the thumb and the working yarn wrapped around the index finger, forming a “V” of yarn in the left hand.


Step 2

Bring the tip of the needle under both strands of yarn on the thumb.


Step 3

Bring the needle through the loop on the thumb, going over the strand furthest from you and under the strand closest to you.


Step 4

Wrap the ndl around the top strand of yarn on the index finger, going over and then under.


Step 5

Pull the yarn through the small opening of the crossed strands on the thumb. You can also untwist the yarn on the thumb by moving the thumb in a counterclockwise motion and then over the needle (not shown).


Step 6

Release the yarn tail from the thumb, adjust the tension by rocking the working yarn and tail back and forth gently, then position the thumb and index finger in the “V” configuration for the next st.


Step 7

Repeat steps 2–6 until the desired number of sts have been cast on.



Double German Twisted Cast-on

The double German twisted cast-on is worked in the same manner as the German twisted cast-on, but uses a doubled tail. Start by measuring out the length needed for the tail, then double that and fold the new length in half. At the tail, make a slip knot, ensuring only a single loop is on the right hand needle. Hold the double strand around the thumb and the working yarn around the index finger, in the same “V” configuration as the long-tail cast-on. Proceed with steps 2–6 above, repeating until the desired number of sts have been cast on.

* To determine the necessary length for the tail, we recommend that you cast on 10 stitches using a long-tail cast-on. Then, holding the tail as close as possible to the final stitch AND holding on to the slip knot at the beginning, remove the stitches from the needle and unravel them.

The length of yarn you are holding is the length necessary to cast on 10 stitches. Divide by 10 to give you the length necessary for each stitch and use that as the basis for your calucations. The Cocoknits method using two separate balls of yarn is also effective, and removes the element of calculation.


Yarn shown is Shibui Knits Drift in Ash.