2-Color Long Tail Cast On for Double Knitting

Create a smooth, low profile edge for your double knitting with the 2-color, long tail cast on! Using a 2nd color in place of the long tail, you can alternate between picking up stitches in the two different colors.

2 color long tail cast on for double knitting - Tutorial on Stitches n Scraps

Normal Long Tail Cast On

Before trying this cast on, it helps to know the long tail cast on first. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a great tutorial from Marly Bird. Here’s another one from Jessie at Home that shows how to start without a slip knot!

Set Up for 2-Color Long Tail Cast On

Slip knot

The 2-color long tail cast on starts a little differently. Instead of using a long tail, we’re going to use a 2nd color. First, hold both yarns together and make a slip knot with both colors. Place this slip knot on the needle.

Slip knot with 2 different color yarns held together

The slip knot is just to secure the yarn and does not count as a stitch

Grip

Hold the needle in your dominant hand. Now grip both yarns in the palm of your other hand. Then, place your thumb and index finger between the two strands of yarn, separating them.

hold both yarns in palm

Turn your hand so your thumb and index finger are pointing up. You should know have a V or slingshot shape. This is your starting point.

There is a loop of yarn around your thumb, and one around your finger. Each loop has an outside strand and an inside strand.

Grip for 2-color long tail cast on for double knitting

If you care which color you start with, make sure that color is on your index finger. In most cases it won’t matter, as double knitting is reversible.

2-Color Long Tail Cast On

First stitch – finger color

The first stitch is done just like a normal long tail cast on. Bring your needle up from under the outside strand on your thumb.

Insert needle under outside thumb yarn, from bottom up

Then bring it down over the inside strand on your finger and scoop up the yarn from your finger.

Pick up inside finger yarn, from top down

Pull the yarn from your finger through the loop on your thumb, drop the loop off your thumb, and tighten. Then re-adjust your grip back to the starting point.

Finish first stitch

2nd stitch – thumb color

For the second stitch, we are going to go in the opposite direction. Bring your needle up from under the outside strand on your finger.

Insert needle under outside finger yarn, from bottom up

Now bring it up from under the inside strand on your thumb. Be sure you’re going up from the bottom this time instead of down from the top. If you go the other way you will end up with a twisted stitch.

Pick up inside thumb yarn from bottom

Pull the yarn from your thumb through the loop on your finger, drop the loop from your finger and tighten. Then re-adjust your grip back to the starting position.

Finish 2nd stitch

Continue casting on

Repeat this pair of stitches until you have enough stitches cast on. Remember not to count your slip knot. The stitches on your needle should now be alternating in color.

2 color long tail cast on

If any stitches did end up twisted, just work them through the back loop on the first row. When you reach the end of the first row, remove and undo the slip knot.

Try it out!

The Lucky Hearts Coaster uses this 2 color cast on. It also has a simple bind off that matches nicely. Give it a try!

Two Color Long Tail Cast On – Video Tutorial

Watch this video on YouTube

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