winding (provisional) cast on

You need: 2 circular needles & yarn
* for knitting in the round you need only 1 circular – scroll to bottom, please

Needle 1 = needle you will knit with

Needle 2 = holder for the live sts (use a smaller needle size for
this — you want snug loops)

Step 1 slipknot

1. Tie a slip-knot and place on Needle 2
Hold both needles together, Needle 1 on top

wind yarn around

2. Wind yarn around both needles (from below, up and over, around back)

continue to wind

3. Continue to wind


4. When you have the desired number of stitches, pinch the yarn
against the needles and turn them around to knit

turned over

4.1 …like this

pull needle through

5. Holding yarn in place, pull Needle 2 through to dangle freely

pulled through

5.1 (Needle 2 pulled through)

preparing to knit

6. Getting ready to knit

over index finger

7. Place yarn over index finger (around/catching Needle 2 cable)


8. Knit (or… work in whatever pattern your directions say)

continue to knit

9. Continue to knit

knit final wind-on stitch

10. Knit final stitch and leave slip-knot in place on Needle 2
(remove this knot before knitting the live stitches on this cable)

completed first row

Completed first row
(at this point the Winding Cast On equals Judy’s Magic cast-on –
so if you are using that or a similar provisional cast on for an Åsa Tricosa
pattern, you should skip the first knitted row)

first row WS

First row seen from WS (wrong side)

three rows done

Three rows completed

In this example, the live stitches are left on Needle 2 to be worked later
The work grows upwards in one direction.
This can be useful for

  • knitting each half of a scarf or shawl from the centre and outwards
  • knitting each half of collar from centre back (as in Tric and Koronki)
  • saving the hem decision on a bottom-up sweater for last
  • identical cast offs and edges for a scarf
  • knitting the first leaf of the Semele shawl
  • starting the Galathea shawl


The Winding Cast On is equally useful for starting a toe-up sock or top-down
mitten and top-down hats.

In that case you need only ONE circular and will knit the live stitches on Needle (Tip) 2 immediately after knitting
back the first row and in this way work in the round – that is, in “two directions”.
(Knit the stitches on Needle Tip 1, then flip the work over to knit the stitches on
Needle Tip 2 = 1 round)

You can of course use two circulars instead of magic looping.
Or double pointed needles once you have completed the cast on and first round.


Want to know what’s up my knitted sleeve? Sign up for the occasional Åsa Tricosa Newsletter.