Add new stitches with the Backwards loop cast on

The backwards loop cast on works both for casting on for a new project and for adding new stitches in the middle of an project.

The most prominent features of this cast on is that it’s easy to do and very loose and floppy.

The looseness of the backwards loop cast on is perfect if you’re going to seam the edge together with another edge. If the edges aren’t going to be seamed I should choose another cast on.

This post goes over the pros and cons of a few different cast ons that all can be used for adding stitches to a row, if you want to know more before deciding.

Two reasons the backwards loop cast on is good for seaming

In my opinion, the loose edge created with the backwards loop cast on is too flimsy to be used as it is. But for projects that’s going to be seamed it’s great for two reasons.

  1. It doesn’t add any unnecessary bulk to your seam.
  2. The loops created by this cast on make it super easy to see where to seam!

In this post, you will learn how to use backwards loop cast on to start a new piece of knitting. How to use it for adding stitches at the edge of a project and in the middle of a row.

Knitting video: Backwards loop cast on

In this video I show how to use the backwards loop cast on to:

  • Cast on stitches for a new project
  • Add stitches in the middle of a row
  • Add stitches at the end of a row

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If you prefer written instructions with pictures, just scroll down!

How to make the backwards loop cast on

If you’re familiar with the long tail cast on you will notice that this cast on is very similar to that. Only difference is that we’re only using one strand (the working yarn) for this cast on.

1. Start with a slip knot on your knitting needle.
Hold your working yarn in one hand and the needle in the other. I use my left hand for the yarn and hold the needle in my right hand.
2. The yarn strand should go from the needle behind your indexfinger, outside the thumb and then in front. Hold it in place with your pinky finger.
3a. Then add the first stitch like this: Move the needle tip under the yarn strand in front of your thumb.
3b. Move the needle upwards and catch the rear yarn strand from above.
4. Bring the yarn with you down and let the it slip off your fingers to form a loop on your needle.

How to add stitches at the edge

With backwards loop cast on it’s easy to add stitches at the end of a row. We will use the same steps as we did when casting on. Except for the first step as the working yarn is already attached to your project.

Add stitches at the end of a row:

2. The yarn strand should go from the needle behind your indexfinger, outside the thumb and then in front. Hold it in place with your pinky finger.
3a. Then add the first stitch like this: Move the needle tip under the yarn strand in front of your thumb.
3b. Move the needle upwards and catch the rear yarn strand from above.
4. Bring the yarn with you down and let the it slip off your fingers to form a loop on your needle.
5. this is how it looks like when a few stitches as been added at the end of the row. When you have enough stitches it’s time to turn your work over and keep knitting.

Adding stitches in the middle of a project

If you need to add stitches in the middle of a row it’s easily done with the backwards loop cast on.

Knit up till the point where you need to add stitches and then follow the same steps as for add stitches at the end of a row.

Add stitches in the middle of a row:

2. The yarn strand should go from the needle behind your indexfinger, outside the thumb and then in front. Hold it in place with your pinky finger.
3a. Then add the first stitch like this: Move the needle tip under the yarn strand in front of your thumb.
3b. Move the needle upwards and catch the rear yarn strand from above.
4. Bring the yarn strand with you down and let the yarn slip off your fingers to form a loop on your needle.
5. This is how it looks like when you have added a few stitches in the middle of a row. When you have enough stitches it’s time to get back to knitting as usual.

Your next read:
––> Understanding yarn weight + a free conversion chart!
––> How to knit a ribbed beanie (free pattern)
––> Luxurious knitting gadgets