How to do the Chinese waitress cast on with a crochet hook

The Chinese Waitress cast on is a little more complicated and time consuming than some other cast on methods. And honestly, it took me a while to figure this one out. But don’t let that scare you off!

Why? Because the Chinese waitress cast on is also very pretty and more stable than many other methods. It’s a good one to know!

Today we will learn how to do the Chinese waitress cast on with a crochet hook which, in my opinion, is way faster and easier than using a pair of knitting needles.

What’s special about the Chinese waitress cast on?

This technique has a few differences from the ones I knew from before:

  1. The edge is double sided and looks very pretty from both sides. Makes a perfect vast on for scarves!
  2. Forms a sturdy edge that’s much more stable than for example long tail or knitted cast on. (Don’t use it for ribbing!)
  3. It’s a bit more complicated to do (But totally worth it!)
  4. The slip knot is just for attaching the yarn to the needle. After that it doesn’t count as a stitch and should be ditched (slipped off the needle) when it’s appropriate. Like after the first row for example.

Video: Chinese waitress cast on + adding new stitches to a row

We all are different, some like to read instructions and some like to watch a video. I really enjoy making this type of short and simple knitting tutorial and try to make them as helpful as I can! Hope you like them 🙂

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https://youtu.be/J3EEDkGMWwI

Start a new knitting project with the Chinese waitress cast on

The Chinese waitress cast on is a bit different from other cast on techniques I have tried. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but I like it!

But it’s really hard to explain in words. If you’re confused, please watch the video to see how I wrap the yarn and move the hook!

A thing worth remembering is that the slip knot from the start is not a part of the cast on. The slip knot should be slipped off the needle either after a few stitches, for double-pointed or circular needles, or after the first row is knitted.

The stitch on the hook is counted in the stitch count and is placed on the knitting needle at the end of the cast on.

Step 1

The first step is to make a slip knot and place it on your knitting needle. If you need some help with making a slip knot you can learn more in this post.

Step 2

Hold the needle with the slip knot in one hand and the crochet hook in the other hand. I wrap the working yarn around my fingers on my left hand as I’m used to knitting continental style. Hold your yarn in a way that works for you!

Step 3

Place your crochet hook under the needle tip, so that they form an X.

Step 4

Hold your slip knot in place so it doesn’t twist on your needle.

Wrap the yarn clockwise. Going under the hook, around the needle tip, and down between the hook and needle.

Step 5

Use the hook to catch the working yarn and bring it through the loop. Now there’s a new stitch in your needle and a twisted stitch on your hook. Rotate the hook to untwist the stitch. This is hard to explain, but you can see how I do it in this video.

Step 6

Keep working like this until you have enough stitches. Remember the slip knot at the beginning doesn’t count as a stitch, but the stitch on the hook does.

Step 7

Finishing the Chinese waitress cast on is a little different from other methods. You pull the working yarn through the stitch on the hook. Or make a slip stitch if you’re familiar with crochet language.

Then transfer the stitch from the hook to the needle. Be sure that you place the front leg of the stitch first.

Add more stitches to a row with Chinese waitress cast on

With the Chinese waitress cast on it’s possible to add more stitches at the end of a row.

The procedure is the same as for casting on for a new project. The only difference is that you don’t need the slip knot in the beginning, as the yarn is already attached to your needle.

Step 1

Place your crochet hook under the needle tip, so that they form an X.

Step 2

Wrap the yarn clockwise going under the hook, around the needle tip, and down between the hook and needle.

Step 3

Use the hook to catch the working yarn and bring it through the loop. Now there’s a new stitch in your needle and a twisted stitch on your hook. Rotate the hook to untwist the stitch. This is hard to explain, but you can see how I do it in this video.

Step 4

Repeat the steps to add as many stitches as you need, remember to count the stitch on your hook as well.

Then crochet a slip stitch (wrap the working yarn around your hook and pull it through the stitch) and place the new stitch on your needle with the front leg first.

Turn your work and knit as usual!

Your next read:
––> Knitting Tutorial: Provisional cast ons
––> Adding labels to your knit and crochet items
––> How to avoid pain when knitting