How long should the tail be when casting on?

Posted on: 01/21/2010

I found this little tid bit on the net somewhere:

Wrap your working yarn around the needle 10 times.  This is the amount of tail you’ll need for casting on 10 stitches.  Divide your total cast on number by 10 and then make a tail the length of your wrapped yarn times that number.  For example, if you need to cast on 48 stitches, round up to 50, and make a tail 5 times the length of your 10-wrap piece.  Add 4-6″ to make sure you have enough tail to hold onto.

This works much better than 1/2″ per stitch or 3x the width of your knitting, because it adjusts automatically for larger and smaller stitch size.  100 stitches in chunky weight yarn requires a much longer tail than 100 stitches in lace weight.


This could be helpful when trying to figure out gauge too.  At least gives you a starting point for us total and complete newbies for what size yarn and needles  for patterns.  (instead of swatching so so very much) – like I do..HA!

And here’s a bit about knowing how much yarn you will need to finish the row when casting off.  Another little tidbit gleaned from a forum:

When you think you are getting to your last two rows, fold your remaining yarn in half and tie a slip knot to mark the center. Continue to knit. If you go past the slip knot on the next row then there isn’t enough yarn left for any more rows.

Isn’t that smaht! 🙂


2 Responses to "How long should the tail be when casting on?"

Thanks for that info. I’m going to try that the next time I cast on.

I am yet to remember doing it!..hence my baby hat turned into a cowl for and adult…opps! lol

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