Bulgarian Cast On Step by Step

When we want to upgrade a project from “basic” to “fancy”, we are looking for ways to add little details that are almost invisible on their own but turn a project into a refined creation.

One of those ways is to change the type of cast on. The Bulgarian cast on that I’m going to show you in this tutorial is not only nice-looking. It is also rather stretchy. That makes it perfect for sweaters, top-down socks, hats, shawls and many other projects that require an elastic edge.

Plus, this cast on is quite easy to make. Let’s see how it works.

If you are a visual learner, watch every step explained below in this video tutorial.

SET UP

Bulgarian cast on is a variation of the well-known (and well-loved!) long-tail cast on. That means we’ll need to leave a pretty long tail before we start to cast on stitches.

Measure a tail that is at least 3 times longer than the length of the future cast on edge. For example, if you plan to cast on stitches for a piece 10 cm / 4″ wide, the tail should be at least 30 cm / 12″ long. I usually leave a tail even longer than that to ensure I don’t run out of tail later on.

Now, double that length to make a double-stranded tail that is at least 3 times longer than the length of the future cast on edge.

CAST ON

1. Place the working yarn on your left index finger, and wrap the double-stranded tail clockwise around your left thumb. Watch how to do it in this part of the video

Hold the working yarn, the double-stranded tail and the small tail with the other left fingers.

2. Take one of the needles in your right hand. Insert the tip of the right needle from left to right into the loop on your left thumb. Then pick the working yarn and pull it through the loop.

Slip the loop off the left thumb and tighten the stitch that we’ve just created on the right needle. This step is shown in this part of the video tutorial.

Align the small tail with the right needle, and hold them together in your right hand.

3. This step is the same for all even-numbered stitches you cast on (e.g. second, fourth, sixth etc stitches)

Place the working yarn on your left index finger and the double-stranded tail on your left thumb. Hold both the working yarn and the tail with your other three left fingers, and hold the needle and the small tail in your right hand.

Insert the right needle from left to right into the loop on your left thumb, pick the working yarn and pull it through the loop creating a new stitch. Slip the loop off your left thumb and pull the strands to tighten the stitch. Watch how to do it.

4. This step is the same for all odd-numbered stitches.

Place the working yarn on your left index finger and the double-stranded tail on your left thumb. Hold both the working yarn and the tail with your other three left fingers, and hold the needle and the small tail in your right hand.

Now take the left thumb out of the loop and insert it into the loop again, but this time do it from right to left.

Insert the right needle from right to left into the loop on your left thumb, pick the working yarn and pull it through the loop creating a new stitch. Slip the loop off your left thumb and pull the strands to tighten the stitch. Watch how to do it.

Repeat steps 3 and 4 to cast on as many stitches as you need for the project.

This cast on looks best on the right side of the work, so as you start working on the project, start with a wrong side row. 

As you work a few rows, you will see that your cast on edge looks like a lovely chain of knots – a perfect little detail that adds beauty to your project.


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Here are a few more things you might like:

Happy knitting 🙂


How to knit Bulgarian cast on | 10 rows a day
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Bulgarian cast on step by step | 10 rows a day
Bulgarian Cast On | 10 rows a day