There's more than one way to two-colour long-tail cast on!

A few weeks ago, we shared a post with a video tutorial detailing the two-colour long-tail cast-on method, which is used in this month’s Boost Your Knitting pattern, the Bramen Cowl. As with many knitting techniques though, there’s more than one way to accomplish this cast on. This approach uses both hands and is sometimes known as a “thumb method” long-tail cast on.

While we can’t include multiple ways to work each technique from Boost Your Knitting in the book itself (though I did try, until our production editor pointed out that I was going to end up making each installment of Boost Your Knitting a book in and of itself!), I’m really pleased we can share some of these alternative methods here on the blog!

So, without further ado, here’s a photo tutorial that gives alternative instructions for a two-colour long-tail cast on using the thumb method:

1. Knot together the ends of your two yarns, leaving the knot loose enough to untie later, and tails to weave in.

1. Knot together the ends of your two yarns, leaving the knot loose enough to untie later, and tails to weave in.

2. With your left   hand, hold the knotted ends over your needle. You need the main colour hanging over the left of the needle, and the contrast colour on the right of the needle.

2. With your left hand, hold the knotted ends over your needle. You need the main colour hanging over the left of the needle, and the contrast colour on the right of the needle.

3. Make a loop of main colour yarn on your left thumb.

3. Make a loop of main colour yarn on your left thumb.

4. Insert the needle into the loop on your thumb.

4. Insert the needle into the loop on your thumb.

5. Use your right hand to wrap the contrast yarn around the needle.

5. Use your right hand to wrap the contrast yarn around the needle.

6. Use your left hand to pull the main yarn loop over the contrast yarn, thus knitting a stitch. Gently tighten the contrast yarn stitch on your needle.

6. Use your left hand to pull the main yarn loop over the contrast yarn, thus knitting a stitch. Gently tighten the contrast yarn stitch on your needle.

7. Repeat steps 3–6 until you have cast on sufficient stitches. The contrast colour yarn forms the loops on the needle and the main yarn forms loops along the edge of the fabric.

7. Repeat steps 3–6 until you have cast on sufficient stitches. The contrast colour yarn forms the loops on the needle and the main yarn forms loops along the edge of the fabric.

And voilà — your two-handed, two-colour, long-tail cast on (try saying that three times fast!) is complete! Of course, as with the method we showed at the beginning of the month, you could also work this cast on with two strands of yarn in the same colour to avoid that pesky long tail guess work.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this photo tutorial. If you’ve been considering joining Boost Your Knitting, this also gives you a taste of what you can expect from the photo tutorials — clear, step-by-step photos with straightforward instructions that complement our video tutorials.