The pinhole cast-on is a technique used to cast on stitches to start a project that is knit in the round from the centre out. Stitches are cast on around a loop of yarn, and then that loop is pulled tight. These stitches can then be worked in the round. It must be noted that this technique is also referred to as the Emily Ocker cast-on. So many fabulous Emilys in the knitting world eh? Is that too cheeky or what?!
While you may find it quite awkward the first, second, and perhaps third time you try it, the pinhole cast-on becomes easy with practice, and is a useful technique to add to your knitting repertoire! We have used this technique in the Dogwood, Vivid, and POP! blanket patterns.
Pinhole cast-on in 5 easy steps
Set-up: to begin, create a circle using the end of the yarn. Pinch the circle in your left hand, and hold the needle and working yarn in your right hand. You will create new stitches using the point of the needle, working into the centre of the circle.
- Insert needle into circle from front to back
- Wrap yarn around needle
- Use needle point to bring loop through circle from back to front (1 new loop on needle)
- Wrap working yarn around needle point (2 new loops on needle)
- Use finger to lift first loop over second loop and off the needle : 1 loop remains, this is one stitch cast-on
Repeat steps 1-5 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches. Pull on the yarn end to close the circle up to a tiny spot in the centre of the work. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!
A close up look at each step:
Note: I have described and illustrated these instructions using a knitting needle, because that is how I do it, however you may find it easier to use a crochet hook instead, and then transfer the cast-on stitches onto knitting needles at the end. The instructions are the same in either case, so you can try both and see which way suits you best.
Did you try this tutorial and it’s not doing it for you?
Other knitters who have also described how to do this cast on: Watch a video by MountainMom here or see a photo tutorial by Theresa at SpellingTuesday here.