There are several ways to put new stitches onto a knitting needle at the start of a project.
The most difficult is to knit them and then twist them back onto the needle. The easiest is to throw on backward loops from your left thumb. The in-between course has the best results for the effort.
It’s called long-tailed cast-on.
- Take a couple of arm-lengths of free yarn
- Make a loop after those two yards and place it on the knitting needle.
- Use your left thumb on the free end to place a backwards loop over the needle. The loose thread is contained by the loop.
- Use your right hand to add another loop over the needle (see picture). the loose thread is free of the loop.
- Then pull the backwards loop over the second loop and drop it off the needle.
This has the effect of casting on and knitting your first row at the same time. It stabilizes the spacing of the stitches. Carry on with Row Two.
Here’s a video showing how to do long-tailed cast-on.