Tricks for estimating the required tail end length for the long tail casting on method

Have you ever run out of yarn while casting on your stitches? Well, I have, many times. But over time I learned some tricks that help to better estimate the required tail end length. I would like to share them with you.

The wrapping trick
The first trick you can use to estimate the needed length of the tail end is to hold the yarn end to your knitting needle and wrap the yarn around the needle as many times as you want to cast on stitches. See photo above. Then, slip all those loops off your needle and that should be the lenght of your tail end. Add a couple of inches just to be sure. It is a simple trick, and it worked for me.

The two thread trick
This next trick I found very clever! Just use two balls of yarn or both the inner and outer thread from a center-pull ball. Tie a slip knot in both yarn ends and lay the slip knot over your needle or needles (depending on whether you use one or two needles for casting on). Then cast on your stitches like you would normally + 1 extra. The slip knot has two loops, since it is made with two threads and is not as pretty. Therefore, it will be removed and does not count as a stitch. The extra stitch you cast on is to compensate for that. Once you start knitting and reach the slip knot, just slip it off the needle and pull it out. With this trick, it is very hard to run out of yarn, but you do need to weave in three yarn ends instead of one.

What’s your favourite trick to estimate tail length for the long tail casting on method?
Do you appreciate these tricks as much as I do? What’s your favourite? Or do you have a better one yet? Let me know in the comments!


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