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Judy's Magic Cast On Tutorial

This incredible cast on closes up your knitting so you don't have to deal with pesky seaming.

Updated June 23, 2020
Judys Magic Cast On Tutorial

As much as I love knitting socks, for the longest time, I didn't bother with toe-up socks because the thought of having to attempt that complicated-looking, self-closing cast on made me nervous. It wasn't until trying a completely different project that required Judy's Magic Cast On that I finally forced myself to hunker down and learn. While it may seem very complex, muscle memory takes over almost instantaneously and, before you know it, you've already cast on over 30 in the blink of an eye!

That said, it's not the easiest cast on method to learn, and there are a couple of quirks to look out for with Judy's Magic Cast On. Read on for an easy, step-by-step tutorial including images, tips, and tricks, so you can start knitting toe-up socks fearlessly.

Judy's Magic Cast On Tutorial

Step 1

Start by holding your two DPNs (or the tips of both ends of your circular needle) parallel to each other. We'll call the top needle "Needle A" and the bottom needle "Needle B."

Judy's Magic Cast On Step 1

Step 2

Pull enough yarn out for around twice the amount you would need for a standard longtail cast on. Tie a slip knot to Needle A. This counts as your first cast on stitch.

Judy's Magic Cast On Step 2

Step 3

Hold the yarn in your left hand and the needles in your right. It helps to control the tension of the working yarn with your thumb and the tail with your index finger.

Judy's Magic Cast On Step 3

Step 4

Scoop under the yarn tail (or index finger yarn) with Needle B and pull taut. This will bring the index finger yarn over Needle B, and the yarn will end up between the two needles. This counts as your second cast on stitch.

Judy's Magic Cast On Step 4A
Judy's Magic Cast On Step 4B

Step 5

Scoop under the working yarn (or thumb yarn) with Needle A and pull taut. This will bring the thumb yarn over Needle A, and the yarn will end up between the two needles. This counts as your third cast on stitch.

Judy's Magic Cast On Step 5A
Judy's Magic Cast On Step 5B

Step 6

Repeat steps 4 to 5, being sure to always scoop the index finger yarn with Needle B and the thumb yarn with Needle A. The yarn will always end up between the two needles and over the needle you just scooped with, but under the other needle (coming out from the other side of your needles). Continue to cast on until you have the desired number of cast on stitches, which includes the slipknot.

Judy's Magic Cast On Step 6

Begin Knitting from Judy's Magic Cast On

Step 1

With the purl bumps facing away from you, rotate the needles so the working yarn and tail are dangling from your right side.

Knitting From Judy's Magic Cast On Step 1

Step 2

Begin knitting, with the working yarn and a third needle, off the stitch furthest to the right on Needle B (now the top needle). This stitch may go loose as you knit it; simply pull the tail yarn to tighten it back up after knitting.

Knitting From Judy's Magic Cast On Step 2

Step 3

Knit across the needle.

Knitting From Judy's Magic Cast On Step 3

Step 4

Move onto the next needle and knit with the purl bumps facing away, but knit through the back loops of these stitches, as they're twisted on your needle. Once you've done this once, your stitches will no longer be twisted and you can knit these normally.

Knitting From Judy's Magic Cast On Step 4A

See below the needle knitting from the back loop.

Knitting From Judy's Magic Cast On Step 4B

Step 5: Completed

Once you've worked across Needle A, you've finished your first round, and can continue knitting in the round as written on your pattern.

Knitting From Judy's Magic Cast On Step 5

Eventually, if you are working on DPNs, whether or not you are increasing, you can comfortably divide the yarn onto one or two extra needles. Do this if your pattern necessitates it and/or it's more comfortable for you.

Up Next:

6 Stretchy Cast On Methods

Have you ever tried knitting toe-up socks? Did you use Judy's Magic Cast On?

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