Judy’s Magic Cast On

Using this cast on is the slickest way to begin a toe up sock. I like to follow this cast on with a wedge toe because it is simple to do and makes a comfortable home for your toes. Both the cast on and wedge toe are demonstrated in my newest video. Toe up socks are a great choice when your yarn yardage is a bit skimpy. Begin at the toe and knit up the leg until your skein is gone. If you have never made a toe up sock, hop on the bandwagon and see what you have been missing!

66 thoughts on “Judy’s Magic Cast On

  1. Thanks for watching! To determine tail length, wrap the yarn around your needle 20 times and this will give you the amount needed to cast on 20 stitches. Give yourself a few extra inches for enough to weave in. Happy knitting!

  2. Thank you for making this so clear! I have a question about the tail: What’s the best method to determine how much yarn to allow for the tail? I want to use this CO to begin a scarf of 20 sts.

  3. Amazing, you were only video that I could follow!
    Thank you for your great teaching instructions. I think I have it.
    Will practice. Appreciate you going slower.

  4. I am knitting the second sock of Wendy Knits
    SOCKS FROM THE TOE UP … On pgs. 38 & 39
    4 yrs of abandonment between socks …
    For the life of me, I can’t duplicate the
    TURN THE HEEL as I did before … No problem with creating the gusset … But following the instructions for turning the heel just comes out unreal ???
    Has anyone else reported this strange problem …

    Will pursue the local knit shops for guidance

  5. Congrats on the toe! Knit the first stitch on the needle firmly but it is really the second stitch that does the gap closure. After knitting the first stitch, put the right needle into the second stitch and give it a good tug as you knit it.

  6. After seeing & trying the cast on shown – i finally got it! Looks beautiful but as I’m progressing to the 54 stitches – the “sides” are quite loose – is there a way that i should be twisting the yarn so there is no ‘hole’? Too loose on the edges(?)

  7. Hi Michelle,
    Just a quick question. In regular Magic Loop you always have the working yarn on the back (or top) needle and pull that one out each round. With Judy’s Magic Cast On and the beginning of the sock, you have the working yarn on the bottom (or front) yarn and pull the bottom needle out each round. Will this method continue throughout the sock? Is there a reason for the change?
    Thank you,
    Jan (love the cast on method:)

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  9. As always…an outstanding video..I’m a true blue dpn (4) sock knitter…need to get into the 21st century…must try this method with your upcoming sock KAL April 2, 2015…Thank you!!!

  10. I’m using this cast-on for a project that calls for an odd number of stitches, as the pattern expands specifically from this initial number of stitches. Can I do so easily, and if so, what changes should I make to the process? I can’t seem to wrap my brain around the implications of doing so. Thanks for any advice you have on this.

  11. dear knit purl, I found the patterns for boot cuffs at etsy. it was $5 for eachpattern to download,but worth it. I have one finished and it looks good.

  12. dear knit purl, I found the patterns for boot cuffs at etsy. it was $5 for eachpattern to download,but worth it. I have one finished and it looks good.

  13. That is a common problem. You most likely twisted the stitches and knit into the purl side creating a garter ridge. Some knitters think if this as grippers on their toes

  14. 7/4/13 I practiced the Magic cast on with heavier yarn, then started…I did fine but when I looked back at the first k row after the cast on but before the increases, I have a garter ridge at the join…after that it is fine…??

  15. Just started another pair of socks and thought I had this down, but I ended up with a garter row on the toe…couldn’t figure out why till I came back and reviewed the video again, I was knitting the bottom instead of the top! That caused an AHA! The side that faces you is the outside thus if you were to “fold” the needles to show front and back it’s obvious you should knit the top needle. I realized that if you worked the bottom in purl you would actually be knitting inside out! Hope this little tip helps someone else!

  16. Your mistake is an easy one to make. When knitting in the round, the stitches form a circle. Your needles should be at the side of the circle closest to you (needles near the tummy). If the cord is near you (tummy side) and the needles on the far side of the circle then you will be knitting inside out. Hope this helps!

  17. As my toe has progressed, I see that the exposed sides of work on each needle are the insides of the sock (the side that looks like garter stitch)…is this correct or have I inadvertently switched something around?

    Thanks…it’s been fun to watch a recognizable toe box take shape…my first attempt at socks!

  18. I am an experienced sock knitter, yet trying toe-up socks for the first time. This tutorial was recommended by a friend; it is SO clearly filmed and described I have managed to follow it first time and now have a lovely toe! Saved on my favourites bar as I am sure I shall need to come back to it for the other foot, but with practice I reckon it will be easy to remember. Thanks very much.

  19. Just finished my first cast on this way. I’ve always done my sock cuff down, so am
    anxious to conquer the toe up., Video was so helpful!

  20. You should be able to go up to a larger needle size to get 8.5 stitches per inch if you prefer. At this point in the sock the needle change will be nearly invisible. If you want to stay on your current needles, you may want to work a few rounds with no increases to lengthen the toe as you suggested.

  21. This is my first ever sock. I have almost finished the second toe. I agree with the others about your teaching style and outstanding videos. I did a guage swatch and got 8. Now that I am knitting the toes, my gauge is 9. I am using size zero to achieve this. My question is, that since my row gauge is smaller due to the size zero needles, should I continue repeat row 16 four more times without increases? I am a size small.

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  23. The commenter who said you were a natural teacher was right on! I’ve been frustrated trying to understand this cast-on method, but your video cleared it up for me. Thank you!!

  24. Dorothy, I am so happy that my video has been a help to you. It is so generous of you to knit socks for those in need. To answer your questions, I twist the tail when I am working Judy’s Magic Cast On in the same manner that you would twist a bread tie closing a loaf of bread. There is nothing scientific to my method – all I am trying to do is prevent the last cast on stitch from falling off. I think the hole that you are getting is absolutely normal and it can be easily closed with the tail left from your cast on. Happy knitting!

  25. I have spent this week watching your videos. You are a natural teacher with a beautiful speaking voice.I have been doing Judy’s Maguc Cast On for quite awhile now. I’m 78 and am housebound so I knit socks for a programme called Out of the Cold. They just want plain socks which is fine for me now. I have started knitting some fancier socks when I get tired of knitting plain socks. All of a sudden I have developed a a bad habit and I don’t know what I am doing wrong. I think it has something to do with the end of the cast on where the tail is just hanging. I don’t think I am twisting the tail the correct way. I seem to be missing what you are saying. Do you twist the working yarn and the tail together of do you twist the tail over the working yarn like you do at the beginning. I learned how to do the cast on from a book and realize now that I haven’t been doing it right. It looked nice, I don’t know why. I seem to have a small hole at the beginning of the second needle. It doesn’t show until I have knit a few rounds. I want them to look nice and also be comfortable for the men. Thank you for such wonderful videos.

  26. Your a natural born teacher! Easy to follow. I’ve been making the transition to magic loop, two at a time and now my friends in our knitting circle think I’m a knit guru! hahaha! Thanks so much for great instructional video’s. 🙂

  27. I do pull out the back needle to knit my stitches off of the front needle. It can look a bit odd when knitting the first row since we had to rotate the needles from pointing left (cast on position) to pointing right (knitting position). Give it another try and let me know how it goes.

  28. Hi, thanks for the Judy’s magic cast on video. It is wonderful. I’m a little confused however. I am knitting a duffer (felted slipper) using magic loop. The pattern indicates that the cast on is actually a knit row so the first row of the pattern says to do a purl row. I noticed that you pulled out the front needle instead of the back needle (which is what I pull out doing magic loop). So I am confused by this. Can you explain why I am not pulling out the needle with the working yarn attached and knitting from the other needle?


  29. Your videos are the best! Easy to follow and understand for a self taught knitters like myself. Thank you for your help!

  30. I am sorry that at this time I do not have a CD to purchase. I will definitely give the idea some serious thought. Sorry about the long download time!

  31. Hi I was wondering if you have a cd on the tech. I now am on dial up and it
    takes 1 hr and 10 min to download a 4 minute video. I would gladly purchase
    the videos on a cd what would the price be. I have learned so much from you
    on knitting and I cannot wait to start the socks on the new KAL Joan

  32. Wow, love this version of Judy’s Magic Cast-on!

    I’m hoping to find a video tutorial for two-at-a-time, toe-up socks using Judy’s Magic Cast-On for a left-handed knitter. Is there such a thing?

  33. This is, by far, the best video for Judy’s Magic Cast On (the improved version). The old version did require knitting through the back loop on the second needle, but I believe on your wonderful improved version the stitch orientation is actually correct for knitting into the front loop. (The improved version has the working -thumb- yarn going between the two needles. This improvement changes the orientation of the stitches.)

  34. This is now my go-to cast on, thanks to you! I substitute it anywhere I can. Any suggestions for casting on an odd number of stitches?

  35. Hi! Ok, I am scared of the magic loop, so I have been working all small things in the round on 9″ circs…does this cast on work for these needles? Or will I need to use some DPNs to get it started?? OY! I am excited, and nervous to get started! =0)

  36. Michelle; so glad that we are doing a toe-up this month, they are my favorite way to knit socks (with 2 Circs of course ;-)) .. I love the color of the Maxima, just fits my wardrobe.
    BTW, I am doing another pair of the March socks in a different color because I just love
    that garter stitch heel and want to do it again… it really feels great on my feet. Thanks again

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  38. I think this is an awsome way to cast on a toe but it has taken a lot of time to figure it out because I am a left handed knitter. Please, please, please would someone out there realize there are lefties trying to do this. Maybe there is a left-handed site that I haven’t found yet. Any help?

  39. Great video- I was able to learn this technique easily (and I got motivated to (someday) try the magic loop!). Thank You !

  40. Thanks for posting this. I co about 6 times and finally got it. I was holding my thread wrong on my thumb. Still very tight, but I think it will do! I need to do both toes so I can have plenty of time to do the next part! Pam

  41. This is a brilliant video. I have tried Judy’s Magic Cast On before and not managed it but thanks to your video, I can do it now 🙂

  42. I’ve seen where a lot of patterns have been using this cast on but was reluctent to try it. Once I watched your video, I’m ready and will show it to my friends!!!

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