How To Knit Emily Ocker’s Circular Cast-On
To do Emily Ocker's Circular Cast-On (also called the Magic Circle Cast-On or Magic Ring Cast-On), you'll need a crochet hook and needles for working in the round. You don't need to know how to crochet to do this cast-on.
In case you don't know, Emily Ocker's Circular Cast-On is an easy way to cast on in the center of a circular project.
It makes makes a perfect circle that you can pull tight, so there's no hole in the center of your project.
Popular top-down patterns like the Hemlock Ring Blanket and the Foliage Hat look great with this cast-on.
Fun news: This video is going to be part of TWO upcoming video e-books I'm working on: All About Lace and The Complete Guide to Cast-Ons. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter so that you get notified when the e-books come out!
Okay, so to recap this technique, here are the steps:
Emily Ocker's Circular Cast-On:
- Make a twist in your yarn with the tail in front. Leave a 6-inch tail.
- Tension the working yarn in your left hand.
- Hold the crochet hook and the tail of your yarn in your right hand.
- Insert the crochet hook into the circle you've made.
- Bring the crochet hook under the working yarn and pull up a loop through the circle.
- Grab another loop and pull that loop through the loop on the hook.
- Repeat steps 4-6 until you have the required number of stitches.
- Slip the stitches from the crochet hook onto your circular or double-pointed needle.
After You Cast On, Begin Knitting In The Round Using Magic Loop:
- Divide your stitches for working in the round.
- Pull the tail of your yarn, closing the cast-on into a tight circle.
- With the flat side of your work facing you, pull out the bottom needle.
- Fly your needle-tip around so your needle tips are facing each other.
- Knit across the stitches on the left-hand needle.
- Repeat on the second needle.
- Insert a stitch marker into the first stitch to mark the beginning of the round.
For reference, here's what it's supposed to look like when you start:
Make sure the tail is crossing in front of the working yarn.
Here's how you insert the crochet hook into the ring you've made:
Insert the crochet hook into the loop and under the working yarn.
Practice This Circular Cast-On With A Mini-Doily Pattern
If you want to practice this magic cast-on, you can make this fun little mini-doily. If you use worsted-weight yarn, this can be a cute coaster. If you use chunky-weight yarn, you can use it to place it under something bigger, like a teapot or flower vase.
Mini-Doily using Emily Ocker's Circular Cast-On
- 10 yards worsted-weight yarn
- 40-inch circular needles, US size 7 (4.5 mm)
- Crochet hook, US size G (4.25 mm)
Using Emily Ocker's Circular Cast-On, CO 8 sts.
Distribute the sts for working in the round.
Rounds 1-2: K.
Round 3: (YO, k1) to end.
Round 4: K.
Round 5: (YO, k1) to end.
Round 6: K.
Bind-off round: K1, *k2tog, yo, k2tog, turn, sl 1, (k1, p1) twice in the same st, then k in the same st once more, p1, sl 1, turn, bind off 7 sts (1 st remains on right-hand needle). Repeat from * around.
Fasten off. Weave in ends. Soak thoroughly in cool water, gently squeeze out excess, pin out into shape and allow to dry completely.
Good Projects Using Emily Ocker's Circular Cast-On
What Do You Think Of This Cast-On? Let Me Know!
What do you think about this cast-on? Are you going to try it? What are your favorite patterns that call for a circular cast on? What other fancy cast-ons do you like? Leave a comment and let me know!
Related Course: Guide to Cast-Ons
"If you're one of those knitters who likes to find out the best way to do things, this video series is definitely for you." -Sarah E. White, Editor of About.com Knitting
Learn 50 unique ways to start your knitted projects, using stretchy cast-ons, invisible cast-ons, center-start cast-ons, and more.