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When You Run Out Of Tail – Tricks For Casting On And Weaving In Short Ends

Blog » Cast-Ons » When You Run Out Of Tail – Tricks For Casting On And Weaving In Short Ends

When You Run Out Of Tail – Tricks For Casting On And Weaving In Short Ends

Liat Gat - Founder

October 3, 2010

Sometimes, when casting on tons of stitches you run out of tail right before end. Don't worry - you do not have to start your long-tail cast-on over. Use the backwards-loop cast-on or any short-tail cast-on to add the last few stitches.
short silver fish tail
Oops! Your Tail Is Too Short!

It happens. Sometimes, you run out of tail! When casting on 180 stitches for a sweater, you run out of tail at stitch number 175. Aarrgh!

But don’t worry – you do not have to start your long-tail cast-on over.

You can just use the backwards-loop cast-on for the last few stitches – save your knitting and your sanity!

Because a backwards-loop cast-on only uses the working yarn and not the tail, is the easiest way to add stitches in a pinch, whether you are casting on for a sweater or adding extra stitches for a buttonhole or picot bind-off.

Use The Backwards Loop Cast-On To Add Extra Stitches


ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode

Now that you know the backwards-loop method for emergencies encountered when casting on, here’s another sanity-saving trick for the other end of your project.

I know I always tell you to leave a six-inch tail after you bind off, but… Let’s say you need to weave in your ends on your knitting but you accidentally have only two inches of tail left to weave in.

That’s okay! I have another trick to pass on to you that I’m so glad I discovered.

To Weave A Short Tail, Weave The Tapestry Needle In First, Then Thread The Needle

The trick is to weave the tapestry needle through the stitches before you thread the yarn through – then pull. Here’s a short video demonstrating the technique:

ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode

See? Now even if you have too short of a tail, you can still weave it in securely and correctly, just by inserting your tapestry needle before threading it.

Related Tutorials:

If you like these tips for casting on and weaving in short ends, let me know by leaving a comment.

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15 thoughts on “When You Run Out Of Tail – Tricks For Casting On And Weaving In Short Ends”

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  1. Thank you! The backwards loop cast on will be used, I’m sure. I have used the short tail weaving method before out of desperation.

  2. I’m always happy to see Liat’s tips. I’ve followed her for years and I’m so happy that’s she’s back on line sharing her knitting expertise. It’s like finding a long lost friend. Glad you’re back for us Liat.
    Beverly Snow-Cretser
    [email protected]

  3. I have never been able to use the long tail cast on method because I always run out of yarn! Thanks for the tip; I will have to try it.

    Also liked the tip re weaving in a short end. Thanks again.

  4. When you use Thumb CO to finish up a Long Tail CO, can you tell that those last CO stitches are different when the project is finished? Or do they look the same?

  5. Your tips are great and make me want to pull out my needles. I don’t knit as much as I once did, but your videos are consistently superior to just about everything out there. And invariably I recall a project where your tip would have solved the problem. Short tails be gone!

  6. kathy kathy kathy

    Adding knitted on stitches when running out of yarn in a long-tail cast on is brilliant! Only a great mind can come up with a no-brainer idea like this. This could change my creative life. Thank you. Have you got any thoughts on how change glasses when you are driving?

    1. Hooray! I’m so glad you found me. I love your sense of humor. Thank you for making me laugh! I hope you sign up for the newsletter so you continue to get cool tips and tricks like this.

      Thanks so much for your comment and I hope to see you soon!

      1. I love these emails on tips and tricks. I have ripped out and started my cast on over so many times because I ran out of tail! No more! Liat, you give us info on things we never think to ask about. I wish I knew as much as you’ve probably forgotten!
        Thank you so much!

        1. Hi Jennie,
          Thank you so much for this sweet comment! I really appreciate it. Yes, you really never have to start over casting on ever again. And I’ve just come across my knowledge through trial and error, nothing special on my end. But I am delighted to pass on any wisdom to you and save you time and headaches.

          Cheers,
          Liat

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