German twisted cast-on

Masterclass: German twisted cast-on

The German twisted cast-on creates strong, stretch edges that are perfect as cuffs on socks, mittens and more. Follow Faye Perriam-Reed's expert guide.

3rd February 2016

The German twisted cast-on is a great method to use for top-down socks, mittens and other cuffs. It is strong yet stretchy, which is important if you are looking for
a snug, even cuff that isn’t too tight at the cast-on edge. It starts in a similar way
to the long-tail cast-on, or the thumb method. It’s fun to do, the first row is nice and easy to knit or rib into and, because of the added twists in each stitch, the work will spring back into shape nicely after it’s been stretched out. For an even stretchier edge, try working this over two knitting needles held together in the right hand.


1 Take a length of yarn from the ball and fold it in half. Make a slip knot at the halfway point and place it on the needle. Holding the needle in your right hand, tension the yarn as if you were to work the long-tail cast-on; drape the tail end of the yarn over your left thumb and the working end over your left index finger, then grip the two yarns together in your left hand.

Steps 1 and 2

2 Turn your hand so the palm is facing up and bring the needle down and towards you - you’ll see a little cross above your left thumb.

3 Dip the needle down under this cross and come up the other side.

Steps 3 and 4

4 Now take the needle down through the loop by the left thumb and up, pointing towards your index finger.

5-6 Go over the strand on the left side of your index finger and pull this strand towards you.

Steps 5 and 6

7 You’re going to catch the strand in the little loop that is now sat on the right-hand needle, which looks a little like a stitch, at the same time bending your thumb (which opens this loop up slightly).

8-9 Slip your thumb out and pull the index finger and thumb apart, tightening the new stitch onto the needle. Repeat from step two. 

Steps 7 and 8

Step 9

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