e-Wrap Cast On

My earliest machine knitting books call this simply “wrapped cast on.” Then about forty years ago, people realized that it resembled writing, in cursive, a lower case e around each needle. Voila!! a catchy new name that made it easy to visualize the technique. And so e-wrap cast on became the name most of us use for this technique today.

NOTE: It is easy to pull too tightly on the yarn when casting on. This technique requires a little practice. I suggest you begin with a 20-stitch swatch, and do the technique several times before using it on a garment.

If the carriage is hard to push, jams, or mis-forms stitches when you knit the first row, you have put too much tension on the yarn when casting on. It is also possible to wrap too loosely, and that can cause problems, too. You are looking for the “Goldilocks” tension….not too tight, and not too loose.

ewrap cast on 1

Cast on over 20 needles with waste yarn, knit seven rows, ending with the carriage on the left. clip the waste yarn, and knit 1 row of ravel cord.

ewrap cast on 2

Bring the 20 working needles all the way forward to position D.

ewrap cast on 3

Carriage should be on the right side of the needle bed. Fasten a clothes pin or clamp to the end of the main yarn and let it dangle about six inches below the bed, between needle 1 and needle 2 on the left side. Go counter-clockwise (to the left) over needle 1; pass the yarn under needles 1 and 2, and come up between needles 2 and 3. You will now have a loop around needle 1, that does, indeed, look like a lower case cursive e.

Go counter-clockwise (to the left) over needle 2; pass the yarn under needles 2 and 3, and come up between needles 3 and 4. Another e-wrap loop has been formed around needlee 2. Continue in this manner to the last needle, then wrap the yarn around it and thread the carriage. You now have what looks like a row of lower case es.

ewrap cast on 4

Be sure all the needles are still extended all the way forward; push the waste yarn section, AND the e-wrap loops back behind the needle latches. Bring the carriage close to the first working needle on the right side, and pull up the yarn above the carriage to remove any slack. Knit slowly across. Continue to knit another 20 rows. Clip main yarn.


e-wrap edge

Pull out the ravel cord, and the waste yarn will fall away. This is what the cast on edge should look like after your knitting is completed and waste yarn has been removed.

After you have more experience, it is possible to work an e-wrap cast on without using waste yarn and ravel cord, but use this method for now.

Tutorial Index

This tutorial was copyrighted and uploaded to the original Clearwater Knits website in 1997. It was updated July 15, 2015