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Cast on rags are a good alternative to scrapping on with waste yarn.

They are especially useful when casting on a few stitches (like the underarm stitches for a sleeve or for shaping a sock gusset).

They are re-usable and save time when casting on any number of stitches.

Use a Cast on Rag
  1. Hang the edge of a cast on rag
  2. Knit 1 row of ravel cord.
  3. Hang weight
  4. Cast on (closed cast on)
  5. Remove the rag


4 Types of Cast on Rags

1 Knit a diagonal strip with loops

2 Single/Double crochet strip

3 Knit a full-needle rib strip

4 Hang the edge of a swatch




Learn how to knit cast on rags. Create a few in different sizes and colors and have them handy for your next project.

When do you use cast on rags?
Comment below and inspire other knitters.

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12 COMMENTS
Jacqui H
 Nov 30, 2022
I made one with eyelet holes right across it. I thread a blocking wire through the holes and hang my ribber weights off that. Avoids having to struggle with that awful ribber comb


Katherine B
 Oct 19, 2022
I was just wondering if it was worth making up some cast on rags and voila! this post showed up. I really like the idea of permanent weights as well as I'm the ADD person who forgets to weight. Thank goodness my Brother is so forgiving! Usually, to remind myself to put on the weights, I put a weight on my seat when I leave my machine. Thanks for a great post!


Sue J
 Oct 18, 2022
Arlene, Thanks for your feedback. 'Permanent weights' sound intriguing. I need to look into that. Years ago, a demonstrator used a tape that had loops, like button loops for wedding dresses. Aren't machine knitters clever?


Arlene B
 Oct 18, 2022
I have been machine knitting for 64 years and always used waste yarn, but about 40 years ago I heard about cast on rags and since that time I mostly use them. I made several sizes and colors, if it is only a few stitches I might still use waste yarn. I have done a lot of demonstrations and always used the rags and knitters would be surprised how quick the cast-on is done. I have permanent weights in my rags. They are the string of weights you use in sheer curtains. They are available in fabric stores. Happy knitting. Arlene B.

They are the weights you use in sheer curtains. Arlene B.


Audrey B
 Oct 18, 2022
Sue, Thank you for the suggestion, I have used something similar, running a cord thru the open loops and then tying the ends together so everything is secure. But I just haven't been happy with the way it lays. The waste yarn does keep the open stitches evenly spaced and same tension. More protected so to speak. I know, I'm just being picky. Haha. Thanks again for your suggestions and blog ideas.


Sue J
 Oct 18, 2022
Audrey, so you want to eliminate scrapping off? One thing to consider is taking the stitches off on a small, circular hand knitting needle. The stitches will be available to re-hang without waste yarn.


Sue J
 Oct 18, 2022
Karen, yes a cast on comb allows you to hang weight, but it doesn't help when casting on just a few stitches and it doesn't easily create a neat open cast on with stitches you can pick up later.


Audrey B
 Oct 18, 2022
I love cast on rags! Yes, I am one of "those" knitters that hate waste yarn. Haha. I have made cast on rags in various stitch widths in my favorite yarn thicknesses. I am trying to figure out ways of using cast on rags to save waste yarn around necklines and other open stitch areas at the top end of the pieces. I am currently connecting the two pieces with ravel cord and a crochet chain stitch.


Mary Ann B
 Oct 18, 2022
Karen, The cast on rag gives you some knitting to hang the cast on comb or other weights. Very handy whether long or short so you can hang the cast on comb without distorting the first row of knitting or cast on.


Joy G
 Oct 18, 2022
A cast on rag is great... As long as you remember to use ravel cord before your main yarn lol.... Yes, I have done this - very frustrating when you remove the finished front of a top from the machine.... and find you have to either undo it all, or cut the cast on rag...


Karen R
 Oct 18, 2022
Would a brother cast on comb be the same as a cast on rag or is the comb more limited in its use? (I get that there are many ways to start and this is one of them). This is very interesting. Thank you


Cynthia Q
 Oct 18, 2022
This is a terrific blog topic! Thank you. I will use these tips, for sure.