This is a pictorial representation of Emily Ocker's Cast On, used to start a piece of circular knitting (like a tablecloth, shawl or dishcloth) in the middle. The magical thing is that after knitting a few rounds, you can pull on the loose yarn end to close the hole in the center - I used it on this doily for example. It's also excellent for starting toe-up socks! (In fact that's what I was doing in these photographs.)

It's been described by Elizabeth Zimmerman and I finally managed this thanks to Judy Gibson's wonderful explanation.

make a loop around your finger
First make a loop around your finger with your working yarn.

grab yarn with crochet hook
Then insert a crochet hook through that loop and grab the yarn.

pull yarn through loop
And pull the yarn through the loop on your finger.

grab yarn again with crochet hook
Hook the yarn a second time.... without going through the loop on your finger.

drawn yarn through the first loop on the hook
And draw the yarn through the loop on the crochet hook. (One stitch made.)

go back through the loop and grab yarn again
Go back through the loop on your finger and grab the yarn again.

pull yarn through loop again
And pull through the loop on your finger...

grab yarn again
Hook the yarn a second time, without going through the loop on your finger.

pull through to make second loop and repeat until you have as many stitches as you want!
Pull through again. (Two stitches made.) Repeat until you have all the stitches you want.

stitches waiting to be put onto dpn's
Here I've made 6 stitches. Transfer these evenly spaced onto double pointed needles to begin knitting. When you have knit for a few inches, pull the loose yarn end around the center to close the hole!

Copyright 2002-2004 Theresa V. Stenersen. All rights reserved.