The slip knot counts as the first cast on stitch. It is made some distance from the end of the yarn and placed on the needle. Pull the ends of the yarn to tighten it You now have two ends of yarn coming from the slip knot; the ball end attached to the ball and a shorter free end.
For the thumb method of casting on. you will need approximately I in (2.5cm) for every stitch you want to cast on. When you have cast on, you should have at least a 6in (15cm) length to sew in.
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