To begin knitting, you will need to create a foundation row of stitches on your needle by "casting on."
1. Make a slipknot by looping yarn into a pretzel shape, leaving a tail end at least three times the width of what you are knitting (if your scarf is 8 inches wide, you'll need a 24-inch-long tail). Slip knitting needle through pretzel shape as shown, and pull yarn ends to tighten.
2. Drape tail of yarn over left thumb and working yarn (ball end) over left index finger. Use your other fingers to catch yarn lengths in left palm. Insert needle upward through loop on thumb.
3. With needle, catch the working yarn that's on your index finger, and pull it through the loop on your thumb. Remove thumb from loop. Keeping yarn ends secured in palm, reposition thumb, and tighten new stitch on right-hand needle. Repeat these steps until you've cast on the required number of stitches.