So often I see it on the Intertubes
Well, I am here to tell you, PROVISIONAL CAST-ONS ARE WORTH THE EFFORT! And I promise if you can cast on, you can do a provisional cast on, and they are totally WORTH THE EFFORT.
Besides turning flat pieces into seamless tubes, with a provisional cast on you can:
If you are thinking, "Okay, great, but I cannot do Provisional Cast-on. I have tried it," I promise you are incorrect. The truth is there is no one provisional cast-on. Provisional Cast-on is a type of cast on and there are several methods of accomplishing it.
USING YOUR FAVORITE CAST ON AS A PROVISIONAL CAST ON
What you will need:
This is not a complicated technique and written directions are below. But, I think it is always helpful to see how something is done. Here is a video demonstration.
RELEASING THE UPSIDE DOWN STITCHES:
Grab a knitting needle. Get your scissors. It is time to cut.
If your soul just shrieked. That is natural. But, right now, the waste yarn is trapping those upside-down stitches. The only way to free them is to cut away the provisional stitches. This can be nerve-wracking, but take your time and make sure you are only cutting the waste yarn. As you trim out the waste yarn pick up the upside-down stitch with your needle. (Hint: It’s easier to use a knitting needle 1 - 2 sizes down from what you used to knit. Use your project needle to knit the live stitches off) That's it!
Ready to start a project with a provisional cast-on? Take a look at some of these patterns* from one of my favorite designers, Sarah Jordan*. Sarah Jordan is one of the many designers on The Fiber Indy List sure to inspire you.
To see more of my favorite patterns from designers The Fiber Indy list whose work is available on Lovecrafts, check out my community page*.
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Something to remember
If you are using this technique and knitting flat, you will end up with one less stitch after picking up your upside-down stitches. This has to do with the nature of knit symmetry. Check out my video for a full explanation and how to compensate for this phenomenon.
WHY YOU SHOULD STILL LEARN ANOTHER METHOD PROVISIONAL CAST-ON
Nothing in life, or knitting, is perfect. Using a regular cast-on to create a provisional cast-on uses a lot of waste yarn. Also, you may not love having to use scissors to release those upside-down stitches. I do not love it.
In my opinion, it is worth exploring Provisional Cast-Ons designed to be used as a provisional cast on. They use less waste yarn and usually do not require any scissors. There is one provisional cast on that even creates a lifeline.
If you think, “I was taught the Provisional Cast-on, and I hate it!” I want to remind you that there is no one Provisional Cast-On. If you hate the method you were taught, I encourage you to try another technique. A great book for exploring Cast-ons and Bind offs is Cast On, Bind Off: 211 Ways to Begin and End your Knitting by Cap Sease. *
Try a few techniques. There are so many, and your go-to cast on is always there for you while you explore.
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I'm Carrie CraftGeek. I've been knitting for 20 years and crafting my whole life. I love to share my passion with the world!
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