What is a Provisional Cast On?
A provisional cast-on is a blanket term for any sort of cast-on which leaves live stitches, which can later be knit from in the opposite direction. Provisional cast-ons are often used in seamless knitting patterns, and at Tin Can Knits we design mostly-seamless patterns for your knitting pleasure!
How to cast on provisionally using the crochet chain method
- Use a contrast colour yarn to crochet a chain of more chain stitches than you need to cast on.
- Next, use the working yarn and needle to knit into the back of this crochet chain, pulling up your cast-on stitches.
You can see this method in even more detail here (it is used as part of the garter-tab cast on, the method used in many triangular shawl patterns).
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How to Unpick a Provisional Cast-on
- First, find the end of the crochet chain that has a little knot tied in it. You tied this knot when you created the chain, to indicate the end from which the chain would easily unravel. Loosen the final loop, pushing the yarn tail back through the loop.
- Next you can pull on the end of the yarn, and the crochet chain will ‘unzip’ naturally, leaving live loops that you will put onto your needle, one at a time. Once you have placed all the stitches on the needle, you can attach yarn, and simply work across these live stitches following the pattern!
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