Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Provisional Cast - On - ... my way

A few months ago, one of my knitting projects required a provisional cast - on.  Sometimes this technique is also referred to as an 'invisible' or 'open-cast-on. Whilst I had understood the concept behind the technique, i.e. utilising a string of scrap yarn that upon its removal will leave the knitter with "live" stitches, which can be picked up again at a later point, I was utterly confused after watching a few instructional videos.

Thoroughly bewildered and at the same time encouraged by the wonderful Mrs Zimmermann’s mantra that there is simply no wrong or right way of knitting, I decided to go ahead and experiment. In the end, I am pleased to report  that the method I devised worked just fine and, even though a little cumbersome at first sight, it might provide others with a way out of the confusion.

Here are the step by step instructions:

Provisional cast - on: Step 1

Step 1: Tie a piece of scrap yarn, preferably in a contrasting colour, to your knitting needle as shown in the above image.

Provisional cast - on: Step 2

Step 2: Proceed to cast on as many stitches as required in whichever way you like. (I used the long tail cast on.) The stitches should wrap around the needle and the scrap yarn at the same time.

Provisional cast - on: Step 3

Step 3: Continue to knit as many rows as required. The scrap yarn is sitting comfortably at the bottom of the knitted piece, enclosed by a row of live stitches.

Provisional cast - on: Step 4

Step 4: Insert the needle into the row of live stitches using the scrap yarn as a guide. Once this step has been completed, the scrap yarn can be removed and the live stitches are ready to be knit as required.
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