Tutorial—Provisional Cast-on Method February 14, 2016 00:10

This cast-on technique is used when you want live stitches to be available at the cast-on edge. There are a variety of different techniques that can be used for this method. I prefer using a crochet hook to cast stitches onto a knitting needle. From my experience it provides evenly spaced stitches on the needle, is relatively simple to cast-on and it's easy to unravel the waste yarn to expose the live stitches.

Here's how to do it:

Using waste yarn, make a slip knot on the crochet hook. Begin with the yarn to the back of the knitting needle.

Wrap the yarn around the crochet hook…

… and pull through the slip stitch. The yarn is now in the front of the knitting needle. Bring the yarn over the tip of the needle so it is to the back of the needle.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the desired number of stitches are cast on. Cut the waste yarn, and pull the tail end through the last loop on the crochet hook.

Using the working yarn, begin working the pattern

At some point in the pattern, you'll need to work with the stitches held with the waste yarn.

When the pattern instructs, work as follows: To access the stitches, the waste yarn needs to be removed. To do this, pull out the tail from the last loop.

Continue pulling on the tail to remove the waste yarn loops from the working yarn loops.

Slip the working yarn stitches onto the empty knitting needle as they are exposed.

When finished removing the waste yarn, all provisional cast on stitches should be on a needle. Double check to make sure you have the same number of stitches as were cast on. Then continue as the pattern instructs.