Crochet provisional cast-on allows you to come back to your cast-on edge and easily pick of those stitches to join pieces or continue knitting. Garter tab often calls for a brief provisional cast-on, as well as some socks, sweater patterns and accessories. There are lots of patterns that call for a provisional cast-on and the crochet method is a favorite among the Kitterly staff.
In this tutorial we are going to walk you through how to position your hands and yarn to cast on, and how to pick up and ‘unzip’ your provisional cast-on edge.
Let’s get started!
For the crochet provisional cast-on you will need a crochet hook that suits the yarn you’re working with, and enough waste yarn for the number of stitches you’re casting-on.
Start by making a slip knot and placing it on the crochet hook as shown. Then, in your left hand, grasp the knitting needle and tail between your thumb and middle finger and hold the working yarn over your index finger. The knitting needle should be in front of the working yarn and yarn tail.
Use the crochet hook to draw the yarn over the knitting needle and through the slip knot. This is your first cast-on stitch.
Swing the working yarn over the tip of the needle so it is again behind the knitting needle.
Continue drawing yarn over the knitting needle and through the stitch on the crochet hook, making sure to move the working yarn to the back after making each stitch.
After you have cast-on the specified number of stitches, use the crochet hook to chain a few more stitches and then break the yarn and secure the end. This extra bit of crochet will ensure that you don’t accidentally unravel your knitted edge before you’re ready.
Now you can knit the rest of your pattern!
Once you’re ready to pick-up the cast on edge, locate the slip knot that started your cast-on. (It will be on the side without the extra crochet chain.) Starting at the slip knot, insert your knitting needle under the right leg of the first stitch.
And now insert your needle under the right leg of the next stitch.
Continue sliding the tip of your needle under the right leg of each stitch until you reach the end of the row.
Now, undo the crochet chain and carefully tug out the waste yarn from under the stitches on your needle.
Once you’re done, you will have a nice row of stitches that are ready to knit! The first “stitch” will need to be held in place until you knit a few rows. I usually knit this first stitch through the back loop to better hold it in place.
Now you’re ready to go!
Once you get the hang of this method, you’ll never go back to your old provisional cast-on!