The provisional cast on method is everywhere these days. Just check out all these beauties a quick Rav search brings up. It's an invaluable tool for very particular situations - sort of the allen wrench in your toolbox. Generally, you'll be asked to use it when you knit something sideways, and want to join the ends seamlessly. It basically gives you a set of "live" stitches as a cast on, held by waste yarn which can be removed easily when the stitches are ready to do their thing. It's a little fiddly, and can be a bit daunting if you haven't done it before. I thought I'd share my favorite method for a provisional cast on, with some tips and lots of photos to make it as pleasant as possible.
First, grab your supplies:
for your project.
-Crochet hook; while the size isn't important, it will be easiest if it is close to the millimeter size of your needles. You don't need to know how to crochet to do this, so don't worry if you're not bi-craftual.
-Waste yarn; this can be anything - smooth cotton in a strong
contrast color works best.
-Working yarn; that is, the yarn you will be knitting with to start your project.
OK, let's go!
Hold one needle, point up, along the left side of your hook.
Make sure your knot sits on the right side of your hook.
Pull the yarn through the loop on your hook and snug everything up.
through the loop on your hook. Don't worry if your tension isn't perfect.
cut your waste yarn and pull the tail through the loop on your hook.
Next time, I'll cover getting those stitches back onto a needle and you'll see how smoothly that little chain pulls out. And together, we shall confront one of life's little inevitabilities, and handle it gracefully.
Until then, keep those hands busy!
Painless Provisional Cast On Part II