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March 29, 2007



Great tutorial Wendy! Clear as spring water! :)

This is now my favorite provisional cast-on. I can do the crochet one, but I can never seem to unzip smoothly. I always have to fiddle with it.

And for the "you know," I will be the first one in line to buy it around these parts.

You and I are of the same bent when it comes to seams. Why do all that knitting and then have to spend all that time trying to get the seams sewed up correctly? The fewer seams the better, I say. Seamless in our friend! :)


Thank you! Thank you! I first used PCO when I knit twinkletoes from Knitty Winter 2006. I found the type where you crochet right on to the knitting needle. And while it worked, it took me forever. I (unless forced to use another CO) always use LTCO. Thanks for speeding up my knitting. KM


DANG! You make that look easy, I've been procrastinating the STR club socks because I don't know how to "provisional cast on". Long tail cast on with 2 different yarns, now THAT I can do! Do you think it will work?


Thank you 2 million times for this. I needed a good provisional cast on. I have some ideas for which it could be very useful.


That is the cast-on technique I learned in a toe-up sock class at Stitches. I agree it's a nice method, no crochet hooks, etc. Do you have any tips, though, for pulling out the waste yarn? It all made sense in class, but naturally when I got home and the nice instructor wasn't leading me by the hand, I just picked and picked at that thing till I basically ruined several rows of knitting. Does the book you mention have idiot-proof instructions for this scenario? I just couldn't get the darn thing started (the undoing) and it was a sad mess. Sigh.


THANK YOU WENDY, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!! I've been knitting the urban rustic gloves in knitty, which calls for a provisional cast on for each of the fingers, and I've been hating this project because I've been doing the provisional cast with a crochet hook. This way is soooooo much better. And so well written. THANK YOU


Is it really that easy? You'd never know it from all the tutorials I've looked at. I've always felt a bit intimidated by it. Thanks!!


I spent hours doing a crochet chain provisional cast-on for a top a few weeks ago... 222 stitches on size 2 circulars mind you. In the back of my mind, I knew I'd done it another way before but being a follow-the-directions type I figured there must be some specific reason this sweater had to be cast on just that way. Did I mention it took hours?!

My bottom line question is... can either method be used for a provisional cast-on? You just want to be able to release live stitches when all is said and done right?


ooh, where was this tutorial two days ago when I started a toe-up sock? I have a hard time with the crochet chain versions and couldn't find a knit version when I needed it.

Will be printing this and keeping it in a safe place so I can find it at all hours!


Fabulous! I've been trying quite a few provisional cast-ons for the last few years, (even some I invented myself) and have not found one that worked well. Your technique is brilliant, and will be very easy to do, and get right. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


thank you! this makes so much sense to me.


wow, that makes it sound so easy!!! Now I'm gonna hafta try it ;)


Boy could I have used this a few nights ago when I started Sahara. I used a crochet hook and when I tried to take the provisional stitches out I had to pick them one by one. I also agree with you about stranded/fair isle knitting. I feel like a complete klutz having tried several variations. My hat brim curls out real pretty but the hat is for my mister.


Thanks so much for the tutorial Wendy! I saw this on Knitty Gritty recently, but hadn't thought about it again until I saw your tutorial and realized I'll need this for Sahara. I love your idea of having more of these and maybe working on some kind of project together to "warm up" for your book :) Thanks again!!


Wendy, you're a genius! I just made my first foray in provisional cast-ons with the crochet chains and the picking up and knitting -- not a bad way to go, really, but time consuming as all get out. But this seems so much easier and faster. Which is good, because I'm now completely in love with the looks (and potential) of the provisional cast on.

Pani Thuly

So that's how a provisional cast on is done!! I think the tutorial thingy is a great idea, please keep them coming.

Pani Thuly

So that's how a provisional cast on is done!! I think the tutorial thingy is a great idea, please keep them coming. And thanks for this one.

Knitting Nettie

I feel like I just had one of those "Ah-ha!!" moments that Oprah talks about! Not as dramatic as smelling salts but I think the facial expression could be considered the same :-) ....and it can be added to that list of "knitters face" that you blogged about a while back!! There is concentration, confusion, dont' talk to me I'm counting and now we can add "getting it"!

Beth K

Pretty nifty! I have tried that cast on before off another site and I thought I was too stupid to do it, but how you show it makes it easy, I can do a long tail cast on, easy!

Kathleen Fivel

You're the savant, Wendy. Thank you for making this so clear! I've been thinking of modifying the glove pattern in Handknit Holidays to make them loooong but wanted to do the hands first and then knit up the arms. Now, I can. Danke!


That book is simply the best! I found it a few months ago and it sits beside my bed.


How amazing (to me!) that you posted this at this precise time that I'm just beginning my first project which requires a provisional cast on. Thanks for taking the time to share! :-)


Holy moly. I was afraid to even say the words "provisional cast on" out loud - it just sounds like some complicated medical procedure. You've made it very uncomplicated. Now I can't wait to need to use it for. . . something. I'll make something up tonite. :) Thanks!


PS-The jellybeans look mighty tasty, too. I think I'll wait until after Easter for the half-price bags, though. ;-)


WOW! I completely understood that on the first read through (most knitting instructions take me three or four times). Long tail cast on is my absolute favorite, thanks so much for teaching me a completely different one yet it's the same method. You're a genius!

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