Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Provisional Cast Ons

Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday!  Today we're going to talk about provisional cast ons.

I got the go-ahead for my OWL and have cast on my Chromatic Sweater.  The hem of the sleeves and body calls for a provisional cast on.  That set me to deciding what sort of provisional cast on I wanted to tackle - there are so many options!

Perhaps the most simple is to knit a few rows with waste yarn and then begin using your project yarn.  This allows for a more protected set of stitches to then be knit from the other direction.  I can definitely see using this technique on something that required me to knit something from both directions.

There is also the invisible provisional cast on where you wrap the working yarn around a piece of waste yarn.  I've found this works spectacularly when you have interchangeable needles.  Instead of using waste yarn, use an extra cable from your needle set and when it comes time to work downwards, you are all set to go - no need to pick up stitches!  If this method appeals to you, check out this video for how to do it.  I will often cast on around two needles for this method to make it easier to go in the other direction when the time comes.

Finally, we have the option I ended up choosing for this project.  My needles are too small to use my interchangeables, so instead of going with the invisible cast on, I chose the tried and true crochet cast on.  For this technique, you create a crochet chain into which you begin your knitting.  You can then "unzip" the crochet chain to expose your live stitches.  This cast on can be done one of two ways.  

First, you can crochet a chain and pick up the "bumps" on the underside of the chain.  Be sure to come at these from one direction so that your chain "unzips" when you are finished! If you need help with this method, check out TECHknitting's post on the crochet cast on.

Second, you could crochet directly on to the needle. If this seems confusing, check out the video below.  I find this method easier as I have difficulty picking up the bumps of the crochet chain.

What is your favorite provisional cast on?  Did I miss yours?


Bonnie said...

I had never heard of the invisible provisional cast-on. That is brilliant!

Thanks for the tutorial!

SharonLuvs2Knit2 said...

Thank you for the tutorial! I will be using a Provisional Cast-On for my OotP mission. I'm not sure which one I will use yet but, thanks for the options.