Can't do provisional cast on

I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. Seems like I follow the instructions. I’ve tried doing it with a crochet hook and also the version on Knit and Tonic doing a long tail CO with the waste yarn over the thumb and the main yarn over the index finger. But the problem is my cast on never “unzips”. I can tug at the waste yarn or the slip knot or whatever, it just stays put. Any idea where I’m going wrong?


Have you tried this one?

I have a problem with the stitches just unzipping, too. Sometimes they do, sometimes I have to cut and usually I have to do both.:shrug:

I’ve definitely tried one with a crochet hook like this, but there is some difference to this instruction about what to do with the yarn for unzipping. I will try it. thanks.

Here’s the easiest provisional caston I’ve found yet and I’ll never use another as long as this one is suitable. If you can do longtail, you can do this.

Tie one end of your working wool loosely to the end of your waste cotton or whatever you’re using. Put this knot over the needle. Do a longtail caston with those two strands, the cotton/waste wool should be the one nearest you over the thumb. Cast on normally in longtail.
The working wool will make the loops around the needle, and the waste cotton should be just lined up as the caston edge, not going around the needle at all.

Now knit from the caston normally, and when you are ready, cut off the waste wool right beside the edge of the caston, and unpick it with a sharp knitting needle, stitch by stitch. It should come out very easily even with a tight caston.

Okay I have just noticed that you seem to have tried this one already and been unable to unzip it, but if you try this one and unpick it the way I described, it should work, although it won’t unzip in the sense that you can just tug on the end and have it fall apart.


Have you checked the video for provisional cast-on from this
site? It is in the basic techniques section. She shows how to do
it using a waste yarn or using a cable needle. Once I learned how
to do with the cable needle that is all I do now because when it
comes time to knit the stiches there is already a needle there to
knit off!

Thanks, Redwitch. This is actually the one I tried when I mentioned above the one described on Knit and Tonic. There must be some particular step I do wrong, though.

Oh, I just see your edit. My eye glanced over it thinking it was your signature. :slight_smile: Yes, I was always able to cut the yarn and unpick it, but thought it would be much cooler and faster if it unzipped. Especially when I have to do over 100 provisionally cast on stitches.

I had not tried the video on this site because I generally do my knitting at home, especially something that requires concentration and learning, and I have dial up at home so can’t watch the videos.

But the link Ingrid provided actually worked pretty well for me. I am going to use that one. Thanks, everyone.

[FONT=Comic Sans MS][SIZE=3][COLOR=darkorchid]Although I finally did manage to do a crochet provisional cast on, I still just knit two rows with waste yarn and then start the project. Then cut and unpick the knitting. Works great for me. [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]


I just wanted to say that I have dial up too, but if I really want to see a video I can still do it. True, it takes a long time for the video to download, but I can go off and do something else while the computer is at work. After I have it downloaded I can save it to the desktop or someplace and watch it as many times as I need to to learn the technique and then delete it. Maybe that will work for you too.

That’s what I do too! It’s just so much easier than trying to figure out the provisional cast on… especially since I have only seen it done with crochet and I have no hooks!