Help with lace shawl cast-on (PU & K and provisional part)

I tried to start yet another doomed lace shawl, but this one was the variety where you cast on 3 stitches using an invisible cast-on, knit 14 rows, then pick up and knit 7 sts along the garter ridges, then pick up the 3 provisional stitches.

Two questions:

  1. Is there some secret I am missing with provisional cast-ons? I wind up cutting out the waste yarn with tiny scissors like I’m performing surgery, they just NEVER undo for me.

  2. I can never find the correct amount of ridges. This one in particular was 14 rows, pick up 7 sts at the ridges, and I know in my head there should indeed be 7 garter ridges to pick up, but I can only find 6. Is one hiding close to the needle or close to the provisional cast-on?


One of the ridges might be the one next to the needle, or you could pick up in the valley between ridges if that’s easier. You might try another sort of provisional CO to the one you’re doing; I use the one that’s shown here on the CO page, except using another needle instead of waste yarn, that way the sts are ready to knit right off it.