Provisional Cast-On ~~ can't get it

I’ve been trying to do a provisional cast on for this pattern. It all makes sense to me and I think I get HOW to do it, but something just isn’t coming out right. The pattern is to cast on 17 stitches, and theoretically I should then have 17 stitches also on the spare yarn that I’m using for the cast-on. But no matter how I do it or how many times I try, I end up with only 16. So obviously once I’m done and go to kitchener stitch the two ends together, it won’t come out right because the # of stitches isn’t the same on both ends.

Help anyone??

Anyone??? :thinking:

I had issues with my first provisional cast on as well. I was trying to follow Amy’s method in her video, but it just wasn’t working for me.

So, I dug out The Knitter’s Book of Finishing Techniques (good reference book!), looked up their instructions on how to do provisional. Viola!!! No more issues here.

So, the long and short of it, and what I did, is this-- crochet a chain a few stitches longer than what your cast on edge should be using waste yarn. After chaining the last stitch, pull yarn through to finish it off, and knot the tail so you know which side to start pulling the chain out… The you just pick up loops through the BACK loops of your chain until you have the required stitches cast on. Later on you can remove the chain when you’re ready to finish off your piece.

You can see an example of this here.

Granted it’s not close up, but it will kind of give you an idea. Hope this helps! Oh yeah, I almost forgot, I made sure that my first stitch cast on was a slip knot, and this was only because I wanted reassurances that my edge wasn’t going to fall apart on me when I went to seem the hem…

Thanks. I’m trying to see the example of it on your blog and I’m not finding it??

Oh, there’s pics of the piece where you can see the chained/provisional edging in a contrasting color. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to infer that I had a video or pic-to-gram with instructions… :oops:

Feel free to PM me if I haven’t made myself very clear…

I think the problem might have been that your original slip knot of the chain doesn’t count as one of the stitches… that’s why you were losing one. If you chain a few “extras” like alyssa suggested, then you won’t be short any stitches. here is a link to a site with good instructions and a video, and here is a link to Amy’s video.

Hi KnitQueen!

What’s happening is this:

When you expose stitches at the bottom of your knitting, those loops are not actually lined up with the loops on top, they are half a stitch off. You are picking up what is actually the strand between stitches. Since there were originally 17 stitches, there’s only 16 strands between those stitches. You’ll have to increase one if you need the same number. And your knitting will be offset by half a stitch no matter what. Not noticable in stockinette, although it will show if you’ve been working in ribbing, or have other solid vertical lines in the knitting, the line will be interrupted.

Hope that helps!

Thank you! That crochet method looks great!

Thanks Amy, too, for clarifying. I’ll give it another go!


Wow, those videos are great! I’ve yet to do this provisional cast on and was wondering why should I bother… now I’ve read that it’s so you don’t create a “line” if you did picked up stitches, I got it!

Yeah, the crochet method looks simpler but I think Amy’s version is faster if you get it right. I’ll try both.

if I ever start that sweater…