Provisional cast on

As a small extra gift at Christmas for my sisters and their partners I’m planning on knitting four Gaca Beanies by Jean-Phillipe Cliche but I wanted to practice first as I have never done a provisional cast on. I watched a couple of YouTube videos last night and attempted two methods, one with waste yarn and one with a spare circular cord. I struggled with both. I know you can use a crochet hook (which I have) but I’ve never crocheted. Can anybody recommend a simple video that would help me? I don’t want to chicken out and knit a ribbed edge because the pattern really stood out to me with its stocking stitch edge.

That’s a terrific gift which they are sure to love. It looks to me like the edge is folded over to form a hem which gives you that nice turned edge. Regardless, a provisional cast on is going to make either the edge or a hem easier to work.

Anyway this is a nice method for a provisional cast on which uses a crochet hook but simply to grab the yarn strand rather than to work into a crochet chain. See after about 2:00min.

For me it’s easier than a cats-cradle type of provisional or knitting into a prepared crochet chain.

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This is also the method I use for provisional cast-on.

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Yes. You knit around 5 inches and then fold it over sewing it together although I have seen a video where it suggests you knit the held stitches together with the live stitches (like a 3 needle bind off without the bind off). You also join in the round. Would you join after you have knit one row with your working yarn?

I don’t think it’s necessary to knit a round with the working yarn but you can certainly do it. You’ll likely have one less stitch from the provisional than sts on the needle from you previous rows but it’s easy enough to pick up an extra stitch at the end of the provisional to even out stitch number.

I like to knit together the provisional and the current sts similar to 3 needle bind off (without the bind off) just as you suggest.

@engblom is that the way you join the provisional and the current sts?

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Yes, that is how I would do it.

Well after many failed attempts and lots of swear words I have a growing tube of practice knitting on my circular needles! I started off without first making a chain and that just wasn’t working. I watched a video on how to crochet a chain and that gave me something to hold on to. After that it was easy. Next step is to figure out how to unzip it, put my provisional stitches on a needle and attempt to knit them together with the live stitches.

You probably know this already, but just in case, make sure you have knitted some rows from your provisional otherwise when you unzip you will lose your stitches, they need a row above at least to hold them together.
You can only unzip from one end, where the crotchet working yarn ended, not where it started, so if you pull and it doesn’t unzip try the other end. A tutorial I saw had a tip to mark the beginning end with a knot in the yarn and unzip from the other end.
Good luck, sounds like you have gained lots of experience and knowledge doing this.

Thanks :slightly_smiling_face: Well it’s a hat with a folded brim so I have to knit a length of stocking stitch, fold it inwards and then hem the provisional stitches but I’m going to try knitting them together with the live stitches. Like a 3 needle bind off without the bind off part.


This works amazingly well. It’s a little trickier when you’re knitting in the round but it’s do-able. It may be easier to put 1/3 to 1/4 of the provisional on a dpn, work the hem then move on to more of the provisional sts.

Hmm, modify your SSK to slip 1 from front needle, slip one from back needle, knit tog.

I tend to slip a round as I pick up and slip (purl wise) from my provisional. It tends to look like a k1p1 with twice the CO sts (this is also like a tubular cast on but joined in the round).


Sorry that I’m late to your topic, but here’s a good video for crochet provisional cast on.
And one for finishing off you want a flatter seam.

If you use this for other projects in the future, be aware that it only unzips from a baseline stocking stitch row. If the first row has both knit and purl stitches, eg rib, it doesn’t unzip and has to be painstakingly picked out! The videos often don’t mention that!! :rofl::rofl: