Purpose of a provisional cast on
For most knitting you want a firm edge that will not unravel. Most cast ons give you just that. However, there are two reasons why you might want to have ‘live’ stitches at the bottom of your knitting:
- if you want to knit down, that is, below the starting point of your knitting
- if you want to create a seam by knitting or grafting your starting stitches together with your final ones
How to make a crochet chain cast on
There are several ways to create a provisional cast on as the starting point for your knitting. The easiest one is to crochet a chain using scrap yarn and a crochet hook, then knit into the back of the loops on the crochet chain with your main yarn. The video below demonstrates this technique:
- Always use a smooth yarn for the crochet chain.
- Crochet 10-20 single crochet (SCs) stitches more than are needed for the cast on.
- Be careful not to split the scrap yarn. It is much easier to unpick it when the knit stitches have been cleanly knit into the scrap yarn.
- Unpick it carefully, transferring each live stitch onto the needle one at a time.