I love a good provisional cast on and use them often, especially when making turned sock cuffs for the ultimate in stretch and flexibility as well as good looks, but also in many other projects where the knitter is required to knit one way and then carry on the knitting in the opposite direction (such as when knitting a lace scarf from the centre outwards, to ensure both halves match perfectly).
I love this because it is neat, elegant and so easy to remove when needed.
Using a piece of smooth, contrasting yarn the same weight as your working yarn, tie a knot in the very end of your yarn (you'll find out why, later, but just ignore it for now), then:
- Make a simple slip knot.
- Chain four or five stitches.
- Place your knitting needle in front of your yarn, to the left of your crochet hook.
- Bring the crochet hook over your needle to grab the yarn from behind it.
- Draw this yarn through to create your first provisional stitch.
- Take your yarn around tot he back of your needle and repeat steps 4 & 5 for as many times as it takes to create all of your provisionally cast on stitches.
- When all of your stitches have been cast on chain four or five more stitches before breaking yarn.
- Draw the tail of the yarn through the last stitch to secure.
Free up the yarn tail that you threaded through the last stitch when securing it and gently pull on that end (remember, it is the one without the knot in it). The chain stitches should unravel one by one until you reach your piece of knitting. Slowly pull the yarn tail to free up the first live stitch and slip this to a knitting needle. Repeat this, taking it slowly until all of your stitches are safe and secure.
Simple, fast and elegant.
Now, those few stitches cast on in the pictures above are actually the beginning of a new project of mine, so hopefully I will have a new WIP to share in a day or two.