Crazy for Cast-Ons, Part 2

Back in January, I did a the first installment of Crazy for Cast-Ons, where I demonstrated the Old Norwegian Cast-On. Today we’re going to focus on the cable cast-on and provisional cast-ons, with some wonderful tips from Jennifer Seiffert, author of the fabulous Fearless Knitting Workbook and Interweave Knits editor Eunny Jang.

The Cable Cast-On

According to Fearless Knitting Workbook author and knitting teacher Jennifer Seiffert, the cable cast-on produces a strong and stretchy edge. It is worked with just the working yarn end, so it can be used to cast on stitches mid-project, such as at the end of a row where you have only one strand of yarn to work with. (And according to me, it’s perfect for the one-row buttonhole!)

Step 1. Insert the right needle between the first 2 stitches on the left needle. Step 2. Wrap the yarn around the needle as if to knit, draw yarn through. Step 3. Place the new loop on the left needle to form a new stitch.

Repeat steps 1 through 3, always working between the first 2 stitches on the needle.

Provisional Cast-Ons

These cast-ons are temporary cast-ons that are used to hold stitches until you need them to add on details, such as ribbing, borders, hems, etc., or until you need them to graft them to other live stitches (such as in the free pattern at the bottom of this post!).

In the video below, Eunny teaches us three provisional cast-ons. First she shows two ways to do a simple cast-on, one using a piece of waste yarn and one using a circular needle instead of the waste yarn (I love this one!). Second, Eunny demonstrates how to so the crochet chain cast-on. Watch carefully to see where she’s picking up the stitches—you have to pick up stitches through the bump on the underside of the chain or the chain won’t unravel (ask me how I know; I’ve had to cut the chain off a couple of times). And the last demo is a crochet method where you crochet stitches directly onto the needle. This is a neat technique to have in your provisional arsenal. So here’s Eunny!

The Winding River

This is a pattern I developed, and guess what? It uses a provisional cast-on!

This is a mobius design, so you cast-on provisionally, knit the cowl, then give it a half-twist and graft the beginning and ending stitches together to make an endless circle.

So here you go: the Winding River Cowl (just one of seven patterns in our Cable Knitting free eBook).

Now go cast something on!

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