All knitters have questions about the best way to do things, why different things happen while they are knitting, how to fix knitting mistakes and more. Here is this weeks questions posed by several knitters.
Question : I have pattern I would love to try but it says to start wth a provisional cast on. Can you explain what that is and how to do it? Thanks.
Answer: A provisional cast-on keeps cast-on stitches "live" so that they can be knit later. It's a very useful technique when you're not sure what kind of edging you'll want or how long to make something. With a provisional cast-on, you can make these decisions at the end of a project. There are a few ways to make a provisional cast-on. This is my favorite...
1: Make a crochet chain using waste yarn -- preferably, something smooth and in color which is readily visible against your working yarn, in approximatley the same weight. To make your chain, just grab the strand of yarn with your hook...
and bring it through the loop. Always make the chain several chains longer than the number of stitches you need to pick up, so you have some room for error.
2: When you're done making the chain as long as you need it to be (plus a few extra) cut the yarn, bring it through the last loop, tug gently to close (gently! You're going to have to undo that later) and tie a knot in that end, to remind yourself that this is the end you'll be "unzipping" from later on. Now flip your chain over and take a look at the bumps -- they look a little like purl bumps, -- on the back side (assuming the front side is the "v's" you see as you are working the chain.) You are going to pick up stitches through these bumps.
3: Start picking up stitches through the bumps. I "pick" at stitches to pick them up, wrapping each one around the needle..
4: ...and bringing it through. (Leave a long tail so you can weave that end in later.)
5: Now you have picked up your stitches. Follow your pattern's directions.
6: for this demonstration I just knit a few rows of stockinette and cast off.
7: Remember how I mentioned in Step 2 that you should make a little knot so you will know from which end to unzip your cast on?
8:Take the end with the knot in it and bring it back out through the loop you drew it through to close your chain, this will re-opening your chain. Now give that end a tug (a gentle tug, just in case there was some snaggage when you picked up your stitches.)
9: Now your stitches are free, place them on a needle, ready to work.
I hope you find this useful!
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