Left Handed Provisional Cast-On

My blanket made out of small test skeins is progressing nicely!

blanket

For each rectangle, I start with a provisional cast-on and knit in plain garter stitch until I have a rectangle that obeys the golden ratio – in my case, 32 stitches wide and 19 garter ridges tall. I used all my different test skeins for the centers. Then, I knit on white edges, and graft the whole thing together. More on this later.

Because my real errand here today is the cast-on itself. There are several different ways to make a provisional cast-on but most of them are a bit fiddly in my opinion (especially the one where you crochet a long chain and knit into it – not my cup of tea).

I use a crocheted provisional cast-on where you crochet around the knitting needle with your scrap yarn – in the long run, it’s the simplest method, but it took me a long time to get the hang of it, even though I watched videos like this one several times. The culprit – as usual – is that I am left handed and those videos are for right handed people.

So, without further ado, here is what I do:

Using scrap yarn (here, I’m using a smooth cotton yarn) and a crochet needle with a size that’s not too far off the size of your knitting needle, make an ordinary slip-knot

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Now bring in your knitting needle, and let the working yarn end hang down over it

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Loop the yarn back under the knitting needle and over the crochet hook

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Pull through the loop that was already on the crochet hook – you now have 1 stitch on the knitting needle

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Keep going – every time you bring the yarn over the knitting needle, back under it, over the crochet hook, and pull through

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When you have the desired number of stitches, cut the scrap yarn. The cut end is on the right in this picture

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Bring in your real yarn (here, a lovely purple skein dyed with logwood in rainwater). I just attach it with an ordinary knot at the end where the provisional yarn was cut. Then, just knit:

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Later, you will come back to get your live stitches. At that time, open the knot and unravel the white scrap yarn, putting the live stitches on the needle. The yarn tail I left here is just long enough to use for a Russian join, but you can also leave a longer tail and some other brilliant joining method of your choice!