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the simplest-ever provisional cast on

You need: 2 circular needles & yarn

Needle 1 = needle you will knit with

Needle 2 = holder for the live sts (use a smaller needle size for this — you want snug loops)


1.Tie a slip-knot and place on Needle 2. Hold both needles together, Needle 1 on top

wind first

2. Wind yarn around both needles (from below, up and over, around back)

wind third

3. Continue to wind

final CO stitch

4. When you have the desired number of stitches, pinch the yarn against the needles and turn them around to knit


4.1 ...like this


5. Holding yarn in place, pull Needle 2 through to dangle freely

Needle 2 pulled free

5.1 (Needle 2 pulled through)

getting ready to knit

6. Getting ready to knit

lay yarn over index finger

7. Place yarn over index finger (around/catching cable for Needle 2)

knit first stitch

8. Knit

continue to knit

9. Continue to knit

knit final stitch

10. Knit final stitch and leave slip-knot in place on Needle 2 (remove this knot before knitting the live stitches on this cable)

completed first row

completed first row

first row WS

first row WS (wrong side)

three rows

three rows completed

22 Responses to “winding (provisional) cast on”

  1. Croline Says:

    This is just perfect, so much easier than the methods I knew! Thanks!!!

  2. […] provisorischen Maschenanschlags mittels einer Luftmaschenkette, verwendete ich hier erneut den “Winding (Provisional) Cast-On” mittels eines Knit-Pro Seils, welchen ich bereits bei anderen Cowls verwendet habe. Mag ich […]

  3. Rosey Says:

    Well well well, I think I have just found my first step in learning new techniques, with a hope of becoming a Fair Isle knitter… eventually!
    Many thanks indeed. Rosey.

    • sa Tricosa Says:

      Fabulous! Can’t wait to see your fair isle project(s). (On Ravelry?)

      on Ravelry: ravelry.com/designers/asa-tricosa

  4. Joy Tucker Says:

    That’s one of the first one I ever learned.

    • sa Tricosa Says:

      Lucky you! I don’t really see the need for any other (not entirely true, but I now often use this for all sorts of things where I’d normally use the long-tail cast-on it allows for flexibility about deciding on type of hem or border or length until the very end )

      p.s. I take it then, that you have never had to swear over not having cast on the correct loop of the crocheted provisional, then, eh? And not painstakingly having to unthread each and every loop of the waste yarn either.

      on Ravelry: ravelry.com/designers/asa-tricosa

  5. CinLin Says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!! this is pure genius!!!!

    • sa Tricosa Says:

      You’re welcome! It is indeed pure genius, but not mine! I had seen it somewhere but couldn’t find it again when I went looking for it. Hence my photo tutorial it’s too good a method to be kept a (sort-of) secret. It’s apparently also called a Turkish Cast-On that’s what other commentators have told me and I believe them and not only because they’re fellow knitters.

      on Ravelry: ravelry.com/designers/asa-tricosa

  6. Patt Says:

    Great timing, starting a project using provisional cast on this weekend. I will certainly try this.

    • sa Tricosa Says:

      Oh, good! What are you casting on for, then? Links, photos? 😉

      on Ravelry: ravelry.com/designers/asa-tricosa

  7. Auntie Says:

    What an AWESOME and simple idea – I too have never been able to unzip the provisional cast on stitches!! Bless you!!

    • sa Tricosa Says:

      Glad it helped! And it truly is so simple. I can hardly believe just how simple. (I didn’t invent this cast-on it also goes under the name Turkish Cast-On.) sa

      on Ravelry: ravelry.com/designers/asa-tricosa

  8. Barbara Says:

    Perfect! Thank you for sharing.

  9. Julie Says:

    This rocks my world. Thank you so much!!!

  10. […] starts with a very simple winding provisional cast-on. You toe-up sock people will probably recognize it as a Turkish cast-on, but used for flat knitting […]

  11. Cheryl Says:

    Truly amazing! What a wonderful tip. Thank you!

    • sa Tricosa Says:

      You are most welcome! Glad it may be useful to you — I use it ALL the time. All the time — also for quick swatching as the provisional CO unravels quite efforthlessly when it’s time to frog the swatch (to swatch again and again) .

  12. wynne Says:

    brilliant! thank you so much!

  13. […] the edges to match, and everytime I do one I’m so grateful for the tutorial I discovered on Tricosa’s blog. Come the end there’s no crochet chain to try and unpick, I’ll just put the needle ends […]

  14. laliloo Says:

    Genius! 🙂 Thank you.

  15. SussesYorkie Says:

    Just what I need, thank you.

  16. jenny Says:

    I thought it was only me that couldn’t unzip a provisional cast on – this is now bookmarked-thank you

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