How To: Crocheted Provisional Cast On

A crocheted provisional cast on can be daunting to ponder or learn - what with the knitting needle and the crochet hook both sitting in your hands like porcupine quills. However, once you get the knack of it, it's a wonderful way to provisionally cast on - easy to do and equally easy to remove.

It's also a fantastic way to cast on non-provisionally! Just use working yarn instead of waste yarn for a cast on that is nearly identical to your bind off. This makes it excellent for symmetrical items like cowls.

You’ll use one knitting needle, a crochet hook, and waste yarn.

Begin by making a slip-knot on the crochet hook. You will now use the crochet hook to make loops over the tip of the knitting needle as follows. Assuming you knit right-handed, hold the knitting needle in your left hand and the crochet hook in your right hand. (If you knit left-handed you may wish to reverse that.)

  1. Put the knitting needle (in your left hand) behind the crochet hook (in your right hand). Put the working yarn (attached to the slip knot on the crochet hook) under and behind the needle.
  2. Bring the working yarn up and around to the front of the needle so you can grab it with the hook.
  3. With hook, draw a loop of yarn through the stitch already on the crochet hook. One stitch will have been formed on the knitting needle and you'll still have one on the hook.
  4. Put the working yarn straight back down below and behind the needle.

Repeat until you have cast on to the knitting needle the desired number of stitches.

For a provisional cast on using waste yarn only: work a few extra crochet chains not onto the knitting needle. Carefully pull on this chain to unravel the provisional cast on and pick up live stitches when the time comes. From their work as directed in your pattern.


Here's a link to a fantastic Lucy Neatby video about Crocheted Provisional Cast On. It's worth it for her voice alone. This clip is an excerpt from her awesome DVD series, Knitting Essentials.

Here's another video by Lucy Neatby about removing your provisional cast on.