How to do the provisional cast on with two needles

When we begin a new project we usually start by casting stitches onto one of our needles, that’s fine, but sometimes it doesn’t work for all projects. When we cast on in the traditional way a type of seam is formed at the beginning that sometimes makes it difficult to join to another piece of our pattern, or doesn’t form the look we want. That’s why the provisional cast on was invented! It’s nothing more and nothing less than knitting onto a base that later gets pulled out, and leaves the first row of stitches live, with no seam that don’t come undone.

The provisional cast on is really handy when we want to join one piece to another, since we only have live stitches we can sew the pieces together and get a more professional finish. A while back we showed you how to do a provisional cast on using a crochet chain as the base to cast on your stitches, but if you don’t have a crochet hook on hand, don’t worry, today you can see how to do a provisional cast on using your knitting needles and a strand of scrap yarn of a different color than your project. Watch our video and learn how to do it:

For this cast on we used US size 8 (5mm) beechwood needles and our Pima Cotton in blue and natural, abut you can use this technique with any of our yarns.

1. Tie both yarn tails together with a simple overhand knot.
2. Separate the yarns by placing the provisional yarn, which will later be removed, over your thumb and the working yarn, or the yarn you are using for your project, over your index finger. Watch the video to see how to hold the yarn.

3. Now, using one of your needles, place it between both strands of yarn, then go under the provisional yarn, then over both strands of yarn, and under both strands of yarn.


4. Finally, cross the two strands and there you have your first stitch cast on.


Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have cast on the number of stitches required for your project.


5. Turn you work and start knitting as usual using the working yarn. You can twist the two strands once before knitting the first stitch to stabilize it, or you can just hold the yarn with your left hand.

6. Knit your project according to the pattern instructions.

7. When you finish you just have to go back to the cast on edge and cut the knot that holds the two strands together. Then, using one of your needles, pick up the stitches from the cast on, as shown in the video.

Last, but not least, carefully pull out the provisional yarn. Now you can continue knitting your project or join it to another knitted piece (to join to another piece just sew the stitches directly off the needle wit the provisional cast on stitches).
The movement used to cast on provisional stitches can be hard to figure out at first, but once you get the hang of it it’s automatic, even relaxing, try it!

And remember, we love to see all of your WAK projects, so make sure to show us what’s on your needles and if you’ve tried this technique using the hashtag #weareknitters on social networks.