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Knit Basics: How to Knit a Provisional Cast-On

11th April 2022 Techniques 5 min read
How to Knit | Provisional Cast-On tutorial

How to Knit - Provisional Cast-On

Normally when you work a cast-on it is complete and you won't return to it. A provisional cast-on is a little different, you are able to undo it and knit from the cast-on after you are finished.

There are several different situations where this is useful:

  • When you want to join the start and end of your work seamlessly.
  • When you are unsure of your yarn amount and want to be able to return to add length.
  • When you have not decided on an edging and would like to return to complete the edging at the end.

The two types of Provisional Cast-On I use most often are the Crochet Method (plus how to undo) and the Invisible Method.

Provisional Cast On - Crochet Method 

Provisional Cast On - Invisible Method


When you work a provisional cast-on you will be working in the other direction. For this reason you will be 'between' the original stitches so you will need to pick up the edge loop to ensure you have the same number of stitches.

If you are working a stitch pattern ensure that it works from the other direction. It is best when you start work from a provisional cast-on to use a different stitch pattern.

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About the Author

Carol Feller

Carol trained as a structural engineer, and she brings that love of analysing structure into her knitting, creating complex patterns that are easy to understand, while her approach to process is all about testing and playing, and making mistakes along the way. That’s where the joy lies!

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