Two weeks ago we demonstrated our own way to Provisionally Cast On. As we explained at the time, the purpose of a Provisional Cast On is to create a working edge at the bottom of the piece that will be picked up and knit later. Generally this technique is used for custom edgings or patterns that are symmetrical from the center (i.e. the Ruffled & Ruched Scarf).
This week, we’re going to show you how to pick up those “live” stitches and get started knitting again.
Knitters may want to practice this technique first, before trying it on an actual project. Provisionally Cast On a swatch and knit a few rows before binding off. In addition to the working needle, you will need a smaller (and very pointy) knitting needle to unravel the waste yarn.
In this demonstration we are using Shibui Baby Alpaca DK as the working yarn (teal) and Cascade 220 Superwash as the waste yarn (lilac). To see any of these images up close, please visit our Picking Up A Provisional Cast On tutorial on flickr. Note: we did not bother to bind off the swatch, hence there is an extra working needle shown.
Text Instructions (each step has a corresponding photo):
- Holding the project in your left hand, turn the work so that the Cast On edge is on top. You will start with the last stitch that was Cast On – i.e. the side of the swatch with only the waste yarn “tail”.
- Holding the working needle in your right hand, point the tip towards the first stitch you need to pick up.
- Carefully push the needle tip through the stitch, from right to left.
- Scoot the stitch up onto the needle, away from the tip.
- Holding the smaller needle with your left hand, place the needle tip under the waste yarn “tail”. Note: the waste yarn will look like it has been wrapped around the working stitch.
- Using a scooping motion, work the tip of the smaller needle up and through the waste yarn “tail”. Be sure not to catch the working yarn in this motion.
- Start tugging gently with the smaller needle to loosen the wrapped waste yarn.
- Once the waste yarn has been loosened, you can use your fingers to tug the waste yarn out of the stitch.
- Repeat Steps 2 – 8 until all the stitches have been picked up with the working needle. The waste yarn should no longer be attached to the project.
- The stitches will be twisted from picking up the stitches from right to left. Either knit the first round through the backs of the loops or take another needle and twist them so they face the correct way. Now you’re ready to rejoin the working yarn! See our Joining A New Yarn (Painlessly!) Tutorial for a neat trick.