Provisional (Crochet) Cast-On

Occasionally, usually in circular knitting, you will need a cast-on that you can remove later for grafting. There are many options out there (Wendy Bernard has a good knit-only tutorial), but as a comfortably bistitchual crafter, my favorite is a knitting cast-on that requires you to crochet the provisional row directly onto the needle. It’s not as complicated as it sounds:

Start with your knitting needles, a crochet hook in a similar (but not necessarily identical) size, and a generous length of scrap yarn.


Tie a slip knot onto your crochet hook.

lined up

Hold your knitting needle to the left of your hook, and the yarn under the needle.


Reach over the needle to pull the working yarn through the stitch on the hook.


Then move the yarn back behind your needle.


Repeat the previous steps until you have the number of stitches your pattern requires.

pull through

Pull the yarn tail through the last loop as you would at the end of a project.


I like to tie a knot in the tail, so I remember which end to pull from.

Now that you have your cast-on row, pick up your project yarn and begin working with Row or Round One. When you get to grafting time, unpick the knot and last stitch, then simply pull (as if you were frogging, which you basically are) to reveal live stitches. I find this part way more fun than I probably should. 😀

Need a project to practice on? Try my Brambleton.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for the tutorial. Great pictures!


  2. Great hint re knot at the end!!


  3. […] and cast on the recommended number of stitches using any provisional cast on. I have a tutorial here if you need […]


  4. […] Previously I shared with you a provisional crochet cast-on, but today I’m going to share an easy everyday cast-on which also uses a crochet hook. I like this particular cast-on (there really isn’t a synonym for that word, is there?) because it looks identical to the knitted bind-off, and I can be a little obsessive about having matching ends sometimes. It also saves me from the pain of having to estimate how much yarn to use for a long-tail cast-on with sometime big like a sweater or rectangular shawl, only to be a half yard short at the end. […]


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