Knitting Blog

Learn the Provisional Cast-On for Lace Knitting

One of our most popular knitting instructors, Laura Nelkin, has returned to Craftsy to teach yet another fantastic online knitting class. In Lace from the Inside Out with Laura Nelkin, learn lace edging, shawl blocking, nupps, and so much more! In this free lace knitting video tip, Laura shares her favorite way of casting on: the provisional cast-on!

Hi, I'm Laura Nelkin, knitting instructor with I'd love to show you one of my favorite cast-on techniques: the provisional cast-on. You would use this technique if you need live stitches to pick up later after you've done your cast-on edge. This can come in really handy and I'm looking forward to teaching you how quick it is to do.

The first thing that you're going to do is start with some smooth scrap yarn that's the same weight as your working yarn but a contrasting color so that it's easy to see those provisionally cast-on stitches. The next thing that you're going to do is make a slip knot in the end of the yarn. Just wrap your yarn around, reach through the hole and grab the yarn to create that slip knot. And then put it onto a crochet hook and then begin to make a single crochet chain. This is quite easy to do. One trick is to make sure that you don't work this chain too tightly as it will be very hard to go in to pick up your stitches. You'll want to put on maybe 5 or 6 more chains than your cast on calls for for the pattern that you're making. This is so that you have some extra on each end.

Once you've done that pull the tail through that last stitch and finally, tie a little knot in the end right there. This is so that you know which end to unzip from when you go to rip out the scrap yarn and pick up those live stitches again. Now, take your chain and flip it over; you will see on the back side of the chain that there are bumps. You are going to take a needle and go into that bump from the front to the back, and then grab your working yarn, place it over your needle, and lift that bump up and over your yarn.

So magically, I have one provisional cast-on stitch on my knitting needle. Now I'll go into the next bump, right next door. It is important when you do this to not split your yarn when you're going in to get the next stitch. And you're just going to continue along, just like this, putting on the number of stitches that your pattern calls for.

For other tips and tricks check out my knitting classes on

Be sure to come back to the Craftsy blog on Thursday to learn how to fix lace knitting mistakes with Laura! Learn more about Laura's love for knitting here.



Wow! What’s next though?


I wish you had continued on for a few rows and then showed how to unzip and remove these temporary stitches.

Shaheena iqbal

Just new cast on for me , I like it . Thank u for giving me this opportunity .


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