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The trick to knitting a waste yarn provisional cast on

by Cynthia MacDougall

We all get into our own groove when it comes to knitting habits. I learned the knitted cast on, then learned the cable cast on one day when watching my mother begin a project. I used that cast on for years, and when I learned the long tail cast on, it became my habit for years.

Today’s cast on, the waste yarn provisional cast on, however, changed my knitting life. I no longer shy away from casting on hundreds of stitches for a full-width afghan. It’s also useful for casting on any project where you’re going to knit in the opposite direction such as a hat with a lining or a stole worked in two panels from the center to the ends.

I recently showed the ladies at my local knitting guild this technique, and I expect that some of them will use it.

With 40 years of knitting behind me, I tend to choose a cast on for a project that’s going to complement it in some way. I still use long tail and other cast ons, but when I have a project that needs a lot of stitches, I use the waste yarn provisional cast on.

To best convey this information to you, I prepared a video. It’s my first attempt at video making; I hope you enjoy it.

Waste yarn provisional cast on Vimeo

An 8 minute video showing the steps to make a provisional cast on for knitting using waste yarn

This is part 5 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 4: Knit a stronger splice join when starting a new ball of yarn

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Barbara Banks December 28, 2018 - 11:50 am

Cynthia, I think I love you. I’ve spent several days fumbling around with dozens of videos and yards of yarn, and at age 58 I think your video is the first one that makes sense to me! And I haven’t even watched it with the sound on yet!

Cynthia MacDougall December 30, 2018 - 3:01 pm

Thank you, Barbara! It’s really gratifying to hear that my video helped you with your knitting dilemma!


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