When knitting, a provisional cast on is a useful skill to be able to work your fabric in opposite directions. There are several variations of the provisional cast on, and which one you choose depends on personal preference and what’s right for your knitting project. In this video, knitting expert Mary Beth Temple demonstrates how to work a two-needle provisional cast on. This particular provisional cast on is interesting due to the use of a spare circular needle.
To begin, Mary Beth starts with two knitting needles, one for her swatch (or project) and then a spare circular needle. The spare circular needle should be of similar size or slightly smaller than the project needle for ease. Leaving a few inches of a yarn tail to weave in later, Mary Beth places a slip knot onto the spare needle, sliding the slip knot onto the cable of the needle. She notes that the slip knot does not count as a stitch and will be removed later. She then works the two-needle provisional cast on as follows:
1. Yarn over the project needle from front to back
2. Bring project needle under the cable of the spare needle and yarn
3. Bring project needle up in between and spare needle and yarn
4. Yarn over from front to back and bring the project needle under the cable of the spare needle
She repeats steps 1 – 4 until she has the desired number of stitches cast onto the needle. Once the stitches are cast on, she knits a few rows in Stockinette stitch (knit on Right Side/purl on Wrong Side)
When Mary Beth is ready to work on the stitch that were cast on provisionally, she does so in a second color of yarn, so that it is easier to see. She notes that it appears that there is one more stitch on this edge; however, the extra stitch is the starting slip knot and can be removed from the needle.
To knit the stitch off the spare needle, Mary Beth uses the project needle and begins knitting each stitch on the Right Side of the fabric. She notices that every other stitch is oriented the opposite direction, so she knits a stitch and knits the next stitch through the back loop. She repeats this down the row so that none of the stitches are twisted.