Exclusive Video for KD Readers: Three Provisional Cast-ons

I have a serious case of startitis right now: I seem to want to cast on for every single pattern I see lately. (Well, perhaps not ALL of them. When I saw your Halloween photos of knitted and crocheted wigs and mohawks and smurfs, I admit that I didn't feel the need to make myself a nice pink mohawk. I do have SOME self-restraint.)

I want to make the aran slippers from Knits Gifts 2008 for my mom. I want to make socks for my husband. But mostly, I'm swooning over the scarves and stoles and shawls in Nancy Bush's new book, Knitted Lace of Estonia. Now, I don't want to say too much about the book right now, because next week we will have some special goodies for you related to the book's release. But I have to tell you: The laces in this book are exquisite; so if you are the type who needs to belong to Lace Knitters Anonymous, well….just give up and go buy the book and then go straight to your support meeting. It's that good. I spent two weeks solid just flipping back and forth amongst the photos to try to decide which one to make. The question very quickly became not "Should I make one?" but "Which one should I make first?"

Let me acknowledge that it is pure insanity to start an Estonian shawl during the holidays. I mean, I am traveling, and there are meetings, and I have shopping and baking and cleaning and more meetings and then there's this little gig I have called Knitting Daily that I have to look after now and then. Do you see time in there for knitting an intricate lace shawl? I don't.

So I tricked myself. I said, Sandi, let's just do the cast-on. I mean, today we have a great video from the editor of Interweave Knits, Eunny Jang, on provisional cast-ons (below), which is the exact cast-on I need for the Leaf and Nubb Shawl. (I have tormented you with a photo of the shawl here. I know. Take a deep breath and call your support group RIGHT NOW.) It won't hurt to practice the cast-on, even though I already know it really well. I might learn something new. Plus, I would then have a cool photo for the blog today. So, a little blue waste yarn and a few dozen stitches later, and there were all my stitches neatly on the needle.

Pretty soon, I had myself talked into just a few more rows of the shawl. They are only garter stitch, those first few. Not so hard. And after all, it's my duty to try out techniques and patterns for you, my faithful Knitting Daily readers. Right? I mean, How will I know what to say about the glory of the stitch pattern, the brillance of the instructions, if I have not personally tested them my very own self?

Such is the way we knitters find justification for casting on a new project even in the face of Reason and Holiday Madness.

Above, you can see the photo of my fledgling shawl. The blue yarn is the waste yarn of the provisional crochet cast-on, which is the first technique Eunny shows you at the beginning of this video!

— Sandi

Three Ways to Do Provisional Cast-Ons

Today, Eunny shows us three different ways to do provisional cast-ons. Many knitters find these cast-ons to be challenging to learn from a book (especially since they involved extra bits like waste yarn and a crochet hook), but they are crystal clear once you have seen them done!



(problems viewing this youtube video? View it here)



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(NOTE: The provisional cast-on video shown above is a Knitting Daily exclusive and is not included on the KD TV Series 100 DVD.)

What's on Sandi's needles? No second sock syndrome here. I'm part-way through the second sock I am knitting for Nicholas, a Nancy Bush pattern from Knitting On The Road. (I'm knitting Denmark. No, not the entire country of Denmark, just the sock called Denmark.)

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Cast on, Knitting Daily Blog

68 thoughts on “Exclusive Video for KD Readers: Three Provisional Cast-ons

  1. Excellent video. Eunny’s instructions are very clear. I understand now why I was having trouble with the first provisional cast on that she demonstrated. Thanks KD and Eunny.

  2. Nice video, but you skipped the fourth technique, Judy’s Magic Cast-on. Although it’s been talked about mostly in the context of creating toe-up socks, it’s really just a provisional cast on and it can be used anywhere you would use any of the three methods described here. Give it a try. I think you might like the results.

    (Disclaimer: I know Judy, but otherwise, I’m NAYY.) 🙂

  3. I also can see only blank space where the video should be! Could it be from a firewall block of some kind? (But, of course, I would NEVER try to access this info from my computer at work!)

  4. Excellent video. I have done 2 of the 3 cast ons in the past, but it was nice to learn a 3rd. Thanks.
    I wish I could get Knitting Daily TV, but it’s not available in my area. 🙁

  5. It would be helpful to a beginner to see what these live loops look like in a finished piece. I am having trouble visualizing what they look like, and what they add. Needless to say, all of my knitting has been extremely simple.

  6. Sandi, you are a hoot! I appreciate all of the time you have taken to learn the provisional cast-on, and to do a few rows of the shawl. Your dedication to your readership is commendable.

  7. Aw, Gee

    I really wanted to view the video. This work tie-in with what I am trying to learn. I love lace knitting and I am also figuring out toe-up socks. The provisional cast-on method is a crucial element (so, I am told.)

  8. I logged in and still unable to view video. The video screen does not even appear when new brwser window opens. I tried to find video using a search, but no luck. Oh well.

  9. Sandi, I think… REALLY.. that you owe it to your faithful readers to truly experiment and learn from this shawl… to be able to share the joys and frustrations of creating it… and in the midst of all the madness, just remind anybody who complains… IT’S PART OF YOUR JOB!! And DAMN, I’d kill for a job like that! :>


  10. This isn’t the first time I was unable to access a video that was supposed to be on the page. There is only a big empty space and nothing showing to click on to start a video. I really wish the ‘powers that be’ can fix whatever problem causes this. I can see from the comments that others have the same problem. Usually someone will post a UTube website (if available) where we can see these videos/demonstrations – but nothing is listed for this provisional cast on video (at least not yet).

  11. This is an excellent video. I’ve used the circular needle cable for a provisional before—only I use my Knit Picks Options. When I’m done, I remove the needle tips and put on the cable caps. All my stitches are safe and there’s no confusion as to which needle has the live stitches.

    For the videographers: stay on the top view longer. A couple of times, Ms. Jang was still demonstrating and the view cut away from what she was showing!


  12. When I click to view the video, it opens a duplicate page but no link to click to start video, cursor does not change to hand.

    A Cure for Second Sock Syndrome……using 2 separate balls of yarn, cast on for both socks and knit simultaneously. This system guarantees perfectly matching socks. I also use this method when knitting sleeves.

  13. can’t see it either and it happens to me every time. Help!;I tried the link but I can’t hear what she is saying. I turned the volume up all the way and it’s barely a whisper. any ideas.

  14. Excellent video. I’ve always had a problem with the provisional cast-on. The crochet onto the knitting needle (last demonstration on the video) is the best method I’ve ever tried for provisional. It worked great for me the very first time. No twisted mess like with a waste yarn and no split or fuzzy stitches that were tough to unravel like the crochet chain. Thanks so very much.

  15. I have never understood how to do the provisional cast-on, but thanks to the video, it is much clearer and I will definitely try it now. Thanks for the great video. It was so easy to see the methods.

  16. I taught myself to knit in 1968, while is pergnant with my second child. I have always wanted to know how to cast on where I can pick up and go in the opposite direction. This would have come in handy for lengthening sweaters as my children grew. I have gran-babies now. Thank you for the info and the excelent video. I can do this!! I look forward to recieving the book and making the lace.

  17. I accessed the video by clicking on the underlined words in Sandi’s text: today we have a great videoand it took me straight to the video. I don’t know if that will help anyone, or if you did that, and still didn’t get the video to play. Hope you can access it, as the video is a great help. I’m a visual learner and can pick up just about anything if I see a streaming or live demonstration, rather than reading about how to do it. Thanks for the link.

  18. I could see the video, but I have to say that while the techniques are helpful, the camera really needs to be in closer focus on the needles and hands. You might want to look at the videos on KnittingHelp.com, which are excellent and are in much closer focus, which makes it easier to really tell what is going on. Also, Eunny needs to slow down, not just show the technique once and then quickly do it. While it’s always cool to see someone else knit, when you’re trying to learn a technique, slower is better.

  19. Excellent video! I was completely stumped at the beginning of the most recent pattern I was starting because I had never used a provisional cast on. Eunny’s instructions were SO helpful, I think I can tackle the project now.

    Thank you for your excellent videos!!

  20. “Where’s the video?”
    The video doesn’t load when I click the arrow button. I really would like to see these Provisional Cast-ons, the link takes me back to the typed pages. I’ll try later. Thanks for the great posts and pattern!

  21. Fabulous, clear instructions. But I’m not going to be making an Estonian lace shawl anytime soon! I’ve got too many projects going as it is. More power to you, Sandy! And of course, it’s PURPLE!

  22. youtube hates me. 🙁 Sadly, 99.7% of the videos I try to view on youtube come up “We’re sorry–this video is no longer available.” I don’t think they’re sorry at all. In fact, I think it’s a plot to drive me bonkers. In all seriousness, however, it is making me become somewhat irritated with youtube. Does anyone who is more computer savvy than I am (read your average parakeet!) have a solution?

    Sandi, I cannot tell you how much we appreciate your sacrifice in beginning that shawl. It’s obviously not something you would do were it not for the fact that you want to educate your loyal readers. Correct? The lengths to which you’ll go to help your readers is astounding, and appreciated more than you know. I’m waiting with baited (bated?) breath for more information on this book. I’ve been seriously lusting after it for a LONG time.
    Thank you so much,

  23. Someone wrote: To view the video (I found this in the source code for the page, because I, too, had the problem of not seeing a link):

    I also clicked on ‘source code’ and wound up with a very long and wide page of codes – how the heck did you pull out the url for the Youtube video from all that – LOL. But, thanks for doing it and givng the connection to Youtube. The bottom line is that whomever is setting up these pages, needs to make sure the video link(s) work for everyone who tries to access them. I always have to rely on someone sending in a separate (Youtube) link and can never access the video(s) from the Knitting Daily pages.

  24. Sandi, you are truly an evil (yes, I said EVIL) for tempting us with that shawl, how could you??? I’ve been working on a pattern from Folk Shawls, still have another 10 inches to go (why oh why doesn’t it grow faster?) I’ve ordered the Estonia Lace book a week ago and am on pins and needles waiting for it to arrive! I will vow to not even cast on until all other projects ( at least the Christmas gift ones) are done. Now, I’ve got to go and call my support group if you don’t mind! 🙂 Mary Rose Lynn, Montpelier, Va.

  25. I am going to try to use the youtube link but i wanted to comment that i have been trying to view videos that Sandi talks about in her postings from the tv show since it started and it will never let me view them. Am I doing something wrong? Once again when i clicked on the video on the e-mail page it brought me here to this page and i logged on but no video to watch!

  26. Just want to say that I received Nancy Bush’s “Knitted Lace of Estonia” yesterday and have the same dilemma – which one do I want to do first? They are all so gorgeous!

  27. Gotta love seasonal startitis. It happens to me every year around November, mostly because that’s when I start knitting holiday gifts. I love making gifts, but they have, you know, deadlines, which makes them seem slightly less shiny than all the new things I want to cast on for RIGHT NOW.

  28. I have startitis! I begin with fall startis when I sense the change in seasons. And then I go totally nuts with Christmas startitis when I see patterns for gifts for those I love. This year every project I’ve chosen requires different cast on techniques. I have been casting on since August and still chooseing more projects. Perhaps I’ll begin to knit in January (for next year). Thanks to all…

  29. I’d love to know where you folks get willing victims for your knits. I’ve been knitting for more years than I care to remember but nobody, Nobody ever has more than a grunt for the loving gifts I have made. Not even the charity shops seem to want knitted items nowadays… what’s a poor fiber-addict to do?

  30. Thanks to BillS for wading thru the source to find the youtube url. I also only have the blank space where the video should be.

    After reading through ALL of the comments and seeing HOW MANY of us don’t seem to be able to access the videos, why is there NO comment from the KD crew? Isn’t anyone reading our comments?

  31. My email takes me to this page where there is nothing for me to do but read everyone’s comments about how wonder the cast on video is…. How do I get to view the video? Thanks

  32. Hello All,
    This video, which is hosted at youtube.com has been tested on Windows and Macintoshes, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari. To help us to figure out why some users are having issues, please don’t just post here. Send a note to knittingdaily@interweave.com with the following information:
    System (mac osx, windows vista), Browser (IE or FF or Other), and time of day. Thanks!
    For those who would like the youtube link:


  33. Ah, Eunny, your deft demo lures me into UNCHARTED TERRITORIES: because I watched you with the provisional crocheted cast on methods, I am a better knitter and…less frustrated!!
    Thank you, Sandi, for all of your ideas (LOVE the showcase and attendant discussion) and honest blogging. Thank YOU, Eunny: you dazzle me.
    As for the difficulties folks have linking to the video, perhaps some folks need to indicate to their Browser program that items that come from IKnits/KDaily are to be accepted by their software protection setups?

  34. Still Learning in SoCA wrote
    on 11-06-2008 8:19 PM
    Ah, Eunny, your deft demo lures me into UNCHARTED TERRITORIES: because I watched you with the provisional crocheted cast on methods, I am a better knitter and…less frustrated!!

    Thank you, Sandi, for all of your ideas (LOVE the showcase and attendant discussion) and honest blogging. Thank YOU, Eunny: you dazzle me.

    As for the difficulties folks have linking to the video, perhaps some folks need to indicate to their Browser program that items that come from IKnits/KDaily are to be accepted by their software protection setups?

    Thank you so very much SLISC. I use my husband’s laptop and he has all these security on it. So, when I explained to him that I couldnt see the videos and your sugestion he went and fixed the problem. I am sooo glad I can watch the videos now.
    Eunny I am so inspired by you and your TV show. I just picked up a “Teach yourself Knitting” at a local crafts store last Nov 2009. I was having some Health issues and had to wait forever at Dr’s offices. I am a Quilter and have always been fascinated by Knitters. So at the age of 42 I decided to just try to teach myself. I watch your show religiously, I even record it in case I have to work that day and miss it. The first thing I learn was to do long tail cast on. I have taught my 10 yo grandaughter. I have finished the knitted knitting purse and learned how to make a flower showed by Shay and a guest. I love it sooo much. I had put my quilts aside for a while now. Maybe you can show how to incorporate knitting and textiles together. I will love to make a blouse I can wear this summer. (I live in Florida USA) . thank you thank you thank you. I wish the best to you and lots of success.

  35. I’m a new subscriber to Interweave and love the content and your videos. After many years away from my knitting I forgot how to do a proper cast on – thank you so much for your instructional videos. I’m learning new methods, easier to comprehend and only wish my fingers were as deft as those of Eunny. She is fabulous. Thanks!!