By kirstinknits on March 07, 2013
I'm working on a new project in some really beautiful madelinetosh tosh vintage in Cove.
I don't want to say what it's going to be yet (it's a present!), but I wanted to share a great new technique that I learned. I wanted to use a provisional cast-on so that the beginning stitches could be grafted to the end, but I really don't like the only provisional cast-ons I know (I don't think there's really such a thing as "waste yarn"). Luckily, my awesome brother and sister-in-law got me a copy of the revised edition of The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt. I've barely put a dent in the book and I've already learned a ton. Including the perfect provisional cast on: the alternating provisional cast-on. Instead of using waste yarn, the live stitches can be held on a stitch holder!
Hold your needles together. Tie a slipknot onto the front needle, leaving a tail of about 1" for each stitch hanging in front.
Hold working yarn with your thumb, crossing the tail over the working yarn to hold with your finger. Bring working yarn from back to front over tips of both needles. Then bring tail from front to back over the tip of only the back needle. Next, bring the working yarn back over the tail to return to the starting position. There should be one stitch on the back needle. Hold it with your finger so it doesn't slip off. Finally, bring the working yarn over the front needle from front to back (like for a yarnover). There should be two stitches on the front needle (including your slipknot). You may want to hold the new stitch with your finger so it doesn't slip off. Repeat these steps until you have as many stitches as you need to cast on on each needle. Transfer the stitches from the back needle to a holder and start working!
(Sorry for the grainy photo -- I was too excited to wait for daytime to take pictures!)
I hope this technique is as helpful to you as it was to me. And please ask me if I made a mess of the directions (or check out the book!).
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