Crochet Provisional Cast-On 2 Ways

First, congratulations to caffeine72,  our winner for this month's blog giveaway. We will contact you to arrange for the delivery of your prize!

From time to time, you'll come across a knitting pattern requiring a provisional cast on. This is very common for infinity cowls which are worked flat and then seamed together, for example. By grafting the live stitches from both ends together, the knitter is able to create a nearly invisible join rather than seaming the cast-on and bound-off edges, which often produces a bulky or visible seam. This technique can also be used in other projects, such as sideways-knit hats, toe-up socks, or unique sweater constructions. Today, we'll show you two ways to create an easy-to-remove provisional cast on using the crochet cast-on method.

You'll need your working yarn and knitting needles, some scrap yarn (enough for your provisional cast-on), and a crochet hook that is similar in size or slightly larger than the knitting needles you'll be using.

Method #1: Picking Up Stitches from a Chain

Step 1: With waste yarn, make a slip knot and slide onto your crochet hook.

Step 2: Wrap the working end of your yarn around the hook from front to back (as shown below) and pull this loop through the slip knot to create your first chain stitch.

Step 3: Continue wrapping the yarn around the hook from front to back and pulling the loop through the stitch on the hook to create chain stitches. You will need to chain the number of stitches needed for your cast on PLUS a few extras (about 5-10 additional chain stitches will work). Cut yarn and pull through the final loop to secure.

Step 4: You will now be using your working yarn to pick up stitches from the chain you've created. The top of your chain will look similar to a bound off edge; you will need to flip the chain over - the bumps on the bottom of the chain (where the yellow arrows are pointing in the image below) are where you will inserting your needle to pick up each stitch.

With your working yarn and needle and beginning at the slip knot that started the chain, insert needle from front to back, wrap the yarn around the needle as you would do when picking up stitches from a knit fabric, and pull the loop through the chain stitch bump to create a stitch on your knitting needle. Leave this stitch on the needle and repeat the process until you have picked up the required number of stitches.

Step 5: You can now begin knitting with your working yarn (either in the round or flat) to follow your pattern instructions. When it is time to unzip the provisional cast-on, you will begin at the extra stitches at the end of the chain (if you were wondering, the extra stitches make it easier for you to find later on!). Simply take the yarn end and pull it the opposite way through the final loop - you should now be able to quickly and easily "unzip" the provisional yarn, allowing you to move these live stitches onto a knitting needle to be worked according the pattern instructions.

Method #2: On-Needle Method

Step 1: With waste yarn, make a slip knot and slide onto your crochet hook (see image for Step 1 above).

Step 2: Arrange your knitting needle and crochet hook in your left hand as pictured below (they should be parallel).

Step 3: Secure the stitch on the crochet hook while you wrap the working yarn around the back of the knitting needle, bringing it over the needle and to the front of the crochet hook.

Step 4: Pull the working yarn through the stitch on the crochet hook.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 3 & 4 until you have 1 stitch less than the total number of desired stitches on your needle.

Step 6: Transfer the stitch that is on your crochet hook to the knitting needle.

Step 7: You can now begin knitting with your working yarn (either in the round or flat) to follow your pattern instructions. When it is time to unzip the provisional cast-on, you will need to begin at the end with the slip knot to begin unraveling your provisional cast-on. This is sometimes a little tricky to get started, but if you think of it as though you were trying to untangle a knot, that can be helpful!

Bonus: This method can also be used as a regular cast-on method, using only your working yarn. Although it is not as stretchy as some cast-on methods, it requires less yarn than some methods, and it also more closely resembles the bound-off edge.

We hope you found this tutorial helpful for your next project - and if you like this post, be sure to share it on Pinterest!

Free Holiday Planning Printables from Knitter's Pride

The holidays will be here before you know it, and now is the perfect time to get all of your plans in place, allowing you to celebrate the season stress-free! We've created two free printables to help you keep track of your handmade gifts and other essential holiday tasks, from wrapping gifts to making cookies (and there's plenty of space to add in your own to-do's, too).

Make your list and check it twice, then relax and enjoy the season knowing that everything is taken care of!

Click here to sign up for our newsletter and you'll receive both of these PDF's as our free gift to you! If you already subscribe, we've already sent them your way - simply check your inbox for a download link.

Giveaway Time!

If you're knitting or crocheting holiday gifts this year (or even if you aren't!), what's keeping you entertained as you work? Do you listen to podcasts, "Netflix and knit," or keep up with your favorite YouTube channels? Let us know in the comments for your chance to win a set of Knitter's Pride Knit Blockers. One lucky person will be randomly selected as our winner to announce here on our blog on Friday, November 24.

If you haven't yet watched The Knit Show with Vickie Howell, we highly recommend checking it out! Knitter's Pride is proud to sponsor 9 of the 10 episodes, each of which has an interesting theme (such as big knits, color, or amigurumi), lots of fun guests, and free patterns, too! Click here to check it out.

Last but not least, congratulations to Valerie A, who won last month's giveaway - we will contact you to arrange for the delivery of your prize!

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Better Buttonholes for Knitted Garments

Do you avoid making worked-in buttonholes by knitting only pullovers or zip-up cardigans? Buttonholes give many knitters pause, as they are a feature usually located on the front a garment: you want them to look their best and be done well. In this post, we aim to provide you with the information you need to build a better buttonhole!

Small Eyelet Buttonholes

Knitted buttonholes are best kept as small as possible as a knitted fabric will stretch to allow the button to pass through. There is no one formula to follow, so you can be flexible in your choice, keeping in mind the garment style, yarn used, and the size of the button.

Traditionally used on baby garments, the small eyelet buttonhole is appropriate anytime a small button is used. The eyelet makes a round opening so a button somewhat larger than the opening is required to stay in place. The technique involves a combination of a paired yarnover and decrease (for example, yo, ssk), similar to what you use in lace and mesh patterns.

If you need a slightly bigger buttonhole, try working a double yarnover by wrapping the yarn around the needle twice, and working an additional decrease to compensate (for example, k2tog, double yo, ssk). When you come to this double yarnover on the next working row, you will work k1, p1 (or p1, k1) into those stitches.

If you still need a much larger buttonhole, Ysolda Teague has an interesting technique she calls the One Row Buttonhole, which is an excellent choice to use when an eyelet buttonhole is not appropriate.

Reinforcing a Buttonhole

If a buttonhole is going to be subjected to hard wear, the yarn used for the garment is softly spun, or if the fabric is worked at a loose tension, the smart choice is the reinforce the buttonhole. Reinforcing the buttonhole will also stabilize the opening to avoid stretching out with wear. On occasion, a sewn finish can be used to camouflage an imperfect buttonhole, to correct one that is too large or stretched, or to add a decorative touch. Using the same yarn used for the garment will help the edge blend in.

The choice of stitch to reinforce a buttonhole is up to the knitter or crocheter. Shown above left is the buttonhole swatch before any reinforcement was completed. The buttonholes in the center are reinforced with (from top to bottom) an overcast stitch in a contrasting yarn, overcast stitch in with a ply of the yarn used,  buttonhole stitch with a ply of the yarn used to knit the swatch, and the buttonhole stitch worked with a contrasting color. The top right photo shows a close up on the first two methods, the bottom right photo shows the second two methods.

Purchasing your buttons at the start of the project will help guide your choice of buttonhole to make! Before you cast on your project, take your swatch (you did make that swatch, right?) to the shop so you can see how the buttons look with your fabric.


One lucky blog reader will win a large Joy Hand Block Printed Fabric Bag. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us what you’re knitting or crocheting this fall. Be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win. We’ll randomly select one lucky winner to announce on our next blog post on Friday, November 10. Good luck!

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2017 Holiday Gift Set Reveal: The Golden Light

We're pleased to introduce this year's limited edition gift set, which is arriving at a Knitter's Pride retailer near you this month! The Golden Light captures the warmth of the holiday season with this elegant set designed for merry making.

The Golden Light is a masterpiece in its own, pairing warm colors with matte gold connectors.  Each set contains 9 pairs of interchangeable needle tips in US sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5 & 11; 4 color-coded cords in lengths of 24” (1 - green), 32” (2 - orange), & 40” (1 - red); and a set of cord connectors. Accessories are packed in a coordinated fabric pouch, and we have also included a color coordinated shawl pin adorned with a fine crystal as a free gift!
Make sure to add it to your wish list this holiday season!

Congratulations to lostinayarn, the winner of our giveaway for an Aspire Pattern Keeper! We will contact you shortly to arrange the delivery of your prize.

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Coming this Fall: The Knit Show with Vickie Howell & the Knitter's Pride 2017-18 Collection

We couldn't be more excited for The Knit Show with Vickie Howell to premier this October! Knitter's Pride is a proud sponsor of this unique crowd-funded series which is unlike any other, covering topics ranging from yarn, knitting and crochet (of course!!) to personal training sessions for body health, a field trip to visit shepherds in Central Asia, and more! Here is a video preview:

Be sure to keep your eye on Youtube, because on October 5, all of the episodes will be uploaded for knitters and crocheters throughout the globe to enjoy!

That's not all you have to look forward to this fall, however - the Knitter's Pride 2017-18 Collection will be arriving at your LYS soon, and we have some pretty exciting new additions to our product lines!

By popular demand, the colorful Zing needles will now be available throughout North America. These color-coded aluminum needles were featured in our Melodies of Life gift set last year, and we have received numerous requests to add them to our product line ever since. Choose from single point, double point, fixed circular, and interchangeable styles - click here to learn more!

There are also many new accessories to make crafting more enjoyable: choose from two new handcrafted wooden swift and ball winder styles, perfect for winding yarns (including jumbo 450g skeins of fingering weight yarn!). Then, keep your yarn cake secure with one of our new wooden Yarn Dispensers - or you may prefer one of these decorative yarn bowls or boxes. We've also added a new multipurpose Needle & Crochet Gauge with Yarncutter in a fun elephant shape!

Keep everything organized with our new hand-printed fabric zipper bags, needle cases, storage bags and pattern holders. There are many sizes, shapes and color options available, so you're sure to find something that's just right for you. Click here to see more styles!

One lucky reader will win a large Pattern Holder in the Aspire print, shown below. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us which product(s) from our new collection that you are most excited about! Be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win.

We'll randomly select a winner to announce on our next blog post on Friday, October 13. Good luck!

Winner + Lots of LYS Love!

Last month, we asked you to share why you love your LYS, and we received some fabulous entries for our contest!  Below are a few of our favorite posts from the Ravelry contest thread. Be sure to keep reading until end to find out who won our grand prize!

Puffygriffinclaw has this to say about her LYS:
My favorite LYS is The Village Yarn & Fiber Shop in East Rochester, NY. They have a remarkable array of yarns, from work horse yarns to those very special yarns. The staff is always helpful, and they offer many types of programs and classes as well as knit nights. They also sponsor special events for charity as well as trunk shows. They are active supporters of the local fiber community, so hats off to them!

They stock Knitters Pride needles, and I hope they will soon stock the Zings that have stolen my knitting heart!

LunariaLovesTea has two shops she frequents in two different states:
"I’m really lucky to have my LYS be WEBS in Northampton, MA. I’ve spent many hours wandering through the vast store and taking classes. My LYS away from home , when I visit my son in Denver, is Fancy Tiger Crafts. They carry wonderful yarns that I can’t get at home, so I always participate in yarn tourism!"

spundreams appreciates the community at her LYS:
"My LYS is The Yarn Store at Nob Hill in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I love them not only for their excellent selection of just about every aspect of fiber craft, but also because the owner has done her best to make it a community center. Aside from the coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator, there are often munchies available, supplied by the store as well as brought in by customers. There are some excellent classes as well as various crochet-, knit- and spin-alongs, plus open knitting (Or crocheting or spinning, etc) any time the store is open. There is a computer available to look up things on Ravelry or to find patterns or yarns. There are also experts on hand who can help with simple problems or questions for free, and help with more complex problems at a reasonable price. There are arranged trips to various fiber shows; and in-store there are guest lectures and trunk shows. As part of the community outreach the owner recently invited the candidates for the local mayoral race to come after hours for a meet-and-greet and to explain their positions and answer questions. Any one of these things would be enough to make it an excellent yarn store, but everything put together truly makes it a treasure for the fiber arts as well as the larger community."

Though we couldn't pick all of the lovely messages, you can read them all in our Ravelry thread.

Last but not least, our randomly-drawn grand prize winner is post #18, crazy8mom with this entry:
"My LYS is the Tangled Skein in Eagle River, Alaska. It is a beautiful, well stocked shop that has a wonderful selection of yarns of all types. They have the largest selection of needles available in our state. So many cute accessories are available to tempt! And they are always free to help with knitting problems."

We will contact our winner on Ravelry to arrange for the delivery of your prize. Thanks to everyone who entered our contest, we hope you'll continue to show your LYS some love this fall!

ETA: Oops, we forgot to announce the winner for our August giveaway! We apologize for the delayed announcement, our randomly-selected winner is Cazzie53. We will contact you on Ravelry to arranger the delivery of your prize, a deluxe Royale interchangeable set! 

Contest: Show Your LYS Some Love!

Is your local yarn shop (LYS) the first place you go to find out about what's new and exciting in the world of yarn? Did you learn to knit or crochet there? Do they host fun events like Knitter's Pride needle tastings and knit nights?

We want to hear about what makes your LYS so special! Tell us about your favorite yarn shop for your chance to win your choice of prizes: a Deluxe Royale Interchangeable set or a Waves Crochet set.

Here's how to enter: 

1. Make sure you are a member of the Knitter's Pride Ravelry group!
2. Post a comment in this thread telling us the name of your LYS, where it's located, and what you love about it. Feel free to include photos in your post and earburn the shop if they have a Ravelry account!
3. For a special bonus entry, post a photo of your LYS on social media using #kpLYSlove - and be sure to tag your LYS, too!

We'll randomly select our grand prize winner to announce on Friday, September 15. Good luck!