Crochet Chain Provisional Cast On

A provisional cast on (PCO) is used when stitches are to be worked later. There are different methods to make PCO’s, but they all require using waste yarn to hold live stitches. In a previous post, I showed you how to work two common methods of PCO. In this post, I’m going to show you another PCO method, where stitches are crocheted over a knitting needle with the waste yarn. This method can also be used as a regular cast on without waste yarn; the edge resembles a cable cast on.

To work the crochet chain PCO, make a slip knot with waste yarn, and place the loop on the crochet hook. Hold the knitting needle and the yarn under the needle in your left hand. *Wrap the yarn around the hook with the knitting needle sandwiched between the hook and yarn, as in the photo. Pull the yarn through the slip knot on hook, catching the needle under the chain. Move the yarn to the back under the needle, ready to make the next chain. Repeat from * until the required number of stitches are cast on. Continuing with the waste yarn and hook only, chain 3, then place a locking marker into the last chain. Cut the yarn and tighten around the marker. Now you can begin knitting.

casting on first stitch in crochet chain provisional cast on
Casting on first stitch
Continue to cast on the required number of stitches
Desired number of stitches
placing locking marker for crochet chain provisional cast on
Chain 3 and place locking marker in last chain
Begin knitting

When your piece is finished, remove the marker and unzip the PCO, picking up live stitches onto knitting needle. Note: If you just want to use this as a cast on without the waste yarn, cast on the desired number of stitches minus one. Bring the yarn to the back and slip the loop from the hook to the needle. Begin knitting as you would for any cast on method.

I liked using this method, but it takes a little practice because you have to move the yarn under the needle before casting on each stitch. Using a locking marker makes removal of the waste yarn really easy, versus cutting out a chain of stitches. Give this provisional cast on a try, and add another cast on method to your list of options.