So I finally decided my fingerless lacy mitt needed it’s twin. What had delayed me in starting this second mitt?  The dreaded provisional cast-on.  For the uninitiated a provisional cast on is done in a contrast yarn, then once the main body of the knitting is done this contrast yarn is removed, one stitch at at time and the freed stitches are picked up and knitted in the opposite direction from main body of work.  It’s lovely for adding delicate edgings etc as there is no seam where stitches have been picked up   The method I was first shown is the one that sticks in my mind but is a faff to say the least, two yarns being wound round two needles like mad attempt to bind them together forever.  Whilst I can do it, I find it fiddly, awkward and a pain.  Then I was reminded of a crocheted cast on for knitting which I understood in principle but admit to never having tried so I rummaged for a crotchet hook off I went.

Firstly you need a crotchet hook roughly the same size as the needles you are going to use to knit with and yarn of a contrast colour but similar weight to that used in the piece you are knitting.  Next crotchet a length of single crotchet stitches with more chains than the number of stitches you are going to pick up.  If you can’t crotchet there are some very good online tutors and single crotchet is the very beginning stitch and easy to do.  Tension isn’t important as long as it’s reasonably even.  There are those that will make a chain as with the same number of stitches as will be cast on but since this is waste yarn that will be cut out in the end and I’m not the best at crotchet I always add a few more stitches as I find it easier to pick up in the middle of the chain rather than right into the first and last  chains.  Now the fun part, well for me as I put down the crotchet hook and grab my trusty knitting needles.

First identify the right side of the crocheted chain, it has two.  One side looks like nice repeating pattern of chain loops

IMGP1263

Sorry for the rubbish photo, awful lighting and huge shadow but I think you can still see the “chain” links.

Turn the “chain” over and you should see a central line of bars like this,

IMGP1265

Sorry it wouldn’t lay flat and I was having to take photo’s with one hand whilst trying to hold it flat.  If you look to the left of the picture you can hopefully see the central bars I mean.  These are what you are going to use to pick stitches up from, like this

IMGP1268

The needle is poked through the bar and then knit as if it where a stitch.  I found it easier to work with one needle and use my left hand to move the crotchet chain around.  Once you have the correct number of  stitches picked up turn the work around and off you go knitting as if you had just cast those stitches on in what ever style is usual for you.

So mitt two is conceived.  The pregnancy is hoped to be a short one and there should be pictures along the way, you can be sure this baby will be photographed and I will show all once the happy mitt arrives 🙂

Have a wonderful creative week, however you express that.