I cast on for a new shawl yesterday, the pattern is Semele, by Åsa Tricosa.


It starts with a very simple winding provisional cast-on. You toe-up sock people will probably recognize it as a Turkish cast-on, but used for flat knitting instead of making a pocket. Never having done a Turkish cast-on, this was totally new to me.

It was amazingly simple! No waste yarn, no complicated manipulation of the yarn or needles. The biggest key was using a much smaller needle for the second needle. For the shawl, it didn’t really matter much because of the lace pattern. But I also did a swatch in stockinette. The first time I used a US8/5mm needle as the main needle, and a US6/4mm needle as the second needle. The loops of the provisional cast-on were still a little too big, so I tried a new swatch using US3/3.25mm for the second needle. Here’s the result – the pin marks the provisional cast-on row.

Provisional Cast-on Swatch

It looks great – and there’s no issue with being short one stitch as with other provisional cast-on methods. This probably explains why Cookie doesn’t have that problem. And I just thought she was magical.


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10 Responses to Brilliant!

  1. Rachel says:

    NO! don’t tell us this please – about Cookie I mean,,, 🙂

    I must learn this cast on too and the start of your shawl looks really promising, Will have to move this shawl up my to do knit.

  2. Chris says:

    I’m not sure the toe-up cast on I use is the Turkish one – I learned it as the backward loop toe-up cast on. 🙂

  3. margene says:

    When I start the shawl I want you to be there or, better yet, have you start it for me. 😉

  4. jill says:

    Clever! Is this a cast on you would recommend with any project that says “provisional cast-on of your choice.” ?

    • Cheryl says:

      It’s very easy, and I’ll probably use it a lot – but I think there’s more potential for the loop size to be an issue. If it’s really important that the provisional cast-on loops are the same size as the rest of the knitting (in stockinette, for example, especially in a noticeable area and/or with a lot of stitches), I would probably do a test swatch to make sure that the 2nd needle size works well, or do a different type of cast-on.

      For example, sometimes I cast on a sweater (or sleeves) with a provisional cast-on so that I can finish them the other direction later (usually because I want to knit them downward so I can adjust for length and/or remaining yarn). I probably wouldn’t use this cast-on for that kind of thing. But for smaller items, especially with lace or textured stitches, definitely.

  5. joan says:

    That shawl is on my list, but I think it just moved to next up. Love that yarn color!

  6. Heather says:

    That is a beautiful shawl!

  7. Heather says:

    OK I just looked at the link. What a cool technique!

  8. Susan says:

    Wow! This Shawl so beautiful! I can hardly wait to see the finished project. I recently watched a video on the provisional cast on technique but I could not figure out what they were doing. The link you posted and your additional instructions make it sound simple enough that I may just have to try it again. Thanks!

  9. Stacey says:

    Lovely FO’s in the past month. I’m so going to have to try that cast on. xoxo

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