Chain Cast On
Hi everyone! In today's tutorial I am going to show you how to do the chain cast on method. This method involves the use of a crochet hook to make a neat, chained cast on edge that resembles the standard bind off method (more on that in separate post, stayed tuned).
Note this is not the same as the crochet provisional cast on method. The resulting chain cast on shown here is permanent and cannot be undone later (at least, not neatly; you would probably destroy the first few rows by removing this cast on). A provisional crochet cast on is similar but with one major difference which distinguish it from the chain cast on method I am about to demonstrate. I plan to post a tutorial for the provisional crochet cast on at a later date.
For this tutorial you will also need a crochet hook. Although it is a fairly easy cast on technique, it does help to have some familiarity with a crochet hook. You may want to practice using a crochet hook and making basic chains beforehand if you are only familiar with knitting. I crochet and knit so I do not find the motion of this technique difficult.
With your project yarn, create a slip knot (I have a slip knot tutorial here). This is where the chain cast on differentiates from the provisional cast on: instead of using a piece of waste yarn as done with a provisional cast on, you are creating the chain cast on with your actual project yarn attached (what is attached to the yarn ball). With the cast on yarn being attached to the working ball, it becomes permanent in the same way as a long tail or knitted cast on does. So, with that said, you cannot cut or unravel a chain cast on like you would a provisional crochet cast on, because the chain cast on is part of the work as you would expect from other cast on methods, such as those I listed above, and not a piece of separate scrap yarn.
Place the slip knot onto the crochet hook, not the knitting needle.
Hold both the knitting needle and the crochet hook in one hand (I use my left hand, but do whatever is comfortable for you). Rest the crochet hook at a slight angle over the knitting needle.
Position the working yarn underneath the knitting needle, as shown below. Turn the crochet hook slightly to prepare for making the chain.
Keeping the working yarn underneath the knitting needle, wrap it up and over the crochet hook, going counterclockwise (right to left). You should have two loops on the crochet hook as show below. The loops should not be on the knitting needle just yet. Guide the crochet hook straight down through the slip knot, bringing the second loop with you.
Pull the second loop through the slip knot. The result should be one new loop on the knitting needle, and one loop on the crochet hook, as shown below.
Pull the working yarn to simultaneously tighten the loop on the knitting needle and the loop on the crochet hook, as shown below.
Repeat chain process as highlighted above.
Essentially you are making crochet chains that are attached to the knitting needle; each chain is held onto the knitting needle from an additional loop which will serve as the base for your first row. Work until you have one less stitch on your needle than required. The working loop on the crochet hook is your last stitch. Going from back to front, transfer this loop onto the knitting needle to complete the cast on stitch count, as show below. Make sure the last stitch is not twisted.
Set aside the crochet hook, then begin knitting; you do not need to do any special techniques to start the first row of your piece.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Until next time, stay safe and happy knitting!
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