Provisional Cast On Preference

Buck Strong's picture

I'm just curious. If you were working on a project with a provisional cast on, would you rather pick up stitches and knit the next part from the bottom or knit the next piece separately and then graft the two together? Personally, I'm tending toward the grafting bit but, again, I'm just curious as to others' preferences.



AKQGuy's picture

It honestly depends on the project and even what kind of stitches your working on in that provisional cast on (i.e.: ribbing, stockinette, or some other patterened stitching). I've done both at different times for differing affects but can honestly say grafting into ribbing can suck the life out of you. Well, for me anyway.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Have to agree with Quinton. Maybe that's why I try to avoid having to address this in projects. [Hmmmm....that's a bit self-limiting, now that I think of it.] Often, I just pick up stitches and knit away.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Kerry's picture

I do not like grafting two pieces together and will alter a pattern to avoid it.

MMario's picture

I much prefer picking up and knitting. Grafting two pieces is too much like seaming - which I avoid at all costs.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

RickMartin's picture

It seems to be unanimous. While generally I can't tell the difference (unless it's a heavy, say worsted weight yarn and then sometimes the grafting actually gives a more seamless design) I've decided to do what's the easiest and for me that's picking up stitches.


mrossnyc's picture

Pick up and knit. Definitely.

bkeith's picture

I'll throw out a a different opinion. I don't much care for picking up stitches, so I'm eager to try a new thing I just learned. In an Estonian lace workshop I just went to, we did a provisional cast on using 2 circular needles (essentially Judy's magic cast-on), then left the one circular needle hanging in the lower set of stitches while knitting with the other. When we finished the sampler and got back around to that side working the border, we just knit those stitches since they were already on a needle. Pretty cool.

Of course, having an extra circular needle hanging off the bottom of your work could get irksome, especially for a larger piece or one that takes a long time to knit, but I guess if you used interchangeables, you could cap it off until you're ready for it and minimize the orneriness.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Or, possibly, run a holding thread through the stitches. Then, when ready to resume knitting you can put them back on the needle.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

AKQGuy's picture

From AKQGuy

The above shawl was a project where I grafted to ends of a project together. This gave the effect of one side mirroring the other. I started from one end, knit through the three charts ending on the far edge of the middle "zig-zag" motif. I put all the stitches on a piece of waste yarn, then started knitting from the other end, stopping at the far end of chart 2. Then grafted both ends to one another. This in effect gave me a finished piece made up of a mirroring of the charts as such: 1-2-3-2-1. If I had just knit straight through I would have had to alter the charts to try to make them mirror each other as close as possible.

With that said, I only had to graft stockinette stitches in the grafted area. I have had other projects that required grafting in ribbing and it took a lot of patience, silence, and muttered cursing. So, like I said before, grafting is some times needed on a project.

I also have done toe up socks where you do your provisional cast on, create the short row toe and on the back side pull out your cast on thread and use the bottom of the cast or row stitches as any other stitch and pick them up and knit. It's a great technique that leaves no funny seam on your toes. It's all in the project and the effect you are going for.

Tallguy's picture

These are two very different techniques and you cannot fairly compare the two. Each will serve a different function and usually cannot be used interchangeably. Yes, there are times that it does not matter, but usually, when there is a definite direction in your pattern, you will have to use one or another.

Certainly, if in stocking stitch, you can use either, and both will look nearly the same (to the discerning eye, there is a direction). Either way, there is a shift of one-half stitch, so you need to take that into consideration when planning to use these. In stocking stitch and garter stitch, it won't matter. In ribbing, or lace, or any patterned knitting, you cannot do either of these properly without showing that shift. Some colour work will not allow this as well.

Because of the direction of some patterns, you will need to do a provisional from the centre out, or grafting when knitting from the ends in, to get both ends of the item to be mirror images of themselves. Some patterns just cannot be knit "in reverse" without showing the direction it was knit. But again, most people really don't know the difference, so you will have to use your judgment on this one.

I will do anything to avoid grafting---I am a happy stitch picker-upper----I have grafted with some success and it made me want to scream----I grasp the principle but abominate the execution---each of us picks our own poisen/pleasure---knit however it makes you happy.

MMario's picture

The genreal consensus does seem to be that "we" hate grafting....

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation