Open CastOn

You use the open, or provisional, cast-on when you want to be able to access the cast-on edge as "live" stitches to be worked later. For example, you might want to work a lacy border or add a peplum or hem to your lower edge. This open method is worked very much like the long-tail cast-on, only you need a length of scrap yarn—something strong yet slippery, like mercerized cotton.

1 Pull out a strand from your working yarn that is the equivalent of % inch per stitch that you plan to cast on, plus a few more inches, leaving it attached to the ball. For example, if you plan to cast on 30 stitches, pull a strand that is about 18 inches long. Cut a strand of waste yarn the same length and knot the two strands together so that the ends line up.

2 Holding the yarns and a needle in your right hand, hold the knot against the needle with your thumb.

3 Take the yarns in your left hand, holding them as you would for the long-tail method, with the working yarn around your thumb and the waste yarn over your forefinger, grasping both ends with your pinky and ring finger in the center of your palm.

4 Work as you would with the long-tail method, inserting the needle up and under the working yarn that is looped around the outside of your thumb; then move the needle to the right and use it to grab the waste yarn from the nearest side of your forefinger.

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