So you’ve finished that thing you started with a provisional cast-on. Your next step is one of two actions: graft the provisionally cast-on edge to live stitches, most likely to form a seamless tube, or put the provisionally cast-on stitches back on a needle to either knit them or knit a border onto them.
In either case, you need to get the stitches off the waste yarn you used for the cast-on and back onto a needle. This is called unzipping the cast-on. Let’s do it!
Untie the knot at the end of your provisional cast-on chain. Make sure it’s the knot at the end, not the slipknot you used to start the chain. If you untie the knot and pull gently, the chain should start to unravel. If it does not, you’ve untied the wrong knot. Untie the other one. This is the moment when you’ll be happy you left a few extra chain stitches at the end of your CO, because you won’t freak out when you pull to unravel; you can get a feel for it before you hit live stitches.
When the CO unravels, you’ll see live stitches! Have a needle or stitch holder ready to use to pick them up. I like to use a needle at least one size smaller than I used for the knitting.
Good to go!
Next: grafting these stitches. Stay tuned!
Looking for a free project to use the Provisional CO, perhaps a project you can crank out before the holidays? Check out Nennir in the Winter 2012 knitty, grab two skeins of soft worsted to make a Yellow on Yellow, or incorporate more colors and stripes in a mala cowl.