Winding Cast On

The EASIEST Provisional Cast On

The Winding Cast On is just one of many provisional cast ons. A provisional cast on keeps the cast on stitches “live” so you can pick them up later to knit in the round or in the other direction. 

Provisional cast ons are great for things like:

  • Having a seamless beginning to things that are knit in the round, such as sock toes.
  • Seamlessly picking up stitches, like knitting a scarf from the center out so both ends match.
  • Grafting the beginning to the end of a scarf to create a seamless infinity scarf.

In this video, I’m going to show you how to do the winding cast on. I like this provisional cast on because it’s SO EASY! 

Some Notes About the Winding Cast On:

  • Wrap tightly – when you pull the top needle out and the stitches are on one needle and the cord, they will be easy to knit. This will prevent your cast on from being too loose and sloppy.
  • If you wind your cast on in the wrong direction, it will be awkward to knit the first row and the stitches will be twisted unless you knit them through the back loop.
  • You can use the Winding Cast On instead of other provisional cast ons in many patterns. In fact, it’s a fantastic cast on for toe-up socks.
  • I demonstrated how to knit in the round in the video. If you are knitting flat, turn your work at the end of the first half of the stitches to start the 2nd row. Leave the last half of the cast on stitches on the cord until you are ready to pick them up and knit in the other direction.
  • If you are knitting a LONG flat piece, it may be beneficial to use a 2nd needle. The 2nd needle should be nearly the same size as your working needle. Rather than holding both ends of the same needle together for the cast on, hold one end of both separate needles together. Then, pull the 2nd needle out of the stitches so that the cast on stitches rest on its cord. Use your working needle to do the knitting while the spare needle dangles holding the cast on stitches.

Want to Practice the Winding Cast On?

A Project in Sheep’s Clothing is a great pattern for practicing the Winding Cast On. And this pattern is felted, so even if you make a mistake, the felting process will hide it. 🙂

A Project in Sheep's Clothing


Purchase the pattern on Ravelry or on our A Project in Sheep’s Clothing Knit Along page. Join the knit along to take advantage of our detailed online lessons. They include written, photo, and video tutorials to guide you through every step of the pattern so you can complete your project with confidence.

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