Skip to content

Let’s just take a moment to gaze upon this beautiful baby.

This beautiful combination of ease and cleverness is the Little Tern Blanket by Tin Can Knits, a pattern from the inventive design team of Emily Wessel and Alexa Ludeman in AC Techniques’ A Year of Techniques available here.

Jen Arnall-Culliford, as ever, is our guide, leading us through not one but two different provisional cast-ons. The crochet provisional cast-on is up top; below is a second cast on, the amazing Judy’s Magic Cast On. If you’ve tried this cast on using double-pointed needles, you’ll welcome this tutorial that shows how to do it using circular needles—much less awkward.

In the MDK Shop
Just the right size hook for provisional cast-ons! Thanks for your purchases. They support everything we do here at MDK.

This cast-on tutorial is one of those moments in my knitting life that changed everything. I don’t even want to talk about how I’ve been making my crochet provisional cast on. Let’s just say that I have been doing it so wrong that there’s not even a word for how wrong I’ve been.



Wrongily wrong.

Thank you, Jen, for explaining the One True Way to get a crochet provisional cast on to behave!

And of course, Jen reminds us that in the knitting world, anything can be a wrap.

Just saying.

In the MDK Shop
It's our go-to circular needle. Try it and see why!

Leave a Comment


  • Mind Blown . . . . This is not how I was taught to do provisional cast on . . . This method is soooooooo much easier!!!! Thanks 🙂

  • Oh that precious sweaty nap head! (Still waiting for grandbabies…)

  • Two really helpful tutorials! I’ve done both methods before (and, by all accounts, I’ve done them correctly) but Jen makes things super clear. It’s helpful that she speaks slowly and is so methodical. Since I don’t do these cast-ons routinely, I always revisit a tutorial before I start a pattern that requires either. Next time, I’m going to visit Jen’s! Thanks.

  • Love Jen’s tutorials! She always explains things so clearly. I always hated doing provisional cast ons, but now I know two easier ways. Thank you.

  • OK, you finally got me. I was intrigued by the helical stripes, but the provisional cast on and a lovely blankie–I’m in. This Year of Techniques is brilliant. It may take me a while to knit all of the projects (I’m currently working on a Stopover) so please keep the videos up for 20 years or so 🙂

    • Thanks for that request. I’m going to need at least 20 years.

      • At first I wrote 10 years. Then I revised.

  • I love the colours that you have. I do alot of knitting for people and family.

  • love your website but how about a post on how-to-use-leftover-yarn-for-projects? I am a disabled senior on a fixed income. I have lots of leftover yarns As you may or may not be aware, the world population in 2020 will be predominately seniors. Senior-friendly projects would be a smart retail move.

  • I love Jane’s videos. I recommend her to all my knitting students. Her provisional cast-on tutorial is the best around. Thank you for making my job as a knitting instructor even more fun!

  • Possibly the best tutorial about anything ever. Definitely the way to go for provisional.

  • That is one of the best tutorials I have ever seen! Thank you! Thank you! It is an cast on I have used, but explained so methodically that It will stick this time!

  • So glad I discovered this post! I use to dislike provisional cast on. My mind has been changed!

  • I’ve had this Little Tern Blanket pattern for many months and look forward to learning how to do the provisional cast on to add to the other cast on methods I use. Presently my favorite is the cable cast on.

    Presently,, thank you also for the information about picking up stitches…redoing is just time lost but I’m now retired and have a lot of time to devote to “getting it correct!” Your information about the guage ratio for stockinette was very helpful. So, thank you for the rescue as I begin my third pick up and knit with stockinette stitches for a Lace Wrap with sleeves. Knitting truly is an interesting journey, some parts easy, some unexpectedly difficult, and some that requires perseverance!!

Come Shop With Us

My Cart
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping