Having used the Crochet Provisional Cast-on to start your sideways knit Hat – or anywhere else you may have used it! – you’ll need to remove the cast-on to release the stitches, and that’s best done slowly.
1) You’ll want to start by undoing the holding knot you put in the end of the provisional cast-on – we’ll unpick it from this end.
2) Don’t be tempted to rip the cast-on out! If you’ve done it right it should come straight out with only a little encouragement but you run the risk of snags or dropping stitches, and you don’t want that to happen.
3) Insert your needle into the first stitch. If it’s not quite visible, gently lift the cast-on, by holding the tail with the chain, to reveal the stitch.
4) Then gently pull the cast-on chain – one stitch has been released. Don’t worry too much if the stitch orientation isn’t right, it’s more important to catch each stitch. You can always re-orientate them before grafting.
5) Continue to release each stitch, one at a time.
6) As you get towards the end of the chain and the end of the stitches, take care with what looks like the last stitch. This extra loop isn’t a stitch as such, it’s the loop of yarn that’s created when you turn your work and start the next row. I’ve found that if I use this loop as a stitch when grafting garter stitch I get a really noticeable jog or ledge, and it’s really obvious where the graft is. If you need an extra stitch, taking it from the crown edge of your sideways knit Hat is the neatest option.
7) And there you have your released stitches, ready for joining! If you need to re-orientate the stitches, this is the time to do it. I always go through them all anyway with a spare needle just to make sure they’ve all been caught properly and there aren’t any splits in the yarn.
As always, if you have a question about this technique or need some help with it, leave a comment below! I’m afraid I’m unable to offer help via email or private message but you’re welcome to post in our forums.
The photos in this post were updated on 29/1/2021.