How to Provisional Cast On with Judy’s Magic CO

Judy’s Magic CO is a great provisional cast on method because: 

  • The second set of stitches is left on the needle ready to knit
  • It does not require a crochet chain
  • You don’t need to cut away or unravel scrap yarn

When you are instructed to PCO, it means pairs of stitches. For instance, if the pattern instructs you to PCO 12 sts, that would be 12 stitches onto EACH needle for a total of 24. You will only work the 12 stitches from one needle, leaving the other 12 on hold. When you are ready to knit the other direction, you will return to those 12 held stitches, rejoin yarn, and work seamlessly in the other direction.



Step 1

Hold two needles parallel with right hand


Right = top needle


Left = bottom needle


Step 2

Pull out tail of yarn


Step 3

Hold yarn as for Long Tail Cast On


Step 4

Loop yarn from top finger over bottom needle


Step 5

Loop yarn from bottom finger over top needle


Step 6

Repeat steps 4 & 5

In the Cocoknits Sweater Workshop and Cocoknits Method Extended Collection patterns, this provisional cast on technique is used for the back neck of the Lizzie, Kiki, and Franca collars.



Hi Samantha,

Yes, in the future we recommend following each step of our pattern in order, not skipping over any section. It sounds like you should be okay if you do a regular CO on separate needles for the collar and then seam the back of the collar together afterwards. Hope that helps!

Samantha L Ritchie

I’m really confused here. I’m knitting the Lizzie. I took a cocoknits sweater workshop class and didnt realize I had to knit first do the Prep Right Collar. I first did the Upper back, then skipped over to the right shoulder because all my classmates did that, not knowing the Lizzie, is knitted differently. SO that being said, I have already picked up stitches for the right shoulder and now have them on scrap yarn. Now I’m trying to go back and do the PCO. Is this still possible since my yarn is still connected, I didnt break the yarn. As well, do I use a separate pairs of needles to do the PCO? I’m a bit lost now on what to do next. I’ve contemplated ripping ot all out


Hi Cathryn – Because it does the same thing! It’s a perfect substitute, but it does look much different without removing a cast-on (and no crochet chain!).

Cathryn Cooper

I don’t understand how this is provisional?

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