Archive for the ‘Tips & Techniques’ Category

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – How to Select the Right Length Circular Needle

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013
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This week’s tip comes from WEBS Design Manager, Kirsten. She helps us solve the mystery of what length circular needle to use for our projects.How to Select the Right Length Circular Needle

Finding the right length of circular needles can be confusing to even experienced knitters. As a general rule, the length of the needles should be shorter than the circumference of your knitting. You can always scrunch the stitches up on a short needle, but you can’t stretch them out. For example, if you’re knitting a 38″ sweater, you would use 32″ circular needle. Any longer and the stitches won’t reach all the way around, and any shorter wouldn’t leave enough room for the stitches on the needle. Of course, there’s an exception to this rule. You can use a needle longer than the length of your stitches if you’re doing magic loop. With the magic loop technique, you could actually work a hat on 40″ needles.

 

Spinning & Weaving Week: Blending Fiber for Spinning

Thursday, October 10th, 2013
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Bonnie Lemme, our Assistant Store Manager has a great recommendation for prepping small amounts of fiber.
Colonial Needle Co. Fiber BlendersThe Colonial Needle Company Fiber Blenders are used mostly for preparing fibers before you needle felt. I have used them many times in my spinning process. They are a great tool for preparing a raw fleece to comb out the locks before you spin. It will help remove some vegetable matter and align the fibers before you spin. They are like having a mini hand carder. I also recommend these Fiber Blenders for a newbie. They are an inexpensive and great for beginners who may just want to try their hand carding before purchasing an expensive pair of hand carders. Great for young children to handle too!

Spinning & Weaving Week: Must-Have Weaving Book

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
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Today, Debby Cook shares with us her the must-have book for her weaving shelf.

Deb Chandler's Learning to WeaveMy “must-have” weaving item is Deborah Chandler’s Learning to Weave. Because I also knit, work full time AND part-time and have a full family life, I can sometimes have months go by between starting new projects.   Deb Chandler’s book always has the answers I need to jumpstart my memory!  It keeps me on track from winding my warp, warping back to front, right through treddling and finishing techniques.  Oh, and the reed substitution page is well worn! This is the one book I would be lost weaving without.

What’s your must-have weaving book?

Tuesday’s Weaving Tip – How to Warp a Loom from Back to Front

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
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In honor of Spinning and Weaving Week, this week’s tip shows us how to warp a loom from back to front. As weavers, we warp much less frequently than we actually weave, and not just beginners need a refresher sometimes. Barbara goes into wonderful detail and has clear, easy to follow instructions to help you get your project started.

Spinning & Weaving Week: Make Sleying Easier

Monday, October 7th, 2013
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Make Sleying the Reed Easier

This week, we’ll be sharing with you a few spinning and weaving products that WEBS staffers can’t live without. First up, we have Amy Stephens. Amy is an incredible crafter and you may remember seeing her in one of our staff spotlights. Check out what she has to say about the Harrisville Designs Combo Threading/Sley Hook in Brass

Soon after taking the beginning weaving class at Webs, I purchased a loom. Weaving is still a very new craft for me and dressing the loom can still be a little stressful. During the class I used the 7 ½” Schacht Heddle Hook to thread the heddles and the reed. When I moved to my bigger loom I appreciated the length of the Schacht even more for threading the heddles. I did have trouble threading the reed with it though. I mentioned my issue to a seasoned weaver at work and she suggested the Harrisville Designs Combo Threading/Sley Hook in Brass. It made sleying the reed so much easier! When I weave, I have both tools on hand and it makes dressing the loom that much easier for me.

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – How to Kitchener Stitch

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
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The Kitchener stitch is essential to knitting socks from the top down, and even opens the door to symmetrical shawls and wraps. This technique takes live stitches, and grafts them together in a way that mimics the what a real knit stitch looks like. A properly executed Kitchener stitch looks like it’s not even there! You can see the Kitchener stitch in action below!

Tuesday’s Tip – How to Get the Best Fit for Hand Knit Gloves and Mittens

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
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How to Measure for Gloves and MittensThis week’s tip comes from our Design Manager, Kirsten. She helps us understand how to get the best fit for our hand knit gloves and mittens

To choose the best size glove to make, you should measure around your hand above the knuckles, including the tip of the thumb, and pick the size that’s closest to this measurement. This will give you just the right amount of wiggle room and help account for the thickness of the fabric. I avoided sizing like that for the longest time, thinking I wanted really snug gloves and mittens, but they never felt quite right until I added the thumb tip.

 

 

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Make 1 Left and Right Increases

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013
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There are several different ways to increase in your knitting, but the make 1 increase (abbreviated m1L or m1R) is by far my favorite. The increase is subtle, and the option to have it lean to the left or right helps it blend into your project even better. You can see a demonstration of the technique in the video below.

Make 1 Left:
· Insert left needle from front to back under strand of yarn which runs between next stitch on left needle and last stitch on right needle
· Knit this stitch through back loop

Make 1 Right:
· Insert left needle from back to front under strand of yarn which runs between next stitch on left needle and last stitch on right needle
· Knit this stitch through front loop

Make 1 Purl Left:
· Insert left needle from back to front under strand of yarn which runs between next stitch on left needle and last stitch on right needle
· Purl this stitch through front loop

Make 1 Purl Right:
· Insert left needle from front to back under strand of yarn which runs between next stitch on left needle and last stitch on right needle
· Purl this stitch through back loop

Tuesday’s Tip – How to Fix a Stretched Collar

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
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The neckline of a sweater can definitely stretch over time, and completely change the look of your garment.

If you have a sweater with a stretched collar, try single crocheting around the top of the ribbing. If you know how to crochet, this is the easiest and fastest method. But if you’re more comfortable knitting, you can also pick up and knit a couple of rows from the top. The new knitting (and the new bind-off) will be a little bit more snug and will help draw the neckline closed again.

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Increasing Evenly in Crochet

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013
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Crochet patterns don’t always specify exactly where to work increases. Instead, they may say something like, “Increase 4 stitches evenly over the next 5 rows.” When spacing out increases yourself, it’s best to work them at least one stitch in from the edge of your project. This will make the edges much neater.

In the photo, swatch ‘A’ was worked with the increases at the very end of the rows, while swatch ‘B’  has the increases worked one stitch in from the edge. You can see the difference in how clean the edges look. Swatch ‘B’ is definitely neater finished product.