When I do any project with a chart, I like to put the pattern in a plastic page protector and then mark my place in the chart with a dry erase marker. If I make a mistake and need to frog a couple rows, it’s a lot easier to update my place than if I had written on the pattern itself; and pencil marks can get confusing if my eraser doesn’t work well enough. As long as I’m careful about not putting anything on top of the page protector, the dry erase marks are still there weeks later when I pick up the project again after indiscriminately abandoning it!
Archive for the ‘Tips & Techniques’ Category
Adding a new ball of yarn to your knitting is easy! If you’re adding a new color or just switching to a different skein, you can use this technique. It’s not hard, but those first few stitches can be a little fiddly.
When joining in the round, it’s very easy to get a little gap in between the first and last stitches. You can stitch this up when you weave in your ends, or you can try this technique!
Slip your first and last stitches onto a spare needle, then twist that needle around. Now, the first stitch will be on the left, and the last stitch on the right. Slip the left stitch onto the left needle, and the right stitch onto the right needle. This twist actually crosses that first and last stitch to close your gap. Now you can start knitting without having to worry about the gap again!
If you’ve ever run into a big knot in your yarn while working on a project, this is a great way to join in your new strand of yarn. The Magic Knot joins two strands of yarn together with virtually no visible ends. It could even be used to join a new skein and avoid weaving in ends!
This technique is best used with a dense stitch pattern like garter stitch or seed stitch. A more open stitch or lace won’t hide the knot. It is also best used with a sturdy plied yarn. Single plies and delicate fibers aren’t strong enough to hold up to the strength test and will fall apart.
Now, I wrap a rubber band or a hair tie around the hook. It adds a little extra stickiness that keeps it in place. No more crawling around on the floor or digging in your couch cushions searching for your hook!
I love to knit and crochet projects in the round; it makes it so much easier to mindlessly work along during a movie or in the car. And you can’t beat colorwork in the round. The only hurdle is the long cast-ons with some projects, and having to join those in the round without twisting.We’ve all seen the pattern instructions that say, ” CO 247. Join in the round, being careful not to twist.” Almost nothing is worse than casting-on all those stitches, then starting to knit, only to realize your project is twisted.
It’s tricky not to twist these many stitches in the round, but here’s a handy trick. Lay your cast-on out flat, and join clothes pins to the back sides. Smooth your cast-on flat and add another clothes pin. This gives you much smaller section to work with so you can be sure you’re not twisting your project!
– Wrap your unfinished gift and let them open it this way. Depending on how much work you have to do, you can take it back and finish it Christmas day with them there, or take it home and mail it to them in a few days.
– If your hand made gift didn’t make it onto the needles yet, wrap up the yarn and the pattern for them instead. This way they get to see what their gift will look like, and you can take your materials back to finish their gift after Christmas.
– If you still want to keep things a surprise, write out an IOU for the present. A note in a Christmas card telling them to “Stay tuned for an awesome gift!” will let them know they haven’t been forgotten.
Of course, the basis of handmade gifts is the thought. Your loved ones will be thrilled you thought to make them a gift, and will treasure it no-matter when they receive it.
Oh no! You cut your yarn tail too short and now you can’t weave in your ends. Or maybe you ran low on yarn while casting on 275 stitches and really don’t want to rip back and start over, just so you have a long tail to weave in.
This is definitely one of those, “Why didn’t I think of that!?” tips.
When working with a notoriously stretchy fiber, it can be hard to tell how your finished project is really going to drape. The stretch and weight of cotton yarn can add inches to a finished sweater. You can’t really tell how much the project will stretch from your swatch alone, since it’s the weight of the entire project that distorts it.
A great solution is to attach clothespins to the base of your swatch to add some weight. Now you can see how much your swatch stretches and factor that into your project. No more surprises!