Posts Tagged ‘crochet tips’
Ellen talks about prepping for each season and the work that goes into presenting a project. Currently in it’s 4th season, Knit & Crochet Now! has a great mix of projects that range from beginner to advanced each season and features patterns and techniques from some of the industries top designers.
We have 2 copies of the Season 4 DVD to give away! Leave us a comment and tell us if you’re a knitter, a crocheter or both, by 11:59pm on Tuesday, Nov 27th. The winners will be announced the following Saturday, Nov. 30th.
Steve’s Yarn Picks:
- Wonderland Yarns Cheshire Cat
- Wonderland Yarns March Hare
- Opal Schafpate 5
- Classic Elite Sanibel – Discontinued Colors
- Anzula Baby Alpaca Top – Closeout
- Grab Bags! – Online Alpha
- New Noro Magazine for Fall
Northampton Bag Day is happening TODAY! 20% off any one item, in store only
WEBS is closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday but will begin opening on Sundays, from 12-5, starting December 1st and running through December 22nd.
Team WEBS is running and walking in the Annual Hot Chocolate run to benefit Safe Passage on December 8th. Please make a donation to any member of our team and remember: Steve and Kathy will match all funds raised!
Ready, Set, Knit! listeners are you up for a challenge?! The KnottyGirls Knitcast issued a challenge and started the Ravelry Podcaster Throwdown. They claimed that their listeners will turn in more hats for Halos of Hope by the end of Stitches West 2014 than any other podcast out there. You all know that Kathy has a competitive streak a mile wide and can’t resist a challenge! Steve has even stepped in and said that he will ship all the collected hats to Stitches West! Here’s what you need to do:
Make as many knit and/or crochet hats as you can (check here for preferred fibers and free patterns) and get them to us by February 1, 2014. Make sure each hat and package is labeled with “Team RSK!” Please mail all packages to:
Attn: TEAM RSK!
6 Industrial Pkwy.
Easthampton, MA 01027
If you’re posting about your progress on Facebook or Twitter please use #PodcastThrowdown. And please join the Podcasters Throwdown Group on Ravelry and show your support in the Team RSK thread! If you’ve sent in hats let us know who you are.
We all know how important it is to do a gauge swatch, but sometimes your stitches can be hard to see. Knitting and crocheting with fuzzy yarn, ruffle yarn, or even just a super bulky yarn can make counting your stitches really tricky.
To make it easier, hold your project up to a window so the light can shine through. This will allow you to see your stitches for easy counting! Just make sure you don’t stretch your project, otherwise it will distort your stitch count.
Coned yarns aren’t just for weaving! Yarns wound onto a cone are wonderful to knit and crochet with. They generally come in fairly large quantities, which means fewer joins and weaving in ends. The only tricky part can be getting the yarn off the cone easily while you’re working with it. You could put the cone on the floor, but your seat may not be high enough to be effective. A great solution is to run the yarn over a tall object so it glides off the cone easily.
Here, I used a tall computer monitor, but a desk lamp would work really well too. If you haven’t worked with coned yarns before, you can try the Valley Yarns 496 Greenway Shawl knit in Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel (Colrain Lace) and Valley Yarns 456 Sumac Berry Shawl crocheted in Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk.
Have you ever held a dripping sweater in your hands and wonder what is the best way to remove the excess water before blocking? Just the right tool may be found in your kitchen.
After I finish knitting or crocheting a project, I like to give it a good soak in some water with wool wash. I’ve tried a number of ways of removing the extra water before pinning it to a blocking board. My favorite and probably the quickest method is to use a salad spinner. It’s a lot more gentle than the spin cycle in my washing machine. I’ve used the towel method, but I don’t love the big pile of wet towels I have at the end. So if the project isn’t too big, I grab my salad spinner.
I’m always impressed by how much excess water I can get out with the salad spinner. (Yay centrifugal force!) A large salad spinner is big enough for many projects such as scarves, shawls, baby garments, lightweight sweaters, and gauge swatches (you do swatch, right?).
What is your favorite method of getting out the water from your project? Leave a note in the comments.
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.
Kerry discovered this tip when a customer sent in a partially completed project for us to look at. The customer needed help matching the discontinued yarn the project was made of, but Kerry couldn’t help notice the bread clip used to keep her yarn tail manageable and tidy. She had left an extra long yarn tail to use for seaming when her project was complete.
You could also use bread clips to substitute for bobbins when doing colorwork projects!
When I finally complete a project after months of knitting or crocheting, the first thing I usually do is cast on for something new! And let’s face it, we don’t always wait until we finish knitting to get a new project going.
With so many projects going on at once, it’s easy to lose track of which yarn went with which finished object. Try keeping one of the ball bands used for your project, along with a scrap of the yarn. You can write on the back of the label which pattern was used with the yarn and which size you made. The label has valuable information like the care instructions for your project, as well as the dye-lot used. A photo album with pockets is great for storing the labels along with your scrap of yarn!
Your ball winder is a valuable tool that can be utilized even after you start your project!
Sometimes you need to rip back the sleeves on a sweater, or just an entire project that didn’t come out quite right. So many of us end up winding the yarn from our project by hand. Don’t forget about your ball winder, and you can unravel your project in a snap!
In the retail store, customers sometimes look at our ball-winder-and-swift set-up and ask us if we can wind their skeined yarn for them. “No,” we say gently. “We can show you how to do and you can get right on it.” There’s usually a look of panic, or a plea (“just for me? I can’t possibly.”) but we’re firm–because the beauty of a ball winder and a swift is that you can wind up any skein of yarn with less than three minutes of instruction, and it will usually take about 17 seconds for a long, twisty skein to turn into a firm, compact yarn cake. In my first years of knitting, I used to make my husband hold his arms out like a robot to wind a skein into a ball, and when he wasn’t around, I’d have my kids do it. However, it didn’t take long for them to become bored and annoyed at the constant demands on their time (very important things to do! Pokemon cards to look at! Legos to leave on the floor so that I step on them, barefoot, and cry!), and I’d start bribing them with candy, and then with cold, hard cash.
A friend and co-worker convinced me to invest in a ball-winder and swift combo. I was really hesitant about doing this, because for some reason I thought that once I had the tools, I was expected to be a SERIOUS KNITTER. But the first time I hooked a skein onto that plastic swift and twirled the handle of the ball winder around for less than a minute, I was hooked. It was amazingly simple and the results are instantaneous. Ball winders, by the way, have a hilarious instruction manual in the packaging that is translated from Japanese and makes it all worthwhile. I have the plastic and metal swift, but we also sell a beautiful wooden swift that is much larger, and will probably be around when you teach your granddaughter or grandson how to knit. Spinners, weavers, dyers, and knitters can all benefit from a little fiber help, and these two indispensable tools will make your life a billion times easier.You can use either of these products separately–swifts can be used to wind spun fiber, and ball winders are great for coned yarns. Webs offers a fantastic deal on the two if bought together.
Now you can eat the M&Ms by yourself without having to parcel them out to the child who complains about how itchy the baby alpaca feels.