Posts Tagged ‘knitting needles’

What Do You Get When You Cross a Knitting Bag with an iPad?

Saturday, July 6th, 2013
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Bonnie totes her tech!

You get the Yarn Pop Commuter and Mini Commuter. When I first worked in the store at Webs, customers would bring in their patterns, sometimes tattered and illegible, when they searched for yarn. Nowadays, most of our clientele has moved their pattern library onto their iPad, Kindle, iPhone, or Android device. And why not? Technology has it all over in the world of fiber. Check out this blog post by my co-worker, J, on the many, many apps, tricks, and techniques that knitters and crocheters can use on their notebook computer. Wouldn’t it be great to carry your iPad or Mini around in a case that also holds your needles, scissors, and stitch markers? Yarn Pop, maker of great totes and project bags, has come to the rescue again with the Commuter and the Mini Commuter.

Multi-tasking Commuter from Yarn Pop

It comfortably holds an iPad or Mini securely in a clear plastic case that allows fingertip access, and has a dedicated space protected by a microfiber panel, for circular and double-pointed needles. The handy zipper pocket even holds a small skein of yarn or the beginning of a project so you can knit on the go. I think the best use for this ingenious gadget sherpa is to carry along with your project bag, so that your pattern, tools, and yarn is right at your fingertips. No more screen scratches from an errant needle, no more guessing at yardage because you don’t have your pattern with you at the LYS. There’s a Mini version for e-readers and the new iPad Mini, in great patterns as well.

 

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Securing Double Pointed Needle Projects

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
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Kristin from our Customer Service team shared a simple, yet very useful tip with us!

When working on a sock or any knitting project on double pointed needles, there is always an extra needle leftover at the end of a row.

To keep this extra needle in place, and to keep the stitches from falling off the needles, try using your yarn to secure both ends of the needles.

1: Fold your project so the needles lay flat.

2: Then, lay your extra needle alongside the others.

3: Wrap your yarn around both ends of your double points.

This little trick will keep your extra needle together with the rest of your project, and secure it!

 

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – How to Fix Curly Circular Needle Cords

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
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Sometimes when you start using brand new circular needles, the cords can be a little unruly. They can get very curly and twisted from being in the packaging, which makes it hard to keep your project flat and can be frustrating to work with.

All you need to remedy this is some warm water. You want the water to be hot, but not boiling. I use my teakettle on the stove and wait until I see some steam, but warming up even just a mug of water in the microwave would work too. Dip the cords into the water for a few seconds, then stretch out the needles and give a gentle tug.  The warm water will relax the plastic enough to release the curl. Only do a few seconds at a time! You don’t want to accidentally melt your cords.

31 Days to Get Organized: Keeping Track of Your Needles and Hooks

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
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Now that you have all your needles and hooks organized, (I don’t know about you, but I discovered a lot of duplicates) you’ve made them easy to find at home when you’re ready to get knitting or crocheting. Now, we’ve all been there. You’re at the yarn store, pattern in hand, wracking your brain trying to remember if you have that G hook at home, or that 32″ US 6 circular. Having everything organized at home is great, but knowing what you already have will save you the trouble of buying duplicates, and will help keep that needle and hook stash down!

 

Personally, I prefer the Ravelry method of tracking my needles and hooks. You can go to your library, and very easily add your needle and hook inventory to the grid. It even has the option to show how many you own of each size. This is so handy when you need two circulars for a project and you can’t remember if you have one or two at home. Then, just print out the card and keep it in your wallet! I put a few strips of clear tape over mine to keep it a little sturdy. When I’m at the yarn shop and buy a needle, I mark it on my card and update my Ravelry when I get a chance. You can even add comments if you want to keep track of the brands you have. 

Have a smartphone? There are a lot of great apps to help you keep track on the go. I like the Vogue Knitting iPhone App. Not only can you keep track of your needles and hooks, but you can also track the yarn and books you have at home, as well as storing information about all your projects.

The Knitting Needles App. lets you organize your needles in an easy to read chart as well as a list. You can also try the Ewe Stash – Knitting and Crochet Inventory App. for comprehensive needle, yarn and project organizing.

The Nancy’s Knit Knack Knit-Kards are fantastic. They have handy notes like knitting and crochet terms, as well as charts to keep track of your knitting needles and crochet hooks.

How do you keep track of your needles and hooks? Do you keep a chart or your smartphone with you to track while you’re out, or keep an inventory at home? Or maybe you like to live dangerously and rely on memory alone!

31 Days to Get Organized: How to Store Your Needles and Hooks

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
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Yesterday, we went through all our knitting needles and crochet hooks to purge the duplicates and unwanted ones. Now, what do you do with it all? For the organizationally challenged like myself, it can be so tedious sorting through that big pile, but it does pay off in the long run. When I’m ready to start a project, the last thing I want to do is dig through a bottomless pit of hooks, straights, circulars and double points, needle gauge in hand checking each one for the size I need. We asked our staff and our readers for some ideas on how to store your needles and hooks.

Straight or Single Pointed Knitting Needles

  • Try using a needle roll. If you’re even a basic sewer, you can try making one yourself. It’s a fairly easy afternoon sewing project.
  • The most popular suggestion for storing your straight needles is to stand them up in a vase or a jar. You can let them fall where they may for a decorative look, or to keep things organized, use a rubber band or hair tie to secure same sizes together.

DPNs or Double Pointed Knitting Needles

  • You can keep your double points on display in a vase too. It’s best to tie these together by size so you don’t have to check each one when it’s time to start a project. You can use a rubber band, hair ties, or even twist ties.
  • Keeping a three ring binder with page protectors for your double points and circulars is my favorite solution. I keep one size per page protector.
  • Double point needle tubes are an inexpensive solution for keeping them safe from breakage and organized by size.

Crochet Hooks

  • Tea tins are the perfect depth to stand your hooks up and keep them on display.
  • If you have a big crochet hook collection, sorting by brand first and then size might be the way to go.
  • A pencil case is a simple, compact and portable storage solution.
  • The Lily Crochet Roll works great!

Interchangeable Knitting Needles

  • Most interchangeable sets come with a carrying case already. You can usually fit some notions in the case too.
  • The Della Q Fabric Case is a beautiful solution if you want something extra special to store your set.

Circular Knitting Needles

  • You can use your three ring binder for circulars too. I like to organize by cable length, then size. I have binder dividers sectioning off each cable length, so all the 24″ length needles are in one section, and then each size is in its own page protector.
  • The Que Theo needle case keeps all your circulars organized and easy to find.
  • I love the hanging circular needle organizer. It keeps needles on display and in order.
  • You can keep your circular needles in separate boxes, and each size has its own zip-top baggie with the needle size written on it.
  • The Namaste Circular case is an easy solution. Or, try getting a tri-fold portfolio style case from your office supply store. They are perfect for circulars. Write the needle size and cable length on the tabs to make them easy to find.
  • The original packaging is actually an easy and economical way to store your circulars long term. They’re usually easy to open and close without ruining, and can even be hung up or filed away easily.

How do you like to store your knitting needles and crochet hooks? Do you like to keep them on display or tucked away in a binder or drawer?

31 Days to Get Organized: Knitting Needles & Crochet Hooks

Monday, January 21st, 2013
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You’ve gone through your yarn stash. You’ve sorted through all your patterns. You knew today was coming. It’s time to collect all of your knitting needles and crochet hooks. If you already removed a lot of your needles and hooks from your WIPs, you’re ahead of the game today. So grab as many of your knitting needles and crochet hooks that you can. Some are in active projects, and they can stay there.

With your whole collection of knitting needles and hooks in front of you, start sorting them by type. Maybe you’ll have piles for your hooks, afghan hooks, tunisian hooks, double pointed needles, straight needles, fixed circular needles, and interchangeable needles and hooks. As you’re sorting your collection into piles, notice which needles and hooks you never use. Maybe they’re too blunt or too sharp. Do you hate the join of a particular circular knitting needle? Maybe you don’t like the shape of a certain type of hook. Since part of the reason you knit and crochet is probably for enjoyment, if a certain needle or hook bugs you, get rid of it. There are so many options out there; find the tool you like to use. It’s worth it in the long run.

Grab all of the needles and hooks you don’t want to keep, stick them in a bag, and bring them to your next yarn swap. You won’t miss them. Trust me.

Look at the piles that remains. Now that you’ve rounded up all of your hooks and needles, do you notice a lot of duplicates? It’s ok to have duplicates, especially with knitting needles. There are some techniques such as three needle bind-off, a provisional cast-on, or knitting socks on two circular needles where you need multiple needles of the same size. And you might love knitting with worsted weight yarn and find that you have multiple projects going at the same time using the same needle size. Then it’s great to have multiple needles of the same size. But if you see that you have five 24″ US 7 knitting needles, you might start to ask yourself if you need so many duplicates.

Tomorrow, Grace will be showing us different tips on how to store our knitting needles and crochet hooks. Stay tuned!

What’s the current state of your needle and hook collection? Do you need a little help?

- Dena

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Preventing Ladders

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
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Thanks to Kirsten Hipsky, our Design Manager, for offering us some great tips on how to avoid ladders. Ladders are gaps created in your knitting when using double pointed needles. They can be prevented using one of a few simple tricks.

“Laddering” is definitely a common dreaded foe when working with double pointed needles. They’re essentially caused by the distance between the two needles, which is greater than the distance between the other pairs of stitches. If you purl looser than you knit, that could also result in more yarn in the gap between needles when working reverse stockinette. Here are some tips for minimizing or eliminating ladders.

- Tighten up your stitches when moving from one needle to the next by giving the yarn a little extra tug after working the first and second stitches.

- Using a set of 5 needles rather than 4 will divide tension more evenly, keeping strain off of the stitches themselves.

- If you’re still having trouble, try knitting a couple of stitches forward from the next needle onto the one you’ve just finished. This will shift the point of tension and help keep a vertical line from forming.

 - I myself have had luck eliminating ladders entirely by knitting in the round on one long circular needle using the Magic Loop method. The circular cord is usually thinner than the needle, so instead of using extra yarn at the gap between needle and cord, it just borrows some yarn from the stitch on the cord. When it comes time to knit that stitch, it expands again to fit the needle, taking up the slack. Others have also had luck using two circular needles instead of Magic Loop.

How do you avoid creating ladders in your knitting? Do you have a trick, or have you stopped using double pointed needles all together?

Ready, Set, Knit #256: Kathy talks with Guido Stein about Fiber Camp Boston 2012

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012
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Guest: Kathy talks with Guido Stein about how the Common Cod Fiber Guild got started and its current speaker series. Just around the corner is Fiber Camp Boston 2012 in Cambridge, MA, a PodCamp like community un-conference for fiber craft enthusiasts including knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, dyers, and anyone curious about fiber crafts. Fibercamp is based on the fact that everyone has something to share and teach. Connect with the community by sharing your passion. Registration now for this March 9-11 event. The first 10 Ready, Set, Knit listeners who sign up can use the code WEBS to get $10 off of non-guild registration.

There have been some recent additions to interchangeable needle lines. Check out the new Addi Click Lace Long Tips with the handy life line feature. Knitter’s Pride now has the Special Interchangeable Circular Needle Tips available in the Dreamz, Nova, and Cubics lines. These tips are shorter and when paired with the shortest Knitter’s Pride cable can make a 16″ interchangeable needle. The Knitter’s Pride Comby Interchangeable Sampler Set now includes Cubics tips instead of Trendz tips.

Steve does a recap of Stitches West. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth. It was a great show.

Details are now on our website about Brenda Dayne’s visit to WEBS May 8-9.

Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Ravelry. There’s great conversations happening on these social networks. We’d love to have you join in!

Pinterest is the latest and hottest addition to the social landscape. Think of it like a virtual pin board. You can pin photos and videos on themed boards, a great place to collect things that inspire. WEBS has just started a Pinterest page so we haven’t pinned much yet. Let’s us know what kinds of things you would like to see us pin.

Are you on Pinterest? How do you like to use it?

Right click or CTRL+click and Save As to download the MP3 of this Podcast Subscribe to Ready, Set, Knit! in iTunes Subscribe to the Ready, Set, Knit! Podcast RSS Feed

The Buzz at WEBS – January 27, 2012

Friday, January 27th, 2012
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This week the staff at WEBS is buzzing about two great yarns and a new knitting needle set.

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve last knit with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. But when the six new colors passed by my desk this week, I was reminded all over again how much I love knitting with this yarn.

I’ve used Baby Cashmerino twice: once to make the Knitting at Knoon Sweet Pea sacque and once for my final project sweater for the WEBS Expert Knitting Certification Program. Each time I was delighted by how enjoyable it was to knit with. The springyness of the yarn made my stitches look so even. I have another baby gift that I need to make soon. It may be time to have fun with this yarn again. > Dena C.

I have been working with Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks and it is scrumptious! The stitch definition is absolutely beautiful. I was considering making these as a gift, but have come to realize that I cannot wait to get these on my feet! The fiber blend of 80% merino and 20% nylon creates a lovely springy sock that I know will hug my feet and keep my toes cozy and snug. > Karen M.

Knitter’s Pride Cubics Interchangeable Circular Deluxe Set – I’ve been anxiously awaiting this set ever since we got our first shipment of Knitter’s Pride needles. I was a huge Cubics skeptic at first, and thought the shape wouldn’t feel right and would throw off my knitting. The square needles are so much more comfortable in my hands than round needles. I think I get a better grip on them. I’ve heard some knitters see a change in their gauge with these but I haven’t had a problem. Knitting up a quick gauge swatch when you first knit with them is a good idea. The joins of this interchangeable set are just right. They hold the tips in firm without snagging the yarn. This set is high on my wish list! > Grace H.

Knitter’s Pride Symfonie Rose Knitting & Crochet Sets

Friday, October 21st, 2011
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I’ve been noticing a lot of chatter lately on Ravelry about people adding the new Knitter’s Pride Symfonie Rose Sets to their wish lists. And I can see why. Both the Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needle Set and the Crochet Hook Set are beautiful with Symfonie Rose wood needles or hooks in a nice pretty case.

The circular knitting needle set comes with enough sizes and cord lengths to accommodate many of your knitting projects. Needle tip sizes include US 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5 and 11. And you’ll find one 24″ cable, two 32”, and one 40″, perfect for magic loop knitting. Though these tips and cables are interchangeable with the all the other Knitter’s Pride interchangeable tips and cables, you’ll notice these cables have a special deep brown color, and both the tips and cables have copper tinted brass connectors which look lovely against the dark rose colored wood.

Also included in this set are 8 end caps, 4 cable keys, and a zippered storage pouch to hold all of these pieces. But the extra special item in this set is the Symfonie Rose Shawl Pin adorned with a Swarovski Crystal.

The Symfonie Rose Crochet Hook Set includes US sizes E, G, 7, H, I, J, K, and L hooks. Similar to the shawl pin, you’ll find a Swarovski Crystal on the end of each of the crochet hooks in this set. The smooth, polished surface of the densified laminated Symfonie Rose wood allows the hook to effortlessly glide with any yarn.

Check out our video with Cara to see a little more about each of these sets.

Either of these sets would make a great gift for a knitter or crocheter you may shopping for in the upcoming holiday season. Or one of these could be a special treat for yourself as you’re working your way through making all of those holiday gifts this year.

Happy Knitting & Crochet!

Dena