Posts Tagged ‘knitting tips’

Stay Classy

Friday, September 12th, 2014
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It’s back-to-school time — the time of year that Staples and Office Max love the most. It’s also “back-to-knitting/crocheting/weaving/spinning” time around WEBS, and we have some great classes for anyone wanting to learn a new craft or brush up on a current one. When I plan the classes for each semester, I try to come up with something entirely new at least once or twice each time, something that I’d tell my friends about or that I’d want to hear about from a fiber friend. This time around I have a few that I’d love to take myself, so I’m going to tell you about them so that you’ll feel cnabled compelled to take them yourselves!

jazerant, cabled and beaded

Emma Welford’s Jazerant Set was designed especially for our Fortieth Anniverary and the pattern is knit in the most beautiful Valley Yarns Northfield, hand dyed by Malabrigo just for us. We are so lucky that Emma works here at WEBS and is generous enough to teach a class to show knitters how to make this gorgeously cabled and beaded hat and cowl. You don’t have to use Northfield, of course, because no matter what you use, the end result is going to be stunning. That class starts soon, so hurry before all the seats are filled!

Another class I’d take in a heartbeat is Heather McQueen’s Tunisian Crochet Infinity Scarf class. Tunisian Crochet is so fascinating–it’s fast, like crochet, and produces a really unique-looking fabric that resembles knitting. This 4-week class will have students using up those novelty yarns hiding in your stash as well as learning some more advanced Tunisian techniques. The scarves are fast and fun, and look amazing.silky lace and tunisian stitch

I am completely impressed with myself for hunting down some great guest teachers this semester–none more so than Susan B. Anderson, who is a designer, author, knitter, spinner, and all-around-lovely-person. She’ll be here for a weekend in October to teach not only some great garment classes, but we are lucky enough to have her show her students how to make her knitted toys, which are a great holiday gift as well as ideal decor for a nursery or little one’s room.Sock Yarn dragon fun!

Check out all our classes here, and just remember: Shopping at WEBS for supplies is way more fun than shopping at Staples for binders and notebook paper!

Tuesday’s Tip – Keeping Track of Alternate Increase Rounds

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014
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It’s National Crochet Month! To celebrate, we have some wonderful crochet tips to share with you. This week’s tip is from Sara, WEBS Marketing Coordinator and crochet designer.

I like to use 2 linked stitch markers in different colors when my pattern asks me to increase every other round. When I start a round with increases, I’ll use the green marker. This tells me that when I come back to that marker I can Go-Go-Go! No reason to stop and think about the work; just one stitch in each stitch.

When I do start that round with NO increases I’ll mark it with the orange one (better if it was red!), this way when I get back around to that marker I know I need to STOP and make sure that I’m working my increases in this round. This is a great tip for both knitting and crochet!

How to Warp a Loom with Knitting Yarn

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
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Photo by Amy Stephens

This week’s post comes from Jackie; a knitter, weaver, new crocheter and one of our fabulous Customer Service Representatives.

When I’m using a knitting yarn that comes in balls or one I wound into a ball for warping my rigid heddle loom, I put the yarn in a shoe box and thread it through a hole poked in the box.  This lets me warp the loom without the yarn rolling around on the floor.  It also has the added bonus of keeping my “helpful” pets away from it.

Knitting yarns can be wonderful to use in weaving. I like using hand dyed yarns especially or yarns with long color repeats because they look really interesting in weaving. My favorites include: Classic Elite Liberty Wool Print, Tosh Vintage, Sweet Georgia Trinity Worsted, and Malabrigo Rios made some awesome scarves last year!

Tuesday’s Tip – Pick-Up Stitches with an Interchangeable Needle Tip

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
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Pick up Stitches with an Interchangeable Tip

The Magic Loop method is a great way to knit socks, but it can be tricky to pick up stitches for the heel flap. It’s often hard to get enough slack to make it comfortable to pick up stitches without undoing the magic loop. Try using an interchangeable needle tip to pick up stitches instead. In the image on the left, the stitches are being picked up with the interchangeable tip. On the right, you can slide the stitches off the interchangeable tip by placing the tip of your working needle up against the back of the interchangeable tip. This is an easy way to slide the stitches off one needle and onto the other.

Adult Snow Day

Friday, February 14th, 2014
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This snow sculpture entitled "Knitting Family Poems" was created for the 2007 Ottawa Winterlude National Snow Sculpture Competition by the Alberta team of Brian McArthur, Dawn Detarando and Will Truchon (it received the People’s Choice Award).

This snow sculpture entitled “Knitting Family Poems” was created for the 2007 Ottawa Winterlude National Snow Sculpture Competition by the Alberta team of Brian McArthur, Dawn Detarando and Will Truchon (it received the People’s Choice Award).

We had a Snow Day last week, when WEBS closed for the biggest snowstorm we’ve had since last year’s blizzard. It felt like an unexpected school vacation day, and since I’d gotten all my work obligations taken care of the day before, I gave myself permission to enjoy the day like a teenager. One of my most hedonistic pleasures is reading knitting reference books, so I had a wonderful few hours spent thumbing through my old classics as well as some recent contenders for BKF (Best Knitting Friend). I thought I’d share a few and see what some of your go-to answer books are.

A book that has saved my life again and again is the timeless The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt. June came here about a year ago on a very snowy day, and the delight on the faces of those who were here and happened to meet her was infectious. She has a trick for every knitting conundrum you might find yourself in and her information is delivered with a dry wit that makes her sound like your favorite fifth-grade teacher.

A volume small enough to keep in my knitting bag is Margaret Radcliffe’s The Knitting Answer Book, which I turn to again and again. Even though the answers are short, they give you the most information in the fewest words, and the clever illustrations speak volumes. It’s a small book that is completely portable.

No collection should be complete without Barbara Walker and Elizabeth Zimmermann. Barbara Walker’s 4-book series of knitting pattern and charted stitch designs is used by literally every knitwear designer at some point in their career, and they are priceless for brevity and a sense of history. Elizabeth Zimmermann’s The Knitter’s Almanac and The Opinionated Knitter are the cornerstone of any knitter’s bookshelf.

Some recent favorites worth a look are Clara Parkes’ books The Knitter’s Book of Yarn and The Knitter’s Book of Wool, for the care and beautiful language she uses to describe fiber. Stitch ‘N Bitch by Debbie Stoller, the founder of Bust Magazine, almost single-handedly brought knitting to a new high over 10 years ago. And no knitter can really call themselves a knitter unless they have some Harlot on their nightstand.

What are your favorite fiber reads? Let us know in the comments what you like to page through on a snow day.

PS. This snow sculpture entitled “Knitting Family Poems” was created for the 2007 Ottawa Winterlude National Snow Sculpture Competition by the Alberta team of Brian McArthur, Dawn Detarando and Will Truchon (it received the People’s Choice Award).

Tuesday’s Tip – Try an Interchangeable Needle Tip Instead of a Cable Needle

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
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Using interchangeable needle tip instead of cable needle- Photo by Amy StephensToday’s tip comes from Kerry; one of our wonderful Customer Service Representatives. 

Instead of using a cable needle when knitting cables, Kerry likes to use an interchangeable needle tip. It’s best to use a tip one size smaller than the needles you’re using for the rest of the project. Once you’ve knit your cable, you can stick the needle into the tail of the interchangeable tip to put the stitches back on your needle.

Tuesday’s Tip – Keep your Place on a Chart with a Dry Erase Marker and Page Protector

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
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Use a Page Protector and Dry Erase Marker to Keep your Place on a ChartThis week’s tip comes from Jackie, one of our fabulous customer service representatives.

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!

Tuesday’s Tip – How to Add a New Color to your Knitting

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
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How to Add a New Color to your KnittingAdding 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.

Click here for the video!

 

 

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – How to Avoid the Gap

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
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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!

Tuesday’s Tip – How to Join with the Magic Knot

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
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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.