This week, our Design Manager, Kirsten, shows us how to join a 3-needle bind off. This is such a wonderful technique for joining a vertical piece of knitting to a horizontal piece; such as the sleeves to the body of a sweater, or the edging of a shawl. The alternative to the 3-needle bind off is more cumbersome and involves binding off using the traditional yarn over method, then sewing the pieces together. This technique tends to be very tight and can cause the project to pucker. The 3-needle bind off keeps your project looking seamless!
Posts Tagged ‘knitting tips’
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!
Guest: Kathy talks with first-time guest Andi Smith, designer and author of Big Foot Knits. Originally from Yorkshire England, Andi has been knitting and crocheting for as long as she can remember. 10 years ago she met Shannon Oakey of Cooperative Press and on a drive back from Rhinebeck they talked about socks,how they didn’t fit, what Andi had been doing to alter sock patterns so they would fit and the book idea was born.
The first section of the book is all about helping you to make socks that really fit you. There is some math involved with figuring out your specific measurements and your gauge but then you are ready to make all kinds of socks that fit you well!
Copies of the book are available through Cooperative Press and Ravelry. Comment on this post and tell us why you need Big Foot Knits to win your own copy! Comments must be posted by 11:59pm EDT on Monday, August 5, 2013. 2 Winners will be chosen and will be announced on the show next week. Please make sure to include your e-mail address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re one of our winners!
Steve’s Yarn Picks
- Universal Yarns Jubilation Kettle Dye
- Buffalo Wool Co. Sexy
- Noro Cyochin
- Noro Obi
- Rowan Alpaca Color
- Rowan Thick n Thin
- Rowan Magazine 54
Stitches Midwest is happening NEXT weekend! August 8-11 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center in Schaumburg, IL.
We will have yarn and hat samples from Schachenmayr yarn’s new My Mountain collection at our booth. We will also be partnering with Dream in Color yarns to offer a shawl kit to benefit Chelsea’s Light. Check out the recent podcast from Ben Levisay, The Fiber Hooligan for more details.
Registration has opened for our 7th Annual Bus Trip to the NY Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck!
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.
I do a lot of designing and I spend a considerable amount of time swatching different stitch patterns. I’ve found that I like to spend time with a stitch pattern before I commit to a fiber, especially if it’s a luxury fiber like silk or cashmere. So, I keep a skein or two of orphan yarns in my stash and partial skeins.
Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool is a perfect yarn for this. You could buy one skein to make a couple small projects, then keep the rest to use for swatching. This way, I can spend some time with the stitch pattern and if I find that I do not like the process of creating it I don’t feel bad about wasting the yarn used.
When working with slippery yarns it can be a nightmare to keep them untangled; even when wound into a ball! I’ve kept a few pairs of tights from when my girls were little and cut the legs into 6-8″ tubes. When I’m working with a yarn like Berroco Seduce, I will wind it into a center-pull ball and then slip it into one of the tubes to keep it all nice and tidy.
Now you can knit or crochet easily without your slippery yarn tangling!
I know there are many of you out there who block their FO’s on the living room carpet, an unused couch, your guest bed’s mattress, or (I don’t want to know) not at all. I also know that many of you come through the fire with garments that are curly, ravelly, mis-sized or misshapen, or crooked. Your lace is delicate and airy when blocked, scrunchy and meh-looking when unblocked. Your sweaters are rolling at the edges, with one sleeve longer than the other and too tight in the hips until you loosen up the fibers with a cool bath and some Eucalan.
I used to do all of that, too. My garments looked so much better once I invested in a blocking board, which has changed my knitting. Really. It has clearly marked measuring squares for perfect symmetry for sleeves or waist shaping. It is big, so you could potentially block a scarf or medium-ish-sized shawl on it. It is padded, so pins really dig in and don’t move or pop out. It has a felt backing, so it won’t slide around on whatever surface you use. The most genius part: It folds in half and has a convenient handle so you can tote it to the craft room, the den, the deck, or to your drop-in class at Webs to show off your fibery skills.
We carry these boards in two sizes, the small, which measures 18″ x 24″ and is more portable, and the larger size, measuring 33″ x 51″. I really recommend the larger one, since you’ll be able to use it for so many different projects, and you won’t regret the investment. For most garments, a dunk in some cool water to which a capful of wool wash has been added is the way to start. Don’t swirl it around, and for heaven’s sake, don’t squish it dry–if it’s anything but cotton or superwash wool, it will felt. I drain my wet garments in a colander for an hour and then roll them in a towel to just damp. Then, pin away–these T-pins are the best I’ve found. Let it dry, and voila! Art has been made.
Finding a dropped stitch a few rows down in your project can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be hard to fix! Below, you can see a video on how to fix a dropped stitch in stockinette.
How to Fix a Dropped Stitch in Garter Stitch (below)
To join in the round invisibly, cast on one more stitch than your pattern calls for. Then, when you’re ready to join in the round, slip this extra stitch to the left needle. Using the working yarn and the yarn tail held together, knit the first two stitches together. Now drop the tail and knit as you normally would.