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.
Posts Tagged ‘Tuesday’s Tip’
Many projects like gloves and socks require you to pick up stitches and then continue knitting. Your pattern may call for you to pick up 15 stitches, but you know you’ll have a big gap if you follow those directions exactly. This can be easily fixed!
Pick up one extra stitch at the space where you suspect a gap will form. On your next round, make sure you decrease by 1 stitch to remove that extra stitch. There are many types of decreases, but usually a simple “knit 2 together” will work fine. These gaps usually form in discreet places on a project like between the fingers of a glove or on the side of a sock.
Katie was working on these bibs when she realized she had a better solution for the closure. Putting a bib on a wiggly baby isn’t the easiest thing to do; you usually have to use two hands to snap the bib in place. For these, Katie decided to use Magnetic Tote Bag Closures instead! This is a fantastic idea. You can put the bib around the baby’s neck with one hand, and the magnets match up to each other with only a little help. This technique doesn’t have to be limited to bibs either. Almost any project needing a closure can use these magnetic closures instead of buttons or snaps.
For these bibs, Katie used Plymouth Jeannee Worsted. The pattern is Crochet Baby Bib by NeedleNoodles.
Of course, like any project using small parts, be sure to keep an eye on your little one when they’re wearing their bib!
Greta has a tip for us this week about counting your rows. Counting rows in stockinette stitch is pretty easy. You simply count each little “V” stitch you see. Counting garter stitch rows is trickier since we don’t have all those little V’s to count anymore; they’ve been replaced with wide bumps. The solution is simple! Each ridge counts as two rows. To keep track, put a locking stitch marker in the first ridge of your piece and that counts as your first 2 rows. Then you can count by two’s going up the piece where each garter ridge equals 2 rows. This is also good for projects that aren’t entirely in garter stitch because the stitch marker also marks which side is your “right side”. This makes it easier to keep track since the “right side” and “wrong side” of garter stitch are identical.
Suzette is a wonderful member of our store team, and she has a very handy tip for us! Striped projects knit in pieces can be very hard get just right. If you knit your striped projects seamlessly from the top-down instead, the color changes will match up just right. Knitting from the top-down eliminates the need to painstakingly match up your stripes when assembling your garment.
Suzette says, “Knitting stripes that join perfectly can be a real struggle with pieced patterns, but top-down knitting solves all the matching up problems, with the bonus of neat looking angles at the shoulders. I used Knitting Pure and Simple #296 and Classic Elite Yarn Color by Kristin. It was fun to choose the vibrant color contrasts. The only change I made was to create the blue up the center for button loops and buttons.”
Top-down knitting also has the benefit of trying on your project as you go. You can start your hat, and knit it to just the right length. Sweaters can even be tried on as you go when knit from the top-down.
You can find more top-down knitting projects here. Stripes can be added to almost anything!
In stockinette stitch, identify the row below the row you will want to start re-knitting. Insert your needle under the first strand of yarn in the V that makes up the first stitch of the row on the right side. Continue this down the row, picking up the first strand of yarn in the V and skipping the second leg of the V. You’ll be picking up every other strand of yarn.without dropping any. This week’s tip shows us how to pick up stitches before ripping back so your don’t have to worry about the live stitches unraveling.
In garter stitch, you’ll be doing the same thing. If you stretch your knitting a bit, you can see the same V’s under the bumps of the garter stitch. Insert your needle into the first leg of the V in the garter stitch as well.
Once you have your needle inserted all the way along the row, you can pull the working yarn to rip back the rows above the needle. The stitches will be sitting on your needle ready to go.
It’s best to use a needle smaller than your working needle to pick up your stitches, but remember to switch back to the original size needle when you start knitting again!
Danielle has a great reminder for how to make your cast on and bind off match every time! This technique is wonderful, especially for scarves and baby blankets, so your project is symmetrical. Use a provisional cast on at the beginning so that after you bind off your project, you can tear out the waste yarn and pretend your starting edge is a bind off edge! Using a Provisional Crochet Cast On makes this easy.
You can find the Provisional Crochet Cast On, along with tons of other great cast ons and bind offs in the book Cast On, Bind Off by Leslie Ann Bestor.
This week, Greta shows us exactly what it means when a pattern says, “Block over a plate.” Now you’ll be able to block your berets and slouchy hats perfectly!
Have you ever knitted a slouchy hat pattern and reached the finishing instructions only to find this strange little tidbit, “Block over a plate”? Now, I absolutely love knitting slouchy hats and berets, but when I saw this for the first time I was a little confused. After trying this blocking technique many times, I finally got it down and thought I would share what I’ve learned.
A dinner plate (about 10” in diameter)
A bowl or pitcher, something that balances nicely
About 1 yard smooth scrap yarn
A tapestry needle
Step 1: Using some smooth scrap yarn (about 1 yard) and a tapestry needle, thread the scrap yarn loosely around the brim of your hat getting as close to the edge as you can manage. Technically this step is optional, but I like it because it gives the brim a more finished look and helps open up any lace work in your hat.
Step 2: Block as usual. I wet blocked my hat to soften the fibers and really let those stitches bloom.
Step 3: Place the hat around and over the dinner plate. I arrange it so the crown of the hat is over the bottom center of the plate.
Step 4: Gently and evenly tighten the scrap yarn and tie it in a slip knot. Make sure everything is arranged nice and evenly on the plate.
Step 5: Place the plate brim-side down on an upturned bowl. This keeps your project from getting dirty and helps it dry faster.
Once the hat is dry you are good to go! Wear that slouchy hat with a smile knowing both you and it look awesome!
This week’s tip comes from Amy G, one of our store staff team members. She finds you can take the 2-at-a-Time skill generally used for socks, and apply it to other projects too, like the sleeves of a sweater.
“I often find the sleeves to be the most boring part of knitting a sweater, so I do them at the same time on a circular needle using two balls of yarn. Of course it only works for set-in sleeves, not sleeves picked up and knit from the shoulders, but it helps me finish my project instead of getting distracted and starting something new!”
Dena, our Ecommerce Marketing Manager, loves this technique. It can definitely get a little confusing though, so she adds a locking stitch marker to join the two pieces together. She finds this helps keep her from turning her work too soon.
Do you have any tricks to keep yourself from leaving a project half finished?
To deal with unruly ends, Kristin uses crazy glue or super glue to tack then down after she’s woven them in for an inch or two. She also likes to use a patch of one sided fusible interfacing and iron it on to of the wiggly end.
Yarn made of slippery fibers like rayon and silk can be tough to keep in place. This tip will help keep your finished project looking clean and polished!