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 ‘Tuesday’s Tip’
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!
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!
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.
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.