Posts Tagged ‘Tuesday’s Tip’

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Keeping Even Tension in Ribbing

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
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This week’s tip coms from Ysolda Teague’s latest book, Little Red in the City. It’s filled with fantastic tips and tricks to making your knitting neater and easier resulting in a stunning finished product.

 

Uneven tension in your knitting results in sloppy looking stitches that can really distract from your stitch pattern and your overall project. This tension problem can be really obvious in ribbing. A lot of people purl looser than they knit. This makes the preceding knit stitch appear sloppy and uneven since any slackness in your purl stitch is actually traveling backwards to your knit stitch.

 

To fix this, work all purl stitches in Eastern style. The difference between Eastern and Western style is simply the direction in which the yarn is wrapped around the needle when working the stitch. Most people knit Western style, which wraps the purl stitches counter clockwise. Eastern purls stitches clockwise. The yarn can be held in either the left or right hand. Wrapping the yarn clockwise follows a shorter path around the needle, putting less yarn into the stitch. On the following row, knit into the back loop of your knit stitches.

 


Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Converting your Flat Pattern to In the Round

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
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Thanks to our Purchasing Coordinator and part-time knitwear designer, Emma Welford for this week’s tip!

If you hate purling and dread seaming or just want to challenge yourself with a different construction, try converting your flat pattern to knitting in the round! I’m currently doing this with my Holla Back Tank pattern since I’ve already knit the pattern once and want to keep myself on my toes this time around.

Read through your pattern carefully before beginning. If it has unusual construction techniques or a lace pattern with special stitches on every row, it will be more complicated or even unsuitable to translating to working in the round. This depends on your skill level and comfort with the contents of the pattern so only you can make that decision.

Knit your gauge swatch in the round. Like a lot of people, I find I knit slightly tighter in the round than I do flat.

Remove any selvage stitches when calculating how many stitches to cast on and where any shaping takes place.For example, if the front of your sweater says to CO 102 stitches (100 body stitches and 2 selvage stitches) and the back of your sweater says to CO 112 stitches (110 body stitches and 2 selvage stitches), you would CO 210 stitches when knitting in the round.

Remember that any WS rows will be worked opposite to what they originally state. Purls will be knit, knits will be purled, and lace or cable patterns will be worked backwards. If you have a chart, read the WS rows from right to left.


– Remove any ‘balancing’ stitches outside of the repeats for a lace or cable pattern.

Don’t be afraid to place multiple markers!I place one color to indicate the beginning of the round, and another to separate the front and the back of the sweater to help me remember to follow the different instructions for each piece. I also like to use stitch markers to separate out lace or cable panels.


If your pattern calls for sleeves, you could knit them flat and seam them as originally called for.  Another option is to pick up stitches from the armhole and work a short row sleeve cap, then knit the sleeve downwards from there and reverse shaping by decreasing at the intervals where the pattern says to increase. Choose the method you’re most comfortable with!

 

Tuesday’s Knitting & Crochet Tip – How to Wind a Center Pull Ball

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
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You may want to wind your own center pull ball if your yarn cake is starting to collapse on itself during a project, or if you just prefer the stability a center pull ball provides, but don’t have a ball winder handy.

– To wind your own center pull ball, start with the end tucked under your thumb in the palm of your hand.

– Wind the yarn around three fingers a few times, then remove the yarn, and wind in the opposite direction. You want to make sure you’re keeping the tension nice and loose. You don’t want to stretch the yarn at all while you’re doing this.

– Now start winding the yarn around the loops you’ve created. Once you have all the yarn contained, put your thumb into the space where your center strand is coming out and continue winding. It may look a little sloppy at first, but it’ll neaten up as you continue.

– Try to wind a few times in each section and move around the ball to keep in even. When you’re done, just remove your thumb and pull on the center strand. A small bunch of yarn will come out at first, this was the base for our ball. Once that’s out, you have an easy to use center pull ball.

Check out the video below to see this technique in action!

Tuesday’s Crochet Tip – Keeping your Hairpin Strips Tidy

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
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This week’s tip comes from Sara Delaney, one of our fantastic crochet instructors here at WEBS!

Making hairpin lace can be a really relaxing activity until it comes time to take it off the loom. How do you coral all those loops? Tin foil is your friend for this one! Simply pull off a piece of foil that is long enough and wide enough to wrap your loom like a present. Lay the loom down in the center of the foil, remove the top or bottom bar and slide the pegs out of your work leaving all those loops right in the midle of your foil, nice and neat. Fold up the sides, top and bottom and that strip will stay nice and tidy until you are ready to join it with others into a larger piece.

If you’ve never tried hairpin lace before and are curious what it is, check out some of these great patterns for inspiration.

Tuesday’s Knitting & Crochet Tip – Wet Splicing

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
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Wet splicing is a great technique that can be used to join two pieces of yarn together. You can use it in place of weaving in ends, or if you come across a knot while in the middle of your row. 100% wool works best, but any animal fiber or any fiber that felts can be wet spliced.

Step 1: Take your two strands, and make sure your ends are frayed. If you’ve used scissors to cut your yarn, unply it with your hands. It’s easier for the wool to grab onto itself when the ends are rough. Overlap both strands about an inch in the palm of your hand.

Step 2: Take some water and wet down the yarn really well. The yarn needs heat and moisture to felt together.

Step 3: Rub your hands together quickly. You want to feel your hands starting to get warm.

Now, this acts as one strand of yarn. You might get a slight bump in the middle, but wool and animal fibers block so well, once you knit it into your project you’ll never even notice where you joined your strands.

Watch wet splicing in action by viewing the video below!

 

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Keeping your Edges Neat

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012
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If you’ve struggled with messy edges on your knitting projects, you’re not alone. Knitting the first stitch of a row is tricky to get just right. I like to keep the edges of my project neat by slipping the first stitch of every row. This slipped stitch is then knit (or purled) when you work back on the next row.

 

Some people strive for their projects to look as perfect as possible while other choose to embrace the imperfections of hand knitting.

 

Do you have any tricks for keeping your knitting neat? Or do you let the stitches fall where they may instead?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Hiding Your Ends

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
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Instead of weaving in your ends at the start of a project or when joining a new ball, try knitting the tail of the yarn right into your project.

  • Hold the tail and the working yarn together and knit 3-4 stitches.
  • Knit these stitches a little tighter than you normally would to cut down on the bulk knitting with two strands.
  • Then, when you knit the next row, just make sure you knit into both strands for these stitches.

This works best with wools that will block well and hide the areas with slightly more bulk.

Weaving in ends is my least favorite part of knitting. Do you have any other suggestions on how to avoid weaving in ends?

Tuesday’s Knitting Tip – Keeping the Facing of a Sweater Flat

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
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Thank you to Theresa, our Customer Service Supervisor who shared this fantastic tip with us!

I love the look of stockinette stitch, but it will roll if it’s used alone as an edging. The solution: knit in stockinette for the public side of your work, and ribbing for the inside of the work.

Here, Theresa worked stockinette, then a purl row, then ribbing. She tacked the facing down with a few stitches and it lays flat beautifully. This technique will give you the clean look of stockinette without the headache of rolling edges!

The sweater featured in the photo is the Knitbot Featherweight Cardigan.

 

 

 

Tuesday’s Tip – Alternating Skeins when using Hand-Dyed Yarns

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
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Hand-dyed yarns can vary quite a bit in shade, even within the same colorway.  If you knit through one skein completely, then another, you’ll see a distinctive line in your project where the two skeins meet. This isn’t a problem if you’re making a one skein project, but what if you want to make a sweater, a shawl or something else using multiple skeins of hand dyed yarn? Try alternating your skeins! If knitting or crocheting flat, work two rows from one skein, then work two rows from another and so on. If working in the round, switch skeins at the start of each round. This will blend the color changes together to transition more smoothly and will give you a much cleaner look.

This same technique can be used when using commercially dyed yarns from different dye lots.

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?