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Tips 'n Tricks

Do you have a helpful hint or handy trick that will make any aspect of knitting easier? Share it! Post ideas on scrap yarn usages, stitch markers, color changing, maintaining your sanity while following a difficult pattern, etc. There is most probably someone out there that will benefit from your help. Need ideas yourself? Read others' comments--we all live and learn!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012Name: Fran

Subject: Right side - back side

Comment: You can always tell the right side of your project when the cast-on-tail is on the bottom left :+)

Friday, April 13, 2012Name: penny

Subject: knitting in the round

Comment: It is easy to get confused about what side is the right side when you knit in the round. EVERY time I put my knitting down I put an orange stop on my left needle (I am left handed), and another color on my right needle. Ifr the orange stop is in my left hand when I pick up my knitting, I am always knitting in the correct direction.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012Name: Stitch Diva

Subject: Uses for old gauge swatches

Comment: Here are some ideas:
-Throw them into the washing machine before you wash your project to make sure that it can be machine washed and the colors don't fade or bleed.
-If they are all the standard 4 by 4 size, sew them into a unique mismatched quilt. You can also try sewing them into placemats and rugs.
-Sew two swatches that are the same size on three sides, fill it with stuffing, and sew up the fourth side. It's a cool beanbag that kids love to play with!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012Name: Marcie

Subject: bamboo needles

Comment: I always carry a small square of waxed paper -- like 6" -- to rub down my bamboo needles if they start feeling dull or the stitches start slowing down in how they slide off them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012Name: Marcie

Subject: Nice neat edges on flat pieces of knitting

Comment: Someone showed me that if on the last stitch of every row you slip one as if to purl, then wrap the yarn around that last stitch and hold it in back so you can knit the first stitch of every row, you'll get a wonderfully even, neat edge. It's really terrific for when you have to sew pieces of a project together.

Monday, April 09, 2012Name: Lulu

Subject: Patterns

Comment: I find it very hard to follow patterns, because there are new abbreviations in each one. I find inventing patterns is much better. Yes, they do not always turn out, but they CAN turn out very well.

Friday, March 30, 2012Name: jessica

Subject: bamboo needles

Comment: I use bamboo needle and after a while I have noticed that they will start to warp and crack along the grainlines. This is because the varnish put on them has been worn off and I live in a fairly erratic humidity. To eliviate this problem when storing them in between projects. Coat them in I light layer of mineral oil. Let this dry before packing away. This will keep the needles smooth and they wont catch on the yarn.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012Name: Kris

Subject: tiny knitting

Comment: I used rounded chopsticks and embroidery thread to knit miniature blankets for a scale replica of an old ship. They were adorable. :-)

Sunday, March 25, 2012Name: Emer

Subject: Projects

Comment: If you want to give a personal touch to your projects try swiss darning a personal message into blankets, scarves or hats

Thursday, March 22, 2012Name: Katherine Stanley

Subject: Purling

Comment: At the end of a purl row, when I'm about to take the last stitch of the LH needle, I take the yarn back to make sure that the last stitch is tight. You can reverse this for a knit row.

Friday, March 16, 2012Name: Sharon Houpt

Subject: Repairs to Socks and other knit items

Comment: I have found it much easier to needle felt repairs to socks rather than darning. A small piece of foam can be used as a base with a medium felting needle. The resulting repair is almost invisible and much stronger than darning. Easier too.

This only works on wool and wool blend socks. Acrylic socks will still need to be darned as their fiber does not felt.

YouTube has several how to videos on needle felting.

Thursday, March 15, 2012Name: B. Harris

Subject: Plastic Bags

Comment: Don't put plastic bags into knitted toys, babies/children could suffocate or choke if the toy splits in any way.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012Name: Drea Rodney

Subject: old scraps of yarn

Comment: scraps of yarn that arent "long" enough for a project can be saved along with other scraps to make a colourful, fun project. once i made my dad a blanket - and because i had to collect as i went all the "scraps" - it took me 3 years to make because i didnt have all the yarn before hand. so as i finished one project, the extra yarn went to the blanket. to date, it is my dads favourite knit i made him, because of the time, effort, and character the blanket has. i made my mom a scarf similarly, with 5 scraps of extra yarn. so there was 5 different types and colours of yarn, and everyone loves that scarf. so if you have a friend or family member who is creative, loves colours, or who has a bold attitude, and you just dont know what to knit - try putting several leftover yarns together in a pattern and see how it looks!!!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012Name: Raluca

Subject: bamboo needles

Comment: I have some bamboo needles for knitting in diferent sizes and i love working with them but some of them started to splint. As a solution, i painted the pointy tops with nail polish so the splints stay glued to the needle and the yarn doesn't scramble anymore.

Sunday, March 11, 2012Name: Cecilia

Subject: needles

Comment: If your asian like me, you'll find this quite funny. Take the wooden chopsticks and sharpen them a bit. Now you have your very own needles. If you want an end, glue some beads on them.

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