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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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Saturday, June 17, 2006Name: Libby

Subject: Labels

Comment: I use the clear plastic sleeves in a notebook to keep my patterns in and I also have a different notebook for each item, like socks, or mittens if I have enough patterns if not, I have a notebook just for odd patterns. It is lighter and easier to find a pattern when you have a lot of them. I also put my yarn label down in the sleeve between the patterns and that lets me know what yarn I used to make the pattern.

Thursday, June 15, 2006Name: Annie

Subject: keeping track of your placee in your pattern

Comment: when you are working on a pattern with multiple rows, take a pencil and place a check-mark or an X at the begining of the row you have just completed. When you have finished the pattern repeat, you can just erase your marks and start again, but make sure that you don't make your marks too hard or else they won't erase too well. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 15, 2006Name: Annie

Subject: stitch markers

Comment: An easy and inexpensive way to make stitch markers is to take contrasting yarn and to tie into loops and place the loops whereever you need to place stitch markers. A word of caution though, you kinda need to have a idea (or keep track) of where your yarn markers are, due to the fact that they are soft and if you are not paying close attention, you could accidently knit them into your project (I know from experience), but other then that, they're great. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 11, 2006Name: Betty

Subject: lace knitting edge

Comment: When knitting a complicated lace pattern repeat I found it helpful to run a length of any smooth contrasting colored cord through each stitch across the row at the end of a pattern repeat. This way if a stitch was dropped doing the next pattern set, and moved down too far to fix, I could just drop all the stitches down to the cord and start that repeat section over. At the end of the next set I would remove the cord and re-insert it at the top of my knitting. This was time well spent. Not having to worry about a dropped stitch ruining the whole piece of work, I relaxed and finished the pattern with no hitches.

Friday, June 09, 2006Name: Carolyn Littlejohn

Subject: I love this section...

Comment: My tip: not rocket science. I put my yarn in a plastic grocery bag and tie the handles w/strand coming out. It bounces around as I pull and no dog hair or dust. I'd rather knit than clean house.

Thursday, June 01, 2006Name: Kim

Subject: Teaching left-handed knitting

Comment: If the person does not know how to knit and has never held a pair of knitting needles in their hand - teach them right handed. They will never know the difference. I am a lefty who knits right handed. I crochet left handed and have taught people to crochet left handed and they never knew the difference.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006Name: Ell

Subject: knitting markers

Comment: I use opened-up paper clips as knitting markers. They are cost-less and they even work as cable needles if they are opened up more!

Monday, May 29, 2006Name: Linda

Subject: Point Protectors for Large Needles

Comment: When using really large needles, I couldn't find point protectors that will stay on and hold my stitches. I took the lid of a plastic 35mm film case, poked a hole in the center of it and have a great point protector. I haven't lost a stitch since.

Monday, May 22, 2006Name: Denise

Subject: counting rows

Comment: hi from australia - at the end of each row use one of the needles and a tattslotto card (similar to bingo)and just poke a hole in the number that corresponds with the pattern row just completed, as it's only paper it's lightweight and can be folded to carry around easily.

Monday, May 22, 2006Name: Jaynell

Subject: stitch markers

Comment: If you're like me and you always seem to start a project during school, or you're a cheapo, or your little sister steals them to make Barbie bracelets.. try using soda tabs. Drink a couple cans, burp a bit. Make sure to break them off neatly or you'll get a sharp edge that snags yarn. They're light and cool looking, and you're kind of recycling.

Monday, May 22, 2006Name: Amanda D.

Subject: No More Squinting

Comment: If you have an over-head projecter, make a copy of your pattern onto transparent paper, and project it on an empty wall. It's easier to read, you can share your pattern with a large amount of people, and you don't have to squint to see your pattern.

Sunday, May 14, 2006Name: Kristen

Subject: cable needle

Comment: I have found the DPNs work great as cable needles. They're long enough that your work doesn't slip off easily, and, if you're like me, you have many sizes on hand.

Saturday, May 13, 2006Name: Caroline

Subject: CD-ROM spindles - perfect for holding a yarn ball!

Comment: When I knit, the skein of yarn tends to roll around whenever I pull another length out. To stop this, use the base of a CD-ROM container - the kind with a spindle, which holds a number of blank CDs.

Find the center of the skein (it may not work with all types) and open it up. Slide over the spindle. It will spin on the axis, and not roll around!

Monday, May 08, 2006Name: Lynne

Subject: keeping track of patterns

Comment: I'm a newer knitter, and when I've made mistakes in a pattern I'd have a hard time figuring out which row was which. Now I put a split marker (a safety pin would work too) on the first stitch of the first row of each pattern repeat, and move it each time I begin the repeat again. Then I can easily count the pattern rows to remember where I am.

Monday, May 01, 2006Name: Leslee

Subject: Accessories Container

Comment: I use old "Maxalt" (a migraine medication) containers to store row counters, stitch and place markers, small stitch holders, needles, etc. They are: 3" x 3" x 1/2" and have a hinged top opening similar to a cigarette package. They are either a pretty lavendar or royal blue color. There are only 3 pills in each container so those of us who use this medication go through a LOT of these throw-away cases (due to type of material used they cannot be recycled in my city). Estimates are that around 20% of the population suffer from migraines. Chances are that someone you know might use this medication. Ask around or ask the pharmacy if you can request empty Maxalt containers for knitting accessory storage (you might ask to see a sample case first if you have never seen one before). You will LOVE these cases and you will be environmentally friendly, too.

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