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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, November 26, 2005Name: Heidi

Subject: winding yarn

Comment: When you are winding a ball of yarn, always place a finger or two on the ball and wind the yarn over your fingers. This keeps the yarn from becoming too tight and losing it's elasticity.

Saturday, November 26, 2005Name: Heidi

Subject: casting on

Comment: When I cast on I add an extra needle about 2 sizes smaller to my needle. I then cast on over both of them. This keeps my 1st row from being too tight.

Saturday, November 19, 2005Name: Lydia

Subject: casting on

Comment: I sometimes purl to cast on when pattern does't call for anything specific because if I'm on medium or large needles it can make it a bit more loose on the secnd row than if I had knit to cast on.

Sunday, October 09, 2005Name: Mary

Subject: CO mock turtle necks

Comment: Pull a good 12 inches of yarn from the skein and then start casting on. That first 12 inches can later serve as the yarn to tack down the collar, thus saving another bumpy knot from being tied down in the collar area of the work.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005Name: Maryland

Subject: double pointed needles size 0 & smaller

Comment: When knitting lace with small needles I use ear ring backings that you pinch and slide on to keep my work from falling off, and to avoid getting stuck with outer ends.

Sunday, September 18, 2005Name: Elise

Subject: row tracking

Comment: I've found it helpful to twist a wired twisty tie (the kind that is included in boxes of baggies) around the end of my right hand needle after I cast on and before I start to knit. That way, if the twisty-tie needle is in my right hand, I know I'm on an odd-numbered row.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005Name: Suzy

Subject: Neat edges

Comment: When ever I knit, I ALWAYS slip the last stitch off as if to knit, and always purl the first stitch of the next row, regardless of what the pattern calls for. That way your knitting always has a pretty edge to either stand alone, or to make the sewing together of pieces a snap!

Saturday, August 27, 2005Name: Cathy

Subject: Taming the ball of wool

Comment: Have you ever knit with a hand-wound ball of yarn or wool? The ball rolls all over the place ever time you give it a pull. Try this: cut the bottom 2-4" off a plastic soda bottle, place the yarn into the top half, threading the loose end through the neck. Slide the top part of the bottle back into the inside of the bottom part. Cut a small 1" slit in the top to help it fit. Lightly tape the bottle closed. You can use the bottle cap to hold the yarn when you're not knitting. I use this method for holding skeins of yarn as well as balls. It keeps them neat in my bag. Plastic soda bottles come in lots of sizes; use the smaller sizes for little hand-wound balls and the 2-liter size for large skeins.

Monday, August 08, 2005Name: Kristina

Subject: Markers

Comment: I am new to the knitting scene. When a pattern that was knitted in the round called for a marker I kind of had an idea of what one was, but I didn't possess one at the time so I just used one of the small hoop earings I was currently wearing. I'm always wearing hoop earings so I have markers where ever I go.

Saturday, July 23, 2005Name: Darrell

Subject: finishing

Comment: When finishing up and you have too short a tail to weave into garment, weave the empty darning needle as if it were already threaded and then put short yarn in eye and finish pulling it through.

Friday, July 08, 2005Name: kellie

Subject: markers

Comment: On a trip I was knitting and forgot my markers so I used my sissors to cut a drinking straw to make a marker. Now I keep several different colored straws in my car just in case.

Thursday, June 23, 2005Name: Linda

Subject: Twisted Cord

Comment: When I make a sweater or something that calls for a twisted cord, this is what I do and it makes a wonderful and very professional looking cord. I cut three long lengths of yarn (you need long lengths because it decreases as it is twisted), then I tie one end to a door handle, kitchen cupboard handle or chair back. I tie the other end to one beater on my electric mixer. You must stand back so the yarn is at its full length. I turn the mixer on high and let it twist until the yarn is tight. Then I bring one end to the other and it twists itself together. Each end is tied with a knot and you have a great twisted cord. It it wonderful for baby sacques, hats and booties and anything else where a cord is required.

Monday, April 25, 2005Name: Ami Clipfell

Subject: joining to knit-in-the-round

Comment: I also work a few rows before joining, (like Joan suggested below), but I also CO one extra stitch. If I am ribbing, I make the first and last stitch purl sts. Then when joining, I purl the first and last together. The join does not show as much if it is in purl.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005Name: Susan

Subject: blocking knitted garments

Comment: Cardboard folding cutting boards intended for use to cut sewing patterns has proven to be an invaluable tool when blocking knitted garments. The measurements are accurate and the knitted garment stays put. Garment will also dry and block much faster.

Sunday, February 06, 2005Name: LaVina R Daracunas

Subject: making stocking caps

Comment: I use a circular needle that is short enough to hold the decreased stitches at the top of the cap: for example, with 4 ply yarn and size 10 1/2 (USA) needle that is circular and about 10 inches long (maybe shorter) I cast on 100 stitches and working in rounds, knit 2, purl 2 for about 8 inches; decrease by purl 2 together, knit 2 for about 8 rows; decrease by knit 2 together, purl 1; knit 1, purl 1 for 4 rows; knit 1, knit 2 together around. you should have about 25 stitches left. Cut yarn and thread through yarn needle and remove stitches from circular needle with yarn needle from the left point, cinch up and fasten off on the inside of the hat. You have no seams to sew. Just the ends from the beginning and ending to tuck in. I have made hundreds of stocking caps in this manner. You can also use this with smaller needles and yarn weights. I found circular knitting needles that are 6 inches long which work great for the baby caps and preemie caps.

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