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Share your best knitting tips here ...

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    Share your best knitting tips here ...

    I can't do socks without Judy's Magic Cast On ...


    When increasing with make 1's, some people like to have them lean on way on one side and the opposite way on the other. It drove me nuts that I couldn't keep them straight.

    I learned that a make 1 right has the top loop leaning to the right. A make 1 left leans to the left. It's easier for me to think of them as "front" and "back" by which way I lift the bar to make the stitch. I have a link to a great blog post someone wrote that explains and illustrates both points. When I find it, I'll post it here.

    Last edited by runner5; 07-20-2019, 11:56 AM.


      Forget Using Kitchener for Grafting Sock Toes & Use This Method


      Found this video that has a great way to join sock toes without stressing over trying to remember Kitchener sequence. This join is done from the inside of the sock and would also work for joining live stitches for any project from the Purl side of stockinette.
      Last edited by BZYktr; 07-20-2019, 12:34 PM.


      • runner5
        runner5 commented
        Editing a comment
        I've watched other videos she did and they were excellent. I hope to make time to watch this one today. Thanks for sharing - I had forgotten about her.

      • aronan
        aronan commented
        Editing a comment
        I love Roxanne! Thanks, This was an excellent video, and it made me look for the one she did specifically on the Finchley Graft.

        I cannot seem to put a live link here, but it is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3sD...&index=4&t=66s

      Is the yarn your pattern calls for discontinued? Too expensive? Too cheap? Can't find it in your country? Find a substitute.

      YarnSub is a free and independent tool to help knitters and crocheters find workable substitutes for discontinued or hard to find yarns. It has a large database of yarns from all the major manufacturers and many smaller brands too.


      • BonBon
        BonBon commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh wow! I didn't know about yarn sub. Thanks for the link 😃

      For knitting from the center out, my favorite cast on is the Emily Ocker CO. I believe it's the same or similar to a crochet magic circle. Here's my favorite step-by-step tutorial for the cast on, but there are lots of YouTube videos: https://web.archive.org/web/20120324...rcular_co.html

      Also, for that CO I like to use an inexpensive metal crochet hook so that I can slide my loops easily off the bottom/handle and onto DPNs or a circular needle rather than back over the hook.


        Sometimes when I'm putting colors together for color work I like to use a color wheel. Here's a handy online one that's tons of fun to play with:

        Use the color wheel to find the perfect color scheme with the Sessions College color calculator. Endless free color combinations, working from any base color.


          If the edges of your project roll up or curl under... and you don't want them to... this may be what you need to know:

          Why project edges roll up or curl under:
          Just as a coin has two sides: "heads" and "tails" ... in knitting, each stitch has two sides: "knit" and "purl."
          The knit side of a stitch looks like the letter V.
          The purl side of a stitch looks like a bump or little round pearl.
          The purl side will tend to be larger and the knit side smaller causing the project to roll or curl at the edges.

          When does this matter:
          This matters for scarves, shawls, blankets, placemats, wash cloths, dishcloths, and other items which similarly have unseamed edges.

          This does not matter for pillows which are seamed on all edges... or for other items with similar construction.

          Hats, socks, mittens/gloves, bags/totes, pullover sweaters, and other tube-shaped projects tend to have a ribbed brim, cuff, waistband.
          Or... they may be planned to have a rolled edge.
          You might want to do a web search on "roll brim knit hat" to see an example where the fabric curling or rolling is desirable.
          For hats and other tube-shaped projects, if knit flat, the project may roll while knitting but will be seamed during finishing, so not to worry.

          Planning ahead:
          For scarves, shawls, blankets, placemats, washcloths, dishcloths, etc, the effortless way to keep a knitting project from rolling throughout the item's usable life, is to plan ahead when choosing a pattern.

          What to look for:
          Look for a pattern with balance of knit & purl stitches on each side of the fabric to provide a stable fabric which will not roll or curl.

          Some examples for knitters of all abilities are easy REVERSIBLE stitches such as:
          garter stitch, 1x1 ribbing, 2x2 ribbing, seed stitch, moss stitch, checkerboard stitch.

          For intermediate or advanced knitters:
          all REVERSIBLE stitches, including reversible cables (often based on 1x1 ribbing or 2x2 ribbing).

          What to avoid:
          Patterns with a large expanse of stockinette stitch or reverse stockinette will result in a project which is likely to curl or roll.

          How to modify your pattern:
          If a scarf, shawl, blanket, placemat, washcloth, dish cloth or other similar pattern has a large expanse of stockinette or reverse stockinette, you can modify this rather than following the pattern exactly.
          For most patterns, you may substitute stitches. Choose a reversible stitch. Be sure to check gauge.
          For many patterns, an edge or border of reversible stitches is enough to stabilize the fabric.
          Seed stitch or garter stitch are popular choices.
          Depending upon the overall size of the project the border may be as few as 3 stitches, although 5 stitches is common.
          For larger projects such as blankets, this border may be as many as 9 or even 12 stitches.

          If you learned about rolling and curling too late:
          If you learned about rolling and curling after you were far into your project and do not want to frog it (rip-it, rip-it) then here are a few ideas:
          - Crochet an edge around your project.
          - Block your project.
          - Decide it is lovely for all of its attributes, including its curls.

          Happy knitting!
          Last edited by qfknit; 07-20-2019, 03:32 PM.


            Circular needles were my best tip.

            Kaffe Fassett uses them for back and forth knitting you can't lose, if you are the sort of person (like me) who can never find the scissors or the other needle.

            I also get much more even tension with these and don't get tired hands.


              Another great knitting tip is the use of the one-row buttonhole.

              Barbara Walker's self-reinforcing one-row buttonhole was documented in the Fall/Winter 1985 issue of Vogue Knitting, according to online notes created by SUNY Oswego faculty member Esther Smith Bozak in 1997: http://www.cs.oswego.edu/~ebozak/kni...uttonhole.html

              Descriptions of the technique for making one-row horizontal buttonholes are available on a number of websites and demonstrated in many YouTube videos, as well as being published in Barbara G. Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns (most recently published by Schoolhouse press, 1998).


                Nine inch circulars for socks. The work goes so much more smoothly when I don't have to fiddle with DPNs or cables hanging out everywhere! I do have to do magic loop for the toe, but the circs work for the rest of the sock.


                  I used to have a difficult time seeing where to pick up stitches on the sides of items like sock heels. While reading Donna Kooler's description of the sliding loop join, it occured to me to try laying a piece of string at the beginning of each appropriate row and at each turn. It worked beautifully. The string is not knitted so it does not run through the side stitch, but it does run through the loop left by the yarn when you start a new row. It will work on either or both sides of a project and when either knitting or purling. It does not work if your first stitch is slipped since no loop is formed.

                  It may seem a little awkward at first, but the first few rows are the hardest. Just make sure you lay the string across the working yarn when you turn and don't knit it into the first stitch. An added benefit - an automatic row counter.


                  • qfknit
                    qfknit commented
                    Editing a comment
                    tangledskein - Thank you for this tip, and especially for taking the time to make a sample for us to see.

                  When I don't want the large holes left by yarn-overs, I use the YO-right cross which I learned from Barbara Abbey in her Complete Book of Knitting. She gave a pattern for a bias garter stitch (the old K1, YO, K to last stitch, YO, knit last stitch, etc.) using only the YO-right cross and there were no visible holes in the project. (I have included a tiny sample of this in the left part of the photo below.) In addition, she says when forming a seam stitch, such as a gusset, using a YO-cross left before the seam stitch and a YO cross right after it results in a smooth flat seam. The holes are very small. (Small sample in right part of photo below.)

                  YO cross right: throw yarn over needle from the back to the front then take to the back again between the needles. Knit the stitch from the front on the return row. (This stitch is greatly 'pulled up' so you have to be careful you're actually knitting in the YO.)

                  YO cross left: throw YO as usual, but purl through back on return row.


                  • qfknit
                    qfknit commented
                    Editing a comment
                    tangledskein - Thank you for this tip, and especially for taking the time to make a sample for us to see.

                  Originally posted by tangledskein View Post
                  Barbara Abbey in her Complete Book of Knitting.
                  Love that book. Learned a lot from it, and still have it!


                    It is the tight and neat left leaning decrease by Wendy Peterson from yarnsub. No wobble and is relatively fast. https://yarnsub.com/articles/techniques/k2togl/


                      a quick and easy way to always have a lifeline in place - especially for lace (but nice for other projects with slippery yarns as well), is to knit purl side rows while holding a length of dental floss with your working yarn - it's always thin enough and fuzz-free - a "lifesaver" when you need it! A few lengths are all that are needed as you can move them as you go.


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