blog, Community, Knitting, Knitting Projects, Skills, Socks, Sweaters, Thursday Tips, Whats on My Needles, Wool, Yarn

Final Measurements

Hey Everyone!

While I was working on the first sock of my regal pair of socks, I had remembered something I had learned while working at the studio. 

This tip is: let the garment/item you are knitting shrink up before taking final measurements. 

I.E. the sock I am working on needs to be 5.25 inches from the heel flap to where I will start the toe. Once it measures 5.25 inches while knitting, I let it sit until the next day, then measure it again (it is typically a bit shorter than it was while I was working on it the day before), and then I knit up the remainder I need, before knitting the toe. I make sure it is the right length once it has shrunk to final size (as it is looser while knitting), before moving on. 

While I was working at the studio, we had to check the pieces against the final dimensions and against the other pieces of the same size to ensure consistency. 

Thursday Tips, Tips

Stitch Markers

Hey Everyone! 

Stitch Markers are a wonderful thing. They are small little rings that slide on your needle to mark when you need to switch what kind of stitch you are working on. There are a couple kinds of projects that I don’t really use them on, but for most things when I am working on a special pattern within whatever I am making I make full use of stitch markers. 

The two exceptions to my stitch marker rule are when the the pattern you are working on changes every time you work on the right side (like lace or the Saxon braid). On those you just really need to be paying attention. 

The other patterns I use, especially for sweaters I use stitch markers, because I an pretty much doing the same thing every time I get to the stitch markers. It makes life less complicated using stitch markers so I don’t have to count, and I don’t have to pay as close attention to what I am working on as I am one of those who can knit and not have to look at what I am working on at every moment. 

Knitting, Thursday Tips

Knit for where your Heart is

Hey Everyone!

This week’s tip is for those who want to knit for charity: knit for a cause you actually care about.

Ravelry is a great resource for finding groups and causes to knit for (as many groups are formed around a particular cause or charity)

The two causes I regularly knit for I got involved with through the church I attend and fell in love with and became passionate about what I was doing over time, and that’s okay too.

Knitting, Thursday Tips, Tips, Yarn

Gauging yarn in yardage

Hey Everyone!

My tip for this week, is when you are yarn shopping, make sure you also check the yardage you will need for a project against the yardage per skein of yarn to determine how many skeins you will need. It is better to have a bit of yarn left over than to not have enough. Weights per skein of yarn are a good general guideline, but the yardage you get per weight will vary between yarns.

I figured this out because I barely had any yarn left over from a 16 ounce skein of yarn when I made a size 8 knit for kids sweater, when the guidelines say 14 ounces makes an 8. Then I got looking at the yardage for that brand of yarn, versus what the guidelines say for how many yards you need for an 8, versus another brand that makes a 16 ounce skein of yarn. That is when I tuned in to the fact that the yarn I had used was thicker, so you get fewer yards to the ounce, verses a thinner (yet still 4 ply) yarn from a different brand. So in the future I will just have to remember that I cannot make a size 10 with just one skein of the thicker brand of yarn.

Yardage is also important and useful when you are working with a pattern that you can use different types of yarn with, and they give you how much yarn you will need in yards. Again, I would rather have a bit of yarn left over than run out, and need to scramble to try to find more yarn, and possibly not be able to find the same yarn I had bought, and then not be able to complete my project.

Knitting, Thursday Tips

Time for New Patterns

Hey Everyone!

Today’s tip of the day, is to give new patterns and more complicated projects your time and full attention. I have learned from experience that trying to knit more complicated patterns, or a pattern that I am unfamiliar with needs my full attention. If I am distracted watching tv, a movie, YouTube videos, or whatever I am going to mess up somewhere along the line and have to frog the project or go back (if it is easy enough to go back to) and fix it.

Knitting, Thursday Tips

Knit because you want to

Hey everyone!

One of the things I have learned about knitting is that you should knit because you enjoy knitting. In the olden days women had to learn so they could keep their family clothed. Now days making your own knit wears is more for fun, and because you enjoy it.

So my advice is to knit because you enjoy knitting and don’t feel forced to keep it up if you don’t enjoy it.

Knitting, Skills, Thursday Tips

Try New Things

Hey Everyone!

This week’s Tip is: Don’t be afraid to try new things, and make mistakes while you are learning. When knitting (or crocheting, or learning anything for that matter), don’t be afraid to try a new pattern. Challenges help you learn, build your knowledge base, and your confidence in what your are doing. Yes there are times you will fail, but try it again, whether it is right away, a week later or a bit longer down the road, don’t give up on it. Keep trying until you get it.

For example, I am working on a leaf lace scarf, I am still very new to knitting lace, and the process daunts me. This project I have started, made mistakes, frogged, restarted, frogged, restarted, and done this process several times. I am slowly figuring out where I make mistakes, and fix them and keep going. Mistakes are part of learning new things.

Knitting, Thursday Tips, Yarn


Hey Everyone!

Today I wanted to talk a bit about Blocking, and how it applies to knitting projects. I have been knitting for years, but blocking is relatively new to me. I had never really had a need to block items I had made, until I started knitting lace items. Most of the items I have knit have been sweaters, hats, and baby blankets for kids in need using 100% acrylic yarn. The first lace scarf I had made, the pattern pointed out that it needed to be blocked after I had finished it, to spread out the knitting, and to make it lay flat, and to loosen up the YO’s (Yarn Over’s). I have also read that it is good to block wool items.

Lace definitely needs to be blocked, so that it will lay flat and to loosen up yarn overs, I have also found that blocking some wool items (especially that have stockinette edges) is a good idea, where as with others you can lay it flat to dry, (if you use a garter stitch edging especially), Blocking involves pinning the edges of garments down to towels or a blocking board, and there are blocking wires out there as well. I don’t have a blocking board or blocking wires. For as much blocking as I do, I have found that straight pins and old bath towels, and a flat surface work well if you don’t want to (or can’t afford to) invest in blocking wires and a blocking board. Pretty much everything I make that needs to be blocked are personal projects, which I don’t make less of than projects for kids in need.

Blocking is the process in which you shape a knit/crocheted item using water, and letting it dry. There are different methods to blocking. My usual method of blocking, is wet blocking by which the item is washed (according to the washing directions on the label), and then shaped, and tacked down to dry.

I blocked my most recent infinity scarf before I seamed (or sewed up) the two ends together. I blocked it mainly because of the pattern I used, and I wanted it to lay flat rather than rolling, as it was doing while I was knitting it. So I put it in the washing machine (yes I use the washing machine with wool), I put it on the gentlest setting (which is the hand wash setting on my machine), put it on a rinse cycle with cold water, and added a little bit of Euclan Wrapture wool wash before I pinned it to old bath towels to dry. If I didn’t have an HE washing machine without an agitator, I would hand wash anything I knit in the sink. I do not recommend putting wool or any hand knit item in a washing machine with an agitator.

I learned about washing wool and cashmere while working at my previous job, where we washed all of the items we knit, most of which were washed after linking, though a few were washed before linking. It was in part to wash the wax and chemicals that were applied to them to make them easier to use with a knitting machine off.

There are a lot of resources out there, videos, blogs and such with instructions on how to block your knit items. I will post a few of the resources below.

How to Block:

Knitty directions


Vogue Knitting

Knitting, Thursday Tips

To The New Knitter

I know learning to knit is hard, and with learning anything new it takes time, practice and mistakes to get good at it. Take it from someone who has been knitting for almost 2/3 of their life, I am still learning new things all the time. Patience and perseverance will pay off.

I totally understand that it is hard to not compare yourself to someone else or to not get frustrated, as I have done so myself plenty of times.

I have learned that you have to keep trying and working on learning new things, and that some things are harder to learn than others. Some people also take to it quicker than others.

Knitting Essentials, Knitting Needles, Thursday Tips

Needles Stash

Hey everyone!

Today’s Thursday Tip post is going to be about the different size needles I have in my needle stash, and what sizes I recommend as the bare necessities.

This post is intended for someone who has mastered the basics of knit and purl, and is ready to move on to bigger and other projects.

In my stash I have at least one pair of straight needles in the following sizes: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11. I have multiple pairs of needles in size 5, size 7 and size 9. Size 7 and 9 needles are the two sizes I most commonly use and I have at least two sets of them. I have a long pair and a short pair of size 5 needles. I also have circular needles in size 5, 7, and 9. I like having a few circular needles for bigger projects so I have more room to spread out the project on the needles.

Once you have learned to knit, and are wanting to start working on expanding the size of needles you have, I recommend size 5, 7, and 9 followed by 6 and 8. I have 3, 4, 11, and a circular size 13 or 15 needles. I will occasionally use the size 3 and 4 needles if I am working with thinner year and want the stitches to be tighter. I will rarely (like a couple times a year at most) use the size 11 needles that I have, and I haven’t used the size 13 or 15 (see I can’t even remember what size they are) since I purchased them. If you are into using really thick or doubling up thicker yarns, or a really loose stitch than the bigger needles would be good, but with the projects I typically work on I don’t have much need for anything bigger than a 9.

I also prefer bamboo and wooden needles to the metal needles, and I detest plastic needles. With the bamboo and wooden needles, the yarn moves a lot easier for me, and I like how they feel in my hands. I can knit with the metal needles, but when I have the option I go for the wooden or bamboo. I detest plastic needles because the yarn catches, and doesn’t move up and down the needle on its own, and I have had to force whatever I am working on, one way or the other to work the garment.