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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. 

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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.