Over the years I have discovered some less conventional uses for stitch markers that can be real time savers and stress reducers. One of my favorites is to use them to avoid counting. When working with a pattern that requires you to do something in alternating intervals – like decrease every 4th row, increase every other row, or work a cable every 8th row – it is easy for me to lose track of what row I am working. Enter the humble stitch marker. By connecting several together to form a chain, you have a quick row counter that will let you know when it is time to do that special something in your pattern.
Posts tagged ‘Quick Tips’
The last few weeks I have been talking about re-purposing ordinary household items as knitting tools. Using items from around the house instead of buying specialty equipment for every knitting task means I have more money for yarn. I the spirit of eco-friendliness, I thought I might share one of my favorite blocking tips.
Unconventional Knitting Containers
We all have lots of little knitting notions that we have to keep up with – tapestry needles, stitch markers, etc. Finding the perfect container for storing them can be a chore. But with a little creativity, you may discover that you have the perfect container just lying around your house. Here are some of the unconventional, no-cost and environmentally-friendly things that I use for storing knitting notions.
Cast On Spacing
A favorite cast on of many knitters is the Long Tail Cast On but many people have problems keeping this cast on from being too tight. This is caused when you get the stitches too close together in the casting on process. The normal inclination is to push each stitch against the last one as you proceed. This will result in an inflexible cast on that is usually too small for the rest of the piece. To correct this, simply space your stitches out a bit. You should have as much space between each stitch as the yarn is wide.
When working a cast on for larger projects, it is often necessary to cast on a LOT of stitches. It isn’t unusual for a sweater cast on to have more than 200 stitches cast on. These large cast ons are not things you want to do twice so how can you make sure you have enough stitches cast on? Here are a couple of tricks I use.
Last week, I mentioned using inventory tags to label gauge swatches. While that is a great way to keep notes on your swatch, it just so happens that inventory tags come in handy for a variety of other knitting needs. You can use these same little cardboard tags to mark lots of important things in your knitting and save yourself the aggravation of making one of those beginner mistakes that often befall us when we put down our knitting.
Almost every knitting expert will tell you that gauge swatches are essential to knitting. Yet, almost every knitter will tell you that they hate making gauge swatches. Over the years, I have been gathering tips to make the swatching process less painful. I thought I might share some of them with you over the next few weeks.