Yes, just as the title says, on Tuesday’s I am going to post some tips to hopefully help your knitting life a little easier. I will be posting mostly tips that I have learned/heard of throughout my knitting life but if you have any that you would like to share, please do leave them in a comment. Shall we get started?
Flexible stitch holders – The main problem with stitch holders (aside from them never being around when you need one) is that they’re kinda small and very rigid. If you’re just putting work on a holder to deal with later, that’s okay. But if you want to measure something or even try it on, they usually don’t work very well. I use contrasting yarn and a darning needle. Thread the yarn through the darning needle and then thread the darning needle through the live stitches. This allows me all the flexibility I need to try it on, and allows the fabric to drape naturally, giving a more accurate measurement.
Make a swatch “pocket” – You know those swatches that nobody likes to make but everybody tells you to? Well, here’s another use for them. When you’re making a sweater, attach the swatch to an inconspicuous place on the inside. This way it will “wear” just like the sweater and if by some chance the sweater should need some darning in the future, thee will be yarn in the right color and dye lot that has aged exactly the same as the original. You can sew it on so that it is a pocket and leave a special note inside as well!
Get a magnetic ruler – Most hardware and/or stationery stores have very flexible rulers with magnets on the back. Using these in conjunction with a metallic board is a great way to stay on top of what row you’re on in your chart or pattern. Simply place the ruler just below the chart row you’re on and you’ll never lose your place. To make this even easier, see the next tip.
Copy, Highlight, and Laminate – It’s a good idea to make a copy of the pattern you’re working on. That way you keep the original safe and new. You can then highlight the instructions hat pertain to the size you are working on and make any necessary notes without the fear of destroying the original. As a last step, laminating the edited copy will protect it from spills and make it tear resistant.If you don’t have a machine to laminate it (who does), you can use extra wide packing tape and tape both sides of the pattern. Make sure it’s clear tape though or you’ll also need x-ray eyes!
Get a gear bag – Your LYS should have a little bag you can get to hold a few knick knacks that you always seem to need when you’re knitting on the go – darning needles, tape measure, scissors, etc. If you can’t find one there, go to your local drug store (chemists to some) and find a toiletry bag. The sizes are great and there’s usually an array of pockets to keep everything in place. A friend recently showed one she got in IKEA (in the bathroom section) for only $8. You can also find them in the travel section of most larger sports stores.
Invest in a camera and go digital – I’m sure there’s an app for this (if not, maybe you could make one), but investing in a good point and shoot digital camera is a great way to start a photo diary of your projects – especially nowadays when we’re all trying to reduce our global footprint. Take pictures of the swatch, pattern, and your progress. You can keep these in a file with the written documentation so that you have a record of each and every project at your fingertips whenever you need it. This way you don’t have to always hunt through your binder or book of swatches and projects (and you can use the swatch for the pocket explained above). Just remember to make a backup of all your digital files!
Well, there’s 6 to get you started. I have lots more and will continue to add them every Tuesday. As I said before, let me know if you have any tips you’d like to share through the comments section.