Wow – it’s Tuesday again which means another edition of Tuesday’s Tips. I have a few of my own and one from two different readers this week. Here’s a few things to help make your knitting a little easier.
Cast off with a crochet hook – Instead of knitting two stitches onto your right hand knitting needle and then using the left needle to manipulate the first stitch over the second, try using a crochet hook as the second needle. You can use it in your hands like you would a regular knitting needle, but the hook on the end makes a huge difference. Once you’ve done the second stitch, use the hook to pull it through the first and you’ve just cast off a stitch – easy as pie!
Stitch markers – Every find yourself stuck for a stitch marker? I do as I personally like the locking type (they look like small padlocks) and try to always us those. At any rate, some suitable replacements (albeit temporary) are paper clips, small rubber bands, or even a small piece of knotted yarn. You can replace any of these when you get back to your supplies.
Cast on in Pattern – If you use the long tail cast on method, you can make a small adjustment to cast on purl and knit stitches, here’s how. Disregard the slip knot as that will be your selvedge stitch (if you’re knitting in the round count it as an extra stitch and decrease it when you join to provide a snug join – guess that’s another tip ). When doing the cast on the regular way you make what looks like knit stitches. If you do it the opposite way – go to your index finger first, then the thumb, then through the hole between the index finger and thumb – you get purl stitches! This way you can cast on your first row in pattern. Don’t forget to do the opposite of what the pattern says though as the first row of “real knitting” is usually the reverse side.
Paint chips – If you’re having a hard time trying to work out a color scheme here’s 2 tricks you can try;
- Go to a paint store and take a look at the shade cards they have for the paints. You should be able to find a good match for your yarn color from the choices they have. Also, most paint companies have an online tool that will help you do the same thing without leaving the comfort of your home. Unfortunately, the colors might not be a perfect match depending on your monitor calibration, but you should get a good idea.
- Get a ruler or similar width flat object (a paint stirring stick works perfectly) and the different colors you are planning on using. Wrap each color around the stick several times (or in the appropriate widths you are using – proportionately) to see what the colors will look like beside each other. You can easily vary the combinations to find the one that suits your needs. If you’re doing stripes, you might want to try the Fibonacci sequence to decide when to change colors.
Cast Off – When you get to your last cast off stitch, you’re most often told to bring the working yarn through the loop that is visible (the last stitch). The truth is that this is unnecessary. All you have to do is pull up on your needle, drawing the yarn up as you go. Now you just have to darn in that loose end and you’re finished. Now bump at the end of your cast on to worry about!
You said it …
Two readers submitted similar comments for knitting tips. Sandi and Jeri both said that they put their patterns in plastic page protectors and store them in a binder. Sandi also thought of using colored tape to keep track of the row she is on! Great tip you two. For being the first to submit tips they will both receive a copy of my ebook Untangling Cables. Keep the tips coming everyone and there will be more next Tuesday.