It’s Tuesday and the tips keep on coming in. Just a reminder that if you have any good tips of your own, you can let me know via the comment box at the end of this (or any other) post, or by sending them to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are the tips for this week …
This first one is from a good friend (Shelley) in my Sunday group – she came across it in a book she’s reading (I’ll do a review of it soon but I can’t remember the title right now);
Jelly bean row counter – When knitting a pattern repeat of x number of rows, take a jar and place than many jelly beans (or cashews if you’re me) in the jar. As you finish each row, help yourself to a jelly bean. Make sure you only have one though otherwise your pattern might not work out.
Like fine wine – Not sure which yarn to use for your next project or if you’re going to like that ball of yarn that’s retailing for $15 for 50g? Get a bunch of friends together (3or 4 should do) and each pitch in $5. That way you can buy a couple balls of a yarn you might not otherwise get and have your own yarn tasting. Buy the yarn and wind off small balls of it for each of you to “taste”. You should get enough for a gauge swatch but most importantly you’ll know what the yarn feels like to work with and see what it looks like knit up.
Knit on the side – A great way to add color to your work is to knit stripes. Horizontal stripes are neat but they can get boring quickly and aren’t always the most flattering thing for some body types. Vertical stripes however make you look like a master knitter and have a slimming effect on all body types. You’ll have to look for a pattern written from side to side but once you do a few and get used to it you’d be able to convert a regular pattern to sideways!
Slow and steady – We all like to get gratification from our work but with knitting that doesn’t always happen right away. Unfortunately with Lacework, the faster you try and go, the more mistakes you’re likely to make. This means a lot more time spent frogging and then re-knitting. Set goals of row repeats when doing lace – say one repeat or 10 – 16 rows depending on the size of the project.When you’ve reached your goal, pick up something else that requires a little less concentration and speed away to your heart’s content. Before you know it you’ll have a few projects (including a great lace one) done!
Take time to reflect – When you’re first starting, it’s easy to remember how to do the purl stitch as opposed to the knit stitch – especially since your instructor isn’t right there to show you. Take a mirror and watch yourself in it as you do the knit stitch. You’ll discover that the knit stitch in the mirror looks like a purl stitch and the technique for doing the purl stitch is the mirror opposite of the knit. This is also a great way to see what the reverse side of your knitting looks like!
Wash before you give – Last week I told you about knitting whites in a pillowcase or plastic bag to help keep them clean.If you make something for someone (or yourself) in white, it’s a good idea to wash it before you send it off. When I finished my shrug in white and washed it the first time to block it, it came out discolored and “dirtier” than when I started. I ended up having to wash it a few times to get the discoloration out but that would have been very embarrassing if I had given that to someone.
That’s it for this week in the tips department. Tomorrow we’re back to the lace swatches to see how you’re doing. Hopefully you’ve seen the updates on both patterns regarding the last decrease on certain rows.If not, please check it again as you may have been having trouble otherwise.