Posts Tagged ‘knitting tip’

Knitting Inside Out

March 20, 2018

Has this ever happened to you, dear knitter? You’re knitting in the round, perhaps on your first hat, and suddenly something doesn’t look right at all. You’ve unintentionally created a band of bumpy reverse stockinette. That’s what happened to Helena, one of my Knit 101 students at Stitch House.

Inside-out-knit-hat

In my experience teaching knitting, it’s not an uncommon mistake for a novice knitter to make. So how does it happen and, most importantly, how can it be avoided?

This “inside out” knitting is the result of unintentionally knitting on the inside of a circular project. The knitter picks up the project and continues knitting across the project.

Inside-out

A closer look shows that the working yarn — the yarn connected to the ball or skein — is on the last stitch on the left needle, rather than where it should be — on the right needle.

inside-out-detail

Most often, the mistake is made when the knitter picks up the project after taking a break and doesn’t check to be sure that the working yarn — the yarn connected to the ball or skein — is connected to the last stitch on the right-hand needle.

That’s how to avoid “inside-out” knitting. But how does a knitter fix this error? For the sake of argument, let’s assume they don’t want to incorporate a band of reverse stockinette as a “design element” — always an option if one doesn’t want to remedy a mistake.

The only solution I’ve found is to rip out or tink back the erroneous stitches. Then, take a deep breath, check that your working yarn is on the right (not left) needle, then double-check it, and begin again.

What are your most common knitting mistakes? Any tips for avoiding or fixing them?

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Circular Needle Wrangling (take 2)

December 27, 2016

I’m committed to circular needles, using them for nearly every knitting project — flat or circular. The exception is socks, for which I use DPNs because it’s easier for me to keep track of the heel and gusset shaping with three needles. But more explanation of that quirk can wait until a future post.

I’m still loving my new circular needle organizer, but I realized recently that many circulars need to “relax” a bit before they can be used — or organized — easily.

circular-knitting-needles

My tip for straightening the curly cable of circular needles is to immerse it into hot water —  not boiling, just barely simmered. Hold the needles and immerse the cable into the water for 30 seconds or so. Be sure the burner is off; you don’t want to melt the plastic cable.

circular-needles-soften-hot-water

Lift one needle and allow gravity to pull the cable straight. You can hold a dishcloth and pull it along the length of the cable. The plastic cable will cool pretty rapidly, and you’ll be left with a much straighter and much more manageable circular needle.

circular-needles-straighten

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