Monday, 17 November 2008

Knitting Tips - My TOP 5

Here is a list of my top 5 knitting tips - crochet and felting to come later.

  1. Knit a tension square for every project you embark upon. Tension is the key factor in succesfully following a pattern and making a garment that fits perfectly. Many people think they know their tension and most people think they have average tension. Unfortunately tension can vary a lot over a lifetime of knitting and depend on the type of yarn you are using. If you regularly substitute yarns you will have a better understanding of how important it is to check tension and that not all 8ply yarns are create equal. So take the time to knit your tension square - I usually aim for a 12 by 12 cm square - and try a few different needle sizes until you get it just right.
  2. Work shapings one or two stitches in from the row ends. A lot of knitting patterns will have you working increases or decreases at the beginning or end of rows resulting in a bobbly finish to your edges. Working all shapings one or two stitches in from the end of the rows will give you a neat finish to your edges and make sewing the pieces together much easier.
  3. Count all rows. Many knitting patterns will ask you to knit a part of the sleeve or back until it measures a certain number of centimetres or inches. Count the number of rows it takes you to achieve the stated length on the first sleeve or back and when doing the second sleeve or the front simply work the same number of rows again. This will ensure you have perfectly matched pieces.
  4. Try it on as you go. Knitting allows you the time and options to tailor a garment to fit you perfectly. The key measurement for jumpers is the centre back to wrist measurement. Try the sleeves on before casting off and check the width of the back when you get to the arm-hole shaping. A loose basting stitch to keep the pieces together often helps when doing a fitting.
  5. Start knitting with the yarn end located in the centre of the ball. Sometimes this is hard to find, but worth digging around for. It saves a lot of time chasing the ball around the room.

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