Thursday, November 5, 2015

Useful Goodies for Your Roberta the Librarian Mitts

Mitts are quick and fun and let you use some nifty techniques. Here are some handy links to some dandy tricks!

German Twisted Cast On

My new, go-to stretchy cast-on. So easy and clever. It is like long-tail cast on with a kick!

New Stitch a Day has both video and written, conveniently all in the same place.

Personally, I'm a written tutorial kind of gal, and I think Craftsy does a stand-up job.

Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off

This is just a lovely bind-off for the top of your mitts (or socks, or neckline...) It is pretty easy to do. Check out the Knitty Tutorial.

Erase the Jog on your Bind Off in the Round

Don't you hate it? That unseemly step between the first and last stitch you bound off? There are many versions of this quick fix. Here is a tutorial that includes a video and written instructions: How to Neaten the Last Stitch of Your Bind-Off In the Round.

Anything I left out? Other neat-o tricks to share? Leave me a comment!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Useful Goodies for your Madame Papillon and Paraíso Shawls

Here are some helpful tutorials and tips for your Madame Papillon or your Paraíso Shawl. Don't hesitate to poke me and say that I left something out!

Garter Tab

Garter tab is that nifty way to start a top-down shawl that leaves you with an unbroken garter edge at the top of your lacy work of art. I will say, these things can drive you crazy, and having an inch-long dip at the top center of your shawl is a worthwhile exchange for your sanity. But once you figure it out, you will seek out projects that start with this sweet little trick.

Some tutorials tell you to start with a provisional cast-on. For me, that is crazy - picking up 3 or 4 stitches and having a teeny-tiny seam over said 3 or 4 stitches on the back of my shawl is fine by me. Here is a written and video tutorial:

Crochet Bind-Off

There are many different kinds. I walk you through kind that gives you loopy goodness. Here is a written tutorial that walks you through something pretty similar, with photos.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Free Pattern - Annie Cowl

Meet Annie Cowl.

Annie is a seamless, lacy cowl, offered in 2 sizes. It is a perfect project for one skein of your favorite luxury yarn. The simple lace pattern makes Annie look fancy, but it is surprisingly simple and a great beginner lace project. It knits up in a flash in worsted weight yarn.

(Have I mentioned I really hate being my own model?)

And of course, you can download now. I hope you do.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Useful Goodies for your Cascada Shawl

Here are some helpful tips and tutorials to get you through knitting your very own Cascada Shawl.

What Yarn to Use?

Well that's easy! Use Knit Knerd's Hand Dyed Yarn. [End commercial here.]

German Twisted Cast-On

This is a fabulous stretchy cast-on, and just about as easy as the Long Tail Cast-On.

You can do one-stop shopping here, with a video and written tutorial: New Stitch a Day Tutorial.

I like Craftsy Tutorial (but I'm partial to written tutorials - scrolling ahead is faster than fast-forwarding a video).

I-Cord Bind off

This is an excellent trick for your bag of them. I love the way an i-cord bind-off looks, especially in finer yarns. I am including a written and video tutorial. The written instructor uses ssk and the video instructor uses k2tbl – you can decide which you prefer. I used ssk and think it looks pretty snazzy.  For a 2-stitch i-cord, you'll have to adjust the tutorials. 

I Cord Bind Off Video

Let me know in the comments if there are other techniques you want help with! And most of all, Happy Knitting!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Useful Goodies for your Sir Isaac Fancysleeves

Sir Isaac Fancysleeves is super-quick to knit in worsted weight yarn and you get to use some of my favorite techniques and tricks in the process.

Bye-Bye Bind Off Bump

One of my favorite tricks is how to make the bump on the bind off edge when knitting in the round disappear. Since you are technically knitting in a spiral when you knit in the round, there is always a little step at the last bound-off stitch. This blogger has both written instructions and a video link on a magical trick to hide the step, making it impossible to tell where the round began!

Knitfreedom's Last Stitch Neatening Technique

Sonya, one of the fabulous test knitters who tested the pattern, suggested starting to pick up the neck stitches somewhere in the back so the jog is not as noticeable. This is a great idea, though this jog-hiding technique is so amazing you might find it unnecessary!

Stretchy Bind Off

For a toddler sweater, you don't need the stretchiest bind-off in the world, but you need it to be stretchy enough to get an enlarged toddler head through the neck opening. There are many options, and I'll share with you my favorites.

Use a bigger needle to bind off. Though you have to take a second to switch up your tools, this trick forces you to keep you bind off loose while keeping it nice and even. For this project, using this trick should make your edges loose enough.

Use a crochet hook. If you go up a few sizes, then crocheting your bind-off should work just like using a bigger needle in the basic bind off. Especially if you are a crocheter, this technique is lightening fast!

Stitch Diva's Crochet Hook Bind Off

Use Elastic Bind Off. If you are really concerned that binding off loosely won't be enough, you can try the Elastic Bind Off.

Slip Slip Knit's Elastic Bind Off

Many folks will recommend Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. I am a JSSBO fan, but I don't love how it looks in heavier yarns, so my choice is to go with one of the first 2 options. But, different folks, different strokes!

If you have thoughts on other goodies to help make Sir Isaac the best it can be, let us know in the comments!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

New Pattern: Sir Isaac Fancysleeves

modeled by Sir Isaac himself, size 2
Sir Isaac modeling size 2T knit in Knit Picks Swish Worsted
Sir Isaac Fancysleeves is a completely seamless, top down raglan for all kiddos big and small! Sizes 2T up to 10! You will be amazed at how quickly it knits up in worsted weight yarn. The pattern includes sleeve charts to help you get started working the raglan increases in the textured rib pattern, but you will quickly get the hang of it and fly through chart-free.

Sir Isaac will also be offered through the fabulous Independent Designer Project (IDP) at Knit Picks.

Helpful hints for this pattern coming here soon.

But don't wait! Click and buy now!

Happy Knitting!