Knitting Tips

Here are some awesome knitting tips for beginners. Enjoy!

How to read a chart

Not ALL charts are alike. Reading a knitting chart is different than a cross stitch. It can be confusing but not when you follow my simple tutorial.

Self -Patterning Yarn – How will it look?

Want to know how a self-patterning yarn will look? Just wrap some yarn around a ruler and voila! It will give you an idea of how the pattern will progress but remember the sock pattern has more stitches which makes it much wider than the stripes pictured here and so the stripes in your sock pattern will be much narrower.

Roving Bag

While I’m spinning, I somehow either get caught in the roving or step on it without knowing and end up with a break. Being the inventor like my Dad was, I came up with this idea for holding my roving so that it wouldn’t be on the floor within reach of my Poms or my feet. What I did was purchase a plastic gift bag (not paper) then I got one of those hooks from 3M that sticks to a surface but releases when you pull the strip of sticky stuff down. Off it comes without leaving any residue or removing paint or wallpaper. I don’t want to ruin my beautiful wheels, so this is what I used. I stuck it to my wheel, attached the hook and hung my bag full of roving. Works great!

Row Counter for Circular Needles – How?

As a sock knitter, you know that many patterns require you to keep track of your pattern rows. Well, how are you going to do that except to carry around pen and paper? Well not me so I came up with this idea. Leave a long tail after casting on then tie a row counter to it and voila! Your row counter stays with you. No need for pen and paper.

Do you like to knit two socks at a time but have a problem with the yarns getting tangled from the two balls of yarn? This is what I did… I got a gallon zip lock bag and sealed it down the middle using my freezer bag sealer so that I now have two separate pockets. Works like a dream!

Eye of the Partridge Heel

While I’m working on a sock project, I keep my trusty notebook by my side and write notes as I go along. It’s amazing the things you learn as you go along knitting a pair of socks. Right now I’m working on a sock pattern called Feather & Fan for our Sockamaniac Sockalong group.

I usually find myself changing the pattern and adding my own design as I go along. This project is no exception. The pattern called for the short row heel but since I’m using a colorful yarn, I decided to do the Eye of the Partridge Heel.

The usual pattern calls for slip one stitch purlwise. I didn’t like the fact that the stitches didn’t stand out as they should in the Eye of the Partridge so I changed it to slip one stitch knitwise. Doing it that way twists the slipped stitch making the pattern stand out so much better.

What I don’t understand is that many patterns for doing the heel flap call for Sl 1 knitwise, K1, Sl 1 knitwise, K 1 anyway but most sock knitters slip that stitch purlwise instead for a smoother look and straight rather than twisted stitch. I prefer the twisted stitch because it gives more strength to the heel and creates an interesting pattern even when you use a solid color yarn.

The pattern that I’m using for the heel is:
Gail’s Simplified Eye of the Partridge Heel
Row 1: Sl 1 purlwise, *k 1, sl 1 knitwise,* repeat from * to * end.
Row 2:Sl 1 purlwise, p to last stitch, k 1.
Row 3:Sl 1 purlwise, sl 1 knitwise, *k 1, sl 1 knitwise,* repeat from * to * last 2 sts, k to end.
Row 4:Repeat Row 2
Repeat these rows till heel flap is about 2 1/2 in or desired length.

I’m very happy with the way the heel came out using this pattern. My advice is, don’t be afraid to experiment. Look what happened to me. I created a much nicer heel pattern. Don’t always concede to the written directions. Try adding different techniques to the heel and toe. I’m going to add the Star Toe to this pattern for a little more excitement.

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