May 2011 tips & ideas
three organizing tips
When making a cardigan, always make the band without the buttonholes first. Mark the buttonhole placement with tiny coilless pins, and leave these pins in place as you do the other band. When it comes time to sew on the buttons, the placement is already marked for them...
Freezer bags are wonderful for storing odds and ends of leftover yarn -- write the weight, fiber and brand info on the outside & tuck a label on the inside. Organize your patterns according to weight (Mary Lou Fleming uses notebook binders, placing her patterns into plastic sleeves) and childrens' patterns according to size. Save all pattern notes inside the plastic sleeve in case you wish to work the pattern again...
To simplify counting rows when working circular knitting, weave a contrasting color of the same yarn at the increase point as you work. For example, if you are increasing every 4th round, keep the contrast yarn toward you and take it to the back of the work after increasing 4 rounds later. After 4 more rounds, bring the yarn to the front. You will not only know that the increase was worked, but also how many rounds have been completed...
Jane B wants to know: "What does the abbreviation DK mean? Should I work with two strands of yarn?"
No, Jane, this does not mean to work the yarn doubled. The term refers to double knitting weight (DK) yarn. This weight knits up at approximately 5.5 stitches per inch on US #5 or #6 knitting needles, CYCA yarn weight classification#3. It is a good choice for summer wear or kids' garments.
The terminology is said to have started in Great Britain during World War II, when factories were short staffed and materials hard to come by. Instead of spinning a sport weight yarn to be worked at 6 stitches per inch as well as a worsted weight to be knit at 5 stitches per inch, this in-between gauge could "double" to get either gauge depending on the size needle used. Some of the more popular summer DK weights brands on our shelves include CLASSIC ELITE "Provence", BERROCO "Comfort DK" and KRAEMER "Tatamy Tweed DK". And here's a cute little hat worked in your choice of DK weight yarn...
June 2011 tips & ideas
Although any cast-on method will get stitches onto your needles, choosing one with the right look for your project will add a professional-looking touch. Kathy chose the cable cast-on for the drop stitch scarf so that the first row worked will appear on the right side (public side) of the work with a smooth, clean edge.
Cable Cast on Method: Make a slip knot onto the left-hand knitting needle (LHN). Insert the right-hand knitting needle (RHN) into the slip knot as if to knit (knitwise). Pull up a loop and place it on the LHN. *Insert the RHN between the two stitches and wrap yarn around the RHN knitwise. Pull the loop through and place it onto the LHN.
Repeat from * until the desired numbers of stiches are cast onto the LHN. If your work seems tight, try inserting the RHN between the two stitches before you pull the working yarn for the next stitch...