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finishing and a well-constructed lining will help retain the stocking's shape.  Holiday print cottons are readily available at fabric stores.  Make a pattern from the knitted or crocheted piece after it has been blocked.  Lay the piece on clean paper (brown wrapping paper is fine) on a flat surface.  Carefully draw around the piece, using a hard pencil.  Cut paper patterns 1/2" outside the outline (seam allowance).  Trace onto fabric and cut out piece.  Place right sides of fabric together, stitch all side seams, leaving an opening at the top of the stocking.  Insert lining into assembled stocking inside out so that right side of fabric shows.  Fold top of lining back and neatly tack into place at corresponding point at top of stocking, using a hem stitch.  Tack toe in place.  This extra finishing touch will preserve your heirloom for many holidays to come…

Two different dye lots?  Although we all know we should purchase sufficient yarn to avoid this problem, it is something that occasionally happens.  Use double-pointed needles, so you can work from either end.  Alternate a row from each dye lot for an inch or two, then continue on with the new dye lot.  This will eliminate a definite line, and will help blend the two dye lots.  This technique will also reduce striping and color stacking when working with hand-painted yarns...
      One of our customers recently asked us for advice on
adapting a crewneck sweater for the layered look that's popular this season.  Scoop neck sweaters look great when worn over a turtleneck.  A scoop neckline is the same as a crew neck, only lower.  Begin the neck shaping approximately 1" - 1.5" lower than for a standard crewneck, which typically has a 2.5" - 3" front neck drop.  After the center stitches have been bound off, work the neck shaping decreases on every row instead of every other row for a shallow scoop.  When working the bind-off row of the ribbing, decrease one stitch at each side of the center front stitches to pull the ribbing in against the body, maintaining the integrity of the pattern stitch…
October 2003 Tips and Ideas
knitting in the round on circular needles, you may come to a portion of your pattern where purling several rows is required.  Try turning your work inside out and knitting these rows instead.  Knit stitches are usually smoother and more regular, therefore easier for most knitters to do.  When the purled portion is completed, turn your piece right-side-out and continue…

October 2003 Tips and Ideas

working decreases or increases in reverse stockinette stitch, try working them on the wrong side (knit side).  It is easier to see (and count) the left and right slanting decreases, especially those pesky "through the back loop" ones…

***** FROM THE "CABLE QUEEN"  *****
working cables in regular intervals (ex., every 8 rows), it's easy to lose track
even if you are using a row counter.  Try placing a small coilless brass pin or CLOVER lock ring marker in the row where you do cable twists.  This helps assure that you work the cable every 8 rows, not 6 or 10.  This also works well as a quick-count method...

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