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     Karen McCullough recently asked us, "How can I
un-shrink a hand-knit baby blanket?"  We did a little research and came up with this item, which appeared in the newsletter of the Greater St. Louis Guild August 2002:
"Despite all your care, somehow or other, a sweater which wasn't meant to go in the washer somehow found its way there and felted.  Can you rescue it? Here's an idea that has worked, to SOME extent and on SOME projects.  Re-wet your sweater and masage hair conditioner into it.  DO NOT rinse the conditioner out, and gently stretch the sweaters in all directions, and air dry". 
      If that doesn't work, try cutting out and sewing mittens out of the felted piece.  If you can't bear the idea of cutting up your sweater, our own Lisa Carnahan recommends stuffing it and turning it into a pillow OR making it into a stylish tote bag...

*****  HOW ABOUT A LIFT?  *****
       Jackie Taylor recently e-mailed us:  "What is the
most invisible increase"?  Although there are several methods which look very neat, you might try a lifted increase.  This involves lifting the stitch from the row below, knitting it by working into the HEAD of the stitch (not the center), then knitting the stitch on the needle.  This technique can be used to make either left-slant or right-slant increases:  the increase is made on the right side of the stitch before working the stitch, and/or the increase is made on the left side after working the stitch.   When making the increase on the left side, insert the needle tip 2 rows below.You must knit the stitch first, before making the increase, being careful not to pull the original stitch out. 
     Lifted increases can be made on the purl side of the work also.  To avoid pulling of the knitted fabric, increases should not be made in the same stitches without a 3-row interval.
      Another invisible increase is the m1 (make one).  This involves lifting and knitting the running thread between two stitches.  This technique may be worked on the purl side also.  There are three variations to this method:
Left Slant:  insert the RHN (right hand needle) tip under the running strand from front
                   to back between the next 2 sts, lift strand onto the LHN (left hand needle),
                   and knit into the back of the strand.  The facing strand leans to the left.
Right Slant:  insert the LHN tip from back to front , lifting running thread between 2 sts. 
                   With RHN tip, knit into the front strand, twisting the running strand into a
                    stitch.  The facing strand leans to the right.
Open:  insert RHN from back to front, picking up the running strand and knit it without     
             twisting.  This method leaves a hole much like a yarnover (yo).  It can be an
             effective design feature.
For illustrations and more information, we recommend "The Knitter's Companion" by Vicki Square ($19.95, spiral bound), one of our favorite resources. 

October 2003 Tips and Ideas
cont more

      Nancy Shroyer of Nancy's Knit Knacks gave us permission to share her knitting tip from KnitU Digest V2003 #2600,  written in response to a question about installing cardigan sweater zippers.  Our thanks to Nancy for sharing this information:
     "You need to
buy 'jacket' zippers that open at the bottom. You can get them in both plastic and metal - I like the plastic ones better. Available at any sewing store.

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