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      Five repetitions, alternate thumbs.

  1. Wrist Stretch:  Hold the right hand in front of the body, palm facing out, fingertips up, fingers together.  With the left hand, grasp the right hand's outstretching fingers and gently pull the fingers back toward the body.  Hold for five seconds.  You should feel the stretch in the wrist area.  Repeat for the left wrist.  Five repetitions, alternate wrists.
  2. Wrist Circles:  With the hands in front of the body and elbows at a comfortable angle, gently rotate the wrists.  Five repetitions in each direction.
      Good job!  Now you are ready to knit in comfort...

March 2004 Tips and Ideas

      An e-mail customer, Pat from Johnstown, asks, "Most baby afghan patterns say to use a circular needle.  My stitches don't look even.  I just started to knit it on regular needles.  What difference, if any, will this make?"
     Kathy answers:  There are usually more stitches required for an afghan than can fit comfortably on a straight needle.  Even though you are working back and forth just as you would with straight needles, the circular knitting needle will distribute the weight of the yarn as your project progresses.  Even a baby afghan can get pretty heavy as it gets larger.  Using a circular needle will save stress on your wrists.   

      "What is
the best way to change colors when working a striped scarf or sweater  to avoid weaving in all the ends?"  If you will be alternating the colors every few rows, carry the unused colors up the edge of your piece.  Catch the yarn not in use by wrapping the working color around it.  If you are working with multiple colors that are used only every few inches, try to conceal the wraps by keeping a selvedge stitch (knit the first and last stitches on every row, adding these stitches if necessary to maintain your stitch pattern multiple).  If you are carrying multiple colors, it may be neater to cut the yarns and weave in the ends to eliminate a bulky edge or seam.  In this case, try weaving the cut end with a duplicate stitch to hide it neatly.

     One of our instructors, Nancy Caldwell, recommends always slipping the first stitch of every row as if to purl
when working garter stitch scarves to eliminate any flaring at the edges.  Nancy learned this tip from Sally Melville's book, The Knit Stitch", which can be found on our bookshelf...

April 2004 Tips and Ideas

Knitters know it's important to
take care of your hands.  Creams and lotions can soften and replenish dry, cracked skin.  Be sure your skin is damp before applying creams to seal in the moisture and increase the effectiveness...

working a textured pattern sweater which calls for short row shaping at the shoulders, but the pattern stitch looks uneven and awkward.  What can I do?"
      Short rowing, a very useful technique, results in a neater appearance and a better fit at the shoulders.  Try working one extra or less stitch for a better appearance.  Take careful notes to do the same number of stitches on the front and back of the garment.

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