Here are a few facts I know about stranded/fair isle colorwork: It’s really pretty, it’s not as hard or as intimidating as it looks, and I’m not an expert so I’m going to give you some of my tips, but I’m also going to link to people who know a lot more than I do!
1. Color Dominance and Hand Placement. When you’re stranded knitting, you hold at least 2 colors of yarn in your hands for the entire row. Because you’re carrying both yarns and obviously only knitting with one color at a time, this creates strands or floats in the back of your work. But what you might not realize is that one color is dominant over another – and it can definitely change the outcome. The color that is carried underneath will always show up better in your knitting – so be sure and know which color you want to stand out more! Diana from Paper Tiger has an incredible post up with plenty of pictures if you want to learn more. If you prefer video form, check this out:
2. Tension Your Strands. Because holding 2 colors of yarn at once doesn’t come natural to you, you’re going to have to really watch your tension. Remember when you first struggled to learn to knit? It’ll be like that at first, but you’ll get it and then it’ll be second nature. Until you it becomes second nature though, make sure each yarn is held at the correct ease and tension, regardless of the color you’re knitting at the time. If your tension is too tight, your knitting will pucker and pull when you’re finished – I like to spread my stitches out on my right hand needle as I knit them, so they appear on the needle as they would when I bind off, and then loosely lay my next color across the back of them.
3. Anchor your strands/floats. If you’re knitting in one color for too long of a time without switching to the second color, you’re going to get a really long float in the back which can cause issue with tension – or at the very least, it can make it difficult to put on if your fingers are getting caught in the strands in your mittens, for example. Here’s a quick way to anchor your strands:
But wait, do these tips mean nothing to you? Check out this video to get started:
Let me know if you have any great tips or links to videos to add to the list!
I’ve wanted to do a round up of some of my favorite accessories for knitters for awhile, but let’s be honest, after my yarn and needles of course, all I really care about is my cup of coffee or tea that better be within an arm’s reach. If you’re the same, this list is for you – hope you enjoy some of my faves!
(Click on each one to find out more about it – and this post contains affiliate links!)
Our last few Knit Alongs have been mostly garments. I know a lot of people are short on time at the holidays so I wanted to have a shorter KAL and have it focus more on learning newer techniques that you might not know.
With that in mind, I’m focusing on cozies. They’re perfect for quick knit gifts, and because they’re so fast you can give them to nearly everyone, whether it’s a teacher or a friend. My favorite gift is a mug wrapped in a cozy with some hot chocolate and candy canes inside. If you want to include a gift card, there’s even a little pocket! They’re also really great for stashbusting so you don’t have to go out and buy yarn unless you want to.
Vote on your favorite cozy and the techniques you definitely want to learn by clicking here.
In my Ravelry store, all cozies are 50% until the 8th of December, including Cozy Gifts, if you’re interested in buying a bundle. Just add one or more to your cart for the discount to automatically apply.
If you’re thinking the name of this pattern sounds a bit familiar – you’re right!
While I was knitting the Adirondack Basket Hat for the last Knit Along, I kept thinking it needed matching accessories. I haven’t come up with gloves just yet, but I am happy to report that I found time for a matching scarf!
Just like the hat, the scarf is knit with super bulky yarn so it’s a very quick knit. The pattern is great for people just learning to cable. (And check out my video here if you’re new to cabling!)
And for the next week, until November 16th, if you buy one, you’ll get the other pattern free on ravelry! Add the hat and the scarf to your basket for the discount to apply.
This KAL’s voting was actually the closest I’ve ever seen it, but the Adirondack Basket Hat came out ahead by just a few votes!
So let’s check it out:
It does have cables, so if you’re new to cable knitting, get excited and ready to learn, but I especially love these cables because they’re not traditional. They’re really more of a basketweave pattern (hence the name), and so I think it’s a bit more fun to knit.
The pattern is broken up by simply columns that connect at the top so it would be perfect for a pom pom on top. We can make our own with matching yarn or you get one of those nifty fur balls that are all the rage.
Adirondack Basket Hat Knitting Pattern
Also, the hat is fitted and it’s one size fits most. If you’re a bit worried about that or you’re looking for a bit more relaxed fit, leave a comment and let me know and we’ll figure it out!
We’re starting September 12, 2016. If you voted you’re already signed up, but if not, sign up here if you want to be included. All communication is done either via email or the facebook group.
Want to see this in video form?!
Sale!! All of the patterns that were listed on the KAL voting are 50% off until September 12th! Go grab them in ravelry – add them to your cart for the discount to apply. You can check out my link here, and the sale patterns are:
As you may have noticed, I am a huge fan of making garments. It’s wonderful to have total control over the clothing I’m wearing, from the materials to the fit.
Some people want to take the plunge and make garments, but I always hear hesitations like:
1. I’m afraid it won’t fit.
2. I’m don’t want to waste money if it doesn’t work out.
3. I don’t know what I’m doing.
Now, only you can determine what projects are at your skill level (and there are definitely simple sweaters versus incredibly complex sweaters), but I want to help sort out some information on sizing so your time and money shouldn’t go to waste.
Check out the video below. Sizing can be complicated, especially if you’re new to creating garments, but hopefully I’ll demystify it a bit. (I might also make your head swim a bit, but give it a few minutes (or a few days) before coming back!) And remember: the best way to figure something out is to do it and learn along the way.
So watch the video, figure out your size/ease and jump on in!
00:00 – Intro
01:14 – Why Sizes Don’t Matter (aka you are not a S/M/L or a size 6)
06:47 – Measurements
09:26 – Ease
14:45 – Body Shape (as a guide, not a rule!)
21:43 – Tailoring
26:22 – Adjustments in Knitting
28:28 – Adjustments in Sewing
31:08 – Resources
Since it’s nearing that weird time of the year where I feel like it’s too late to start another summer top, but it’s too early to focus on fall and winter knit pieces, I’ve been thinking a lot about home decor.
I know some people go a little overboard and knit everything, like cozies for their apples and eggs (seriously, WHY?!), but I tried to keep my knitting wish list a bit more practical!
As usual, there’s a mixture of free and not so free patterns, the pictures link to the ravelry pattern, and please share your favorite home decor item if I left it off the list!
Table Runner – How gorgeous is this? It’s the perfect table decoration for summer, and I’ve always been a sucker for dandelions.
Dandelion Table Runner
Flowerpot/Vase/Mason Jar Cozies – Okay, cozies had to make the list, but these can sit out as decoration for a much longer period of time, so I had to add them.
Magnetic Raindrops – Guys, this is so cute, and it has a function! I need to make a bunch of them. And maybe a cloud.
Poufs – There are quite a few of these if you search ravelry. I love the idea of having a footstool or floor cushion handy.
Knitted Baby Pouf
Clock – Remember when making your own clocks was all the rage on pinterest? (No? Was that just me?) Since I actually have knitting skills, this one might actually get done!
Wall Art (Silhouettes and Bunnies!) – I’ve been thinking about knitting some wall art for quite some time now. I’m a huge fan of both of these collections.
Some Bunny Loves You
Madam and Sir Silhouettes
Hot Water Bottle Cover – This seems like one of those useless knit items, unless you regularly use your hot water bottle. Then I’d say it’s pretty essential. And so cute, too!
Pillows (Sheep and Cable edition) – Throw pillows are essential to any properly decorated home (or so I hear) so I had to include these lovelies. The cablework in the first one is just stunning, and if I can combine functional and adorable, like in the Bobble Sheep, I all over it.
If you’re a beginner knitter, most of your focus is on making sure you complete your knit or purl stitches, but fairly quickly, you’ll wonder why your knitting is so uneven, lopsided, and doesn’t look like knitting in a lot of pictures on the internet.
If you’re not sure what tension is, or how to achieve a “proper” tension, check out my video here. (And a bonus: Franklin makes an appearance to play with some yarn demonstrate how not to tension your yarn.)