So I’m a little fuzzy on the rules. I thought podcasts were like radio shows just on the internet, but lately I’ve seen videos labeled as podcasts and aren’t those considered vlogs?

Of course, who wants to refer to themselves as a vlog, right? I’m pretty sure no one, including me.

So here’s my first video podcast!

I say that like it’s going to be a regular series, and I’m not sure if I’ll have one every week, but I’d definitely love to do them at least a few times a month so we’ll see.

Anyway, check out today’s video and let me know what you think!

Hey gang,

I hope you love my Knitting 101 course.

I know that’s probably a bit of a stretch.

I’ve seen people pick up the hang of knitting in a few minutes, and I know for me it took nearly 2 weeks before I felt confident that I could knit without screwing the whole thing up.

Part of the frustration is that once I felt like I got the hang of the knit stitch… then what? I didn’t feel confident to try to other knitting patterns online (or rather, I tried and failed with pretty spectacular results) so I felt stuck and angry – and how was THAT supposed to help me calm my mind?

That’s exactly why I made this website for you. 🙂

So I wanted to show you my 3 newest knitting courses.Check them out below, and let me know if you have any questions before you sign up. I have more information on my courses here, and if need a refresher, you can check out my Knitting 101 mini course here. (Or you can register here for lifetime access – or sign in if you already made an account or have the full course.)

catnip mouse

When I first began knitting, I hated the idea of making some grand project and not having it come out perfect so my solution was to knit lots of cat toys! Here’s one that’s perfect for beginners and cats alike – you could replace the catnip with a squeaker or rattle if that’s more your thing. Check out the Catnip Mouse course here.

 

XO Cable Coffee Cozy

Cozies are cute accessories for mugs, but most importantly, they are quick projects that reinforce old skills and teach you new ones – likecabling! If you’re intimidated by cabling projects, this project will help you tackle your fears and have you cabling like a pro in no time. Check out the XOXO course here.

siren seafoam beach top

I made this fun, summer knit as a way to keep cool when it’s sweltering out, but still cover up! I’m starting a new course next week if you want to follow along with me and learn how to make this oversized, cropped beach top. This is more advanced, but it’s perfect if you take your time and check your work. Check out the Siren Seafoam course here.

The long tail cast on method is one of my favorite ways to cast on. It’s quick, it’s easy, and I can have 50 stitches on my needle in no time.

But trying to figure out where you should start casting on for the right number of stitches can be a mystery – the only thing worse than ending up with a foot (or more!) of yarn for your tail is when you run out of yarn and can’t finish casting on!

Don’t worry, there’s a trick to cast on the perfect number of stitches with the long tail cast on, and it involves two skeins of yarn (or sometimes just one!).

Check it out:

siren seafoam beach topYou might have noticed that I quietly released a new pattern a few weeks ago.

Siren Seafoam is a fun, cropped beach top (22” long) designed to cover you up, but keep you cool when you’re out during the hot summer months.

The top is knit in the round from the bottom up, with a simple lace repeat for the design. The pattern is written out with instructions, no chart.

My quiet little release was picked up by Buzzfeed as a project perfect for summer (woot, #6) – and it really is a great summer top!

buzzfeed siren seafoam

It’s knit up in a super soft bulky cotton from Wool and the Gang* on US 11 needles. It has tons of holes so you can keep cool at the beach, but it’s structured so you’re still able to cover up.

I’m really excited about it, and I’m going to offer the pattern for you free – but only for the next 24 hours! So check out the details either here or at Ravelry, and use the code SUMMERKNITS if you want the freebie.

The freebie offer has expired, but check out details here or at Ravelry for more info!

And one more thing: I knit this with Wool and the Gang shiny happy cotton* – one of my new favorites! It’s ridiculously soft, and I hope you love it as much as I do.

*This is an affiliate link – and it also gets you 15% off your first order, woohoo!

Let me hear from you! Let me know what you think of the new pattern, if want more sizes, if you want help knitting it up – I can have a course up in no time! You can either respond to this email or let me know in the facebook group. Talk soon!

When you’re knitting right along, you might not even notice it until it’s too late: a stitch, that you so carefully knit has not only fallen off your needle, but fallen down a row!

Check out today’s video for a simple and easy way to fix dropped stitches on the edge of your knitting work – and check back next week where I’ll show you how to fix dropped stitches in the middle of your row.

After you get the knit and purl stitches down, and you’re ready to start on something fun and new: patterns!, you realize you can’t get very far because knits and purls suddenly appear in the same row.

Don’t worry! This really isn’t as difficult as it first appears. I’ve put together a quick video that shows you how to make a knit to purl transition, and back again from a purl to knit stitch. It’s just a simple moving of the yarn before you continue.

Let me know if you have any questions!

All right, so last week we talked about distinguishing between knits and purls. Hopefully now you’re a pro at telling them apart!

If you are, or even if you’re still getting used to it, but can at least see a difference, then you’re going to love this!

In a lot of beginner patterns, and even in my mini course, there are a lot of knits and a lot of purls.

If you’re trying to knit, say, 10 rows of knit stitches, there are a few ways to keep track of that. You can keep track in your head, you can mark each row off on a sheet of paper, or you can learn to count your rows so you don’t have to worry about remembering if you marked off Row 8 or not. 😉

Let’s check out the first example. You know how to find knits, but now you can easily count the rows.

countknitstitches

 

You can see I’ve marked off 10 rows by identifying the 10 knit stitches all in a row. Can you ID the knit stitches in other columns?

(And so, for our example above, I’m clearly not on Row 8! :D)

And now for the purl section. While knit stitches are easier for me to count, sometimes it’s easiest to count the purl stitches, especially if I’ve been cabling in the front or if there’s a special border on the outside.

countrowspurlstitches

So I’ve outlined 8 rows here by counting the purl stitches. You can see how each purl stitch is formed by a little bump or a half circle. You can also see that it has connected loops from stitch to stitch that link each purl stitch together.

I’ve gotten quite a few questions about some of the basics of knitting, so I’m going to dedicate the next couple of blog posts to some great tips for beginners, and today’s post is all about telling the difference between knits and purls.

If you’re still in the practicing stage, where you just make a row of knits followed by a row of purls (or however you choose to practice), and you’re not really making anything in particular, this might not be entirely relevant to you.

But it’s a necessary skill when you start to advance and knit from patterns for one main reason: you want to be able to read your work.

This is what I mean when I say reading your work:

Say you just knit Row 9 of a knitting pattern, and Row 9 of this fictional pattern is K2, P4, K2. And then, say, you became distracted and forgot what row you were on. Should you knit Row 9? Did you just finish Row 9?  Or was it Row 7 that you were on?

Once you’re able to tell the difference between knits and purls, you can just look down at project, see what you knit, and be able to figure out that, yes, you did just finish Row 9.

So let’s take a look at the knit stitch first.

Here is a giant wall of knit stitches. I made black marks on various stitches, and I highlighted what you’re looking for when it comes to live stitches on your needle.

Knit stitches look like arrows or Vs, and there are two parts to a knit stitch to form these shapes.

Knit stitches.

Knit stitches.

 

Now let’s look at purl stitches.

Here’s a giant block purl stitches. Purl stitches on the needle have little bumps that distinguish them from one another, and multiple purls make waves or half moons.

Purl stitches.

Purl stitches.

Can you see the difference? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

Next week, I’ll show you another way to determine your place if you get lost, and that involves counting rows.

I’m so excited to show you these gloves!

I saw this pattern in a blanket and I thought it would be so fun for gloves – or maybe a skirt at some point? – and I set about creating a pattern for them.

I hit a few roadblocks when I first started trying to convert this pattern into gloves, but something about airplanes and flying really does it for the knitting part of my brain because it all came together perfectly before I even left the runway.

Of course, it’s being released this late because I had to work out sizing and figure out my notes and whatnot

But here it is! I’m so excited that these are finally ready, and I hope you love them as much as I do.

I consider this an advanced beginner pattern. If you’re nervous about the lace – don’t be! Once you get the hang of it, it’s a simple repeat. Just go slowly and carefully.

Supplies
skein of worsted weight yarn
double pointed needles, US size 7 (4.5mm)
tapestry needle
scissors
measuring tape (optional)
stitch marker (optional)
t-pins (optional)

Gauge
With US size 7 needles, cast on 10 stitches and knit 14 rows. Gauge swatch should be 2’” by 2”.

Skills
To make these gloves, you’ll need to know how to knit in the round on DPNs, have familiarity with knits and purls, and decreasing and increasing with both knits and purls.

Here is the ravelry page, if you want to queue these babies up.

If you’re ready to cast on, you can order these here.

Because I’m really excited about this, I wanted to offer them to you, my amazing readers: use discount code WARMMEUP at checkout until February 25, 2015 to get them for free!

Like the color? I used M275 Spice Gingerbread from Brown Sheep Company.

I hope everyone has enjoyed the holidays so far! I’m gearing up for a very busy new year, working on new video courses and new patterns that I hope to roll out over the next few weeks.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing the Basketweave Coffee Cozy video course for yourself (or someone you love), grab it soon because it’s half off until January 4th!

I found a story on a lovely woman who credits her longevity (she was born in 1910!) in part to knitting. She spends her spare time knitting wool hats for a charity that distributes them to needy children in the area.

Another inspiring story: A jailed Egyptian activist is spending her time behind bars knitting handbags with the label “Made in Prison” that she sells for £6 each. Money isn’t the main goal, but rather: “It’s just to deliver a message. Even if you’re jailing us, you can’t stop us. Our souls are free. Whatever happens, prison won’t stop our imagination.”

Wishing everyone lots of love, hope, and happiness in the new year!