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RuthieinMaryland 07-18-2008 01:58 PM

Knit Tips & Tricks
Hi, Knitters! :muah:

Although I've just gotten reacquainted with knitting over the last year or so, I'm picking up lots of hints, tips and tricks for making the work easier or more fun. I have a feeling most knitters experience the same thing, so I thought it would be a great deal if we have a specific thread just for tips, tricks, etc.

If you agree, please write in with your favorites. And don't overlook the "obvious" ones. One person's "obvious" can often be another person's lightning bolt of inspiration! (been there, done that!!!!)

To get us started -


I was knitting a sock the other evening and needed stitch markers. But my little bag of clover markers must have grown feet and left the area.

I remembered something I'd heard/read about using drinking straws to make temporary, disposable stitch markers - cutting thin bands from drinking straws and slipping them over the needles to use as stitch markers.

The regular straws will work on needles to about size 7 and the fatter "slurpy-type" ones can be used on the larger needles. To change from one needle to the other, just slide the little plastic circle up to the tapered end of the left needle and lift it off with the right.

:woohoo: Saved the day for me! Also, when you no longer need the markers, just snip them off! One drinking straw has a LOT of mileage in it for stitch markers!

OK, folks - hope to hear from you all soon!

Ruthie :knitting:

Jan in CA 07-18-2008 02:07 PM

Off the top of my head these are the first to come to mind..

1. Use a lifeline especially when doing lace, but it's handy for any large project you don't want to have to frog back to the beginning.

2. Learn what the stitches look like. I can't emphasize this enough! Once you learn it's so much easier to 'read' your knitting and know where you are in a pattern or see mistakes.

knitpurlgurl 07-18-2008 02:10 PM

I use bits of yarn left over as stitch markers.

I've learned that if you are knitting in Magic Loop and you separate the stitches with the working yarn on the back needle, you'll always know when you are at the beginning of a round because the working yarn will end up at the beginning of each round!

Limey 07-18-2008 02:27 PM


One thing I cannot do without is a pencil and a shorthand notebook - OK then, two.

Even if I'm working ordinary stocking stitch, I write lines of numbers from 1- 10; 2 - 20, for the rows and tick (check|)them off as I work. It helps alot of I'm knitting the fronts of cardigans and want to be certain I've knitted the same number of rows on each side, say, when I get to the decreases for under arms and necklines.

If I'm working with a pattern that has just a few rows, and is just a few repeat stitches wide, I write out each pattern row on a separate line and use a different coloured pen to mark off the pattern, like this, using a tick mark or cross

Row 1 - Pattern Stitches X X X

Row 2 - Pattern Stitches X X X

Row 3 - Pattern Stitches X X

Row 4 -
Pattern Stitches X X

Looking at that, I know that I've just finished row or round 2 of the pattern and how many rows or rounds I've knitted so far (10).

Using different coloured pens means there's less chance of mis-reading how many rows I've worked; writing out the pattern helps to get it into my head and saves me having to battle with sometimes very small print.


fireflyknitter 07-18-2008 03:09 PM

I use earrings as stitch markers. :) My favorite one is a continuous hoop but I'll use anything hoopy. I don't wear earrings anymore so it's nice to get some use out of them!

Jaxhil 07-18-2008 08:57 PM

Okay, here's my 2 cents worth, and maybe not worth much more, but here goes anyway..

When working a pattern repeat, I always use a clicker counter, or row counter of some sort. So I will always know where I left off, whenever I end a row I click the counter to the row I should start on *next*, when I return to my work.

With four kids, I *always* put my work away when I put it down for even a minute. I do this as a pro-active way to keep accidental damage and lost needles, etc, to a minimum. My DM who of course has no kids to bother her is always losing needles because she justs sets her project down assuming it won't go anywhere, lol. Somehow things happen anyway! So my advice is to always put your work in a basket, bag, or whatever, to keep it together while you're not working at it. Oh, and pick it up so it doesn't get stepped/sat on,thus avoiding broken needles (and un-necessary pain!! :shock:)

I hope I haven't just jinxed myself :teehee:

knitpurlgurl 07-18-2008 09:24 PM

Kinda along the lines of what Hilary was saying: I put each project in it's own giant Ziploc with a paper copy of the pattern (marked where I left off), the project itself and the needles. On the front of the Ziploc, I write the name of the pattern, the yarn name, colorway, and Dye #, where I purchased the yarn, and the date I cast on. I keep them all on a shelf and when I go somewhere to knit, I grab my ziplock bag and throw it in my knitting bag.

momwolf 07-19-2008 12:09 AM

1-NEVER be any where near Limey when she is knitting with DPNs:roflhard::roflhard:

2-Get a magnet board to hold your pattern,the magnet keeps your place for you.
3-Always keep a crochet hook with you to pickup dropped stitches or to fix a mistake 4 rows down
4-I use a fishing tackle box to keep my knitting accessories in
5-I use a bamboo needle for a cable needle because they are not slippery.I always use a needle 4 sizes smaller so it is easier to grab the cable sts off the smaller needle

Alyce 07-19-2008 01:03 AM

I love the idea of writing info of the front of the bag. I think if I had to look at the date I started a project every time I picked it up I might work a little harder on it. LOL.:rofl:
Seriously, I think it is a good way to keep that info handy.
My tip is: I always make a working copy of my pattern so I can mark on it or whatever. The original stays in a plastic sleeve in my notebook of patterns. I'm only a little organized though. I don't even have them in Alphabetical order.:wink:

RuthieinMaryland 07-19-2008 07:42 AM

Hi, Jax! Your advice is worth a LOT more than 2 cents! I have no little ones to disturb my knitting, but I manage to "disturb" it all the time! So just yesterday I bought a large rectangular lined straw bag to tuck things away in when I'm not knitting. I've been forever having to get my DH to move the sofa so I can retrieve needles, stitch markers, etc. Not any more! Thanks.

Ruthie :o)

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