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Old 12-11-2012, 07:49 PM   #318
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Originally Posted by RuthieinMaryland View Post
Hi, Knitters!

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.

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!

A few months ago I tried knitting again (when I was in mid 20's a friend tried to teach me and it was a disaster - if it was two thing that had to be same size like booties or sleeves for sweater or slippers they were never the same size) and trying to teach myself because no one really I know that can help me with it so I have had a lot of disasters and taken things completely out, I just was on last ten rows of a shawl and saw I missed a dropped stitch about six rows down, in process of unraveling it stitch by stitch with needles I dropped more stitches (didn't know about life lines at all - read about them on here after the fact). I'm best at doing small projects right now like scarves for people and for dolls, did some simple shawls for people and dolls, dishcloths. Going to stick with small projects until I get really good at knitting.

What I first learned was my yarn was traveling all over the place and getting dog hair on it (we have a long hair dog that sheds a lot) and if in plastic bag would "crawl" out of the bag and wander away. So my husband got a large plastic heavy duty bucket (the kind with a team logo on it that he won filled with goodies at a raffle) and brought it in from his work shop shed and it was clean. I had a plastic bag that fit real well inside it and held tight around the top. There is a Ziplock gallon freezer bag sitting down in it with scissors, smaller straight needles (only a few straight ones), circle interchangeable needle set, markers, cable needles, measuring tape, ruler, mechanical pencils, pad of paper, etc so they are not all over the place. Also a clipboard to hold the pattern or pattern book and sheet of paper to mark the rows I've done. The yarn sits down in it and not crawling all over and picking up the dog hair plus I don't have to think about where I am sitting if it is free of his hair too. If I have to take my work with me I have a quilted bag that the clipboard, freezer bag, yarn with needles and what I'm working on, also the pattern and mechanical pencil. I was for a while going to a knitting hour only to find the lady that could have helped a lot moved away, the rest are about my level and/or crochet a lot so not real helpful so I quit going for now.

The first things I knit using two strands didn't seem to be a problem with strands tangling just using them off the skeins, then the trouble began. I had a sudden problem with the yarn getting so tangled up I had to either cut the yarn or give up and unravel it. A friend told me she avoided that problem by rolling the two strands together in a ball and no more tangling and if it did it was much easier to untangle it. After a real mess last night and some cutting and tying strands to go on I just stopped and undid what was left of the skeins and from the ends started rolling them together into a ball towards the tangled mess that happened again, cut it out and started second ball just so I can go on with this project. I have learned the very hard way that if I'm going to use more than one strand then I will be rolling them into a ball and have a better knitting experience.

I found with site by accident and learned a lot, but seems when I typed in cables there weren't any videos coming up with them. I tried to do a scarf with cable in center and the right side of the cable was great and the left side had wide "spaces". I used cable needles, tried knitting from that needle, tried knitting by placing stitches back on left needle to knit the left half. Are there videos on this site for cable knitting? If so, can you link me to it?

Thank you for all the tips I've already come across here and the videos for the basics.
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