Knit Tips & Tricks




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Don’t know if I’ve posted this tip:

I save all my patterns in my computer. so I can print a fresh copy each time I re-use one. I make extra spaces between steps for notes, make certain items in bold or color, etc.

If a pattern exists only on paper, I scan it in and make a file.


My tips for knitting:
*I always lose stitch markers and hate stitch holders. I tie a piece of contrasting yarn around the needle to mark my place. I put holding stitches, such as mitten thumb stitches, on a long piece of contrasting yarn
*If you want to eliminate ladders between double points or circulars, push the first stitch as close to the needle tip as you can without it falling off, then draw the yarn through the loop as tightly as you can. Do this for the first two stitches, then you can relax and knit the rest of the stitches as normal.
*I write the patterns I use a lot, corrections, and measurements for everybody in my family (including the dog) in a 4 by 6 inch three subject spiral notebook. I can always find what I’m looking for in there. I can throw it into my purse when I go to the yarn store. I always think I’ll remember a pattern or stitch pattern, but don’t. It helps if you haven’t knitted something for a while and want to refer back to it.

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.


When I am knitting a compliated pattern this is what I do: I take two slip on row countersand put one on the left needle and one on the right needle. As I knit the first row marker is set at 1 and the othermarker will get set to 1 when finished with row one then on the next row, the row counter gets set to row 2 and keep knitting . From this point, if the row counter has an odd number it will be the wrong side . If I find I have to stop , I finish the row I am working on and place the row counter on the needle in front of the work. If the row counter is in front of the work, the row should be the next row to be knitted and the row counter at the end of the work should be the last row worked.


I’ve dabbled with cabling and after years of being slightly intimidated by it decided to dive in. I’ve been working on a “cable fabric” scarf. Keeping track of my cable stitch holder (after buying several I actually ended up making my own) became a biiig issue. I tried putting rubber bands around the empty coffee tin (I am now completely unable to throw empty coffee cans away at all anymore sigh) I keep my yarn in, but it still was akward to reach. Oh, I also photo copied and taped the pattern to the side of the coffee can and used the rubber band to hold my little red clover clicker for keeping track of rows. That was a small bit of awesomeness for me.

I tried keeping the stitch holder in my hair bun (falls out when I forget I have it in and bend over in the grocery store) as well as just behind my ear, but I’d forget both and end up cursing and searching all over the house before kid or hubby would tell me where it was. And unlike a little leather finger tip protector (I have some very pointly needles) you can’t really stuff one in your bra when you have to get up and do something… So! What I ended up doing was using the big synthetic bands I have that are supposed to be used for tying up chicken or turkey when you roast them. I put it around the palm of my left hand (I’m a picker/continental knitter) and slip the stitch holder through it at the back of my hand. I’ve been doing this for several days now and have never forgotten it was there or had it randomly fall off. :woohoo:

Wow, long winded tip. :aww:


This past winter I started knitting mittens for charity. My local elementary school always has kids coming into the office looking for them (or hats and scarves). I use these leftover bits of yarn to make these mittens in stripes. Using unraveled swatches in these mittens isn’t a big deal. The office people are thrilled to get anything for their kids.


I just thought of this as I started the gusset increase on the kilt hose I am knitting. I am knitting toe-up and the pattern increases two stitches on each side of the sole of the sock every other round. Once all the increase have been made markers are placed to separate the sole stitches from the gusset stitches.

In the past I have started the gusset by knitting the first stitch on the sole placed a two ring chain counter and M1R. Knit to 1 stitch before the end of the sole and M1L. Knit the instep. Knit one round plain. When I got back to the sole for the increase round I would knit one, slip marker, M1R knit to one stitch before end M1L and knit one. I would continue until all gusset increases were made.

This process required two thing I don’t like. 1) I would repeated have to count all the stitches on the sole and subtract base sole stitches to see how many more increase to make, 2) I would have to count and mark the gusset stitches before knitting the heel.

Today I changed my process. 1) first round of gusset increase K1, place marker, M1R, knit to end Place marker M1L k1. I am now counting the two end stitches as gusset stitches NOT the M1R and M1L stitches. 2) on the next increase round I K1, M1R ( before the marker not after) knit to marker, slip marker M1L K1.

In this way the gusset stitches are always between the beginning or end of first or last stitch on the needle. When I want to check how many gusset increase stitches I have made all I have to do is count the stitches separated by the markers. Once I have made all the increases the gusset stitches are already marked off from the sole and I can start my heel.

I hope this is clear :??, easier to do than explain.


I put my yarn that I am knitting with in a plastic grocery bag. I loosely tie the two handles together and run the working yarn out of one of the spaces at the side of the bag. This allows the yarn to feed without the skein or ball rolling all over the floor. It also keeps dirt, dust, and pet hair off the yarn. When I’ve finished my knitting for the day, I untie the bag and put my work along with the needles into the bag to keep it all together. If I’m working on several projects at once, it allows me to put them all into my storage tote without the yarns getting tangled together. The shopping bags are also portable so you can grab and go if you’re knitting outside your home.


“I too have just started knitting again after a long time, and I’m having a problem - one of the patterns I’m trying to work has a YO P2, I can’t seem to get this right and end up short of stitches at the end of the row. Can you help?”

There’s a great video for YOs under the Free Videos tab at the top of this page, Increases. The initial demo is for a YO between knit sts but the video ends with a demo of YO before a purl st which is more similar to your situation. If you do it that way, and make sure you don’t forget a YO, your st number should turn out ok.
I think your question got buried here. Probably “How to” would be a better place for a quicker answer to these kinds of questions.


I have a special simple tote I use for the same purpose. (Actually, I have several, but I have to keep them full and demonstrably ‘in use’ or the DH complains about clutter. :stuck_out_tongue: ) Awesome excuse to knit when and where ever.


I actually moved her question to the “How To” section some time ago. That’s probably why you had trouble finding the post.


I haven’t been knitting long myself so I don’t have any advice of my own but would love to get tips on this.
I knit continental and I find my right arm and fingers get tired after about 15 mins of knitting.I mostly knit on circular needles.
I do tend to crochet/knit tightly but am trying to work on it.
I taught myself to knit and I think I taught myself the wrong way. I insert my needle in the back loop on the needle from right to left.
Just wondering if these facts play a part in tiredness.


Knitting tightly would certainly make me feef tired. You may be gripping the needles very tightly in addition to pulling the yarn tightly. Taking a break every so often, relaxing and doing something completely different with your hands may help. And trying to loosen up on the needles (easier said than done, I know) will help, too.


You may wrap the yarn around the needle the same way you grab it for crochet. That’s backwards to how it would normally go for knitting, but if you’re working in the back loop that should keep the sts from twisting. Just make sure you work into the leg of the st that’s closest to the needle tip; twisted sts are tighter than untwisted one.

Loosen up your grip on both the needles and yarn, they won’t be going anywhere. Don’t pull on the yarn after you make the stitch to tighten it up - making the next stitch will do that.


Then, too, you have to condition your fingers, elbows, and arms to knit after being inactive for so long. If you took up running after being a couch potato for a long time, you wouldn’t expect to run marathons your first time out. You start out running around the block and work your way up. Same thing with knitting. Just set your timer. Knit a bit. Then extend the time a little every few days. You’ll soon get back in the swing of things.



I’ve been knitting only a few months and it’s a very off and on thing for me because my work life gets stupid crazy :eyes: for weeks at a time.

I’ve recently begun to try to master a few new (for me) knitting skills, including DPNs to work decreases in the round. One problem I had was with the point protectors I was using to keep the stitches from slipping off as I juggled the work while mastering the ‘octopus’. I had only 2 protectors and that was not nearly enough to keep my clutzy self out of trouble. A trip to the knit shop was not in the cards so I started looking around for something else I could use.

I found an answer and I’ll probably never buy another set of needle protectors from the knit shop. The solution is extremely inexpensive by comparison. I found some of the foam “in the ear” type earplugs hubby uses in the garage and discovered I can cut a small slit in the end and they slide on most needles, up to about a US10.5, nice and snug.

These can be found in multi-packs of 20 to 50 PAIRS for less than 10 dollars. They don’t leave a residue on the needle. They don’t mar the surface of the bamboo. In short, it works like a dream!! :woot:




wow - so many brilliant tips here it’s very hard to add something new. But, I never use a cloth tape measure as they stretch. Metal retractible ones are good or even wooden rulers.

things I have with me when I knit: small, sharp scissors, a smallish crotchet hook for correctional purposes! My reading glass AND a large glass of water.


I combined a bunch of the more common tips by saving patterns in my Knitting directory on my computer and printing them out. I use the sheet protectors to hold all the pages for each pattern. I use a post-it (similar to the painter’s tape tip) to show the ‘next’ row to knit, and maybe notes.
When everything is done, I throw a picture of the finished product in and some of the leftover yarn in case I need to ever ‘patch’ it.
Each goes into the binder when done.
To keep DPNs from slipping out of the row I use tiny elastics (less than 1/2") @ 500 for $1 in the health and beauty department.
In department stores’ luggage sections they sell little divided drawstring bags that are great for organizing DPNs, tip protectors, stitch markers and other teensy bits.
A cuticle trimmer makes a great snip if you can’t take scissors for some reason.

Thanks for sharing all these other great ideas!


I got this simple tip:

One important method of avoiding grief in knitting is mind-bogglingly simple, but often ignored. If you read through a pattern before you pick up the needles, the actual process of knitting the pattern will be easier. And if you’re planning to make improvements or changes to the design, particularly fitting alterations, it’s an excellent idea to milk the written pattern for as much information as possible.

Very simple but very true.

Got that from a great article called
Thinking Beyond The Pattern
Knit smarter, not faster.
You can read more here.