Please post your favorite knitting tips!

Hi Gang,
It occurred to me that we could have a terrific thread where we can post knitting tips all in one place, either things we’ve figured out or been taught over the years.

We can all always learn new things, and newer knitters won’t have to learn [I]everything[/I] the hard way. :grphug:

Here are some of my favorites:

[B]Photocopy[/B] your pattern and leave your original in a safe place, particularly if you KIP.

[B]Highlight[/B] the portions of the pattern that are relevant to your chosen size (on your photocopy, of course).

Photocopy and [B]magnify[/B] small charts to make them much easier to read.

Use an [B]extra needle[/B] (about half the size of whatever your pattern calls for) in addition to your regular needle, for long tail cast-on, casting-on over both. This will keep your cast-on edge from getting to tight but allow you maintain a nice even edge.

That’s all I can think of right now. I hope this isn’t repetitive from another thread, but I haven’t found any like this.

Any other great tips, KHers?

Put your photo-copy in a page protector and us a grease pencil to mark you spot. This works great with charts.

good idea about the grease pencil…I do use the page protector with my xrox copy in it, but this way I wouldn’t have to keep taking the paper in and out to mark my progress!

I put all patterns in a protective sleeve and mark off steps to be done with a dry erase marker and then when i finish a certain step i just erase it! Works great for me.

Thanks for the move, mods! :muah: I wasn’t sure where to post this originally. It will definitely get more views here.

Hi what is a grease pencil?

I always cast on and off with a needle one size larger than my project calls for. This ensures I never have that “pucker” that a lot of people get because it’s too tight.

I also tend to keep track of my knitting in a notebook; nothing as fancy as a journal, just a small notebook with needle size, yarn, etc. I also use it to keep track of rows when knitting lace etc., and write down what I do for the first of a pair of items: # of rows of ribbing. It saves endless counting and avoids the possibility of non matching mittens and socks.

When knitting 2 socks at the same time I keep the balls of yarn in the toes (when doing toe up) or in the heel (cuff down) to keep them from tangling with each other and draw the yarn from there. It might not be a new tip for most sock knitters but I just learn this tip myself… :wink:

I just posted this before:

For unruly circs: use an infant or toddler (small size) shirt and hanger. Thread one needle through one arm of the shirt (shirt must be hanging on the hanger) all the way through and out the arm hole of the other side so that one needle is hanging out of one arm and the other is hanging out of the other arm. The circs won’t coil up and you won’t have to buy a circ holder.

I keep all of my projects in really big ziploc bags (They are the new super large ones that you can fit books in) on a bookshelf. (I am an ADD knitter) When I want to knit, I walk over to the shelf and can see through the bags which contain my photocopied pattern, my needles, my project, and all of the yarn I will need to complete the project. I usually pop the bag in my prettier knitting bag. Unless I’m going to knitting group. I take the items out of the plastic baggies and put them into my bag.

I you knit one sock at a time, to avoid SSS, cast on both socks, on separate needles, then when you finish a section of sock # 1, do that section for sock # 2. continue this way, and when you’re finished you have both socks done!! No more SSS, and to me, much less confusing than knitting 2 socks on the same needles.

Thought of another one.
When using two or more yarns (like for two socks on one circ or for stranding) or single light colored yarns, I put each in a ziploc bag before starting. About 1/2 inch below the zipper, I punch a hole and reinforce it (being the geek that I am). The yarn is threaded through the hole before casting on, then the bag can be sealed, keeping the yarn clean and tidy, reducing tangling.

To figure out how many stitches to cast on for a hat:

  1. Measure around head of which hat is to fit. (If a surprise, measure around the wrist and wrap the measuring tape around twice.)

  2. Measure how many stitches per inch you get with the needles you will be using to make the hat. Or, in other words, knit up a swatch with the needles you plan to use.

  3. Multiply the # of inches around the head by the number of stitches per inch. For example, if I got a person with a head circumference of 20 inches and I got 3 stitches per inch, it would look like this:

                                [U]x 3[/U]

Hope the tip helps!
PS - For children, I usually use a 16" size 11 circular needle and worsted weight yarn, and I CO 48 stitches.

whoops! i meant 3 stitches per inch! :roflhard:


Any other good ideas???

I can’t stand when I use long tail cast on getting to the end and not having enough yarn: Here is a fix unlimited stiches - use two balls of yarn make a slip knot and cast on - do not count the slip knot as a stitch as you will drop it when you knit back.

This thread is a great idea!
Whenever I go shoe shopping, I “borrow” a pocketful of footies and use those to hold the ball of yarn that I am working from. It works especially well for center-pull balls, and if they get a hole or whatever (which doesn’t happen as often as you might think) then they are disposable.
Also, I keep a nail file in a zip-lock baggie in my knitting bag with incase I have a jagged fingernail that keeps snagging on my knitting.

Vickie Howell on Knitty Gritty gave this one: to get those wooden/bamboo needles slick and glossy again, fill a tall jar/Pringle canister with uncooked rice. Dip your needles in and out and polish them up that way. Save it until next time (don’t cook with that rice then).

A grease pencil is like a crayon, but in a pencil form. Instead of sharpening it you peal off the layers of paper.

I keep a nail file handy for the dpn’s that split, works wonders
i check here every day for new ideas (decreases boredom)
I bought a cheap click on top row counter, saves SO much time and no little pieces of paper with hash marks on it!
If you sew, make project bags! I have a sock bag, a wool bag, a wip bag etc…