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Here are some things they don't teach you in knitting class, or if they do, you're lucky!

Tags: knitting, tips, tricks

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Yes, thanks, Amy! I've only done lifelines with the Options needles. --P
Many patterns have a pattern row or round followed by one where you just work across or around with no changes. Look at your work and learn to see what it looks like when you're on the pattern row or round. This can be as simple a change as dec or inc for the heel of a sock or for sleeves of a sweater. Until you can learn to tell what you've done in your work, you need to keep track. I like to use my little tool kit or my box of st markers for this. (The TV remote works, too, if I can wrest it from DH's hands!) I turn it over when I've finished a row or round. If it's right-side-up, that means I'm on the pattern row or round. If it's upside-down, I'm working straight. If the phone rings, or I have to shush the pups, when I come back, I can see right away where I am.
Sometimes directions will tell you to decrease (or increase) evenly across a row, the it doesn't work out to an even number of sts. Here's how I deal with it. If you get between 3-4 sts, I get the same number of markers as the number of dec's and place two 3 sts apart, then 4 sts apart, all the way around. Then I move the sts around until I'm satisfied that they are evenly spaced. You can use the type of markers shown here, coilless safety pins or loops of yarn, but it's easiest if you don't have to move the sts to get the marker on, which is a lot more work.

What a good idea.  Thanks!

I forgot to post this here when this podcast went live, but in podcast 154 - Kelley gives lots of great advice for new knitters. Also, Alison and Kerin chat about problems that can come up when you are first learning to knit and have some funny stories on knitting projects gone awry and how they were saved due to some knitter knitting tips.

 

It is a great episode for newer knitters or knitters simply looking to expand their "how to fix mistakes" skills.

That is one of the important thinks for all knitters to learn: how to not panic over mistakes and to remember that yarn can be used over if a mistake is unfixable and you just can't live with the "design feature".
exactly, cheryl! Kerin and Alison both stress that knitting is something you can undo and redo! My favorite part of the podcast is Kerin telling the story of when she was teaching knitting and to prove that mistakes and dropped stitches were no big deal, she took the needles off of a students project!
That was one of my favorite parts also!
When you're learning to knit, pick lighter-colored yarns, so you can see your stitches easily.

If you're knitting with black or very dark yarn, make sure you have very good light. (At least until you can knit in the dark.) As we get older, we need more light to see. There are special lights for crafters on the market, including lights you wear around your neck or on your head. Clip-on magnifiers and devices that hold a magnifying glass in front of your work for you are also available and can be helpful.
Excellent suggestions!
If you're knitting a project that is knitted in pieces, knit one of the smaller pieces first, like a sleeve or a pocket, so you can check your gauge to be sure your gauge swatch was accurate. (Note: You still need to do a gauge swatch!) If you see your gauge is off, you won't be out much.

Sometimes you find a mistake several (or many) rows or rnds after you made it. Often it's possible to drop down and fix the mistake, unless the pattern runs at a diagonal, such as with many cable patterns. (In that case, you have to drop down all the sts involved, sometimes not worth it.) With st st, it's pretty easy: Put a st marker or safety pin in the offending st, work to the st at the top of the vertical row involved, take it off the needle and pull out the sts until you get to the mistake. Fix your mistake and then use a crochet hook to bring the next strand of yarn through the st, rep until you are back up to the needle. In garter st, it's more complicated. You have to alternate between taking the st from the front or the back. Here's an example:

The st marker is at the mistake, which has been fixed. I've been using my crochet hook to go through the st, grab the bottom strand and pull it through the st, making a new st. How do you know which side of the knitting you need to reach through? If the next strand is in back, you go through from the front; if the next strand is in front, you need to bring the st through to the other side (without twisting it) and then bring the strand (now in back) through the st. In the photo below, the next strand is in front. I will need to put the crochet hook through the space between the st on the hook and the next strand, using the handle of the crochet hook to pull it through. Then turn the hook around and reach through the st to grab the strand and bring it through. Alternate until back up at the needle. It's easy, once you get used to what it looks like. 

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