Sunday, November 19, 2017
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At the beginning of January, I went to JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts Store, where there was a sale.  The store in Florence, SC is less than a year old. As I was checking out, the clerk asked if I wanted to take any classes.  Well, one thing led to another and they needed a knitting and quilting teacher.  Two of my favorite crafts! This past weekend I taught my first knitting class. More importantly there are now three new knitters! Jackie, Marcy and Pamela did GREAT!  The time flew.  They made my job of instructor easy – and fun! We had a nice discussion about how much easier it is to learn... (Read More ...)

Have you been thinking about knitting socks and don’t know where to start? What about a Christmas stocking? Oh, yes it looks like a large project.  Basically a Christmas stocking is a sock knit on larger needles with thicker yarn.  And because of that it may be easier to knit than using fine needles and yarn.  Or “toothpicks” as my sister calls my Size 1 double pointed needles. 🙂 Whether you’re just learning to knit socks or want a simpler project because your time to knit is unpredictable like in caregiving, a Christmas stocking may make a good option.  It’s... (Read More ...)

When ready to bind off my first toe-up knee sock, I nearly didn’t. The knitting instructions for my socks said to “bind off loosely.”  With other projects, I’d been able to bind off loosely using one or two tried-and-true methods. A sock was different. No matter which method I tried, it just didn’t stretch enough to get it on around my heel, let alone over my calf.  I searched all my knitting instruction books without help.  None of them have toe-up sock, top-down hat or finger-down mitten knitting instructions. In reviewing this, it seems to be a fairly common dilemma.  Socks need... (Read More ...)

Like many knitters, when I first learned to knit, I started with a garter stitch scarf. By the time I finished, I’d learned cast on, knit stitch, and casting (or binding) off.  As I recall it was a long scarf, so I had lots of practice on my knit stitches. The scarf was made of a single color. I didn’t try anything fancy. Was just happy to be using two wooden needles, size 11, instead of the spool knitting I’d done previously. At the time I thought spool knitting boring, and for children. It seemed as though there were only a limited number of things like placemats or hot pads... (Read More ...)

When most folks think of “plain knitting” they usually mean stockinette stitch. Because it’s smooth, and looks like the same stitch on the right side, it’s often thought by non-knitters to be the first stitch knitters learn.  Usually garter stitch is practiced first, because garter stitch uses only the knit stitch.  That is, every stitch is knit (no purl stitches). Its ridges often make it seem more complex. On two needles, stockinette stitch is a row of knit stitches followed by a row of purl.  For circular knitting, whether using a circular needle … two circulars... (Read More ...)

Reverse garter stitch looks like garter stitch. Instead of knitting every stitch, every stitch is purled. So, when do you use reverse garter stitch? When you’re: Making a garter stitch border, and need to start it with a purl row … Practicing your purl stitches, or … Teaching someone how to make reverse garter stitch. Honestly, I rarely use it. For me, the knitting stitch is more natural.  I can do it almost without thinking about it.  Purling, however, takes more concentration.  And after a few rows of reverse garter, I long to throw in a few knitted stitches. Which is why, if... (Read More ...)

What’s the first knitting stitch most of us learn? Plain knitting, also known as the garter stitch! On two needles, garter stitch is all knitting.  Every stitch. So, once you’ve cast on, it’s only one stitch to learn or practice. Of course, if you knit in the round, it’s one round (or row) of knitting alternating with a round of purling. There is a symmetry to garter stitch not found in stockinette.  10 stitches is the same length as 10 ridges, or 20 rows.  I think that is so cool, but then I’ve always loved math! 😎 And garter stitch knit on 2 needles lies... (Read More ...)