Free Knitting Pattern: Oaklet Shawl

Free Knitting Pattern: Oaklet Shawl

November 14, 2015Free knitting patterns

A small triangular shawl with an easy lacy border, the Oaklet is a pretty little accessory that you can wear around your neck or across your shoulders. In the size shown, Oaklet uses about one skein of fingering weight yarn. It’s worked on relatively large needles for extra drape, and the pattern is easy to … Read More

Free Knitting Pattern: Canaletto Cowl

Free Knitting Pattern: Canaletto Cowl

October 25, 2015Free knitting patterns

The Canaletto cowl is wide and luxurious, and emphasizes geometric lines and simple textures. Bands of seed stitch and eyelets are intersected by stocking stitch, and each texture catches the light differently. The stacked eyelets create a gentle bias, adding to the cowl’s flexibility for looping around your neck. Pattern includes two sizes; the larger … Read More

A beginner lace chart: English Fern

A beginner lace chart: English Fern

December 1, 2014Lace knitting

I wrote a little post about lace blocking, and forgot to mention which lace stitch I used for the sample. This is one of my favourites. An old traditional pattern that pops up in most knitting pattern guides. Barbara Walker includes it as “Fern or Leaf-Patterned Lace” in her first Treasury of Knitting Patterns, and … Read More

The Talk Part 2

The Talk Part 2

October 27, 2014Lace knitting

Last week I brought up that old conversation stopper: blocking. You know how it is. A group of knitters is chatting amiably, and one suddenly announces, “I never block.” And the room goes quiet. Someone else chimes in, “Me neither, unless it’s acrylic, then I iron it.” You shift nervously in your chair, and then … Read More

Things Suddenly Get Awkward: The Talk

Things Suddenly Get Awkward: The Talk

October 22, 2014Lace knitting

It’s time for The Talk. I know, how awkward. But I want you to be informed so you can make the right decisions in your adult life. Don’t be embarrassed. It’s a beautiful, natural expression of love. As long as the water isn’t too hot or too cold, and the pins are rust-free. I’m talking, … Read More

How to cast on: Working from a provisional cast on

How to cast on: Working from a provisional cast on

June 10, 2014Expert knitting

This knitting tutorial covers how to work from a crochet chain provisional cast on. You can see the first part of the tutorial at How to cast on: Making a provisional cast on. You can either pick up the live stitches from the crochet chain and work from them, or you can pick them up … Read More

Basic stitch anatomy

Basic stitch anatomy

June 10, 2014Knitting basics

If you look at stockinette stitch from the right side, you will see that it looks the same upside down as it does right side up. Stocking stitch (stockinette) right side up: Upside down: However, you can’t simply flip a stitch upside down. A stitch is not the same on the bottom as it is … Read More

How to cast on: Making a provisional cast on

How to cast on: Making a provisional cast on

June 10, 2014Expert knitting

This knitting tutorial covers how to knit a provisional cast on using a crocheted chain as the foundation. This crochet technique of making a provisional cast on edge is one of my favourites; it’s easy to remember, makes a nice cast on edge to pick up later, and works every time. You will need a … Read More

Baby Knitting Patterns: Saartje’s Bootees

Baby Knitting Patterns: Saartje’s Bootees

June 9, 2014Free knitting patterns

Knitting for babies is delightful. It’s all so mind-bendingly miniature. (I forgot to weigh these before I wrapped them, but they couldn’t have used more than 10 grams of sock yarn.) Saartje’s Bootees by Saartje de Bruijn is a free pattern, downloadable on Ravelry, with instructions for two sizes. I would call the sizes Newborn and 3 … Read More

Learn to Crochet: Slip knot

Learn to Crochet: Slip knot

June 6, 2014Knitting basics, Learn to Crochet

Slip knots are very useful in knitting and crochet. A slip knot is a quick way of securing a loop of yarn to a needle or hook, and is one of those knots that gets tighter the more it’s pulled. (Here’s some knot trivia: the slip knot and noose knot are very similar and are often … Read More

Learn to Crochet: Foundation Chain

Learn to Crochet: Foundation Chain

June 6, 2014Learn to Crochet

While knitting is about rows, crochet is about chains. (Well, crochet is about rows too, but you’ll hear “chain” a lot.) Chains can be arranged in rows, or clumps, or circles. Making a chain is the base technique for most crochet. You often need to start with something called a Foundation Chain. Just as the … Read More

How to knit a blanket from a shawl pattern

How to knit a blanket from a shawl pattern

April 2, 2014Expert knitting

This project was an experiment. If a top-down triangular shawl, which starts at the center and radiates out to the edges, can be shaped into a diagonal half-square through blocking, could you use the same pattern to make a full square for a blanket? Oh yes, you certainly can. I used Fledge, but you could … Read More

How to Block Very Large Things

How to Block Very Large Things

April 2, 2014Expert knitting

I’m a big believer in blocking. More than that, I’m a big believer in wet blocking. But you might notice this gets really awkward when you are dealing with a very large project. A big wet stretchy wooly thing; how do you deal with it? If you’re lucky, you’ve got some dry weather and you … Read More

A scarf that won’t curl

A scarf that won’t curl

January 17, 2014Expert knitting

Ah, that’s an age-old topic. How to make a knitted scarf that won’t curl on the edges. Well, the easy answer is to use a stitch pattern that uses an equal distribution of knits and purls. For example, garter stitch, 2/2 ribbing, 1/1 ribbing, seed stitch, or moss stitch. And those non-curling stitch patterns can … Read More

Free Knitting Pattern: Washcloth Quartet

Free Knitting Pattern: Washcloth Quartet

January 1, 2014Free knitting patterns

A washcloth is a great project for the beginner knitter. It’s also a wonderful gift. This quartet ranges from the simplest garter stitch cloth, to a more advanced openwork cloth. Skill Level Beginner to easy (knitting basics plus basic lace) Yarn  Each cloth requires about 40 yds of worsted or heavy worsted yarn in cotton, … Read More

Free Knitting Pattern: Leafy Washcloth

Free Knitting Pattern: Leafy Washcloth

January 1, 2014Free knitting patterns

An easy leaf-shaped washcloth that makes a great quick gift. A good project for the beginner knitter who’s ready to move beyond the square. Make them in leafy colors, or get zany with rainbow cotton. The finished size depends on what weight of yarn you choose. Skill Level beginner (basic decreasing and increasing) Yarn 30 yards … Read More

How to undo your knitting

How to undo your knitting

December 31, 2013Expert knitting

No matter how carefully you plan, you will end up with knitting projects where you wish you had an undo button. About 20 steps in the past. This hat is a good example. I made two versions of the Gatineau Hat, but for some reason, the ribbing on the lighter version just didn’t sit right. … Read More

Color dominance in stranded color knitting

Color dominance in stranded color knitting

December 18, 2013Knitting with color

In stranded color knitting (often called Fair Isle knitting), two or more colors are used on each row. If you’re new to stranded color knitting, I recommend not worrying about yarn dominance for a while. It’s an important concept that will help your color knitting look even more perfect, but not 100% necessary at first. Let’s … Read More

Tip for working in the round

Tip for working in the round

December 15, 2013Expert knitting

When working in a smallish round, like a hat, you can sometimes use a very short circular needle. But you might find that, when using one short circular needle, it can be difficult to join after casting on because the cast on edge has more tension in it than a knitted round. Try this: Work … Read More

Finishing: Weave then block, or block then weave?

Finishing: Weave then block, or block then weave?

December 11, 2013Knitting basics

It’s your basic chicken and egg situation. When you’re finishing a piece of knitting (and by finishing, I don’t mean getting to the end of knitting, I mean sewing it all together, blocking, i.e., sending it to Finishing School) should you weave your yarn ends in before you block? As far as I can tell … Read More