Imagine knitting only scarves for the rest of your life. Actually, don't. Scarves are great, but you didn't learn how to knit so you could turn into a scarf factory. You were destined for bigger things too— like sweaters.
It’s one thing to learn the basics of the knit stitch… and a totally other thing to actually complete a project. But lucky for you, we’re here to shorten up the distance from step one to step one-and-a-half on the road to knit super stardom.
Good news, beginner knitters! All your handknit holiday fantasies are about to come true: you can knit this stocking. With a super simplified heel (it's really just a rectangle) and fun fringe, you'll be ready for Santa in no time.
Let's be real, even when you set the best intentions, sometimes it's just not possible to knit something for everyone on your list. Except maybe it is, because we bet you can knock out these handknit gift card holders in about the same amount of time it will take you to buy the gift card itself.
Cute sweater? Put a bow on it! Simple tote bag? Put a bow on it! Gift for a friend? You guessed it: put a bow on it. This super simple bow (you only need to know the knit stitch!) with give whatever you're making that little something extra.
We've long been fans of putting a pom pom on pretty much everything, so no surprise that we LOVE this easy technique. We like it best if you wrap in simple paper, then pom it up and — poof! — it's the best-looking present under the tree. If you've got a pom pom marker, it's time to bust it out. Or, just use your fingers!
If you've been wanting to get in on the weaving trend, this could be your moment: This yarn design is a cute and unique way to personalize any gift wrap — and you don’t need to be a well-versed weaver to pull it together.
For many knitters, myself included, the New York Sheep and Wool festival (lovingly referred to as Rhinebeck) is the stuff of dreams: for one glorious weekend, knitters gather in upstate New York for a fall festival celebrating all things sheep and wool. It’s sweater weather, and there are apple cider donuts. It’s like knitting nirvana.
Did you know that your first project might just reveal clues about your knitting personality? And what if you haven't picked your first project yet? (Hi, new knitters! Welcome!) We've got some insights for you, too.
We've all been there: you finally find the perfect pattern, and want recreate the project right on down to the exact yarn shown. But then tragedy strikes: the yarn is out of stock (or prohibitively expensive). Don't worry! You can still make your knit dream come true. It's just a matter of knowing how to make a smart swap.
Hooray! You finished that sweater. But don't throw it on just yet ... block it first to help it retain its shape as you wear it. (You don't want to end up with droopy sleeves or curled up hems later on!)
Dyeing your own yarn can literally change everything. Instead of hunting for the perfect shade, you can create it with your own two hands. Pretty amazing, right? But before you go all color crazy, there are a few things you should know.
The bigger the needle, the better, right? Not so fast! Every needle size (and type) has its purpose. And not only that, once you narrow down the size, there's the material and type to consider, too. With so many choices, it can be really hard to decode which needles to use for each project. Consider this your cheat sheet!
As sure as the leaves will change, when temperatures drop, knitters gonna knit. Get right to it with easy, cute projects that are all about instant gratification. (P.S. These are SO giftable, and the holidays are right around the corner. Just saying.)
You already know that knitting in the round is a total game-changer when you're stitching up all those fall sweaters. But when you're making something smaller (socks, sleeves, mittens, etc), you're gonna need to work some magic. For real, though! Consider the magic loop method your new best friend.
Love it or hate it, winding yarn is a fact of life if you're a knitter or crocheter. If you fall in the "hate it" camp, fear not. Winding yarn with a swift and winder gets the task is done in minutes, so you can get right to the good stuff.
Can’t find a rug that matches your style? Then make one with your own two hands. With this finger knit rug, you don’t need any fancy supplies — just grab some yarn and a hula hoop (we’ll explain in a sec) and go!
I thought I was going to faint the first time I saw a knitter use scissors to cut their knitted fabric. Why in the world would anyone do such a thing? I was horrified! It turns out, this knitter wasn't crazy. In fact, she knew exactly what she was doing: she was steeking, and she was steeking with a purpose.
With knitting, as with fashion, everything old is new again. And as fall sweater season rolls in on a wave of apple cider and crunching leaves, we're seeing a classic style take center stage: the yoke sweater. This cozy icon traces its roots to Swedish, Icelandic and Shetland knitting traditions, with each culture offering its own unique version.
You probably know how to knit into the back of a stitch and — if you're really good — maybe even into the front of a stitch. But knitting into the stitch below is a little trickier. It's worth mastering, though, because it gives you a cozy, squishy fabric that lots of knitters associate with brioche (which, admittedly, is a bit of an advanced technique).
Warm, cozy snowflakes may sound like a contradiction, but trust us: wool snowflakes are worth the effort. These lacy beauties look equally good hanging from a tree or framed in a window. Why not knit up a few and create your own winter wonderland?
Kerchiefs, shawls and blankets, oh my! Triangles pop up in knitting more than you think, but they don't have to be boring and basic. Try these three techniques to give your next knit some triangular magic.
The idea came to me the way all great ideas do: at the eleventh hour. A few weeks before Christmas, I stumbled upon a vintage sweater pattern, and fell hard. It was an adorable bulky zippered sweater, with a figure skater on the back. I just had to make it for my figure-skating mother. But why stop there??? Down the rabbit hole I went, and soon I'd surfaced vintage sweater patterns for almost everyone on my list: from a super cool motorcycle sweater for my then boyfriend (now husband — take that, sweater curse!), to a sweet kitten for my niece, and more. So much more.
For makers, there is a certain impulse at holiday time — the sudden mania to MAKE ALL THE GIFTS. You’re crafty, you should lovingly DIY all your presents, right? Right?? We anxiously ask ourselves as we stand looking at our stashes. I have all this yarn…so much fabric...
If you're a maker, chances are visions of handmade gifts are already dancing in your head. And while "it's the thought that counts" is certainly a nice idea, the reality is that gifting handmade items takes work — so you really want your present to hit the bullseye. Here's how to set yourself up for success.
For knitters, holiday prep is almost as delightful as the holidays themselves. All that gift-making is the perfect excuse to give tons of time and energy to the creative stuff you love. Here's your game-plan to make the most wonderful time of the year totally festive and (mostly) stress-free.
Crafting for the holidays is supposed to be fun — but so often our yarn balls turn into stress balls as we try to meet deadlines and get everything done. With a little bit of planning, however, you can keep yourself happily making as the holidays approach. Sounds magical, right?
News flash: knitting and ladders don't mix. No, not that kind of ladder...I'm talking about those pesky ladders that happen when you're knitting in the round. Ladders are stretched stitches that form when your stitches separate too much between needles. Sometimes ladders might even look like a dropped stitch, but don't be fooled.
I-cord: no, it's not some accessory for your iPhone. In fact, it's a little bit of knitting magic. Sometimes, instead of a flat knitted fabric, your project calls for something more like a long, skinny rope. That’s where I-cord comes in. I-cord creates a long, curling, round project that, as the name suggests, looks like a cord.
Continental knitting: Sounds worldly, doesn't it? Let me first start with an admission: My own knitting adventure has been rocky at best. And it wasn't until I explored knitting videos and tutorials that I realized something really important — there's more than one way to knit! I learned to crochet before I learned to knit, and for the longest time I had been trying to knit with the yarn in my right hand. It felt completely backwards to me, because it was. I was trying to English knit, and my crochet hands weren't having it. That's when I discovered continental knitting.
We get it: Nobody really wants to make a gauge swatch. You want to jump right into the fun stuff! And while we’re all for spontaneity, sometimes it’s best to proceed with caution. If you don’t check your gauge you might end up with sweaters that are too large, bags that are too tiny, and gloves that pinch and squeeze. (Just don’t ask how we know.)
You finally finished knitting those cozy socks, only to find out the cuff is so snug it might be cutting off your circulation. The curse of the too-tight cast-on strikes again. (Ugh!) This easy-to-make knitting mistake is particularly problematic for garments like socks, as well as sweater cuffs, headbands, hats, and more.
Knitters know that any time you take on a project, you'd better be ready to learn something new. That's just the way creativity works. And as a self-taught knitter, I've experienced my share of struggles over the years. (Why does stockinette curl like that? Why are my edges so sloppy when everyone else's seem so neat?) So, without further fuss, here are six top tips I wish I'd learned sooner.
The key to accurately measuring gauge is to work your swatch in the same way that you plan to work the knitted piece. Translation: if you’re knitting a sweater in the round, your swatch should be knit in the round, too.
It's hardly controversial to say that colorwork knitting can be a little maddening, and intarsia is no exception. If you don't stay on top of it, all those colors on the back of your sweater can turn on you and suck the joy out of your project. And what if you lose focus on a color change and end up with a hole?!
It's hot and sticky and you just want to find some shade and … knit? Wait, you say, won't knitting make me feel even hotter? While even the thought of wool might make you sweat, it's not your only option: Discover the amazingly summer-friendly, plant-fiber coolness of cotton. Cotton yarn (like its friend, linen, which also comes from a plant) just feels cooler and is perfect for loose, summery designs — tops, lacy shawls, light cardigans, even swimwear and beach cover-ups. It's a win-win: perfect for knitting with AND wearing this summer.
People may still be miffed at how Lost ended, or unsure of what the final scene of Mad Men really meant, but finishing up your knitting projects need not be so complicated. Just master this standard bind off technique and boom — you're done!
The difference between a pair of hand-knit socks and the ones from the store is sort of like the difference between cotton and cashmere. (No offense to cotton! Cashmere is just extra.) If you've ever put on a pair, you know that hand-knit equals exceptional warm and cozy foot happiness. So even if you're a beginner knitter, they're totally worth the effort.
All knitters know how important it is to get your daily dose of fiber (Ha! I'll be here all week...). But what if your schedule doesn’t allow time for relaxed Sunday vibes, knitting in bed while sipping coffee? I feel you, and I've got a few ideas to help.
We hate to admit it, but what our parents said when we were kids is right: mistakes do help you learn. (The first time you add a cup of salt instead of sugar into a recipe is usually the last time, right?!)