31 Days to Your Nicest Knitting

31 days to your nicest knitting series. www.aknitica.com #knittingtips

If you’re a knitter who loves little tips that make your knitting look better, or that make your life easier, then I hope you’ll join me for this new series: A tip a day for the month of October to get you to your nicest knitting possible!

I don’t know about you, but I love knitting. I knit every day. But I hate it when I spend a ton of time time on a project and it ends up living at the bottom of my sweater drawer. It’s so disappointing, and I feel so guilty about wasting all that pretty yarn, and yet the thought of ripping it all out makes me cringe…

But, I’m happy to say that that hardly ever happens to me anymore. I’ve learned so many great tips from books and teachers and friends over the years. What I want to do this month is send you one of those little insights every day. One tiny tip in your inbox (if you’re a subscriber) or here on the blog that will help you take your knitting up a notch. Maybe even relieve a little frustration. Knitting should be fun and relaxing, after all.

What inspired this sudden series? Well, I have writer friends. And a bunch of them are participating in this “Write 31 Days” challenge, so of course I went and read all about it. And it sucked me right in. I’ve been meaning to compile all my favourite tips and tricks for knitting in one place, so why not do them one at a time, every day, for the month of October? The point is to write every day, but to make it short and sweet. So that’s what I’ll be doing.

You can expect to learn about things like sewing in ends, joining new colours, eliminating ladders and weird tension, getting gauge, choosing increases & decreases when the pattern is vague, and more.

You’ll be able to find all the tips together in one place right here for a while. (I may eventually put them together into a handy ebook. One thing at a time, right?)

So here’s where we can have some fun. If you have any knitting woes, questions, conundrums, or favourite bits of advice, send them to me. I’ll include them in the series. By the end of October, I want you to feel like your knitting has improved and you’ve learned at least one good thing that you didn’t know before.

So, what problem do you want me to fix for you this month? Leave me a request in the comments.

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  • Tammy B

    So I finally get around to knitting my first sweater. I find a pattern on Ravelry that looks (and reviews support) fairly simple. Boxy pattern by Joji Locatelli. No seaming and is worked on circulars. So I get yarn that is the same weight (fingering weight). Not the exact same yarn tho. Madelinetosh Tosh Light vs Araucania Huasco. I’m using Araucania Huasco. Beautiful colorway and soooo soft! I start my swatch and my gauge is 1.5 st too many to the inch. So I go up 1 needle size and swatch it on 5’s. It is still 1 too many stitch to the inch. So I go up yet again and it doesn’t seem to matter. Still the same. By now the swatch is really loose (obviously because I’m on much bigger needles). I’m not sure where to solve issue of swatching. Is one yarn stretchier than the other?? I don’t have Madelintosh yarn to swatch for comparison. In looking at the pattern, I went by the smaller sizing and cast on 370 stitches on size 5 needles. It’s fairly loose style. I’m hoping to finish 1 ball and then try it on. Hoping I haven’t wasted too much time/energy. Don’t want my first go at sweater knitting to be a giant failure.

    • Oooh, those are a great bunch of questions! I’ll have to write about getting gauge, for sure. But I want to help you right now with your sweater, too. Looking at the pattern pictures, I’d say the swatch is supposed to look super loose. So that’s good. Knitting a smaller size will probably work just fine for you, especially since the fit seems versatile because it’s so drapey and loose. So I think you’ll probably be fine. Does the pattern give you a finished size in inches? What you can do is multiply the inches you want by the actual gauge you’re getting. So if your gauge is 6 sts/inch, and the circumference is supposed to be say, 64″, you multiply 64 by 6, which is 384. Then choose whichever size in the pattern is closest to 384 sts at that width. For example. So take your own sts per inch and multiply that by the size of the sweater. (If the only measurement given is the width, not the circumference, you’ll have to multiply it by 2 to get the circumference.) Let me know if this helped you or not. 🙂