Welcome to Issue #1 of The Smart Knitter’s Newsletter! I want to thank you so much for subscribing, and I really hope you enjoy this newsletter. It has taken a little longer than I originally imagined to write and publish a newsletter, but I am so excited to hit print and get this in the mail to you that I’ll keep my introduction today short. One IMPORTANT bit is that as a subscriber you also get access to an online member’s area where digital versions of the newsletter will be posted, plus there will be other great stuff added there, and it is also where you can submit questions for the Q&A section of the newsletter. To sign up, go to: http://www.thesmartknitter.com/members/common/register.php Once you have registered, you should be able to sign in at: http://www.thesmartknitter.com/members.html You may want to bookmark that page for the future, and check in regularly for cool stuff. For example, from this issue’s Q&A section you’ll see that I’ve posted a 9 page list of knitting abbreviations online - it was just too much to mail with the newsletter. Also, you’ll notice that a lot of the content in this newsletter comes from readers just like you. If you have tips, articles, or pictures of projects you’ve done that you’d like to have considered for publication, please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org And one last thing before we get on with it - I just got a little further in my exploration of the online world and actually got around to setting up a MySpace account - if you use myspace and you want to link in to a great community of other cool knitters, check me out at: http://www.myspace.com/knittinguru
In This Issue:
Easy-as-Pie Knitting Gift Idea #4 Knitting: A Creative Work of Art Color Change Chart Tip Keeping Stitches Even How to Make Fringe Pattern of the Month Q&A Resources Featured Member 2 3 4 4 5 6 8 11 12
Shruti Sharma wrote: “Hi Sarah. I am a fan of your work and regularly visit your site. The daily tips are addicting and very infomative. Keep up the work - people like me need you. Lots of love.” Shruti Well Shruti, you are very sweet, and with knitting like the amazing table throw you sent, pictured above, I’m a fan of your work as well!
Easy-As-Pie Knitting Gift Idea #4!
by Alice Seidel Without us even realizing it, November is quickly passing us by! If you are truly stumped as to what to give everyone this Christmas, fear not! I am here with some knitting suggestions. In my three previous articles, I have given you some ideas for scarves, ribbon bracelets, and placemats. Just these simple patterns, can be transformed into dozens of one-of-a-kind knitting creations! In fact, you could outﬁt the entire family and close friends, with some of the nicest gifts they will ever receive! And to add to our collection, this article will be about knitting baby washcloths. Usually, whenever we think about baby gifts, it’s off to the mall we go, to ﬁnd the latest in infant accessories. But, did you know, you can knit your own baby creations? They will be as soft and cuddly as anything you can ﬁnd in a store, and, best of all, will be made with love! Knitting baby items are just so easy to do, and so unexpected! Traditionally, when putting together gifts for baby, the ﬁrst things you think about are layettes, blankets, and booties. So, now it’s time to expand on this theme. Whenever I knit anything for babies, I love the yarn to be soft and pliable. For washcloths, use a cotton yarn. They are totally washable, and will hold up nicely. In a few stores, I have also seen terrycloth yarn, which is another great idea for baby items. But, for the baby washcloths that I knit up, the cotton yarn is the best yarn to use. Sugar ‘n Cream, Peaches ‘n Cream or Cotton Tots are my recommendations for the best cotton yarn to knit with. Use a size 6 straight needle, and, really, no gauge is necessary. Here is the pattern: Baby Washcloth Cast on 37 stitches. Knit four rows. Rows 1 and 5 (RS): K5, *p3, k5; repeat from * to end. Rows 2 and 4 : P5, *k3, p5; repeat from * to end. Row 3: K5, *p1, yo, p2tog, k5; repeat from * to end. Row 6: Purl. Rows 7 and 11: K1, *p3, k5; repeat from * , end last repeat k1. Rows 8 and 10: P1, *k3, p5; repeat from * end last repeat p1. Row 9: K1, *p1, yo, p2tog, k5; repeat from * , end last repeat k1. Row 12:Purl. Repeat these 12 rows 4 or 5 times more, until desired length. Knit four rows. Bind off all stitches. There you have it, simple, yet very unique, and sure to please! And, with all the colors and color combinations, you will have a blast knitting washcloths for little nieces and nephews, your friends, and babies-in-waiting! Gifts such as these, are always appreciated, and combine them with baby bottles, rattles, toys, or receiving blankets, and you’ll have a winner every time! This article provided courtesy of: Keep YOUR knitting on the “Cutting Edge” with FREE patterns. The place where smart knitters gather resources and share stories. FREE Details ==>http://www.theknitstitch.com
Knitting : A Creative Work Of Art
Joshu Crossman Knitting is a creative work of art. It is a method of interlocking a series of loops of yarn or thread to construct a fabric. Beautiful patterns can be used for knitting fashionable and beautiful clothings, in various colors and styles. Knitting is certainly fun, if you try your hand at it. The origin of knitting activity can be traced back to the 4th or 5th century BC. From the court of King Henry VII to Charles I, knitted patterns were quite popular. Royal knitters spinned the rare knitting patterns for the kings, and the Queens to be worn on the special occasions. From the courts of king, knitted clothes reached the common people soon. In fact knitting has largely been the occupation of the shepherds in the past. Traditionally, knitting has been done by hand, but it can also be done with the help of modern machines now. In fact hand knitting is a popular pass time activity in many parts of the world. Especially girls in Asian and African countries cherish this art from their childhood to create beautiful clothes such as sweaters, socks, hats and scarves. They also put their hand to creating pretty household items as well. You can learn the art with the help of free knitting patterns available online as well as in many knitting stores. Materials like plastic strips, ribbon, rope and wire can also be knitted, to create jewelry, bags, art works, bowls and other household items. The range of knitted patterns is never ending. After all, it is all about the knitter’s creativity. If you are looking for really interesting free knitting patterns, the internet is the right place. There are numerous free knitting patterns available in the market as well. For making a search on global patterns you must go online. There are several web-sites offering free knitting patterns. Various artistic designs and quality tips on free knitting patterns are also available there. A few easy knitting patterns and instructions from the net would prove to be beneﬁcial for you. You can ﬁnd free knitting patterns for adults, children as well as toddlers. A wide range of clothing, accessories and household items can be made out of knitting art. There are hundreds of free knitting patterns for adult clothing patterns such as adult sweaters and socks available on the net. Free knitting patterns for interesting motifs are also quite popular among the young girls for beautifying their most basic clothings such as Tees and skirts. Knitting for babies is done on a wide scale, world wide. Free baby knitting patterns provide ideas and instructions to create really cute patterns. Free patterns can be viewed on baby pullovers, socks, and slippers on the net. Various free knitting patterns are available for making pretty ponchos. Ponchos have made a comeback this season and knitted ponchos are widely preferred by modern women now. A few popular patterns include meshwork pattern and open work patterns. Double rib child’s hat, paneled pigtail hat, skater boy hat and ear ﬂap hat are among the popular categories of knitted hats. continued on next page....
....continued from previous page Knitted purses and bags are also in vogue. Club bags, pouch bags, cell phone cases and evening bags are on offer as knitted purses and bags. If one wants to knit a beautiful bag with clear knitting instructions, free knitting websites are the right place to ﬁnd inspiration. Scarves are a great place to start if you are new to knitting as a hobby. Free knitting patterns on scarves are available as ribbed scarf, checks and eyelets scarf, hooded scarf, reversible scarf and much more. Knitting a scarf is generally easier than knitting sweaters, socks or ponchos and a good place to start for a beginner knitter. Free knitting patterns can also be used for making hot pads, dishcloths, kitchen towels and face cloths. The range is never-ending. You just need to carry out an extensive search for interesting free knitting patterns that take your fancy. Knitted clothes and materials deﬁnitely add a classy style statement to your wardrobe. About The Author: Joshu writes articles on a number of different topics. For more information on Knitting please visit: http://www.online-knitting-guide.com/knitting/ and for additional Knitting related articles please visit the following article page: http://www.online-knitting-guide.com/knitting-articles/
Color Change Chart Tip
Jo Passarelli let us know: When working with color change charts, I like to re-draw the picture on graph paper using permanent markers so that the image bleeds through the paper to the other side. When I’m working on the reverse side, I can ﬂip my picture over, so that it is an exact visual matching what I’m working.
Keeping Stitches Even
Newsletter reader Leigh Johnson said: “Here’s a trick I learned a long, long time ago. No matter the stitches or patterns I’m knitting, I always take a moment to “pull” them downward on the right hand (or ﬁnished) needle. This is a simple way to keep your stitches even no matter your mood, the humidity, or your lack of concentration. I’ve done this for years and everything I’ve knitted looks like it’s been done by a machine: no weird lumps or bumps or puckering. Admittedly it’s a practice that you have to remember to DO consistently on every row, and frequently depending on the number and type of stitches, but the end result is well worth the trouble.”
Do You Have a Tip Or Article to Publish?
To be considered for publication in our newsletter, send your tip or article to us at email@example.com Be sure to include your full contact information and how you would like to be credited - we give special gifts to each published author!
How to Make Fringe
Shawls, Afghans and Ponchos can have an optional fringe worked around the outside. This is a simple and quick ﬁnish to a shawl, afghan, blanket or poncho. Fringes are not recommended for small children (for example, baby blankets) as the threads may work loose and could choke a child. A fringe is usually worked as cut threads, but can also be worked as loops, which may be simply stranded threads, knitted-in loops or a long crocheted chain. Check your favourite knitting/crochet reference book for other methods. The simplest way to work a cut fringe is as follows: 1. Cut many pieces of yarn just over twice the desired length of the fringe. 2. Pick up as many strands at one time as you want to have in one tassel (usually 1, 2 or 3 strands). Hold them even, at the center. 3. Work a crochet hook through the outer stitch (two threads) of the shawl (right side facing), place the center of the strands in the hook, pull the strands through that stitch and out a bit to form a loop, then collect the doubled strands in the hook and pull them through the loop just formed. Pull snug, and you have one tassel of the fringe. 4. Repeat all around the perimeter (try every st for one strand, every one or two sts for two strands, and every two or three sts for two or more strands). 5. Trim fringe to an even length all around. The quantity of yarn estimate for fringes can vary dramatically. The estimate given is based on two strands worked on every stitch. For example, if you are making the fringe on every other stitch, you would only need half of this. These instructions are from the help ﬁle of Knitware - a great knittting pattern software available at www.knitware.ca
Replacing the Border with Fringe
For the pattern found on the next page of the newsletter, f you would prefer to have a fringe edge, starting at step 3 of the main panel instructions, skip to here: 3. Cast off all sts. FINISHING: 1. Work a small edging (2-4 rows) along the top edge to prevent curl. 2. Darn/weave/sew in all loose ends. 3. BLOCK. Really, it makes all the difference. 4. Work a 3.5 ins fringe around the bottom edges of the shawl. Trim fringe to an even length all around.
This will end up giving you a shawl more like the one pictured at the bottom of page 7.
Medium Faroese Shawl with a Marathon Border constructed Top Down Size: Standard Woman 36 YARN DESCRIPTION: Yarn of your choice - I preferred a lighter gauge for this, but you may want to do a thicker yarn for winter. GAUGE DATA: Gauge (Stocking Stitch over 4 in = 10 cm): 20.0 sts by 26.0 rows. Body knit by hand on 4 mm needles Ribbing knit by hand on 3.5 mm needles FINISHED DIMENSIONS: (ins) SHAWL WIDTHS SHAWL LENGTHS Main Panel 43.4 21.7 Border 3.5 Gusset 5.0 Total 48.3 25.2 Note: Read ALL these instructions thoroughly BEFORE starting to knit. MAIN PANEL: 1. Cast on 28 sts on size 4 needles. Start work in Stocking Stitch. 2. Mark the edges of the center gusset, 26 sts apart. Work 142 rows, shaping at each end of the top edge and at both sides of the center gusset (on the shoulder side of the markers), by following the instructions below, to total 218 sts. ... Top Shaping: Inc 1 st every 3 rows 6 times, then 1 st every 2 rows 61 times. ... Center Shaping: Inc 1 st every 5 rows 26 times, then 1 st every 4 rows twice. 3. Leave sts on needles for border. BORDER PANEL: 1. Change to size 3.5 circular needle. Inc 97 sts evenly spaced around the next row to total 315 sts. ...* [K3, M1] once, then [K2, M1] 3 times * 24 times, then [K2, M1] once. 2. Work in chosen border pattern around the shawl for 22 rows, shaping at corners as follows: ... Top corner: Inc 1 st in the next row, then every 2 rows 5 times, then every row 11 times. ... Bottom corner: Inc (both sides of the corner) 1 st in next row, then every 4 rows 3 times, then every 3 rows 3 times. 2A. Bottom corners. Mark bottom stitch. This stitch will be worked plain on every row with the increase shaping on either side of it. 3. Cast off very loosely, carefully checking tension at the corners. FINISHING: 1. Work a small edging (2-4 rows) along the top edge to prevent curl. 2. Darn/weave/sew in all loose ends. 3. BLOCK. Really, it makes all the difference.
Pattern of the Month
Q & A with Sarah Beth
“Hi Sarah Beth, I love the look of the ﬁsherman’s sweater & would love to make an afghan with a similar pattern. Living in Maine, the winters are long & it would make for a great project. I would love it if you could direct me to a pattern or a website. Thank you very much.” Terri T. SBW: Hi Terri, thanks for writing. What a great idea to make knit a cable stitch afghan – it will keep you warm just working on it! Did you know that many Irish and Scottish cable stitch patters have a symbolic meaning attached to them? For example, a honeycomb pattern symbolizes the hard-working bee. The cable stitch symbolizes the wish for a sailor’s safety and good luck ﬁshing. A diamond pattern represents a wish for success, wealth, and treasure. Check out this link for a couple patterns that might suit your needs, and thanks so much for writing to me! www.TheSmartKnitter.com/go/cableafghan “I am a baby knitter, I taught myself how to knit about a month ago but need some real instruction. Could you please have info about where and when we could get some instruction?” Pam P. SBW: Hi Pam! Thanks so much for asking. If you have the very basics of knitting down, you should consider joining my Beginning Knitting Course that offers the next level of instruction I think you’re looking for. Just go to www.KnittingTips.com and Happy Knitting! “Why do left handers think they have to knit differently than right hand dominant knitters? Both hands do an equal amount of movement. I’m left-handed and have had no trouble knitting like the right handers. And I’ve been knitting for over 48 years!!” SBW: Thanks for your input! I found an article link that discusses the interesting Left vs. Right hand knitting debate. Enjoy! www.TheSmartKnitter.com/go/leftorright “Dear Sarah, I am a fairly good knitter given that I have a very old machine, what I wanted to ask was that after completing a sweater/cardigan etc. the hem or border as we call it curls upwards and stays there, even ironing won’t do the job. Can you please answer this nagging question of mine. Thanks.” Tariq K.Afsar SBW: Hi Tariq. To be honest, I’m not really much of a machine knitter. However, one idea is to sew the hem of the border. You may also consider adding some tassles for added weight and a fresh look! “When I do a long tail cast on, for some reason the tail is casted on not the yarn from the skien/ball of yarn. What am I doing wrong?” Janell B. SBW: Hi Janell, here’s a review of basic long tail casting instructions that will hopefully help! First, wind the yarn round your thumb and index ﬁnger from front to back. The tail of the yarn is on your index ﬁnger. Hold both yarns with your ring ﬁnger and pinky and scoop up the taut yarn between your thumb and ﬁrst ﬁnger. Then, insert the needle in the loop on your thumb and scoop up the loop from left to right. Next, put the needle to your index ﬁnger and scoop up the loop from right to left. Then pull your thumb out of the loop from above, downwards, through the thumb loop and pull both yarns tight.
Q & A Continued
“Where can I ﬁnd good, cheap knitting resources?” Terrie SBW: Hi Terrie! I hope your knitting is going well. Check out this newsletter’s Resources section and I’m sure that will help. “When I am knitting a pattern and it goes back and forth from knitting several stitches to purling several stitches, the purl section is always way too loose for some reason. I have tried to pull the yarn tighter during the purl stitches but it doesn’t seem to help very much! What am I doing wrong? I always get discouraged and pull it all out and start over.” Lisa SBW: Hi Lisa, you might take a look at how far down the needle you’re purling. Moving the stitches closer to the tips of the needles could solve your problem easily! “I can knit the body of a sweater just ﬁne but when I come to the edging around the neckline start having problems with it. Need some special help with this problem.” Mona B. SBW: Well, Mona, if you’re having trouble with gaps at the neckline, that comes in part from using thick yarn. Fine yarn is often a bit easier to manage and gaps can go unnoticed more often. Try going to the pick up row and pick up extra stitches along the neckline. These extra stitches will ﬁll in the gaps and give you a nice, even row! “How do I begin to repair a knit sweater with holes in the back and shoulders?” Kerrie SBW: Hi Kerrie, depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to carefully mend the sweater and weave in the ends of broken yarn. First, check out the hole and make sure you have a clear view of the unraveled stitches. If the hole you’re repairing is only one row deep, a simple graft should take care of it. Just remember to watch the alignment of your stitches. Also, consider adding additional patches or pockets, too, for an original, refurbished fashion piece. “How do you patchwork knit?” Anonymous SBW: Thanks for the question! Here are some basics of patchwork knitting: 1. Always cast on using “knitted cast on” technique: Make one “slip knot stitch” by tying one on to left needle. Knit a second stitch out of the ﬁrst stitch and move it back to the left needle. Repeat until you have the # of stitches you want. 2. K the ﬁrst stitch of every row. 3. Slip, P wise, the last stitch of every row. 4. Decreases are all made on the WS (wrong side). 5. Double decrease: Knit rows: SK2po (slip one stitch,K2 tog, pass slipped stitch over). Purl rows: P3 tog. You can change colors any time and use various yarns.
Q & A Continued
“I am always searching the web for free knitting patterns for babies and toddlers. Hope to see more of those offered. Thanks.” Beverly SBW: Hi Beverly, thanks for your inquiry! Check out the Resources section of this newsletter as well as this site: http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/free_patterns/child-clothes.php “How do I start a knitting group?” Pat L. SBW: Well, you just do it! Here are some questions to think about: How many members do you want in your group, and where, and when do you plan to meet? How will you advertise for group members? You can do it via community newspapers, or ﬂyers at coffee shops, grocery stores, etc.. and you can call your friends and have them help you recruit other knitters. Do you want your group to be all beginners, advanced or a mix of skill levels? Do you want to organize your group to pay dues in order to provide refreshments or allow for a guest knitting speaker/demonstration? Will children or pets be allowed wherever you decide to meet? Usually after you take a little action and get the word out, and knitters start showing up, you will be able to ﬁnd the direction that you all want to move towards. “I am a beginner! All the pattern stuff makes no sense to me as the abbreviations look like Greek. A basic reference chart would be cool to have along with something that is not too packed with a gajillion abbreviations for a beginnner like me.” Deborah K SBW: Well, great question. Hopefully this will help you understand more fully the answer about patchwork knitting above. If you want the document I use, I have loaded it into your members area - use the instructions on the ﬁrst page to get a username and login, and then you will be able to download the 9 page .pdf ﬁle I use, which has all the abbreviations you can think of in alphabetic order. I would print it off, staple it, and keep it in your knitting bag at all times! Also, check out the ﬁrst link below for knitting and crochet pattern abbreviations and check out the second link for more speciﬁcs about knitting terms … in the language of your choice. Enjoy! http://www.knitting-crochet.com/terms.html http://www.wiseneedle.com/glossary.asp “I would like to know how to pick up dropped stitches.:” Marti M. SBW: Thanks for your question, Marti. You can pick up a dropped stitch by doing the following: Pick up both the stitch and strand on your right hand needle, inserting the needle from front to back. Insert your left hand needle through the stitch only, from back to front. With your right hand needle only, pull the strand through the stitch to make the extra stitch (drop the stitch from your left hand needle). Transfer your newly formed stitch back to your left hand, so its untwisted and facing the correct direction. Submit Your Questions! Help keep this newsletter fresh and interesting - let me know your knitting questions - simply log in to the members area at www.TheSmartKnitter.com/members.html (Signup info is on Page 1) and post your questions there, and I’ll answer as many as I can!
Learn to Knit Quickly and Easily If you are still just beginning to knit, or you know someone who is and want to give them a great resource to get started, check out Knitting Secrets at www.knittingtips.com. Although this is normally only offered as an e-book, for the holidays you can order hard copies at: http://www.knittingtips.com/hardcopy Learn Advanced Knitting Techniques with a Book and Videos If you are a more advanced knitter, you may want to check out The Smart Knitter’s Complete Guide to Advanced Knitting which is available at www.KnittingAnswers.com. It includes 32 instructional videos on different techniques and is also now available in hard copy at www.KnittingAnswers.com/hardcopy Discount Yarn: www.KnittingTips.com/discountyarn.html 10% off yarn from JoAnn.com www.KnittingTips.com/supplies.html Knitting Needles: www.KnittingTips.com/knittingneedles.html (Scroll down - the top couple listings are yarn) Knitting Patterns: www.KnittingTips.com/knittingpatterns.html Huge Directory of Free Knitting Patterns: www.knittingpatterncentral.com Learn How to Crochet: www.KnittingTips.com/OfﬁcialGuideToCrochet (Capitalization is important for this one...) Have a resource you’d like to suggest? Over time I am going to build this page into the essential guide to everything you need for knitting - if you know of a great resource, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Sarah Beth, I read your emails with great interest. Last year I started a Project of Handknitted Baby Sets for newborns. This picture shows the ﬁrst order sweater I have sold. It is in a simple two row pattern. I chose white and blue as the order was for a baby boy. The pattern is as follows: First row: knit 3 purl 2* repeat for the whole row Second row : Purl all. It all started with the arrival of my ﬁrst grandchild, my elder daughters son. No handknitted sweaters for babies are available in this city of Rawalpindi. People prefer to buy machine made.Gradually the art of handknitting is fading away. I hope there is a revival. People who knit themselves do not sell their stuff. It is very personal knitting. Best regards, Mrs Anjum Wasim Dar Managing Partner/writer CER
Ms. Laura B Wrote: Dear Ms.Sara Beth, That sounds like you know where you want to go . I have an idea. I am starting up a business . I make handmade sweaters for retired (racer) Greyhounds.These animals do not have the regular fur like other breeds do. They get cold in these Fall temperatures.The name of the business is Sweaters for Greyhounds. Handmade from love. There are many organizations that help these greyhounds get forever homes after they have stopped racing. This model’s name is Winner. He is my perfect model. Sarah Beth Says: Thanks Laura - good luck with your business! Me and my reader’s best wishes are with you. Let me know when you are taking orders and I’ll post a little update here!
Send Us Your Pictures, Patterns, and More!
What makes this newsletter great are readers just like you. Send us your best knitting tips, patterns, pictures - or whatever else you think would be cool to see in this newsletter. If we feature your submission, you will get a free copy of all of my educational knitting materials - Knitting Secrets for beginners and The Smart Knitter’s Complete Guide to Advanced Knitting for more advanced knitters. If you’ve already purchased my courses, I’ll ﬁnd another special gift for you...so don’t wait! Send your stuff to me at email@example.com (for questions, please log in to the member’s area and post your questions there, this is for submissions only)