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Quick Tips

A roundup of some quick knitting tips.

Hand Pain

A couple of you mentioned hand pain being one of your biggest issues. This is a topic I plan to expand for a future newsletter, but I did want to give you a resource in the meantime.

Carson Demers is a physical therapist who also addresses a lot of issues of pain with fiber crafters. He teaches classes on crafting without pain, and he's written a book on the subject: Knitting Comfortably The Ergonomics of Handknitting. The book is available only through Carson's website or through your LYS, and it does cost a bit, but it is well worth that cost (seriously, your hands and other body parts will thank you!) and I highly recommend that you get it if you are concerned about knitting without pain.

Bust Darts

The survey response said, "Bust darts!!! (why? where? which type? How?! Aaaggh!!!)" And, well, I've never done bust darts before, so I don't have any good answers off the top of my head. But I've done a little research so I can give you some helpful resources.

Amy Herzog, who created Custom Fit, does a lot on creating garments that fit your actual body. She has a book called Knit to Flatter, which is an overview of different body types and the garment types that work best for each as well as several other books. There's a short section at the end of Knit to Flatter on bust shaping. She also has a blog post in which she discusses vertical darts (rather than adding short rows under the bust as is typical), and she has a few classes on Bluprint (which used to be called Craftsy). Speaking of Bluprint, I also saw two other classes that might be of interest: Curvy Knits with Marly Bird and Feminine Fit: Bust Shaping Techniques with Joan McGowan-Michael.

Problems with a Pattern

A response read, "Working on a Shawl Pattern that the Chart and the written instruction are not complete. I have not been able to get in touch with the Design by their site on Ravelry with messages that I have sent them."

Not all designers are responsive to messages, so what can you do in this case? First, check out the designer's profile to see if she (or he) has posted any specific contact information. There are some designers who don't use Ravelry messages and will state so in their profile how to contact them instead. Next, check the pattern on Ravelry. Are there any comments on the pattern or notes on other projects that address this issue? (Side note: On your own project page on Ravelry, be sure to discuss this issue and explain the solution you found so others who run into this problem in the future can get help.)

If that doesn't work, check to see if there is a Ravelry group for this designer. If so, you should be able to post a thread in that group and ask for help. If that's not an option, there is one of the main Ravelry boards called Patterns where you can post your question. (Just be sure to never post the pattern itself, either in written form or in images, though you can post a tiny portion of the pattern if needed to explain the situation.) Good luck!

Tension in Fair Isle

Another comment I received was about "tension when knitting fairisle colorwork, it is always too loose or too tight." I don't do much fair isle knitting, so I don't have any personal suggestions, but once again, I do have some resources for you. Varian Brandon is a knitwear designer who specializes in fair isle, and she has a YouTube channel with tutorials, including one on Gauge and Tension.

Other questions/comments

Here are some other questions/comments I received with some quick thoughts.

"...I long to start a cabled sweater...Guess I just need to make myself start one, WIPs be damned!" Absolutely! There are no rules in knitting. If you want to knit a cabled sweater, it doesn't matter what other WIPs are on your needles. Just do it! (And I'd love to see how it turns out!)

"Well, as I dip my toes (fingers, really) into the wilde world of shawls, I imagine I will encounter at some point that mysterious monster called "garter tab "... until now, any time I've glimpsed those words, I've slammed the laptop shut & run screaming from the room." Don't fear! Garter tabs can be a little tricky (confession: it did take me a while to figure it out my first time), but I do have a tutorial video for that!

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