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Knitting Tips and Tricks

Shawl Blocking Tip

Shawl Blocking Tip

When blocking a shawl, you're often pinning out points or trying to get the shaping "right" (whether that be making both sides even or smoothing a curved edge). Even if you use blocking wires (which are great!), it's often a game of pinning and unpinning and moving and repinning to get everything just right. But it can be hard sometimes to see exactly what needs to get adjusted. So here's what I do.I use my phone to take an aerial picture of the shawl on the blocking mat. Sometimes I just hold my arms up high and sometimes I get...

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Working with superwash yarn

Working with superwash yarn

Last year, someone asked a question on my podcast about how to keep a project made from superwash yarn from growing after it is blocked.First, a little bit about wool and the superwash process. Basically, wool has something called scales that pop out whenever wool gets wet. Those scales are the main factor behind felting -- as the scales are rubbed together, they interlock with one another. So the idea of creating superwash yarn started by removing the scales entirely, but that did some not-so-great things to the yarn, so other processes were developed, such as smoothing and gluing down...

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Self-striping options (not just for socks!)

Self-striping options (not just for socks!)

If you're like me, many of you have a ton of self-striping yarn in your stashes but also want to do more than knit socks from it. So I'm sharing some tips about choosing non-sock patterns for self-striping yarn and also giving you some specific pattern suggestions.First, not all self-striping yarn is the same: Before you can truly choose a pattern, you need to get to know the specific self-striping colorway you want to use. Does it have even or uneven stripes? How many colors does it have? How long is each color repeat (basically, how wide is each stripe)?...

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How to alternate skeins

How to alternate skeins

If you've worked with hand-dyed yarn before, you have probably heard the advice (especially if you're working on a larger project) to alternate skeins as you are working on your project. But what exactly does alternating skeins mean? (Thank you to the amazing knitter who recently asked me about this topic, which spawned the idea for this week's newsletter.)Typically when you work on a project such as a sweater, you start with your first skein of yarn, work until that skein ends, continue with your second skein of yarn and work until that skein ends, etc. Alternating skeins means to work with...

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Thank you for the compliment

Thank you for the compliment

I know you've had it happen to you. You're wearing a hat or sweater or scarf that you made and someone compliments you on it. "I love your sweater!" What do you say in response? "Oh, thanks. I messed up right here and the seaming is a bit off, but I guess it looks okay." You might have something different that you point out as an issue with your handmade item, but think about it. How often does this basic conversation play out? Why do we seem to need to point out any shortcomings in our work when someone says...

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