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Knitting Tips and Tricks

Choosing a yarn for a lace stitch pattern

Choosing a yarn for a lace stitch pattern

First, some terminology. I'm going to be discussing number of plies here. Ply is used in two main ways in the yarn world. The first has to do with the weight of the yarn; for example, in some parts of the world an 8-ply yarn refers to DK weight yarn, regardless of how many actual plies are contained in the yarn.Instead, I'm going to be talking about the actual number of plies a yarn has. Take a look at some yarn that you have next to you. Hold about an inch of yarn between the thumb and index fingers of...

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Yarn Weight Substitution

Yarn Weight Substitution

As part of my podcast, I have a Questions for Karen thread where viewers post questions that I then answer on the next episode. The following question was asked recently:"When you substitute a heavier weight yarn in a pattern, do the proportions remain the same? For example, a pattern calls for 400 yards of fingering weight yarn. If I substitute worsted weight yarn and increase the hook size, how much yarn would I need?"I gave a very basic answer to this question on the podcast (Episode 68), which is essentially that most people say that if you use a different...

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Yarn and Needle Size

Yarn and Needle Size

I have some yarn in my stash (leftovers and handspun) that I either don't remember or am unsure of what weight it is. I can use tricks such as a WPI to check how many wraps per inch in the yarn and look it up on a chart to find the weight. But there's another way that can help, and you can even use this tip for figuring out the needle size to use when you're holding two strands of yarn together (whether the same yarn or two different yarns).First, take the yarn in question and fold it on itself...

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Ruler Check

Ruler Check

A while back on Instagram, I saw someone post a picture of several different types of rulers/measuring tapes lined up to see if they were all the same. And I remember that, quite shockingly, there were some pretty big differences in some of them. I've been meaning to do the same thing and finally tried it this weekend. Here's a sampling: Note: The wooden one is a yardstick that is a three-dimensional cube, so this pictures makes it look like the rulers/measuring tapes are not lined up at the beginning (and also makes the overall alignment look worse than it...

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What Is BFL?

What Is BFL?

A couple of my yarn bases include BFL, and at events, I'm frequently asked "What is BFL?" I want to respond with "BFL is awesome!" and leave it at that (because it is), but I give a quick answer like "it's a breed of sheep" and sometimes provide a little bit of a comparison between it and Merino. I thought this might be a good time to give you a more extended answer. What Is BFL? BFL stands for Bluefaced Leicester (pronounced like the name Lester), a breed of sheep in the English Longwool family (along with Leicester Longwool and...

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