Monday, July 31, 2006

Knitting's Top *10* Abbreviations!

Doesn't it seem that everywhere you look, there is anotherTop Tenlist?
Just turn on your TV, and there goes Jennifer Aniston, orBrad Pitt, and, even people like Marilyn Monroe, still seen posing onthe redcarpet, always being talked about as in the Top Ten!
Food shows, home shows, boat shows, MTV, Letterman, you nameit,everyone has a Top Ten list!
So, for the record, let there be a Top Ten for knitting,too!
Knitting has scads of abbreviations, so many in fact, youcan loseyourself in the art of initialism.
Some abbreviations are used so seldom as to be almostunknown, "won",for instance, means "wool over needle", which I have neverseenbefore!
Any time you are working with a knitting pattern, theseabbreviationsare sure to be there. Now, you will know what they mean!
So, take heart! The most important ones are as follows:
(and for good reason, as you will shortly find out --)
#10 -- sl - means "slip". As in slip the next stitchfrom the left needle to the right. You do not see this abbreviationtoo much, but, if you are working in a lacy pattern, it will bethere.Also, any time a pattern calls for variations, "sl" can beoneof the abbreviations used.
#9 -- beg - means "beginning". Usually when determininglength,you will see this used. Most patterns have you measuringlength fromthe beginning, but, some patterns measure from other areassuch as ribbing, or shoulder, or neck.
#8 -- RS - and no those aren't my husband's initials,(well, notin this guise, anyway). RS = right side. It is extremelyvital toalways be aware of what side you are knitting on; especiallywhencable stitches or other specialty stitches are being used.
#7 -- St st - now, doesn't that look redundant!Actually, itstands for Stockinette stitch, which is the signature stitchofknitting! When you knit one row, then purl the next, and dothosetwo rows over and over, you are knitting the Stockinettestitch.
#6 -- K2tog - means "knit 2 together." You may bedecreasingstitches on a row, or making "holes", so to speak; whateverit is,k2tog will help get the job done. Holes, in knitting, makeyourwork take on an openwork look, or a lace design.
#5 -- YO - means to "yarn over." Again, when knittinglacy patterns which call for an openwork design, the YO is front-pagestuff! In fact, YO is the very essence of openwork design.
#4 -- BO - means to "bind off." Once in a while youwill see it as "cast off"; they both mean the same thing. When youare finished with your knitting, you will BO all thestitches onthe needle and begin your finishing techniques.
#3 -- CO - means to "cast on." This is your foundationrow, where you begin your knitting. Any time you begin a newsegmentto your knitting project, you will always start with CO.
#2 -- P - is for purl. The purl stitch is, of course,"knitted"into the front of your needle, and the yarn is also held tothefront. Some beginners find the purl stitch a little hardertowork than the knit stitch. With practice, the purl stitchis a breeze!
#1 -- K - is for knit. The knit stitch is what it's allabout!A simple stitch into the back of the needle, combined withother stitch variations will make the most divine creations underthe sun! Knitting every row gives you what is called the garterstitch, not be mistaken with that harmless, backyard snake!
So, there you have it!
These Top Ten knitting abbreviations only make up the mostcommon,and popular abbreviations. Knitting has lots more wherethey comefrom!
Until next time, ready, set, knit!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Knitting Trends - Part 2

Here is my article on "Learn Knitting's *6* Yarn Secrets" --
There is nothing like a good yarn, so the story goes! All jokes aside, learning any skill or craft takes time, time you should be devoting to finding out all about it.
To learn knitting is no different. Just getting the hang of holding both needles at once, or working with a cable needle, or just perfecting your knit stitch and purl stitch, can take a long time. And that’s ok; nobody said you have to know it all immediately.
Along the way, however, it is fun to delve into all the secondary ideas and information. Knowing just a little bit about yarn can go a long way!
This article will walk you through *6* yarn secrets; intrigues for even the "craftiest" of knitters.
Secret #1: Always know what you are knitting with! This may sound too simple to be true, but you would be surprised.
Most projects will be knit with "classic" yarns. These are worsted or sport weight, wool, and cotton. All the rest are merely variations on a theme.
If you have a hankering for something fun fur or ribbon-y, eyelash, or wispy lace; save that thought until you know knitting well!!
Secret #2: When buying yarn, always buy by yardage, and not by weight. This is one I didn’t even know when first starting out!
Yarns, like people, are of different weights; they can vary all over the place. But, it is the length that is important with each skein; it should be clearly marked and if it is not, then ask for that information.
Secret #3: Always, always, buy enough yarn at one time, for your knitting project! Do not expect to go back to the store two months from now and find the exact color yarn you bought initially.
Yarns are dyed in lots, and when a yarn store runs out of a particular color, they will order it again; but, the dye lot will be different and the subtlety in the color will be very apparent; take my word for it!
So, if you want that pink sweater to look uniformly pink, just buy the yarn, all the yarn!
And check to see that all the "lot #’s" are the same. And, I will always buy that extra skein, and have never been disappointed.
Secret #4: Don’t know what to do with all those odd-balls? (And I’m not talking about your relatives, now.)
Well, let’s see, you could knit a few placemats, baby washcloths, mittens, coasters, bookmarks, Christmas ornaments, sachets, doll clothes, knitted pins or fancy little handbags, buttons, flowers, tea cozies, table runners, fluffy wristbands (little girls love these!), a cat collar or dog sweater, a scarf or afghan jumble, and if you can think up anything else, knit away!
Secret #5: Get organized! This is one of my best-kept secrets. Only, not anymore.
Record all of your knitting projects. A simple spreadsheet, or word processor, will do the trick.
Save your labels! This way, when you are finished with your knitting, you can input all the necessary information in order to knit it again, or pass it along to a fellow knitter!
There are even software programs available now, like Needle Trax, to help you keep all your knitting projects organized with simple point and click technology.
Secret #6: A true knitter, like any good craftster, always has too much of everything, and not enough space to hold it all!
Thank goodness for plastic, I always knew there was a purpose for it. Storage bins come in many varieties, so visit your local shops or even eBay for the best prices around.
Once you have enough storage bins available, then you can sort to your hearts’ content! And you will love feeling so harmonious!
Harmony begets creativity every time; so with these *6* yarn secrets, there is no excuse anymore for not being your knitting best.
May your knitting basket always be full!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Knitting Trends - Part 1

Can you believe it's almost the middle of the month? July!!!!! What is going on here? Time seems to be running away!! And before it does, let me tell you about some interesting facts where knitting is concerned.
Did you know that knitting has become very trendy, very fashionable, very Hot-t-t-t again? The history of knitting goes back a long, long way and I won't bore you with the facts & figures today, BUT, there is a wonderful history to knitting that we should all take advantage of; in fact, that topic is one I will definitely be keeping for another day!
Yarns, of course, have become so diverse and colorful; and in some cases, very expensive. If, you have never walked into a true yarn store, set aside a Saturday with your best friends or sisters, daughters, and go! You will be amazed at all you see! A veritable feast for the eyes! And make sure you take along your checkbook or credit cards because yarns are pricey. But, worth it!
When I lived in New Hampshire, I visited Harrisville, which is in the southwest corner of the state; it is an absolute treasure of a town. It looks exactly as it did in the 1850's, and that is how the townspeople want it! Harrisville Designs is housed in an old brick mill and you can spend hours browsing through all the yarns and weaving and knitting supplies they have there. It is not unusual to pick up a yarn, hand-dyed, of the most luxorious fiber, and read the price of $69. off the price tag. Many yarns are less, and some are even more; but if you are really knitting an item that is truly special to you, your money will be well spent. In fact, I can't think of much else that would qualify for spending your well-earned money that way! When you are finished with your project, it will be one-of-a-kind, for sure! For more information about Harrisville, just visit them at
Next post, I will give you some pointers as to what yarns are good for which knitting projects, which knitting yarns you should buy, and why, and why knitting is good for the guys as well!
After all, if Cary Grant can knit, why not every other man, too? If you don't believe me, just take a look at "Mr. Lucky" from the year 1943! And if ever there was a man, it was Cary Grant! So why not Bode Miller or Johnny Depp or your husband or brother or son? Hey, it's a heck of a lot cheaper then online poker!!
Til next time, keep on knitting or learn to knit at

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Free Knitting Patterns!

Did you know that you can go to my website, and get a hold of 10 FREE knitting patterns? They are a mixed bag, really, but have some of the newest yarns and patterns I could find. These knitting patterns are all so easy to knit, so have fun creating new, fun items.
Right now, it looks to me as if some of the eyelash, fluffy, or ribbon yarn is really hot! Ribbon yarn is very easy to use, so if you haven't used these before, try the ribbon yarn first. Any simple scarf pattern, or any knitting pattern at all, can be worked up in ribbon yarn and look fantastic. Try knitting simple wristlets for the little girls in your family; kids love these quirky little items. The fuzzier, and more colorful, the better! Or a simple hat or cap for the boys is always a hit as well!
By just incorporating a few new knitting techniques -- why, you can become a regular knitting factory! I could say knitting machine, but I don't like to be compared to robotical instruments, and I don't think you do either!
Tell me what you think!


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