Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Graduating from Grade School

When I teach beginner classes, whether it's knit or crochet, some of the questions asked are 'what are we going to be making?, or 'can I make a sweater after I finish this course?' Well, to be perfectly frank with you, you can't go to first grade, then head off to eighth grade! I tend to be a conservative teacher. Don't want my "newbies" getting themselves stuck in the mud and no one around to help. If you are reading this post, and you ARE a beginner, take it slowly. You will be happier that you learned at YOUR pace, and not the teacher's. Some teachers want to dive into a project from the get go....not me! So our classes are truly geared for "beginners." You learn LOADS of stuff that some shops don't explain at first....weights of yarn, gauge, where a stitch actually needs to be made and so much more. Now if you are in the Ft. Lauderdale area, and want to learn how to knit or crochet, try taking our classes.....I promise, you won't be disappointed. Soon enough you'll be graduating from grade school....and I'll be there to help you!! HAPPY STITCHING, my friends.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Try, Try Again

I may have posted this before, but it's worth repeating. Let's say you're having trouble with a pattern, regardless if it's knitting or crocheting, and you keep taking it in and out.

For example, I was on a plane coming home from one of our conventions and was working on a class project from the convention. This was a diagonal scarf and I kept making boo-boos after boo-boos. Decided to scrub it instead of hurting the yarn. What I mean by "hurting" the yarn is I was constantly taking the scarf apart and the yarn was going to get ruined....that was NOT going to happen.

Anyway, I have found that after several tries, besides it getting frustrating, it's better to put the yarn and needles, or hook, down and go find some scrap yarn to play. The next day, I took that scrap yarn and started it up again. Got passed the area that gave me trouble and got through it!! It was then I realized where I was going wrong. Here I can mess up the yarn and not care!

Good things do come to those who wait!!! So, instead of pulling your yarn AND your hair out, try the suggestion...I'm sure you're blood pressure will love you!!

Happy Stitching, my friends!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

CROCHETING isn't that hard!

It doesn't matter how long you have been crocheting...this is a helpful hint for all of us:

If you are crocheting a pattern and you are having problems with the pattern, don't panic. What I have found that sometimes even though patterns are written in English, some designers know what they are saying and they can't relay that in their writing of the pattern. So what you do? I crochet what I think it is AND if for some unseen reason it doesn't work, then I pull it out. It has to work another way, so try what you think it may be AND if that doesn't work, put it away until the next day. Sometimes you need to walk away from a problem and come back to it. Didn't the teachers tell that to us when we were taking a test? Go to the next question on the exam and then come back to the problem question. You'll have, as Oprah says an "aha moment." If that doesn't work come on in when I'm here for some help. Be more than happy to get you out of your "mess."

HAPPY STITCHING, my friends!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to Read What You Stitched

Sometimes when we knit or crochet, we tend to lose our way. In former blogs, I suggested how to keep track of your rows.

But let's say you lost your list, and your not sure where you are. With knitting, this is what you do:
Take the needle with stitches and put it in your right hand. Now read what you stitched from the right side of the needle to the left. This way you can look at your instructions and find the row that you just stitched.

The same holds true for crochet. Take your work and lay it down. Read from right to left also. If you know your stitches, then reading them won't be a problem.

It really is simple. If you're not sure, create your own pattern...at least for one row. Then remove the pattern. Try reading it....then bring back your instructions and see if your correct!
This should be fun!!!

HAPPY STITCHING, my friends.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Up or down a size

Yesterday a customer asked me about gauge: what do I do if I'm too tight or too loose? I told her you either go up or down a hook/needle size.

Then I came up with a great analogy: if you're pants are too tight, you go up a size and if they're too loose, you go down a size. Well, the same thing holds true for your gauges!!!

Simple, right!!!?

I thought so!

HAPPY STITCHING, my friends!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pattern Knowledge

It's come to my attention that when buying yarn for a project, there are certain requirements.

The first one is that you have to find out a little bit about the yarn that the pattern is asking for. Let's say it's ABC Yarn, by XYZ Yarn Company. Before going to any knit shop, go on-line and get all the information you need. HOW? Go to any search engine, like GOOGLE, and type in ABC Yarn. You're going to find out it's: 1. Content, 2. weight (worsted, DK, etc.), 3. stitches and rows to the inch, 4. needle size. Now you're ready. Why do you need this information? When you are selecting yarn, it should be the same weight and gauge as the BALLBAND.

We had a situation where a customer brought in a book, the gauge of the project was 7 stitches to the inch using size 7 needles. When looking up the yarn that they asked for, we found out that it was a bulky yarn, gauge of 3 stitches to the inch on a size 13 needle. Completely different!!

So, before going to your LYS, go on line and do your homework. It will save you and the yarn shop owner LOTS of time!! Plus, you can start looking for the yarn that is to the pattern gauge, providing they don't have that selected yarn.

Remember, the ballband info is the key to selecting your yarn, not the gauge of the pattern!

HAPPY STITCHING, my friends!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Afghan Square Sewing-Now or Later?

If I'm going to knit or crochet an afghan, I do prefer to make it in one piece. But that's not always the case.

A lot of patterns are geared for just stitching squares and sewing them together. Well, as I said in one previous post regarding your tail stitching.....you can sew them in while you go or you can sew them all when you're finished (not me!)

My suggestion is to create several squares, and sew them together. Then after each square is completed, sew it to the other squares. This way you don't have all the tails to put in AND sew ALL the squares together. Do this for each row as you go and when your next row is completed, sew that to the previous row. When all the squares are finished, you will be almost home free! You may think that it took longer to complete, but not really.....you don't have to sew much more to complete it!!!

Some projects may even ask you to crochet around the whole afghan as well. Imagine if you HADN'T sew them as I suggested? You would have a LOT of work ahead of you! This way all you have is the final finishing!!