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Knitting Tips & Techniques – April 1, 2014

Knitting Tips: Chic Knits Knit Blog
v.3 How I Knit Sleeves

I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again: Knitting Sleeves is in the top 10 things knitters (including me) just don’t like to do…
 
But what’s a sweater without sleeves? (three guesses and the first two don’t count cuz that’s a joke son!)


Lately, in the multi-project sample world I’m living in, there are WIP’s in various stages all over the place, so at the very least, if I am stumbling in my motivation to finish something, I can reward myself by working for a short while on a different design.

But at some point, it just has to be done…

Here’s how I knit sleeves without losing my mind:

  • one part Organization: gathering all the materials together that will make it a less frustrating outing. On hand? Needles, wound yarn, hanging stitch markers, measuring tape and snacks. :)
  • one part Nurturing: not procrastinating to the point of having to do both sleeves in less than 2 days – no elbow blow outs or repetitive stress please.
  • one part Commitment: know that the thing is just not going to knit itself and the only way I can wear or show the new garment is by biting the bullet (and then biting some chocolate).
  • and most importantly — one part Temptation: mainly in the form of viewables (movies, tv, netflix, etc) heavily supplemented by liberal periodic rewards of, again(!) bitti-bites of chocolate, not a lot, just a smalll break in the proceedings. THIS is my version of being a (sleeve) WHISPERER…and I will attest, it works.

Here’s what I’m working on right now – the first sleeve of a sample cardigan in lovely blue 10 ply wool — this is the result of two evenings knitting –

Knit Blog

All of the above tips were corralled and put into play in the making of this sleeve.

The viewable? Game of Thrones Season 3: episodes 1-4!

This is actually a little more of an action/intense oriented background event than I usually indulge in because of…

…no, not all the sword-play BUT the the fantastic WARDROBE dressing that is on all of the characters!

It’s a bit distracting because I want to stop and rewind and inspect the details of all those glorious costumes instead of keeping up a nice even tempo with my stitching.

This sleeve is being worked in-the-round (top-down) using two circular needles. This, for me, is the fastest way to make a consistently even fabric. YMMV, toolwise but the goal is the same.

Also, I’ve used my favorites, hanging markers to easily keep track of all of the sleeve shaping. Before I started, while gathering the yarn, needles and measuring tape, I counted out markers according to the number of decreases the pattern called for, using one color for the first row-decrease rate and a second color for the other row-decrease rate.

After I complete a shaping decrease, I hang a marker through the center of it. That leaves a trail of marker “bread crumbs” along the shaping line and there is no need to count anything except the rows/rounds between the decreases. When your markers are used up, your sleeve is almost done.

Then, when I’m making the second one, I take the markers from sleeve #1 as I make decreases on sleeve #2.

This is the easiest way to to not having to seriously pay attention while you’re stitching! You can just go round and round and round and every 8 or six or ten rounds or whatever’s called for, do the shaping as needed.

Not sure if I should admit this, but if it’s a Stockinette st sleeve, chances are I’m not even looking at it for a great amount of time while I’m working on it. At some point, a rhythm gets going and you only have to engage visually when you feel the end of the section and turn for the next needle’s worth of stitches.

All the more merry time to watch the on-screen drama or reach for that chocolate reward…


Knitting Tips & Techniques – March 22, 2014

Knitting Tips: Chic Knits Knit Blog
v.2 Preparing yarn to be recycled…

After I re-skein used yarn using my wooden swift, I knot the skein end in the center of a skein tie.

This makes a quick and clean way to find the beginning of the skein to wind after the yarn is refreshed with a wash & dry.

Chic Knits Knitting Tips: Recycling Yarn - How to Tie a Skein


Bountiful Fridays v.3 March 14, 2014

And today, is the perfect day, for a little pay-it-forward…

Chic Knits Knit Blog, bountiful fridays, chic knits, chicknits.com, free book

Adding a little spice to the sugar, today we invite you on a little trip…

Earlier this year, the lovely Michele Bernstein helped us on our photoshoot of TAURIEL in the forestry magic of Laurelhurst Park and this week wrote about it on her blog.

I had a great time working with Michele – she helped me with a huge reflector and did what I call “dotting the i’s & crossing the t’s”: making sure there were no weird clothing glitches or shadows or other stuff that the photographer has a hard time keeping track of in the middle of the fast paced work!

Chic Knits Tauriel, chic knits knit blog

It was a challenging shoot – the light was soft and atmospheric – very overcast, meaning Nature’s Softbox was helping us get a really pretty diffused look.

But it was also very moist out – actually started raining and that was a “hidden” drawback. In my last two photo shoots, dealing with intermittent rain and heavy humidity has been very challenging. When you shoot outside, there’s usually nowhere to hide and you just have to keep going.

Something new I found that happens is the model blinks much more than when it’s dry out! So next time, I need to take a few more shots to fool Mr. Rain!

Read Michele’s post here at PDXKnitterati where we’re giving away a copy of the pattern. Comment and join the fun!

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