September 2010

6 Frugal Ways To Get Yarn

It's tough to be a knitter in a down economy.  But there's no need to give up knitting just because you're tightening the budgetary belt!  Here are six great ways to knit on the cheap.

1. Reclaiming yarn: thrift store sweaters
Recycling sweaters is not only thrifty, it's also eco-friendly!  You can buy a sweater for just a few bucks at a thrift store, and turn it into several pounds of yarn. 

The right equipment - a swift, a ball-winder, and ideally a small yarn scale - can really be a godsend for this project.  Learn to examine the seams for indications that you have the right sort of sweater on your hands.  Be sure to wash your sweater thoroughly before you start. 

6 Tips For Beginning Lace Knitters

1. Yarn Weight

I recommend that you start with a project that involves a lace pattern, but in a DK or sport weight yarn. 

This will be hefty enough that you won't be thrown off by the tiny tiny stitches, but still light enough that you can get a good pattern going. 

2. Project Size

Cowls are a great introduction to lace knitting.  Many (most?) cowl patterns involve a DK weight yarn like Cascade 220, and can be completed with just one skein. 

Celebrate Play-Doh Day

It’s Play-Doh Day! If you can’t find something fun to do with Play-Doh, you’ve either A. had a traumatic experience with the material, and I’m sorry, or B. you’ve completely lost your sense of fun, and I’m still sorry, but you need to go grab (or make some) immediately to rectify the situation. In fact, we should just make it a Play-Doh weekend and all immerse ourselves within the stuff for as long as possible.

How to Celebrate Play-Doh Day

Entrelac Knitting: Tips, Tricks, and Lessons Learned

If you love turning your knitting and constantly either decreasing or increasing, then entrelac knitting is for you!  Entrelac is considered an intermediate technique, but don't let that scare you off.  If you can decrease (with p2tog, k2tog, or ssk) and pick up stitches, then you can work entrelac.

I was first introduced to the concept of entrelac knitting by Danica, a scarf pattern published in Knitty.  Danica's designer, Jesse Loesberg, is a technical writer by trade - and it shows.  I often recommend this pattern for beginning entrelac knitters, due to its clear instructions and great results.  (And out of all the scarves I've knit over the years, Danica is still my go-to scarf, some five years after knitting it.)