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Tips to Keep You Knitting Successfully
1. One good rule of thumb when trying to figure out your gauge is:
To get fewer stitches to the inch, use larger needles and to get more stitches to the inch, use smaller needles.
2. Always work up a gauge swatch before starting a new pattern.
3. Frequently check and correct your grip on the throw yarn. (Left hand) Doing this will help keep you tension even throughout your project.
4. Reading a knitting pattern can be confusing even if you have a lot of experience. Before you pick up the yarn and needles, take time to read through the pattern and circle the size you have chosen to knit, using a pencil.
5. This tip may sound silly, but it’s true! Have two or more projects going at once. One for those tense and stressful days, one for your moments of tranquility, and one for that little glass of wine after dinner. The ups and downs of life can have a direct effect on your hands tension, ultimately affecting your gauge. A stressful day can produce a tighter than normal gauge and a particularly tranquil moment or that little glass of wine after dinner can cause a looser than normal gauge. If all of these different tensions were to be worked in one knitted piece, say a scarf or a hat, then the finished piece will appear uneven, bumpy, or holey, and may not fit properly. Who knew?
6. Think of swatching as playing with “Sticks and String”. In other words, making up a swatch may seem dreadful to some. But you might try thinking of it as a fun exercise because; swatches knit up quickly, it gives you a chance to experience the feel of the yarn against the needles, and you really can’t make an official mistake since it’s just practice!
7. When beginning a new row, make sure the throw yarn on the left needle is under the needle and not over the needle. If the yarn is over the needle then a new undesired stitch will be created, causing your project to inadvertently grow wider.
8. Did you know there are different shapes of knitting needle tips? Some are sharp and pointy, some are smooth and rounded like a bullet, others are curved slightly inward, yet others have a steep slope while some are nubby. An effort to try these different shapes of needles and find the one that suits your personal grip and style of knitting is recommended. Doing so will be a valuable attribute to your future as a knitter. Once you find your needle shape of choice, you will be more comfortable knitting and will be more likely to continue knitting for years to come.