Anonymous asked: Have you ever tried using thrift-store sweaters as sources of cheap yarn? If so, how do you get all the kinks out once it's unravelled?
it’s a lot of work, but if you enjoy unraveling great swaths of knitting — and who doesn’t? — you should definitely give it a try. there’s a cute tutorial about recycling yarn here.
as for getting the kinks out, wind it into a hank — which is gonna look goofy as balls —
— and then soak it in warm water and hang it up to dry. its own weight will relax some, but not all, of the kinks. enough that you can knit with it without it trying to eat your face, anyway. whatever you make with it will look a little lumpy, but it will smooth out with time and washing.
Anonymous asked: how do i shorten the sleeves on my cardi without it being a whole re-knit job? I am hoping i can undo and fix from the cuff ? Is this possible or is it too hard to attempt?
yep, it’s possible! there’s a handy tutorial here. something they don’t mention, but which you might like to do for extra insurance, is running a lifeline through the row you want to work from before you start cutting. that saves you having to worry about things unraveling farther than you expected.
and since you want to shorten rather than lengthen, you don’t even necessarily need to re-knit the cuff. You could just remove the length you want to remove, then graft the remainder together.
Anonymous asked: I am ambidextrous, and usually work left handed. My mum is exclusively a southpaw, and is trying to teach me how to knit, but this is probably the one instance where my brain will not process the left handed way of doing things, even though it usually prefers the left hand. What do?
the good news is: knitting is essentially an ambidextrous activity. you’re going to be doing stuff with both hands anyway. and being ambidextrous is going to be a big help if you get into, for instance, stranded colorwork, where holding one color in each hand is really, really useful.
it’s generally said that there are two ‘styles’ of knitting, english and continental. they’re distinguished by whether you hold the yarn in your right hand or your left, and since you’re moving loops from the left needle to the right needle either way, the position of the working yarn dictates the motion you use to get it on the needle. that’s why knitters will sometimes ask each other, “do you pick or throw?” in continental, you pick up the yarn with your needle, and in english you ‘throw’ the yarn over the needle with your fingers.
videos of each method here.
one might assume that continental is left-handed and english is right-handed, but like i said, both hands are doing stuff. i’m right-handed, but i find continental a lot faster. and i was able to train myself to do both, so i can do colorwork faster.
oh yeah, and just to complicate things, there’s such a thing as knitting back backward, where you’re moving stitches from the right needle to the left instead of the usual left-to-right. it produces the same fabric, it just means you have to reverse your charts. i haven’t learned that trick yet, but i swear i’m gonna. :D
Anonymous asked: What are some of the methods that you use to cast on? I was crocheting with my fingers and then threading the loops to the needle, but was told I was doing it wrong? Is that a way at all to do things or am I overcomplicating things for myself? I don't really know any other ways to cast on though so I guess if that's wrong how am I supposed to cast on?
anything that gets loops on your needle so you can work into them is a viable cast-on! next time someone tells you you’re Doin It Rong, administer a savage drubbing with a sock. i’ll back you up.
there are a squillion cast-on methods out there, and they all have different pros and cons. here’s a nice big selection, and that’s not even all of them. what you’re doing sounds like a variation on the provisional crochet cast-on, where instead of doing it in a different yarn and pulling the crochet row off later, you do it in your main yarn and leave it in. sounds legit to me!
my personal favorite is the long-tail cast-on, which is the first one on that page. it’s stretchy without being loose, not too bulky, and just generally versatile. the downside is having to pull out the right amount of yarn for the tail, which gets tricky when you need to cast on a lot of stitches, but you can get around that by pulling from both ends of the ball.
experiment, see what you like, and don’t let anyone police your fun. if you’re enjoying it, you’re doing it right. :D
kalany asked: I found the pattern anon was asking about. It's a decrease before starting the heel turn, and all it's asking is for the knitter to decrease either two or four stitches before starting the heel. They have 21 or 27 stitches and need to get down to 19 or 23. Decreases should be worked evenly in the knit sections, on the last wrong side row before starting the heel, with k2togs. It's translated from German, which is why it's a bit odd.
awesome, thank you!
hope this helps, anon!
Anonymous asked: I am knitting a pair of socks and following a pattern that I am not quite understanding. Right now I'm working on the heel and have been nitting 27 sts in a rib of K3/P3. Then the pattern asks me to do this: 1 st in each of the K4-section by K2 tog I just don't understand what it want done.
i… don’t know either. that’s very puzzling.
if you give me that section of the pattern as it’s written, with the original formatting, i can try to puzzle it out. i warn you, though, i’m pants at written patterns. also, sometimes the designer just messes up.
in general, though, it’s never a bad idea to just take a guess, try something, and see what happens. if it looks really wrong, at least you’ve eliminated one possibility. you can run a lifeline through the last row you’re sure of, so ripping back isn’t a nightmare.
Anonymous asked: I cast on with a slip knot, or at least, I'm trying to make it a habit. What do you do when you get to the end of a row? Do you just stitch into the slip knot?
i do, yeah. i’ve seen some patterns that say not to count it in your cast-on number, and slip it off the needle and pull the tail so the slipknot vanishes — or, in something circular, to knit it together with the first stitch of the joining row — but when i’m designing for myself i don’t bother. once you’ve knit into it, it won’t come undone.
just don’t yank the tail hard when you’re about to sew it in, or it’ll bunch up that corner.
Anonymous asked: Yo knitbro! I just toe-up socked for the first time and then promptly destroyed all my hard work by using a bind off that was too tight. Is there any way I can fix that and salvage my work, or should I just learn to stare mournfully at what could have been? Also, so I don't make this mistake again, do you have a favourite bind off you use for socks? I defer to your wisdom in these matters. Thanks a bunch!
shoosh, bro. you didn’t destroy jack. you’re just gonna have to pick back your bindoff row, and one row below that so you have enough yarn to work with, and bind off from there.
i just recently answered a question about tight bind-offs, so look back a couple days and you will see some options for stretchier bind-offs. personally i prefer to use the ‘knitting off’ method, or rather, to bind off in pattern using ‘knit off’ and ‘purl off’ to match my ribbing. there are some help videos here.
if that’s not stretchy enough, you can try something like this; i tried it, and it is, indeed, surprisingly stretchy. it tends to flare, though, and knitting-off in pattern turns out to be stretchy enough when you get comfy enough with it to relax.
Anonymous asked: Ok. When knitting a knit 4 purl 4 and you come to the end of your stitches with a purl stitch, when turning to go back down do you then start with a purl stitch so that all the stitches run the same?
i assume you’re doing ribbing? if so, you’re going to start with a knit stitch, because now you’re on the other side and the purl you just did is a knit to you now. purl is knit’s backside.
when ribbing, you always want to do the same stitch as the one just below it. rather than trying to keep track of all the P’s and K’s in the pattern, it’s simpler to just look at your work, see what type of stitch you’re about to work into, and do the same type of stitch.
if you’re not doing ribbing, i’d have to see the pattern to know what it wants you to do.