Is a designated craft area or room useful to a knitter?

For the most part, hand knitting and crocheting is portable and a designated craft area or room although not necessary for a beginning knitter certainly becomes more useful and essential as a knitter’s skill levels, projects, and yarn inventory increases. We try to keep our clothes, our mail, the cooking utensils etc. in designated areas so why not our yarn and knitting supplies?

With a designated craft area or room –

  • All the yarn is in one place so we know how much and what type of yarn we have.
  • Less time is wasted looking for a particular yarn stored in a different place.
  • The frequency of additional yarn purchase may decrease.
  • There is motivation to try more challenging knitting projects and to keep better project details and notes.
  • The non – knitters in the household will be thankful they don’t have to see yarn stored in different places.

There are several craft area/room tours by both professional and hobby knitters on YouTube that give some helpful tips on how to create a designated craft area or room. I’m still working on creating a designated craft area where I can keep all my yarn and knitting supplies.


My first top down hat

Finished Hat with pom pom

Yarn used: Lion Brand Heartland® in Isle Royale
Project details can be found on my Ravelry project page

All the hat patterns I’ve knitted so far (some earlier posts here and here) have been bottom up and seamless. The brim of the hat is knitted first, then the body and lastly the crown shaping. With top down hats the crown shaping is knitted first, then the body and lastly the brim.

After reading and watching several online tutorials on how to knit a top down seamless hat, I cast on 8 stitches and began knitting the hat using the magic loop method (tutorial by Tin Can knits).  I increased 8 stitches every other round till I had the number of stitches I needed. I knit the body of the hat in stockinette stitch pattern for several rounds and then knitted the brim using 2 x 2 ribbing pattern.

Once I got used to the magic loop method, knitting the hat with using a top down construction was not hard. I started and finished knitting this hat in December 2017 but found it a bit short without the brim rolled up.

Hat without pom pom

With a short brim

I frogged a few rounds of the brim and knitted till the length of the brim was twice as much as before. Now the hat fits much better.

Finished hat with longer brim

Hat with rolled up brim

It seems that enough brim length when rolled up makes the hat fit better even if the body of the hat is a bit short or a bit long. Because of the direction of the knitting, it is faster and easier to increase the brim length if needed in a top down hat than it is in a bottom up hat.


Knit-along by Hannah Wallace in Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2017 issue.
February 2018 square: Project details on my Ravelry project page

April 2018 square

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Adding a single crochet edging to knitted items

Round Hot pad / trivet mat

Yarn used: Patons Classic Wool by Yarnspiration.
Techniques used: Single crochet edging and short rows.
Video Tutorials that I watched to learn all these techniques (including the kitchener stitch) were by Staci of Very Pink.

The pattern is based on Simply Notable’s Crazy Eights dishcloth. Instead of a dishcloth I used four strands of yarn held together to knit a hotpad/ trivet mat. I also used a kitchener stitch instead of mattress stitch to join the two knitted ends together. I would prefer a seamless round dishcloth or trivet mat.

Adding a single crochet edging to knitted items gives them a finished and flat look. There are other crochet techniques that can be used to add a finished and decorative look to knitted items.


Knit-along by Hannah Wallace in Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2017 issue.
February 2018 square: Project details on my Ravelry project page

 

A season to knit earwarmers

Earwarmer with Fair Isle Knitting

Yarn Used: Patons® Classic Wool Worsted in Burgundy and Grey? (not sure about this colorway since it was knitted from yarn I already had and no longer have the label for it)

Project Details: This pattern Fair Isle Headband by Jane Stringer is a free Ravelry download and really a good project to start knitting Fair Isle. This is a fourteen stitch and fifteen round repeat pattern that can be knitted within a week. Next time I will knit two extra rounds of ribbing since the ribbing was curling up before I blocked the earwarmer.

This is my first time knitting Fair Isle and I wanted a small project to practice it. I still need to work on carrying my floats in the back (missed one in the lower right section of the second image) and knitting without tangling the two strands of yarn. It was a straightforward project with no increases or decreases in the pattern and a great introduction to Fair Isle knitting.

A season to knit earwarmers

  • They are quick knits making them great holiday gifts.
  • Learn or practice new and more complex stitch patterns (eg. Fair Isle) before investing time on a bigger knitting project with that particular stitch pattern.
  • Can be knitted flat and then seamed or can be knitted seamless and in the round. The pattern is the same bottom up or top down.
  • One skein (200 yards) of yarn is enough to make 2 or more earwarmers. Great for using leftover yarn.
  • Can be knit with any type or weight of yarn.
  • Good for keeping your ears warm in the winter without messing up your hair.

Happy Knitting! 

The versatile craft of knitting

Fisherman’s Rib Hat with Pom Pom


Yarn Used: Manos Del Uruguay Maxima* in Mixed Berries colorway.
Project details: The hat was knit in the round using the Fisherman’s rib stitch pattern. This project requires some concentration and focus and is certainly not a project to knit while watching TV. It’s best to put lifelines (there’s a short tutorial on lifelines for brioche stitch by Fruity Knitting Podcast Episode 35) every now and then because fixing a mistake in this stitch pattern is quite frustrating and time-consuming. More project detail can be found on my Ravelry project page.

The versatile craft of knitting
The versatile craft of knitting can teach us many things besides the various stitch patterns and techniques. It can be therapeutic, reduce stress, and also sometimes teach us to be more mindful, kind, thankful and calm. And now, according to the article “Girls Knit Their Way to a Math Career“, knitting is being used to teach kids math and science concepts and also to ease their math learning anxiety.

In the past year or so my focus has been more on reducing my yarn stash and less on the benefits of knitting that initially drew me to this craft (read the reformatted entries of my previous blog named Coffee Tea or Knits). While too much yarn and too many WIP’s can be overwhelming and stressful, it’s heartening to know that knitting can teach us many positive things that are just as versatile as the craft.


*There’s an article in the Spring 2017 issue of Interweave Knits about Manos del Uruguay, a non-profit cooperative organization, and its social mission for the rural women in this country.

Minimalism in the craft of knitting

Hello folks my theme this year is to feature minimalism in the craft of knitting. Minimalism is the use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature, or design to create maximum effect.  Some knitwear designers (Jane Richmond, Tin Can Knits etc.) have used the art of minimal design elements to create a number of beautiful knits. Minimalism combined with Zen habits has also been applied to manage knitting projects and yarn (1). Knitting is recreational and therapeutic for me but it can easily become overwhelming with too many WIP’s (work in progress) and an increasing yarn stash (2). The benefits of applying minimalism to manage yarn and knitting projects include increased productivity, reduced clutter and decreased stress. It is for these benefits that I want to feature minimalism in the craft of knitting this year. Specifically my goal is to knit as much as possible with yarn I already have and also to feature minimal design elements in my knitting projects.

So folks will you share your theme for knitting this year?


1. Let it Go: Zen and the Art of Crafty Minimalism
2. On Knitting, Yarn Stashing and Consumerism