Archive for the ‘Knitting Tips’ Category

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Worried about taking the needles for your easy knitting patterns through airport security? The official rules for what you can and can’t take on an airplane can be found in an informative pdf document called Rules and Regulations from the Transportation Safety Administration.

Basically, you may take knitting and crochet needles regardless of the material they are made from (metal, plastic, or wood). Also, you may take either plastic or metal scissors as long as they have blunt tips.

The pdf document cited above does not address small needles at all. However, an article entitled Transporting Knitting Needles & Needlepoint on the TSA website specifies

Items needed to pursue a Needlepoint project are permitted in your carry-on baggage or checked baggage with the exception of circular thread cutters or any cutter with a blade contained inside which cannot go through the checkpoint and must go in your checked baggage.

So based on this article, it appears that you could carry on a small sewing or yarn needle, but you need to leave your box cutter and Olfa blades in your checked bag.

In a tip on the Lion Brand website, alert reader Cynthia G. suggests that you carry a printed copy of the TSA rules referenced above when traveling by air. Apparently, not all TSA employees are aware that knitting needles are allowable items.

Another place where having a copy of these rules might come in handy is at a courthouse. (In fact, knowing about this may have saved me some money when I went on jury duty a while back. See an Ezine article I wrote called Easy Knitting Patterns Work Best on These Needles.)

And to be really safe, you might want to carry along a priority mail flat rate envelope with correct postage to either the airport or the courthouse, just in case the guard still won’t let you in with your valuable equipment. Just pop the offensive item in the envelope and mail it back home. (Or if you’re going on a long vacation, address it to your destination.) It will save you from having to go back out to your car when you’re probably running late anyhow.

On a slightly related topic, I discovered a cute children’s pattern for easy-to-spot luggage tags on the Lion Brand website here.

What has been your experience in flying with needles? Leave a comment below and share your story.

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After figuring out the number of rows and color scheme for my Spumoni Crib Afghan pattern, the only step left is to figure out how much yarn to buy.

There is no magic math, unfortunately, to calculate how many yards of yarn it will take to make a given square of knitted material in a given baby knitting pattern. However, there are some charts available that give some approximate amounts. For a chart from Lion Brand, click here.

The Lion Brand chart gave me a place to start. Read the rest of this entry »

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In my last entry, I described figuring out the number of stitches I need per row in my Spumoni Crib Afghan pattern. The next step in developing this baby knitting pattern is to figure out how many rows to work, plus to pick the color scheme and stripe design. Recall that the wave pattern I am using is a repeated set of four rows. The first thing I need to calculate is the size of one four-row repeat.

The gauge for worsted yarn says 22 rows = 4 inches. I want to know how many inches for just 4 rows: Read the rest of this entry »

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In my last post, I discussed choosing yarn and finished size when cutting down a full-size afghan pattern to a smaller baby knitting pattern. The next thing to do in cutting down the pattern is to figure out how many stitches will be in each row.

First, I need the gauges for both old and new yarns. In the case of the Spumoni Crib Afghan, the original pattern (Cromwell Court Afghan) used bulky yarn and the new pattern will use worsted yarn.

The gauge on the (original) bulky yarn package said 9 st = 4 in.

The gauge on the (new) worsted yarn package said 16 st = 4 in.

The original pattern was 114 st wide.

So if all I was doing was reworking the original pattern in a different yarn, but not changing the finished size, the new number of stitches would be calculated as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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Like most knitters, when I work a baby knitting pattern I like to use a lighter weight yarn. The popular choices are #2 (traditional “baby” weight), #3 (sport) or #4 (worsted). Since I’m all about getting things done fairly quickly, I went with #4 for my Spumoni Crib Afghan. I chose Vanna’s Choice Baby Yarn because I liked using it for her Saw Tooth Edge Afghan I reviewed earlier, and I like the colors she offers.

Next I considered the finished size. Vanna’s Saw Tooth Edge Afghan measures 27 x 32 inches. The recommendations from Allison Isaacs in How to Make a Baby Blanket Part 1 are that baby blankets should measure 24 x 36 inches. The super-easy baby knitting pattern from How to Make a Baby Blanket Part 2 is 32 inches wide. After reviewing these three options, I decided to go with the larger dimension (32 inches wide). I figured this would be more of a crib or nap blanket and would maybe continue to be used while the child was in preschool. To keep a nice proportion, I figured the length should be about 48 inches (1.5 times the width).

Here’s a picture of the blanket half done. You can see the stitch markers on the needles. In case you are wondering, Spumoni is a flavor of ice cream. It has layers of chocolate, pistachio, and some variety of pink, such as strawberry or cherry. I picked the colors of yarn after looking at websites for crib linens. Then I noticed how similar the combination looks to the ice cream. Hence the name.

Next: Figuring Out Number of Stitches

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fabric.com Deal of the Day

fabric.com Deal of the Day

Most of the knitting I do is making gifts for others. And most of those gifts are scarves or afghans because they fit with my philosophy of working easy knitting patterns that I can take with me, that don’t require my total focus, and that I’m likely to actually finish. I also tend to buy nice but inexpensive yarn, in keeping with my frugal living philosophy. My usual place to buy yarn is at my local Michaels store. I am signed up for their weekly emails and I try to plan my purchases to make best use of their sales and coupons. (Sign up here.) But not everyone has access to a local store, and sometimes the store doesn’t carry or has run out of a color I want. So I decided to look at the online options. As I quickly discovered, buying just one or two skeins of yarn online is not a good idea because of the shipping costs. By the time you add shipping, the cost of your one skein could easily be doubled or tripled, especially for an inexpensive yarn. That having been said, buying yarn can be a good deal if you need a lot of it. For example, I took a look around to see where the best deal was to buy yarn for the Cromwell Court afghan I reviewed in my last blog entry (Easy Knitting Pattern Review–Cromwell Court Afghan). That pattern takes eight skeins of Lion Brand Wool-ease Thick & Quick yarn which normally retails for $6.99 to $7.99 per skein. I discovered that fabric.com has the lowest price on shipping of any of the yarn websites I’ve looked at

Read the rest of this entry »

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This Allison Isaacs video gives general information about types of yarn and stitches you might use for a simple baby blanket.  It shows some nice examples. However, it does not give you an actual baby knitting pattern. The video in my next blog entry actually demonstrates a pattern and lists how much yarn you will need.

As this video states, a baby blanket is usually about 2 feet by 3 feet. The best type of yarn is machine washable (since babies have been known to spit up and do other generally unclean things!). Allison points out that you should avoid yarns with fibers that shed, such as mohair, angora, and alpaca. (I never use anything that expensive anyhow!) Between the washability issue and the shedding issue, I would say you should pretty much stick to acrylic.

Expert: Allison Isaacs Contact: www.imagiknit.com Bio: Allison Isaacs learned to knit and needlepoint at an early age. Filmmaker: Sam Lee Duration : 0:1:50

To view the video, click on “Read the rest of this entry.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Freedom of Knitting!
KNITTING IN MEETINGS - because falling asleep – IS JUST RUDE
Do people give you dirty looks when you knit in public? Now you have an answer for them. Just bring along a tote, coffee mug, or notebook with this clever message:



KNITTING IN MEETINGS

…because falling asleep

IS JUST RUDE.



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