Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Make a Gauge Swatch

Even if you're knitting for your family pet, you need to get the correct gauge so the garment will fit properly. You should always do a gauge swatch before starting any project using the yarn and needles called for in the pattern.

To begin your swatch use the needles suggested in the pattern, and please remember they are only a recommendation, a place to begin!  Cast on the number of stitches necessary to make a 4”/10cm swatch, plus 6. Knit 3 rows. Always knit 3 garter stitches at the beginning and end of every row, and work straight in the pattern called for until the piece measures 4”, then knit 3 rows and bind off. Lay the swatch on a flat, smooth surface. Measure inside the garter stitch frame; you should have 4”/10 cm exactly. If your swatch is too big, or you have too few stitches per inch, change to a needle one size smaller, and repeat the process. If your swatch is too small, or there are too many stitches per inch, change to the next larger needles. Changing one needle size either up or down at a time and keep knitting swatches until you achieve the correct gauge. Eventually you will begin to know your knitting style; I personally start my swatch one needle size down from the recommended size, as I knit fast and loose. The number of stitches per inch or centimeter is the most important. If the row gauge is eluding you, you can adjust as you work through the pattern, but you may not have enough yarn. We all knit differently with various needles and yarns. Always do your gauge swatch with the exact needles you will be using for the specific project too…there can be a difference in gauge between plastic, metal or bamboo needles on the same yarn! Check your gauge again after working about 4 inches just to be sure you’re still getting the correct gauge.

You will be a happy knitter for life if you get the correct gauge!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nicky Epstein's Signature Scarves Review

Everyone loves Nicky Epstein's fabulous patterns, and incredible technical prowess. In this book she has adopted her hallmark embellished style for a collection of over 40 scarves. All knitters from beginner to advanced will be delighted with this very creative collection. Published by Nicky Epstein Books.

Visit www.nickyepstein.com.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tree Topper Baby Hat Kit Giveaway!

Knitters can enter to win this adorable baby hat by taking part in this giveaway. The kit includes yarn and baubles and complete instructions. Happy knitting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Rexi in the Studio

Rexi Martine, my cockapoo, loves to hang out in the studio with me. She even has her own handknit bed. The pattern for the bed is available in my books, Top Dog: Twelve Quicknits for your Big Best Friend, which you can find at my distributer Classic Elite Yarns and at local yarn shops.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Getting Stitched on the Farm

If you enjoy knitting blogs, you might enjoy my favorite knitting blog "Getting Stitched on the Farm with Kristen Nichols". Kristen lives on a bucolic sheep farm in Western Massachusetts. Kristen is an enormously talented designer and her blog captures life on the farm intertwined with knitting and other design inspiration. 

Meet Kristen!