Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Knitters are historically afraid of zippers, but they are very easy to sew in, and for this particular sweater, the zipper makes dressing easy as pie.

Zippers should always be sewn in by hand. The zipper should be the exact same length as the opening, to avoid stretching or puckering.Place the zipper in a stitch or tow so the zipper teeth will not be exposed. Pin the zipper with the right side showing, then baste it in with a simple running stitch. (Using a contrasting color thread will help.) Remove the pins and turn to the back side. Sew zipper edge with a backstitch. Repeat with the other side of the zipper, and you’re done. Be brave, and try it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Baby Bird Nest Campaign

If you're a nature lover, I've found just the project for you! Wildcare's Wildlife Hospital is looking for knitters to make nests for orphaned and abandoned baby birds in their care. Each year Wildcare raises over 800 baby birds and they need something soft, washable, and nest-like to raise the babies in. For more information on how you can help, take a look at Wildcare's site.

If you're looking for some wildlife-friendly yarn, check my colorful CottonTail or MinnowMerino yarns. If you make nests using my yarn, be sure to take a picture and email them to me (at jil@minnowknits.com ) so I can feature them on the blog! Happy knitting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I-cord Bind Off

One of the most beautiful bind off techniques is the I-cord bind off. It makes a lovey round edge that is completely finished. It is perfect for hat bind-offs; make a swatch and give it a try!

With 2 dpns, cast on 4 sts. K3, then, with the RS facing, K the last st tog with the first st on your garment. DO NOT TURN WORK! Slide sts to the right end of your needle to work the next row. K3, K the last st tog with the next st on your garment. Repeat until all sts are bound off, the bind of your I-cord sts and finish.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


One of my latest patterns, the Smocked Daydress, has a charming bodice with a smocked pattern. It is actually very easy once you go through it. Here are the instructions in case you’d like to try it out. I think it's lovely to discover new techniques…happy knitting!

Row 1 (RS): Knit.
Row 2: Purl.
Row 3: Rep row 1.
Row 4: Rep row 2.
Row 5: *Smock, k3; rep from * to last 5 sts, smock.
Row 6: Rep row 2.
Rows 7-10: Rep rows 1-4.
Row 11: K1, *k3, smock; rep from * to last 4 sts, k4.
Row 12: Purl.
Rep rows 1-12 for pat st.

1. Insert right needle between 5th and 6th sts on left needle.
2. Wrap yarn once around right needle and pull loop through to front. Pull snug.
3. Place loop on left needle.

4. Knit loop tog with first st, k4.