Thursday, September 6, 2012

Knitting Solutions

Did you know you probably have a few things around your house that might make your knitting a whole lot easier?  Here are some things you might not have thought of.

You may have a book holder like the one at right somewhere in your house.  Maybe you have it in the kitchen to hold your cookbooks open.  Maybe it's in a box with some books from college.  Where ever it is, dig it out and set your pattern book or the instructions for Kitchener stitch, etc. in it.  Put it on an end table or coffee table next to you while you're knitting.  It took me two years to realize I should do this!  Be smarter than I am.  Do it now!

This copy board at left is a pretty common tool in offices.  Typists use it to read from while they're typing.  Maybe you bought one in college, or have one left over from your last job.  That handy line marker that slides up and down does wonders for highlighting the exact line of pattern you're working.  This works best for individual patterns printed on paper, as opposed to those in a book or magazine.  Don't have one?  You can pick one up at an office supply store for $7-$15.

Do you have one of these clever things in your house?  The spike at the right is one of thousands that were once common in shops all over America.  Many restaurants and hotels still use them to hold the day's receipts as they accumulate.  Well, they make a surprisingly handy knitting tool.  When you have a skein wound on a ball winder, or a ball-style skein, slip the hole in the ball over the spike.  As you knit, the ball will unroll while you knit, but it won't roll around onto the floor.  These spikes are weighted, so they stay put under normal amounts of yarn tension.  If you have a few, it works nicely when working colorwork, too.  If you like the idea but don't have one around, they are readily available at flea markets, Craigslist, and eBay.

This next one is really cool.  The intrepid Colleen, my amazing assistant and friend, gave me this as a gift about a year ago, and I've been using it ever since.  The tape is repositionable, just like the rest of the Post-it family, and you can write notes on it, too.  It's great for highlighting one line of your knitting pattern at a time. I also use it when I need to isolate one part of a graph.  I just mask off the parts I don't need.  You may have it at your office.  Try it once and you'll be hooked.

Last but not least, the Post-it Note.  When you're working from a graph, draw a key to the symbols you're less familiar with right on the Post-it.  (I use a Sharpie Marker so it's super easy to see!)  Stick the Post-it on the graph in a spot where it doesn't cover any of the image.  You can even stick it to the margin and let it hang off the page.  It saves time flipping back and forth to the key for the knitting graphs.  Just about everyone has these little gems in their home, and if you don't, you can get them in any grocer, office supply store, or big department store like Target.

I hope at least one of these ideas is new to you.  Enjoy your early Fall knitting!

1 comment:

Julia, in Virginia said...

I find that the metal board and magnetic rulers that I used for cross-stitch works well to hold my knitting charts. And I keep it and the rest of the pattern together on a hot pink clipboard. It's great to "re-purpose" objects around the house for our crafts.