Friday, July 27, 2007

Knit Smarter Not Harder

Let me share a few secrets to knitting that will make things 'go faster and smoother'.

Get your fingers out of the way.
I see so many people either cover the stitches they are making with their fingers, or hold their hands in such a way that they have to wrap the yarn around their own finger. (!) It is an amazing thing to watch. Look down. Can you see what you are doing? Pull your fingers out of the way so that you can see the stitches. You will make less mistakes. And when you do make a mistake, you'll see it sooner.
Use smaller motions
I swear to you I have seen people with less bodily motion in a golf swing.
Get your hands comfortable, whether you pick or throw, and just make little motions. There is no reason for someone to confuse knitting with stirring a pot of stew on the stove.
Adjust the yarn and needles in smaller motions
Really, you don't need to go "organize" and "untangle" after every other stitch. If you move less, so will the balls of yarn. Get yourself set up and comfortable. Then when you are knitting, without really letting go of the knitting yarn, just pull a few stitches up, and slide the last few down. You can knit precariously close to the tip of the left hand needle. But be sure to knit all the way onto the right hand needle. Remember, if you knit onto the 'tip' where the needle is still tapered, it will not be the right gauge. It will be tight, and you will not have fun on the next row.
Don't knit tight
That is a really easy one. The tighter you knit, the harder the next row will be. This will lead to stress, and premature aging. As you clench your jaw, and grind your teeth, and stick out your tongue, you will develop wrinkles faster. You will age prematurely, and not be the sexy knitter we know that you are. Loosen up. If you like a tighter stitch, go to a smaller needle. Don't make the stitch tighter ON the needle. In the perfect situation, the stitches should slide easily along your needle, but not fall completely off without help.
I see a lot of beginners who knit super tight. It is a rookie mistake. They are confusing "tight" and consistent. You do not have to knit tight to be consistent. You'll find your tension. I have faith. If you think knitting is hard, or you think it should go faster, you may be knitting too tight.
Get your yarn organized.
The time we have spent untangling at the store is obscene. No really. The big messed up piles of yarn are heart breaking. Why, oh, why would you buy beautiful yarn, and then let it fall into a heap? There are lots of strateegeries to help with this issue. You can use a zip lock bag, you can use a tupperware, you can buy a 'yarn bra' or a 'clam'. All of these will work. Just don't let your yarn get into a knot. You may also try talking nicely to it, like you would to a plant, or even a small child. I find this very effective. Your yarn will respond to your tone of voice.
Don’t pull mohair from the center of the ball. (It will just stick to the strands near by and create a knot), so while I know that a 'center pull' is fun, and all-the-rage, some yarns do not respond as well to that treatment. Silk too, is very hard to keep in the 'ball winder' ball. This is better if it is just hand-wound. It seems a little less apt to knot on itself.
And here is a no-brainer: keep your projects in a cat-proof, dog-proof, toddler-proof container.

If you have any questions about your knitting style, and you'd like a consultation, just come on in for a visit.
I'll be happy to have a look.

I am, your knitting stylist.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fashion Show

Saturday is the Fashion Show. It's really the ultimate show-and-tell. Bring what you've knit, and come and see what others have been working on. You're sure to leave with inspiration!!
The show itself will run from 2-4 pm Saturday, July 28. (There is no charge for this event. Just good clean (free) fun.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A visit from Adele

Adele is a local artist, and knitter, and occasionally (when we are very lucky) even teaches at Noe Knit! She came by to show us her latest work. She is an encaustic painter/artist. Her work is amazing.
She also decorated one of the San Francisco hearts. And since then, has adorned one of her hearts for the last few years.

She came in to show us a pair of wings that will be installed soon. We discussed the pros and cons of the different materials: plastic tape vs. wool, vs. acrylic. One wing here is plastic.

And one is wool, or a blend.

Notice the wonderful increases and decreases and purling that make this wing actually look like feathers. Fantastic! Thanks for showing us!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Red Light Special Hat

We had another series of the Red Light Special Hat class.
I am so pleased to share the results with you!

This one has a light background.

This one has one extra repeat. If it's "down" it's longer OR it can be worn turned up.

Here is a shot of the top "in progress". In this class we are learning the pattern, and how to knit with 2 colors. Some of the knitters even went to knitting two-handed two-colors.

This one is on a dark chocolate background. Yummy.

We offer our thanks to Brooklyn Tweed for sharing the pattern. We had a lot of fun doing it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Waiting for Potter

We are now set to welcome the Potter-poloosa that is about to unfold.
We have the golden Snitch
We have manageable Ron and Harry sweaters.

We have a Calderon and a spider.

We have school hats and scarves.
And we have copies of Charmed Knits (for sale).

Bring on your inner "Harry"!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Knit Tagging

Here is a little piece of art I added to the tree outside the shop. A "tree cozy".
There is a movement in different cities to add knit pieces to public spaces; parking meters, lamp posts, even car antenna. It's called "knit tagging". See the Gallery for a peek at some great urban creativity.