Tag Archives: knitting tools

Craft Tip: Keep Balls of Yarn Tidy with a Pair of Old Tights

Craft Tip: Keep Balls of Yarn Tidy with a Pair of Old Tights | The Zen of Making

I’m working on a Color Affection shawl right now, and, while the knitting is super-easy, several weeks of juggling three separate balls of a particularly cranky linen/cotton blend has been just about enough to make me cry. So, after the 23rd time or so that the center-pull ball of my main color went supernova without warning (read: collapsed, then exploded around everything else in my project bag), my fiber-addled brain started coming up with some rather elaborate yarn-containment solutions. Luckily, before I went too far down the crazy invention rabbit hole, I remembered that tights existed, and my sanity was saved.

Craft Tip: Keep Balls of Yarn Tidy with a Pair of Old Tights | The Zen of Making

Is your yarn running amok? Do you have a drawer full of old tights (or stockings or hose or nylons) that should never again see the light of day? Perfect—we’ve just solved both your yarn and your tights-hoarding problems! Because, turns out, there’s no better place for your misbehaving balls of yarn to be than nestled snugly in the toes of old [clean] hosiery.

Here’s how it’s done:

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Knitting and Crocheting with a Plan

Knitting with a Plan | The Zen of Making

When you’re knitting or crocheting in the real world (read: with all manor of kids, pets, co-workers, friends, and spouses underfoot), there are tons of opportunities for things to go terribly, terribly wrong. But, thankfully, they don’t have to.

If you’ve ever snapped at your partner for interrupting you in the middle of a row or cried as you ripped out a lace repeat for the sixth damn time because you just keep getting distracted and losing your place, this post is for you.

Note: I use knitting in my examples below, but the same tips and tricks for staying on track can also be used for crochet projects. (Obviously, this excludes the bits about counting the number of stitches on your needles. Unless, of course, you’re working on some Tunisian crochet.)

Knitting with a Plan | The Zen of Making

Know Your Rows: Make a Row and Stitch Count List:

Unless you’re knitting in the quietest, coziest, most distraction-free nook imaginable, at some point, you’re going to lose your place in your pattern. And, when you do, you’ll probably consider screaming, crying, and/or indulging in some delightfully creative swearing. (We’ve all been there, so feel free to share your favorite knitting-related expletives in the comments. In case you’re wondering, I tend to alternate between dropping a good old fashioned F-bomb and yelling something hilariously old-timey like “CONSARNIT!” when I experience an epic knitting fail.)

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Knitting Necessities: Cast On, Bind Off Book Review

Knitting Necessities: Cast On, Bind Off Book Review | The Zen of Making

When I first started knitting, I made an embarrassingly large number of hats (and mittens and cowls) that I couldn’t even wear when they were finished because the openings didn’t stretch wide enough for me to actually put them on. For a while, I was convinced that I was an utter failure at knitting, because, despite the fact that I had seemingly perfect tension everywhere else, it just kept happening. Eventually, of course, I made the discovery that there was more than one kind of bind off (!!), and the results were life-changing. Equally life-changing: Receiving my review copy of Cast On, Bind Off: 54 Step-by-Step Methods, by Leslie Ann Bestor (this is an affiliate link), which quickly became the most frequently used book in my knitting reference library.

(Related: Does anyone else think it’s damn stupid that, despite the fact that most knitting patterns start with “cast on” and end with “bind off,” they never tell you which methods to use? I mean, I know that several cast on or bind off methods might be appropriate for a given pattern, but the designer could at least share which one they used when writing it, right?!)

Now, on to the review:

Knitting Necessities: Cast On, Bind Off Book Review | The Zen of Making

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Friday Internet Crushes: Summer Shapes and Sprouts

Friday Internet Crushes: Summer Shapes and Sprouts | The Zen of Making

Summer fun comes in tons of shapes, colors, and flavors, but there’s only one rule: when the heat and humidity start to rise, you’ve gotta keep things smart and simple.

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