By far the most powerful tool in the knitter’s toolbox is duplicate stitch. There are so many fixes that can be done once you master this little darling. Furthermore, once you do, you will also have a much better understanding of the anatomy of your stitches.
Save Your Knitting : Duplicate Stitch to Prevent a Hole
When I want to fix an area before it becomes a hole, I will duplicate stitch over the threadbare stitches.
Start by working a row below the trouble spot. Remember, you can work multiple rows by going right to left, and then jog up one row and work the next row left to right
1) Start by bringing your needle back to front through the base of the stitch – the bottom point of the V. Leave a good long tail, as we’ll weave this in at the end
2) Next bring your needle through the legs of the stitch above the one you are duplicating. NOTE: If you are working a row going left to right, your needle will also move left to right
3) Finally insert the needle back where you started at the base of the V. Jog over to the next stitch (or up above to do the next row) and repeat.
Don’t forget, when working the next row, you’ll be moving right to left!
Although it’s great to make this repair before the hole appears, fear not, you can also use duplicate stitch, known as swiss darning, to repair a hole.
To find out how, along with a myriad of other fixes (fixes in cables, lace, color work, circular knitting, shaping and more – both on and off the needles!), check out my new Interweave DVD, Advanced Fixes In Knitting
CLICK HERE for DVD
CLICK HERE for Digital Download
FAVORITE KNITTING MYTHS!!!
Last year I wrote a post called My Top Ten Least Favorite Knitting Myths. Recently it’s been bopping around the internet and over 175 AMAZING comments were added.
What I loved the most about the comments, is how many of you clearly share my frustration with being told “always” or “never” or “right” or “wrong”. Out of the comments, I’ve put together YOUR top 10 least favorite knitting myths, the ones that were mentioned multiple times. (with comments by me in italics)
Top Ten Least Favorite Knitting Myths
#10: You Don’t Need to Learn to Knit If You Already Crochet
(Crazy, I’ve never heard this one, I knit and crochet. Can’t imagine what’s not AWESOME about knowing them both)
– that one kept me from learning to knit for a long time. I think I was afraid to learn to knit, as if my crochet skills would suddenly vanish.
#9: You should sell your stuff and get rich
(I’ll just let the article on the myth of the million dollar “hand knit” biz speak for itself: )
– Oh wow you should quit your job and open an Etsy store for your knits. You’ll make so much money. Yeah…not quite.
– The person that says ”you should sell what you make” wouldn’t pay the price either.
#8: Continental Knitting is Faster
(Continental can be fast, but so can a lot of other styles. Lily Chin is a thrower, and she’s crazy fast. I’ve seen lever knitters knit like the wind)
– Continental knitting is just intrinsically faster. This is the biggest myth of all. Continental knitters cling to it like members of some cult.
– My pet peeve is when I’m told that if I switch to continental I’ll be able to knit faster.
#7: All Knitter’s want to knit faster
(This made me so happy to read. I also believe that focus on good form and creation of even stitches is more important than speed)
– Knitting isn’t a race to the finish line. Knit for the pleasure of the experience and savor it.
– Why would I want to knit faster? Knitting is not about instant gratification – at least to me
#6: There is a “right” and a “wrong” way to knit
(Everyone who’s ever taken a class with me knows how I feel about this. The only “wrong” in knitting, is when you did something you didn’t mean to do)
– “You are knitting the wrong way.” . . . Tell any knitter they are “knitting the wrong way” and risk a needle in the eye.
-One (person) called me throwing the yarn ‘the stupid way’ to knit. Hard to bite my tongue sometimes.
– If it looks like knitting…………….lol
#5: Lefties should / should not mirror knit (this one had both sides representing!)
(This one had folks chiming in on both sides. What I’ve never liked is some of my students telling me that a right handed person taught them, and showing them NO options, just “do the opposite of me”. Some were very unhappy with being told what they could and couldn’t do. My only pet peeve is not showing a leftie multiple options and letting the KNITTER decide what’s comfortable, explaining the pros and cons of each option. Since I’m comfortable knitting forward, or backwards and don’t have a strong dominant hand, I always felt knitting was two handed. BUT, now that I’ve worked with so many lefties I see they are many different levels of left handed dominance. Here’s an interesting site about left handed dominance.)
– You simply can’t learn to knit because you are left-handed – that stupid teacher!!!!
-That all knitters should be taught right-handed knitting because knitting uses two hands. Right.
– “Yarn and needles aren’t handed, so knitting isn’t handed” as a reason to teach left-handed people to knit right-handed. . .
– The myth that left-handed people have to knit backwards in a “left-handed way”!!!
– Left-handed people can’t learn to knit from right-handed knitters, or have to do everything backwards, or can’t knit…
#4: Never Knit Your Boyfriend a Sweater . . . and the answer is
(This one had some truly hilarious comments. Maybe wait on the cashmere???)
– Never knit ANYTHING for a boyfriend, until there is a ring on your finger. Words I have sworn by since the Scarf Incident of 1999.
– That must be why I tend to knit something for each of my lovers quite early on in the relationship: the hope that they won’t stick around past their welcome.
– I knitted my husband a jumper…. but he is still here!
– My ex-husband took the sweaters with him. Surprising, since he hardly ever wore them.
#3: Knitting is for old ladies.
(What – EVER!! I can’t believe this one won’t die)
– Why is knitting associated with old? Like everyone is always so impressed that a young 20’s knits and I’m just like why???
– “knitting is for grannies.” . . . The only possible response to it is, “would that I could knit half as well as my granny.”
#2: Men don’t knit
(Reader warning – some of the comments are hilariously sassy. Read at your own risk )
– My husband assures me that his dangly bit has never interfered with his knitting.
– Guy’s Doesn’t Knit and if they knit, they’re gay. Well, you know, I knit, I crochet, I tat, I spin, I love yarn, I’m straight… I don’t know why a crochet or a knitting needle should have a sexual preference correlation? Do you have sex WHILE knitting or crochet?
#1: (Paul Shaffer’s drum roll here) When it comes to knitting, you should ALWAYS . . .
– ALWAYS beware of any ‘rulisms’ that contain the words ALWAYS or NEVER. (LOL)
– The only NEVER in knitting is NEVER believe ALWAYS. The only ALWAYS in knitting, is ALWAYS be wary of NEVERS in knitting.
Thanks to everyone who contributed. It’s amazing how many people still have crazy ideas about knitters.
Stay strong – knit the way you knit – knit the way that makes you happy – and remember
NEVER believe ALWAYS!!
Knitter’s Advice Column
I’m so excited to announce my knitter’s advice column will be back and gracing the pages of Creative Knitting.
I need letters from you amazing knitters out there.
Coming soon . . . A knitter’s advice column called “Patty’s Purls of Wisdom.” We are looking for great, funny, interesting e-mails to feature from great knitters. We are here to talk about ANYTHING: techniques, tips, how-tos, knitting etiquette, lifestyle questions, you name it. Doesn’t matter how silly you think it is (in fact, we encourage the silly, as it helps us keep our life in perspective).
- What’s the best short row method for a scarf?
- What are the tricks to keeping your sanity when knitting lace?
- How do you avoid killing your spouse when he moves your shawl off the couch making your delicate stitches slip off the needle and your stitch markers tumble to the floor?
Please write them in letter form, just like the old letter’s to Dear Abby. We’d love to feature the full letter in the column, not just the questions, so have fun with it! Let’s all learn from each other and let’s start talking knitting! So e-mail your questions to:
We look forward to reading your letters, and stay tuned for the first column of “Patty’s Purls of Wisdom.”
Last fall I ran a knitalong with Creative Knitting for my Fan the Flames Cowl. Since you know, I’m gonna pack it full of tips and tricks that aren’t on the page, I thought I’d share some of my favorites here.
The words “bind off loosely” can cause much frustration to knitters. A stitch is wider than it is tall, so OF COURSE, when it lies down on it’s side for a bind off, it can’t possibly reach the next stitch. It needs a little help
With a lace edge that moves, this is even more important. We covered in a previous Tuesday Tip on the elastic cast on, now it’s time to end our project well.
Extra Stretchy Bind Off
For more tips LIVE, join me in one of my live classes. I’ll be schlepping all around the country in 2015. Keep watching the Upcoming Classes page. I update it frequently.
For more Tuesday Tips, click here
January is a big month for a knitting professional. First up there’s our annual trade show TNNA, and just days later, came the show I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time – Vogue Knitting Live New York (5th year anniversary show!!!)
It took me a few days (or five to be exact) to recover from the excitement. So much yarn, so many friends, such many incredibly brilliant students it’s hard to sum up.
Here’s my recap in a nutshell. I did a TERRIBLE job remembering to take pictures, but in my defense, I taught 4 classes in two days at TNNA and 7 classes in three days at VK Live, so . . . yeah, I just forgot.
Let me go out of order and give a shout out to the AMAZING fifth anniversary of . . .
I’m so proud to have been a teacher for all five years. This year I was blessed to have nearly 200 students in seven amazing classes. Here’s a few pics (like I said, I didn’t take many). For all you West Coasters, we’re coming your way next! Join us in April
TNNA – The First Building Better Business Day!
Just days before VK NY, I was in sunny Phoenix for TNNA. It was beautiful and I hardly ever got to go outside. I went with my pal Zontee Hou (amazing marketing guru), who was also there to teach at the first Building Better Business Day. It was great to meet so many other professionals (shop owners, designers, wholesalers, reps, teachers) who wanted to strengthen their businesses.
I was only home from vacation for a few days before TNNA, but I did manage to bind off my brand new extra small version of the Windsor Cardi (pattern available on Ravelry)
Here are a few shots from the weekend:
Just so you know how professionals on a showroom floor at our trade show behave . . . please enjoy this video of Cat Bordhi