NEW Knitting Video Sample!

to see more advanced knitting videos go herecopyright 2008 Sarah Beth Wilkison& Ecombuffet.com

Posted by on 13 February 2008 | 6:54 pm

The Knitting Net

If you love knitting, you will be pleased to know that the internet has created a whole new way for you to share your work with others, and to share in other's work! Most of you, I'm sure, at this point know that a blog is a form of online journal (a web log, technically speaking), something like an online, public diary where you can post your thoughts, comments, and pictures.If you want to see what some other people are doing, check out the knitting blogs below:Knitting Iris: http://knittingiris.typepad.com/knitting_iris/Sandy's Knitting: http://www.sandysknitting.com/ The Knitting Curmudgeon: http://www.knittingcurmudgeon.com/ They are all great examples of how knitters are sharing their craft, ideas, and lives with others, and they can be a really inspiring way of getting ideas for your next project! If you want to find a ton of other knitting blogs, simply go to google and type in "blog: knitting". You'll find a ton!Then, if you are feeling inspired and want to start your own, why not go on over to http://www.blogger.com where you can start a blog absolutely free! Or, if you aren't quite ready to have your own blog, you can still participate in the online knitting community by posting to forums (one of my favorite is, of course, my own, at http://www.knittingtips.com/forum) There, if you only have one thought, or question, and don't want to be bothered with updating content, you can post it and get replies and comments from other knitters. It is a simple and easy way to get involved in what is truly a huge and interesting community!

Posted by on 12 April 2007 | 2:56 pm

Knit From Your Stash

How many balls of yarn do you have in your stash? Are you part of the phenomenon of having lots of extra yarn (because going into a yarn shop to buy what you need turns into finding lots of other yarns you feel you "need"). Be inspired to knit knit from your stash. I have noticed in the past year or so that some knitting bloggers out there host thier own "Knit From Your Stash-a-thons".I think this is a great idea, a lovely way to be inspired to use all those extra balls of yarn that well you might not ever use. Extra balls of yarn that will some day perhaps end up in a garage sale! I must admit I am a terrible mess when it comes to having oodles of extra yarn around the house. However now that the weather is becoming more enjoyable outside perhaps it's time to join in one of these "Knit From Your Stash-a-thons!" To get you inspired, or just to see what some other ladies are up to here are a few links...join in the fun! http://wendyknits.net/stash2007.htm http://femiknitmafia.blogspot.com/2006/12/knit-from-your-stash-2007.html http://yarngear.blogspot.com/2007/01/knit-from-your-stash-knitting.html http://nigelk.org/knitters/index.php?cat=19 http://chezknit.blogspot.com/2006/12/knit-from-your-stash-2007.html

Posted by on 12 April 2007 | 2:54 pm

Knitting Boot Camp

Boot Camp Yarn? Check. Equipment? Check. Patterns? Check. Know-how? Know-how? Ohhh, you don’t quite have that yet, do you? This chapter is meant to be a kind of boot camp for your knitting needs. You’ll learn the basics in how to read and decipher patterns, standard stitches to make simple pieces, and the importance of gauge (no, not in tires). Once you’ve made it through this section, you should be ready to tackle patterns for single-color scarves and even simpler blankets. AbbreviationsThis may be the first time you’ve decided to learn to knit. Maybe it’s the second, third, or fourth time you’ve tried. Many people pick up the tools, yarn, and books to prepare, then get discouraged and never follow through. Why? The biggest turn-off is probably the work and translation involved in reading knitting patterns. If you’ve ever looked at one, you’ll understand why. They’re riddled with abbreviations, shorthand, and instructions that almost seem to be written in a foreign language. Even the beginning knitter can decipher a few of these phrases, but some are so obscure and rarely used that expert knitters have to look back at references to make sure they’re doing the right thing. It may seem like slow-going right now, but soon enough you’ll have the basics of these abbreviations memorized to the point that you’ll be zipping through patterns in no time flat. In the meantime, print out page 20 and cut along the dashed lines. The chart is the perfect size for a standard index card, so glue it to some cardstock and keep it handy in your knitting bag. For even more durability, laminate the card – you can also add new abbreviations you may come across by using a Sharpie marker. By keeping it close at hand, you’ll be able to ward off those little hiccups that happen when trying to figure out what a pattern means. You may still have problems reading patterns even after picking up some of the more common abbreviations. To help learn the rhythm of knitting instructions, sit down and write the pattern out as you would read it. Once you’ve “translated” it, compare the longer version to the abbreviated terms in the original pattern. Review it several times before beginning. If you’re still having trouble, rewrite the pattern a second time using the abbreviations, but add the translations in parentheses and force yourself to read both while you knit. Writing everything out may get a little annoying, so use your computer to help you learn. A simple word processor is invaluable since you can make the changes easily and print them out when you’re ready to start knitting. If you come across an abbreviation you don’t know, hop online and do a little research. Message boards and online communities are great places for beginning knitters since they allow you to communicate with other knitters of various levels of expertise. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Sarah Beth Wilkinsonhttp://www.knittingtips.comhttp://www.goodknitting.com

Posted by on 11 February 2005 | 9:36 am

Knitting Accessories

What’s a hobby without the opportunity to accessorize? As you work your way through the jungle of knitting accessories, the first investment you’ll want to make is in a suitable knitting tote. While craft stores and websites sell bags made specifically for knitting, these are often anything but attractive. You want to be able to take your hobby out into public, show it off, live it up, don’t you? Check the sketching/drawing/painting section of the craft store instead, as these bags are typically both aesthetically appealing and utilitarian. They feature loops (intended for brushes but often perfect for needles), pockets, and compartments galore to stow all of your paraphernalia in style. And if you don’t find something you like there, shop in regular department stores for standard tote bags! Your second necessity is a tape measure. No, not the huge home improvement metal deal in the garage, a seamstress tape measure. These are about $1 and can be found in any fabric or craft store. You’ll be lost without one. Next, find stitch holders. You’ll need these to grab onto stitches you’ll use later in the project, but they’re also useful to help count stitches. Safety pins, paperclips, diaper pins, and other little doodads around the house can fill this role easily – you’ll figure out what works best for you after a few projects. If you’re working on a pattern with several different colors, bobbins can make the yarn transitions a little bit easier. Think about it. Would you rather have five or six full-size skeins of yarn rolling around on your floor at any given moment or five or six little bobbins sitting on the table next to you? These aren’t a necessity, though, just a convenience. As we go further into more specific stitches and types of knitting, you’ll encounter a few more fun accessories and tools to make your work quicker and easier. We don’t want you going into information overload right away! Okay, you have all of the equipment you need and then some. In the next section we’ll run through some knitting basics, tips, and tricks, then get into the meaty stuff. Are you ready? Let’s get a little enthusiasm going – you’re getting ready to knit! Now… are you ready? That’s more like it. Let’s go! Keep your eyes out for next weeks tip. Sarah Beth Wilkinson http://www.knittingtips.com http://www.goodknitting.com

Posted by on 31 January 2005 | 11:18 am

New Knitting Forum

Hi Guys, I just created a new knitting forum which you can find at http://www.knittingtips.com/forum - I also made a directory of other cool knitting sites online that you can see at http://www.knittingtips.com/links/directory Check them out and let me know what you think! Happy Knitting. Sarah Beth Wilkinson http://www.knittingtips.com

Posted by on 31 January 2005 | 11:17 am

Knitting Needles

So you have the yarn, what else do you need? Let’s see… hmmm… ohhh, needles, right! While there aren’t quite as many varieties of needles as yarn, there are a few. The two basic options you’ll encounter are whether you need straight needles or circular needles. Circular needles, as both their name and shape imply, allow you to knit in circles, ultimately creating a tube. Straight needles come in two sub-varieties, single and double-point. Double-point straight needles help create pieces similar to those created using circular needles, typically round or tubular pieces like socks. Single-point straight needles are the stereotypical knitting needles. With a point at one end and a circular nub at the other, single-point needles are used for flat items like afghans or scarves. After you figure out which type of needle will work best for your project, figure out which size you’ll needle. Er, need. It may sound more daunting than it actually is, since most patterns suggest a needle size and you’ll begin to get the hang of which sizes work best for which projects as you become more and more experienced. The only area in which you may encounter problems is when purchasing needles made by foreign companies, as the US and UK measure needle size differently. To confuse the issue a bit more, many needles are now also marked in metric sizes while the UK measurements are slowly phased out. The easiest way to clarify this is to look at the inside of a running shoe. On the back of the tongue, you’ll see a little chart sewn into the fabric that shows the US sizes in comparison to other international shoe sizes. Luckily, needle manufacturers have similar charts you should be able to find on the back of the needle packages. If you can’t, you’re in luck – there’s one at this link: http://www.goodknitting.com/knittingneedles.html Needles are also available in a variety of materials and colors. Wood and aluminum are the standard materials for today’s knitting needles, but, while less expensive, some knitters dislike aluminum’s tendency toward temperature conduction. Wood and bamboo are the traditional needles of choice. In recent years, however, some manufacturers have managed to make acrylic needles with grip and feel qualities similar to wood while keeping a price tag closer to aluminum. Your selection in needles really comes down to personal preference. If you’re a beginner without a needle to your name, don’t go out and buy a full set. Experiment with a few different materials for different projects and decide which you prefer. To Learn About Knitting Accessories, go to http://www.goodknitting.com Or to read my book, go to http://www.knittingtips.com Thanks, Sarah Beth Wilkinson

Posted by on 17 December 2004 | 9:49 am

Knitting Materials

Material Okay, now you’re ready for the fun part – picking the kind of yarn you want to use! Some patterns dictate exactly what weight and type work best for that project, but exploration and creativity are essential aspects of knitting. Who wants to work word-for-word from someone else’s pattern when you can add your own flair? Choosing yarn can be as simple as finding something you think looks fun and experimenting. Other knitters like to know exactly how the yarn was made and from what materials. If you’re working on pieces for friends and family, you may want to ask about possible wool or other fabric allergies before picking up large quantities of a yarn just because it’s their favorite color. To help you in your search, here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common types of yarn (ooo, another bulleted list!): Synthetics/acrylics : Long the whipping boy of fabric purists for their tendency to pill and fade, acrylics have made a big comeback recently and shown their critics a completely new quality of synthetic. They’re vividly colored, nice to touch, aren’t tasty to bugs, wash easily, and generally don’t need the time and attention wool pieces require. They also tend to be more hypoallergenic, which makes them a great option for babies and those on your gift list who can’t wear wool. Wool : The old, faithful fabric that has served knitters everywhere for hundreds of years. If you’ve taken up knitting to make projects that can be passed to your children, your children’s children, your children’s children’s children… okay, you get the picture. Anyway, if that’s your goal, use wool. It’ll last forever. On the negative side, some people have severe allergies to wool, it needs more intensive care (unless you find one of the newer washable varieties), and it sometimes feels a little coarser against skin. Cotton : Who doesn’t love the feel of cotton? While it can be slightly more difficult to work with than synthetics and wool, cotton is easy to wash, wonderful to wear, and looks great. One of the only other negatives is that cotton is pretty easy to stretch out of shape, so you may not want to use it for kids’ clothing… unless they’re really well-behaved. Novelty : This category is huge and grows exponentially every year. It includes yarns like bouclé, which is instantly recognizable by its zig-zag appearance, chenille, fun fur, eyelash, and hundreds of others. If you’re looking for something funky and different, you’ll find it in this category. But be careful – some novelty yarns are extremely difficult to work with and won’t let you see stitches, which may mean you’ll end up with a large, funky pile of frustration. Long-haired : The yarns in this category are like taking a bubble bath surrounded by candles while eating a chocolate mousse pie (yes, the whole pie) without interruption. They’re pure luxury and include yarns like angora and mohair. Expect to pay more for these, but you can also expect the end result to be glamorous and unique. Because of the price and the relative difficulty, save these yarns for after you’ve had some practice with the cheaper alternatives. If you’ve mastered the standard yarns, try an eyelash or fur novelty yarn before taking on long-haired varieties. Mistakes will be much cheaper. Handmade : With the newfound popularity of both knitting and crocheting, spinning (the art of making yarn from raw wool) is also gaining popularity. A quick search online will come up with thousands of homegrown websites dedicated to handspun yarn, each one of a kind and beautiful for the effort and care taken in creating it. You have two options here – support the existing spinners and buy their yarn or go full-force and learn to spin your own. Since we assume you can figure out how to do the first on your own, we’ll address the second later in the book. Stay tuned for some info about knitting needles! Also, if you haven't seen it yet, check out my website at http://www.goodknitting.com for up to the minute knitting tips and tricks.

Posted by on 19 November 2004 | 9:31 am

Yarn Packaging - Balls, Skeins, Hanks, and Cones

So, we've been learning the fundamentals of knitting here, and now lets talk about yarn just a little more. Before you go rushing off to the store with all of your newfound knowledge, you should really be familiar with the way yarn can be packaged. It may seem unimportant, but the first time you come home with a hank of yarn and end up in tears on the floor because it won’t unravel properly, you’ll get the point of this little review. Skein : Usually any knitter’s dream. Skeins are great because most manufacturers have structured them in a way that allows you to pull your working piece of yarn from the center. This means that you don’t have to unwind and ball the yarn, but it also means that you can work in a smaller, more manageable space. Ball : This should be self-explanatory. If not, you need to find a book even more basic than this one. You usually won’t find yarn sold in ball form at the store – you have to wind them that way yourself. More advanced knitters sometimes have gadgets to help with winding, but you can also do this using a doorknob or a friend’s hands. Hank : A record-setting player for the Atlanta Braves… oops, wrong book. To make a hank, manufacturers or yarn spinners lay out all of the yarn in the shape of a big O. They then twist it into a smaller bunch for easier packaging. Hanks have to be untwisted and rewound into a ball when you want to work with them. Cone : Huge projects can become infinitely more affordable by using cones. Commercial manufacturers use this format when they want to sell over a pound of yarn at a time, but the price per pound is often much less than if you bought the same quantity as a skein. Hope this helps! Sarah Beth http://www.knittingtips.com

Posted by on 26 October 2004 | 10:15 am

Yarn Weight

Today we're going to talk about weight Not yours, the yarn’s. There are several specific weights of yarn, each of which corresponds to different types of projects. You can use unconventional weights for projects when you have a little more experience manipulating it, but for now you’ll want to stick to these guidelines: Worsted weight : This is the most adaptable weight of yarn and therefore the most popular. You can make just about anything with worsted weight, which gives you the added bonus of having more colors and textures from which to choose. Sport weight : If you like basic projects and find yourself sticking mostly to worsted weight, you can easily switch to sport weight for a lighter, more summery feel. It’s a little thinner, so it works perfectly for wispier projects like shawls. Fingering weight : Some of the most popular knitting projects are for babies, and this thinnest yarn weight is ideal for the smaller, more delicate work involved in baby blankets and clothing. It can also be softer than worsted and sport weights which makes it gentler on baby’s skin. Chunky weight : At a heavier weight than worsted, these yarns usually come in fun, bold colors perfect for making thick sweaters, hats, and other winter clothing. As an added bonus, they also work up more quickly than worsted weight. Bulky weight : The biggest, fattest yarn available. If you’re looking for a yarn that can become a fully-formed project in about the time it takes you to make and eat a PB&J sandwich, this is it. (It’s also fun to pair with big, fat needles and pretend you’re a giant!) Double knit weight : This weight has become rarer to find in shops since it toes the line between sport and worsted weights. However, it does give you the flexibility to make projects in either of the other two weights without having to adjust the patterns Next week we'll cover yarn packaging...till then!

Posted by on 6 October 2004 | 12:38 pm

Suiting Up - The Supplies You Need For Knitting

One of the reasons knitting has again become so popular is because it can be one of the cheapest hobbies to adopt. If you exclude high-quality yarns like angora and mohair, you can easily work up a gorgeous knit piece for less than $10 (and that includes the price of your knitting needles!). That same popularity, however, can increase the cost of your hobby through sheer volume. Walk into the craft department at your nearest Super Wal-Mart and you’ll understand immediately – the popularity of both knitting and crocheting has encouraged manufacturers to come up with thousands of new textures, colors, and types of yarn that have never before been available to the general public. Now, if the relatively small crafts department at a superstore has such a wide selection, imagine the vast array at a craft or, heaven forbid, yarn store!The choices can be daunting and confusing for even the experienced knitter. If you’ve been knitting for longer than a month, chances are that your closet/dresser/any open storage area is crammed with scraps, leftovers, and even unopened packages of yarn for the hundreds of projects you planned and never had a chance to finish. Ever consider the cost of all of those pieces? Doesn’t sound like such a cheap hobby anymore, huh?For beginning knitters, yarn displays can be an even bigger pit of quicksand. You may not know exactly what you can make, but you know which yarns feel nice against your skin and which ones have the prettiest colors. Just look at all of them! Surely there has to be something on your skill level that can be made with such fun fabrics! Wait a second, wait a second, put down the chenille. No, really, put it down. Do we need to call security? Before you max out your Visa card just because something feels soft and smooth, there are a few basic facts you should know about yarn. I'll write more about that in my next blog post.

Posted by on 21 September 2004 | 3:16 pm

Yarn Yoga - Getting Started Knitting

So you want to learn to knit, huh? Well, what are your qualifications? You think we’re going to let you just stroll in here like you own the joint, hand you needles, and let you go at it? You do? Hm. Interesting. Maybe we can go at it that way. Welcome to the ranks of new knitters! While knitting has been around for centuries and exists in many different forms throughout the globe, it has enjoyed a renewed popularity recently. Knitting may not have the tie to survival it once had for much of the globe, yet new knitters are getting into a needle habit in droves. Why? Some feel it creates a connection with our heritage in a time when living in the moment is in vogue. Others believe it’s a way of separating oneself from the inundation of technology in our lives. Still others feel that it’s a pastime, something to do while waiting for the kids at soccer practices and recitals. But why do people stick with knitting?Once you get into it, you’ll be asking why people don’t stick with knitting. While it gives your hands something to do, it’s a hobby that allows you to work and create while your mind can roam free or go blank. It’s meditation with tangible results. Many knitters begin working on a pattern only to look down two hours later and realize that they’ve finished half of a baby blanket and feel centered, focused, and refreshed.You don’t have to be flexible to pick up knitting. You don’t have to commit 10 hours a week. But when you’re in need of replenishment or nourishment, you can reach into your knitting bag, get to work, and lose yourself in creativity.

Posted by on 20 September 2004 | 1:18 pm