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Knitting 'Top Tips'

Knitting ‘Top Tips’

Q: What is the difference between yon and yrn ?

A: Knitters in different countries use different terns which is SO confusing.

I wish we could all agree a common set of terms to use worldwide – that would be so much easier! But, in general – yon (yarn over needle) is followed by a knit stitch, yrn (yarn round needle) is followed by a purl stitch.

Some knitters use yo (yarn over) and some use yfwd (yarn forward),

Whatever term you use – each of these makes an extra stitch by passing the yarn from the front to the back over the needle to make an extra stitch.

Q: How do you cast off at the end of a row?

A: To cast off 3sts at the end of a row ~ You work across the row until you have 3sts on your left hand needle. Knit the first stitch, knit the second stitch and pass the first stitch over the second. Knit the last stitch and pass the second stitch over it. You will now have a loop – cut the yarn and pull it through the loop. Easy !

Q: Why do you slip the first stitch of each row?

A: I was trained to be a pattern writer at Sirdar – and I have chosen to keep to the ‘rules’ I learned there. If you slip the first stitch of every row knitwise, and knit the last stitch - you get a neat edge – and a little ‘bump’ at the row ends (one bump for every 2 rows), which you can use when joining pieces if required. Every knitter develops their own ‘style’ over time. There is often no right or wrong method. Just do whatever works best for you.

Q: I am a tight knitter (or loose knitter) what should I do?

A: To get the correct tension/gauge - therefore the correct finished size – you may need to change your needle size.

Tight knitters may have to use a size bigger needle than the pattern states.

Loose knitters may have to use a size smaller needle than the pattern states.

Q: What size / weight are preemie babies?

A: Small Preemie Babies ~ 1.5 - 3.5lb / 0.7 - 1.6kg

Medium Preemie Babies ~ 3.5 - 5.5lb / 1.6 - 2.5kg

Large Preemie Babies ~ 5.5 - 7.5lb / 2.5 - 3.4kg Newborn Babies ~ 7.5 - 10lb / 3.4 - 4.5kg

Q: How do I upsize or downsize a pattern?

A: The easiest way is to use thinner or thicker yarn, with the appropriate size needles.

If you follow a DK pattern for a 6 - 9 months baby - and use 4ply yarn and 3.25mm needles instead - the finished item will be perfect for a 0 - 3 months baby.

Q: Why are toys knitted with smaller needles than is usual?

A: Knitting with smaller needles gives a stiffer, more dense fabric. This helps stop any stuffing from showing through. It looks better and is safer too.

Q: How do I join in a new yarn?

A: Always join in a new yarn at the beginning of a new row.

If you find a knot in the yarn when you are halfway along a row – take a deep breath and unpick the stitches back to the beginning. It is always worth it!


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