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Posts by amandakeep

Ask Amanda: Which side of my knitting is the right side?

Remember what it was like before you learned how to read? Every time I wanted to know what something said, I’d have to ask my mom or dad. Letters looked like weird scribbles, and I was always in awe of older kids and their almost magical ability to decipher writing.

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Ask Amanda: What if I find a knot in my yarn?

During college I worked part-time at a yarn shop. One day a customer came in clutching a big black trash bag, which was kind of unusual. As I approached her, she opened the bag to reveal the most gigantic hank of yarn I have ever seen in my life. This thing was monstrous – it was big enough for my 5-year-old cousin to use as a beanbag chair. With a look of desperation in her eyes, she asked a question that still cracks me up to this day: “Can I use your ballwinder for a minute?”

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Ask Amanda: What do I do with an extra stitch?

When I was a teenager, I decided to teach a learn-to-knit class for kids at one of the yarn shops in my hometown. One of the girls seemed to catch on especially fast, so I let her do her thing and spent more time helping another student get started. When I looked up again, the speedy girl was still busily clicking her needles, but I was shocked to see that her knitting was getting wider instead of longer! Read more

Ask Amanda: How do I slip a stitch?

As a beginner knitter, I found slipped stitches (or slip stitches, as they’re also written) to be some of the most vague directions when following a pattern (the photo on the left shows off the beautiful stitch texture of Tracery from NGV12, which combines slipped stitches with lace).

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Ask Amanda: How do I change to a new ball of yarn?

When you’re knitting something large enough to require more than one ball of yarn, your first ball will eventually run out and it will be time to change to a new one.

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Ask Amanda: Why should I knit a gauge swatch?

It’s the ultimate test of self-control. You’re eager to start a new sweater project – all the beautiful yarn is sitting on the couch next to you, the pattern is waiting on your lap, and the recommended needle is in your hands. Why in the world would you knit a tiny, seemingly useless square when you could be starting on the actual sweater?

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Ask Amanda: I’m just completely stuck – what do I do?

I think it’s happened to everyone – no matter what you try, something about your latest knitting or crocheting project isn’t right. You’re completely stuck and frustrated, and nothing is working! In cases like this, I’m convinced that the best answer is to put the project away and do something else.

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