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Posts from the ‘ask amanda’ Category

Ask Amanda: What does “bind off in pattern” mean?

A few years ago, I was working in a yarn shop when one of our most frequent customers came in with a pattern question. She was an excellent knitter and had tackled lots of challenging projects, but her question that day was a very simple one.

She pulled out an almost-completed sweater worked from the top-down, along with her knitting pattern. “I’m all ready to start binding off, but I’ve never encountered this particular phrase before,” she said, pointing to the last line. I took a closer look at the pattern and saw the words, “bind off in pattern.” Read more

Ask Amanda: How can I control stockinette curling?

Stockinette is probably the most instantly recognizeable knitted fabric. I remember when I finally learned to work stockinette after knitting lots of garter stitch. I looked down at those orderly little rows of Vs, and for the first time I thought “Hey, this is actually looking GOOD!” Read more

Ask Amanda: What’s the difference between Fair Isle and intarsia?

When you’re starting out with color knitting, it can be kind of tricky to understand the difference between Fair Isle and intarsia. Read more

Ask Amanda: How do I fix a dropped stitch?

You know, learning to fix dropped stitches is kind of like learning to ride a bike. At first everything seems wobbly and out of control, but once you start to get the hang of it, it begins to feel like second nature – and before long, you’ll wonder why it seemed so intimidating in the first place.

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Ask Amanda: Should I wind all my hanks right away?

This has happened to me suprisingly frequently: I’ve picked out yarn for a new sweater, and I’m standing at the yarn shop counter with my wallet in hand when the yarn shop employee asks, “Would you like your yarn wound?” I have a tendency to freeze and start overthinking in situations like this… The convenience of having everything wound up for me immediately is very appealing, but there are some other things to think about. How long do I anticipate this project to take? Is it good for the yarn? Can I return an extra hank to the shop if I don’t use it all?

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Ask Amanda: What cast on should I use?

When I first learned to knit, I always asked my mom to do the casting on for me. I was still trying to master the difference between knits and purls, and the cast on somehow felt too complicated to even consider doing myself. Whenever I wanted to start a new project, I’d grab my yarn and needles, then chase down my mom and tell her how many stitches I needed. She would patiently oblige, but I think we both secretly knew this system could not last forever.

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Ask Amanda: What is Kitchener stitch?

You won’t come across it in every knitting pattern, but sometimes it’s necessary to join together two sections of “live” stitches in your knitting. This process is often called grafting or Kitchener stitch, and though it might sound intimidating at first, it’s easy to master. Read more

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