When I first started knitting, I made only scarves and I never used a pattern. In an effort to expand my knitting horizons, my mom bought me a pattern for a hat, along with the recommended yarn. It was a pretty simple pattern so it wasn’t too hard to decipher, until I got to the… Continue reading Ask Amanda: How do I fasten off at the top of a hat?
Back when I was still a new knitter, I came across a gorgeous hank of alpaca in a really pretty color. I knew it would make a beautiful sweater, but there was only one hank of the color I liked on the yarn shop’s shelf. When I took it up to the counter to ask… Continue reading Ask Amanda: What’s a dye lot?
One of my first design projects was a tank top knit with a beautiful blue bamboo yarn. I happily planned out the design, then knitted it. Once it was finally finished, I could hardly wait to try it on, but when I took a look in the mirror, I noticed that the armholes went down… Continue reading Ask Amanda: What’s the best way to measure my knitting?
Counting rows in knitting can be a tricky business. I had a lot of trouble learning to do it accurately - I’d routinely count the number of rows over and over, ending up with different numbers every time! Learning to count rows will make any knitting project easier (Hami, the tank top pictured, is a… Continue reading Ask Amanda: How do I count my rows?
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. In the same way learning… Continue reading Ask Amanda: Which side of my knitting is the right side?
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… Continue reading Ask Amanda: What if I find a knot in my yarn?
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… Continue reading Ask Amanda: What do I do with an extra 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). It seemed like an easy concept - just transfer the next… Continue reading Ask Amanda: How do I slip a stitch?
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. At its most basic, adding new yarn is as simple as it sounds. You just stop using the old ball and start knitting… Continue reading Ask Amanda: How do I change to a new ball of yarn?
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… Continue reading Ask Amanda: Why should I knit a gauge swatch?