Designer Knitting Tips - Part TwoToday I have part two of our knitting designer and magazine editor tips to share...........
"We're all so time pressured these days our leisure time is precious so when you knit, get the best yarn you can afford. It's a treat for your hands and it will last! I couldn't be without the leather Mulberry tape measure that a good friend bought me for my 40th birthday!"
"Don't be frightened of knitting patterns! If you can knit and purl you can do anything. If you ever get stuck there are loads of YouTube videos, lovely helpful yarn shops and knitting groups who can help to guide you through a new challenge......Just always have something simple on the go at the same time in case you get frustrated!
I couldn't live without my row counter App on my phone. I'm rubbish at keeping count!"
"Knitting a tension square before you start your project is the most important tip I can give. Achieving the correct tension for your pattern will assure that your finished garment will fit you and measure correctly. If your tension is too loose, then reknit the swatch on smaller needles, if your tension is too tight then reknit the swatch on larger needles, do this until you achieve the tension stated on the pattern. Please do take time to do this, after all you invest so much time and money in making a hand knitted garment. As a designer I want my designs to fit you perfectly and that you will wear them for many years to come.
I could not be without my favourite Rowan yarns - Felted Tweed and British Sheep Breeds Chunky."
Kirtsy McLeod (Commissioning Editor - Simply Knitting)
"If I 'm making something with loads of repeat patterns I use stitch markers or mini hair bands between the repeats so I know where I am if I stop for a cup of tea. I couldn't be without a notepad and pencil so I can draw, write and chart out parts of the pattern".
Sarah Neal (Editor of Let's Knit)
"When choosing colours for Fair Isle projects it's important to pick ones that contrast strongly with each other, and I find the best way to do this is to view them in black and white. I knit a small swatch, take a photo of it on my phone and then convert it to mono. Colours that are tonally too similar will merge together, but if the contrast is successful the pattern will be clearly visible.
I couldn't be without the yarn bowl I was given at Christmas, I love it! No more balls of yarn bouncing across the floor and needing to be retrieved from under the sofa. It even makes a nice centrepiece on the coffee table."
Belinda Boaden from True Brit Knits
"Write everything down as you never will remember what you thought you would and I couldn't be without a pocket calculator and straight bamboo needles."
Kate Heppell (Editor Knit Now)
"Learn to enjoy swatching! So many people see swatching as a chore, but I've really come to enjoy the process of finding the perfect tension for my yarn and project, and the security of knowing that the finished item is going to come out the right size. It's also a great opportunity to get to know your yarn, make sure you've chosen the right type of needles and to practice any tricky stitches or techniques before you launch into this project.
I couldn't be without my project bags. I'm a pretty chaotic knitter, with at least ten projects on the go at any one time, so I need something to keep me organised. I love splashing out on special project bags - I think I probably spend more on them than I do on yarn! I keep them all in a box with the yarn, needles, notions and pattern together, so I can easily pick up whichever project takes my fancy on any given day."
Deborah Bradley (Editor in Chief The Knitter)
"If you're trying to work something out, take it away from where you usually knit. Put everything you need on the kitchen table and spend a bit of time puzzling it out, whether you're adapting a pattern, you think you've made a mistake or you're trying to design something of your own. It's amazing how a change of location, a 'desk' and getting out of a comfy chair can help!
I coudn't be without a small crochet hook to rescue the occasional dropped stitch (usually caused by lapses of concentration when there's something really exciting on the TV!)"