My top 10 tips for a perfect result every time.
Firstly this is my number one rule…………. Always knit the first and last stitch on every row regardless of the pattern or the instructions. This is the rule you need to always obey, this is what separates the good from the not so good. Remember the first stitch is used for your seam, when you’re ready to sew your pieces together matching the rows will be a breeze and your knitting will lie flat, no more rolled edges.
Second. When casting off use a larger size needle – the larger needle allows you to cast off firmly and evenly without pulling the work tight, so it has sufficient elasticity. More about casting off in Knitting Know How.
Third. Always use the best yarn you can afford, try not to waste all your effort on a cheap yarn that might not last until the first wash. Think what your time is worth and invest in yourself. Buying yarn is the best, I spend hours looking at yarn. I tend to go for naturals, so its wool he cooler months and cotton or linen summer months. Cotton is also a good choice for cushion covers, bags and the like because it washes so well and bounces back into shape every time.
Fourth. Spend time researching patterns. Keep your eye on the target and try to keep it simple. I’ve lost count of the number of items I’ve made over the years that took months to create and whilst I gained satisfaction from the end result the reality is only I appreciate the level of difficulty. It’s worth investing in a few basic pattern books, we’ll cover this later.
Five. AWAYS weave in the yarn ends. It would be such a pity to spend all your precious time making the perfect items and then rush through the finishing and have it all fall apart! Details in Knitting Know How.
Six. Faults in the yarn. If you come across a fault; it might be a small knot or a break in one or more of the fibers you need to treat it the same way you would when starting a new ball. Try and leave these faulty ends at the end of a row at least leave them on the reverse of the work leaving enough yarn to cut cleanly and weave in later.
Seven. Adding a new ball. Add a new ball and the end/beginning of a new row this ensures a stronger more uniform end result and the left over yarn can be used later for sewing the article together. More details in Kitting Know How.
Eight. Know your tension and adjust the needle size to suit your knitting style. You only need to work and test a couple of samples to understand your needle size adjustments. Don’t ignore this, as tiresome as it is you really do want your finished article to be the size you planned. For more details refer to Knitting Know How.
Nine. Knitting needles I don’t use plastic needles and I’m reluctant to use bamboo because I hold the needles quite firmly and have had many experiences of braking needles in the middle of my work, it always seems to happen when a replacement isn’t available and I don’t even want to talk about picking up the lost stitches. So for this reason I use metals needles and wood only for large sizes.
Ten. Have Fun. Relax and enjoy the experience. Invest in some of the beautiful new yarns that can create intricate color combinations with minimal effort. And remember to Keep it Simple.