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How to be a more Productive knitter

Have you heard words like Area 51, UFOs and PHDs?

Are you tired of being stuck in Area 51 (your stash) with all your UFOs (unfinished objects) and PHDs (projects half done)?  I’ve put together a list of ways for you to be more productive and organized with your knitting.

Keep Your Stash Under Control

We are all guilty of having too much yarn. You know what I mean. We leave the house and find ourselves in the yarn aisle at Michaels or our favorite LYS, and we just buy. It’s pretty, it talks to you, the shop gal tells you it’s the perfect color for you. Guilty! Why not start buying for a particular project and keep your Area 51 from growing out of control. Whew…done!

sock yarn pile

Choose Projects that you are serious about

Ravelry is the perfect place to spend hours, literally hours, searching for that pattern. You all know what I’m saying, I’m sure. It’s down the rabbit hole you go. But again, it will keep you from having to add on to the house for additional yarn space. *smiling*

Have 2-3 projects going at all times

I know what you’re thinking, “but Deb, you said not to buy yarn just because and I might not have the yarn in Area 51.” I gotcha. Here’s what I propose…you search through Ravelry, find 3 patterns that you’d like to make. One that is super easy and can be done while knitting with friends, one that is a bit more complicated and will take a couple months to finish, and one that makes you excited every time you think about knitting on it. Maybe its a new stitch or some part of the pattern you can’t get enough of. If you have more than 3 projects going at any given time, it will cause you to put them away and forget.

entwined2
Entwined Blanket Pattern
vanilla socks1
Free Vanilla Sock Pattern

Choose a podcast or listen to an audiobook

My favorite thing to do is to watch a knitting podcast or listen to an audiobook while I knit. Even if its a bit more complicated, I find myself able to concentrate on the pattern, yet listen at the same time. Weird, I know. But, it’s also a great use of your time. A couple of my favorites can be found on Youtube: Brooklyn Knitfolk, By the Lakeside, and Grocery Girls.

Take your knitting with you (always)

Remember the one project I mentioned that is super easy and can be done while knitting with friends? Yea, that one. That’s the one you grab on your way out the door in case you’re stuck waiting somewhere, or you are done running errands and just want to find a nice cup of coffee and sit. I do it all the time and love it. Make sure it’s in a cute project bag. Just ‘cuz.

me knitting

What’s your next project?

It’s ok to take breaks. Ravelry is a great place to go to. You can assign yarn and projects. You will find yourself back there, I’m sure, so why not have a list of yarn (in Area 51) that you’d like to knit with next. Assign that along with a pattern for future projects.

With these ideas, you will soon find yourself organized and productive; actually ticking things off that list and getting rid of UFOs and PHDs in your Area 51.

How exciting is that? Please share with me your plan, your new pattern finds, and of course your UFOs and PHDs. I have many myself.

(note to self, go through Area 51 and take your own advice.)

Knit On, friends!

Deb

 

 

 

 

free patterns, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, KAL, knit a long, knitting, knitting patterns

Day 5—knit-a-long

Can you believe it? We’re almost done.
This is the day you will walk away with your dishcloth cloth in hand. 
Recap: √Cast On 38 sts. √Knit 3 rows. √Completed 1st 8 rows of pattern. √Completed 1st 8 rows 6 times, THEN rows 1-3 ONE more time.
Questions?
Now, we’ll knit the last 3 border rows.
Almost Done…
All we need to do is bind off all 38 sts and weave in the ends.
                                                                      Excellent video
 Time to tuck (weave) those ends in.

Done!
I hope you enjoyed this knit-a-long. 
Happy Knitting!
free patterns, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, KAL, knit a long, knitting, knitting patterns

Day 4—Knit-a-long

You’ve gotten pretty far on your dishcloth.  How do you feel about it so far? Problems? Don’t forget to post them here or on our flickr page. I’m here to help, as well as those more experienced knitters in the group, they’ll chime in too.
Okay, Let’ move on. Full Steam ahead, as I say.
Recap: √Cast On 38 sts. √Knit 3 rows. √Complete 1st 8 rows of pattern.
Questions?
Today, and for the next few days, I’m going to ask that you complete those 8 rounds 5 more times, for a total of 6. THEN complete rows 1-3 ONE more time. 
Are you using a checking off system?
            *numbering a piece of paper 1-8 and putting a mark by the row complete
            *using your row counter, then keeping track of how many rounds you do
Whichever way works best, is the method for you. Or maybe you’ve created your own. 
Perfect!
I’ve included a video by one of my favorite people (I know, everyone’s my favorite). Just plain fun to listen to. Enjoy!


I will post the final day’s events over the weekend, so when you’re ready, you can finish up.
Next: Knitting last 3 rows, Binding off, weaving in all your ends.
free patterns, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, KAL, knit a long, knitting

Day 3—Knit-a-long

Yay! We’re on our way…
So, let’s recap…we’ve learned to cast on and knit our first stitches, right?
Now, it’s time to purl and create a sequence of knits and purls! You had a video on Day 2 on How to Purl. If you need to refer back, please do. 
You should have your first 3 rows knitted, easy huh?
The next 8 rows will provide you with the foundation to creating this fabulous modern dishcloth…here we go!

                                       The music is a bit corny, but the technique is spot on! K2, P2.


1st row– K3, *K2, P2* repeat to last 3 sts, K3
You will knit the first 3 sts, then K2 sts, the purl 2 sts. The asterisk means you will repeat ONLY those sts until you reach the last 3 sts. THEN knit the last 3 sts.
          
2nd row – K3, *K2, P2* repeat to last 3 sts, K3
Exactly the same as the 1st row.
3rd row—Knit all sts
Knit all sts. Keep in mind, your K3 border sts are embedded in this row.
           
4th row—K3, P32, K3
You will knit the first 3 sts, then purl the next 32, then knit the last 3
5th row—K3, *K2, P2* repeat to last 3 sts, K3
Exactly the same as the 1st and 2nd row.
6th row—K3, *K2, P2* repeat to last 3 sts, K3
Exactly the same as the 1st, 2nd, and 5th row.
7th  row—K3, P32, K3
Exactly the same as the 4th row.
8th  row—Knit all sts
Exactly the same as the 3rd row.
WooHoo! Round 1 complete. 

How’d you do?
I’ve included an “Oops, I dropped a stitch” video for you to use if necessary. Enjoy!


Alright! You are done for the day and it’s time to celebrate. Glass of wine perhaps?
Set your project aside and be pleased with a job well done. Don’t forget to post your pictures to our fabulous Flickr group. I’ll check in this evening to answer any questions and see your lovely work. 
Remember: This doesn’t have to be perfect, just that you know how to do the stitch. Practice makes perfect.
Tomorrow: Full steam ahead on our way to completing the 8 round pattern 6 times, and the first 3 rows just one more time. Promise, it’s NOT hard.


http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, knit a long, knitting, knitting patterns

Day 2 – Knit-A-Long

We get to knit today!
If you’re new to knitting, please relax and enjoy yourself. This isn’t hard. By the end of the knit-a-long, not only will you have more confidence (my hope anyway), but you will have a completed dishcloth that you can put to use right away…don’t forget Christmas presents. Everyone loves a knitted dishcloth. 
Abbreviations for terms used: whether capitalized or not, means the same thing.
CO—cast on
K—knit
P—purl
BO—bind off
Sts—stitches
Pm—place marker

K2—knit 2
P2—purl 2
*(sts)—repeat between the asterisk

This is what your completed dishcloth will look like.
If you haven’t already, head over to my Ravelry shop and download “Danielle” for FREE. This pattern will only be FREE through Monday, October 17, the last day of our knit-a-long . Also, please read through the pattern so you know what’s to come. 
Let’s Knit!
First things first: Cast on, long tail method.  I included my favorite youtube video to assist you…One of my absolute favorite designers. Enjoy!


CO 38 sts 
Top Border: K 3 rows 

This is English Knit Stitch Method

This is Continental Knit Stitch Method


Choose the method that feels most comfortable to you. My favorite? English.

How’d you do?
Alright! You are done for the day and it’s time to celebrate.
Set your project aside and be pleased with a job well done. Don’t forget to post your pictures to our fabulous Flickr group. I’ll check in this evening to answer any questions and see your lovely work. 
Remember: This doesn’t have to be perfect, just that you know how to do the stitch. Practice makes perfect.
Tomorrow: Learn to Purl & do K2, P2 sequence, as well as, complete your first 8 rows.

See you then!


Deb

http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, knit a long, knitting patterns

The Artful Yarn Knit-A-Long

Welcome to Day 1 of our knit-a-long.
Today is gathering supplies for our project. Tomorrow we get to knit. Yay! These posts will remain on my blog so there is no pressure to finish “on time”.  You can jump in whenever it’s convenient for you.  
I will post each day for a total of 5 days (this being day 1), until the dishcloth is complete.  You are free to leave comments on the post, but most will take place here on our Flickr page. This is a great place for discussion. I’ll post threads that everyone can comment to, as well as you all are free to post threads as well, and I hope you do. Each evening (and probably more often), I will check in to answer questions and check out all your cool pictures. I hope you’ll upload pics of your (w)ork (i)n (p)progress—WIP. It’ll be a ton of fun to see how everyone’s coming along.
I encourage you to go at your own pace, or follow right along with me. We will have all levels involved in this knit-a-long.  Doesn’t matter which one you are; I’m just excited to teach you this dishcloth pattern, at whatever level you’re at. 
Supply List:
1 skein cotton worsted weight—sugar and cream is a great inexpensive yarn to use for these dishcloths, and can be found at Michaels/Hobby Lobby/Joann fabrics. I recommend a lighter color to make it easier to see your stitches. Knits and purls can be kinda tricky on dark yarn. 
Size 7 knitting straight needle—bamboo, acrylic, aluminum…all are great choices. My favorite? Bamboo. It’s sturdy and allows the yarn to “slip” just enough without falling off your needle. But, whatever one you prefer, is the one for you.
Scissors—for snipping ends
Tapestry Needle—to weave in ends 
Stitch Markers—if you prefer to mark your border stitches
Stitch Counter—for counting your rows if necessary
This dishcloth will end up about 8 x 8. The pattern calls for a size 6 needle, but thought for those of you just beginning, and others who prefer a slightly larger dishcloth, this was the right choice. Depending on how tight/loose you knit, will depend on if your dishcloth ends up to be bigger/smaller. Either way, I don’t believe it’s necessary to worry about gauge in a project like this. We’ll do that with future projects.
Your pile of “stuff” will look something like this.  
Your supplies may vary

I’ve chosen one of my most popular designs, Danielle, for this knit-a-long. If this goes well, who know…maybe we’ll meet monthly.  I’m really looking forward to knitting-a-long with you all. This will be a fun project. Ask questions. Remember, there’s NO dumb question. 
One more thing… Head over to my Ravelry shop and download your “Danielle” pattern for FREE.  

That’s it for now.
See you tomorrow!
Deb
dishcloth, dishrag, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, knit a long, knitting, knitting patterns

Knit-A-Long…It’s near

i’m so excited.

been busy getting the posting ready here on this blog. you can expect youtube videos to guide you and pictures to show you what’s needed. i promise, i won’t lead you astray. i have also created a flickr group to keep connected.

too fun!

hope you’ll join me here next tuesday, october 11 for day 1 of my knit-a-long.

as I always say,

knit on,

deb

dishcloth, dishrag, free patterns, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, KAL, knit a long, knitting

Knit-A-Long

i’m so excited to introduce my very first knit-a-long. most knitters know it as KAL. but for those new to the craft (and, i’m ecstatic to be the one to teach this), we’ll refer to it as a knit-a-long.

i’ll post details starting on tuesday, october 11th, then daily after that, taking the weekend to finish up your dishcloth, with the final posting on that following monday. you can go at your own pace or keep right along with me, your choice.

we’ll even have a flickr group…

did i mention you’ll receive one of my patterns for FREE? yep! FREE! it’s a new, and very popular, pattern.

i’ll take you through everything from why you will benefit from joining this knit-a-long, to going through an 8 row repeat pattern and being successful at it.

so, tell all your friends. it’s FREE! it’s FUN! it’s FRESH! it’s not! frightening.

see you next week!


as i always say,

knit on,
deb 🙂