#7. Stitch Markers

IMG_20180218_1944260_rewindI love stitch markers!!  They are very helpful to me as reminders and to help me count stitches.  I use one at the start of every pattern repeat.  Also at the border.  So for my prayer shawl there is one color after the first two stitches because the border is only two stitches wide followed by markers every 10 stitches because the repeat pattern is every ten stitches.  There is a final marker that is the same color as the first marker to show that I’m back at the border.  This helps me quickly see if I’ve dropped or added a stitch in a pattern repeat and exactly which pattern repeat has the error.

In the picture, I use green stitch markers to signal the beginning of the cable pattern of my sock.  The orange marker reminds me that I’m back to the border pattern.  Not visible in the picture, but I also have a maker in the middle of the bottom set of stitches both to remind me that this section is the nonpattern section and to help me keep count on this section.  If I drop or add a stitch, I can easily figure out which side has the error since it usually occurs at the beginning or end of a row.

This round colored metal markers are by far my favorite.  I have only found them at Hobby Lobby.  I bought some of the plastic “pins” on Amazon that are brightly colored but they come unattended way too easily.  So recently bought so colored metal “pins” on Amazon.  They are much better than the plastic ones but the pear shape of the pin sometimes causes the narrower part of the pin to catch on the needle when trying to transfer from one needle to the next.  Since I use so many markers in my knitting, I need the markers to transfer easily so as not to slow down my knitting.  The round ones are best but are much more expensive and only a few colors.  I hope to figure out how to more successfully use my colored “pins”.

#6. Project Bags

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I love colorful quilted bags as my project bags.  They have zippered tops so that my accessory containers don’t fall out when the bag falls over.  They have pockets inside to hold the accessory containers.  And they are relatively cheap on Amazon, like $15-18.  The bags make it easy to grab the project(s) I want to work on.

The bag on the left holds my current sweater project.  I still use the mesh bags to hold the ball of yarn I’m working on.  The quilted bag does a nice job of holding the mesh bag as I pull yarn from the yarn ball as I knit.  I can even keep a one or two spare balls of yarn in the bag.  I also keep an accessory container so that I have stitch markers and needle point protectors.  I also have an accessory bag that holds small scissors, a crochet hook for dropped stitches, tape measure, etc.

The bag in the middle holds two sock projects.  I have three mesh bags inside as I’m using a contrast color for the toes and heels.  (See Post #5).  I also have accessory packs in this bag.

The bag on the right has my prayer shawl project.  This bag turned out not to be as wide as I would prefer but is fine for my shawl.  The pattern is simple so I don’t need accessories.

The quilted bags are also nice for plane travel.  I can use one as my purse.  The inside pockets then are great for holding my phone and credit card wallet.

A year and a half of knitting.  I’m still learning what I prefer in accessories, needles, and projects.  I think this is going to be a rest of life pleasure.

#5. Socks

My new fun thing is knitting socks.  I like them because both my son and daughter can enjoy them.  The pair on the left I made for my daughter.  The second pair is actually the first pair I made and they are for my son.  He loves bright “crazy” socks.  He already owns more than 50 pairs of socks.

I took a footie sock class last summer although I didn’t finish the pair.  The cuff was too loose and I didn’t like the “star” toe.  I pulled out the yarn and reused it to make the socks for my daughter.  It is an elastisized yarn.  I have several colors to make socks for either my son or daughter.

The second pair is from a sock class I took this fall.  It is made with the smaller fingering yarn, typical for socks.  The pattern is more genetic so it is good for males.  It is a cuff down sock.

The third and fourth pairs are from a class in January/February that was a toe up sock.  I agree I like this method better because you can simply weigh the yarn before starting so you know when you have used half the weight.  That’s when to stop the length (having allowed enough to make the cuff).  I also prefer the short row method of making the heel.  Using a different color yarn for the toe and heel is fun but not required.

I’ll be taking another sock class in May that is also toe up.  I already have a stash of sock yarn so I’m sure to be busy this fall making socks for Christmas gifts.