Archive for How To’s

How to block a shawl when you don’t have a lot of space.

When you don’t have a lot of space for blocking a triangular shawl, here’s a nifty technique worth mentioning.

One of my pattern testers used this technique in blocking her shawl. I found it very interesting and worth passing on to you. With her permission I am sharing her photos as well.

Shawl blocking - Photo complements of Marjos in Ravelry

The shawl is folded at the center. Only 2 blocking wires are used, one for the center fold and the other for the top edge.  The points from both sides are pulled down together and pinned. 

Marjos comments that this way of blocking is much quicker since it requires less pinning. However, the only thing that bothers her is that the center fold is noticeable.

Finished shawl complements of Marjos in Ravelry.

Beautiful work!

The shawl being displayed is the Camelot’s Embrace Shawl. You can find more information on this pattern here.

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Ideas on how to wear a shawl.

Nitza with Camelot's Embrace shawlFall is officially here.  It’s that time,  not to hot – not to cold pleasant weather that gets us wanting to wear our shawls and shawlettes.


It’s time to take them out so you can see them.

Take them out of their safe place and use them. Personally, I like to have them out so that I can see them. If I don’t see them, I forget to wear them.

Here are some ideas – Displaying your shawls.
  • Throw them over the back of any chair that you may have in your bedroom.
  • Throw one over the bed much like you would place a decorative throw over your bed. Just put it aside at bedtime.
  • Place over sofa back, assuming its a safe place from little ones or pets.
  • If you have a canopy bed, get creative. There’s lots of ways to display them over your bed.
  • If you have low valance window, you can spread one over the top balance. That’s assuming its low enough that you can reach for it.  Make sure you keep the shawl out of direct sunlight.
  • Display them over furniture such as consoles, dining table, pianos, etc.
Camelot's Embrace Shawl on console
Camelot's Embrace Shawl pattern, Knit Mag.Wear them. 

Ultimately, it’s about wearing those wonderful shawls we invested so much time into making. It’s time to enjoy them.

Here are some ideas – How to wear a shawl. 
Since I wear my shawls much like scarves, I find many uses for them during the cool or cold weather. I like to wrap them around my neck under my coat. When I remove my coat, I have a lovely shawl/shawlette to flatter my outfit.
Honestly, I was going to make a video for this post, but after finding these other wonderful videos, I decided to just share them. No sense reinventing the wheel here.

Ways of wearing a shawl by Knit Picks

How to wear a triangular shawl

How to wear a scarf

Logo dragon fly ONLY

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The Mystery of the Missing Stitch

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Very little is written about this stitch.  It’s as if it never disappeared. But it did. What stitch is this?

The Provisional Cast On –Crochet Method – Missing Stitch

Ever used the Provisional Cast On and notice that you had one less stitch when you picked up the stitches from the second half? You probably thought you did something wrong. But you didn’t.

Here’s why.

When you pick up your first stitch from the crochet chain, you will notice that that first stitch is not grounded. In other words, the end is just hanging and not tied to anything. You can continue to pick up stitches and knit as usual with no problem, however, when its time to unravel the crochet chain and pick up the live stitches, that first stitch since its not grounded, will disappear. Poof.

Here’s a video I found. Provisional Cast On Live Stitches

So if you come across a pattern that instructs you to use the Provisional Cast On with crochet hook and makes no mention of the missing stitch, make sure you have the right amount of stitches needed for your pattern. You may have to do some fudging if not.

Fudging it imageFudging/Troubleshooting  – Check pattern to see how many stitches you need. To get the correct amount of stitches, increase or decrease one stitch at the beginning or end of the next RS. This would probably work for most patterns but use your judgment. The idea is to make the increase/decrease in a place that is inconspicuous.
Avoiding the missing stitch dilemma all together  – It all comes down to the fact that the first picked up stitch is not grounded. So if you wrap the loose end of the first picked up stitch with the working yarn while picking up the next few stitches (much like you would in color work) you will secure it and the stitch won’t disappear.Endless Knits LogoEndless Knit logo



New knitting technique for sock heel by Cat Bordhi

Knitted Socks

There are many ways of knitting the heel of a sock. But there is always room for new techniques. Cat Bordhi has just released a new technique that makes for a really cool heel. It’s actually more of a wedge. And for those who want a wider heel this is perfect.

Take a look at Cat’s Sweet Tomato Heel Sock video tutorial.

Cat\’s Sweet Tomato Heel Socks video

Another version of this great technique is the Cat’s Padded Sweet Tomato Heel.

Cat\’s Padded Sweet Tomato Heel Socks video

I can’t wait to try these out on my next sock project. Endless Knits Logo


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How to Block

Before & After Blocking

Basic Blocking

  1. Soak piece for 15 minutes in warm water.  I like using a wool rinse such as Eucalan Woolwash ( rinse is optional)
  2. While you are waiting, take a large towel or one large enough for the piece and spread it out. You will be placing the piece on it later.
  3. Once it’s done soaking, using both hands, carefully remove the piece from the water. Do not wring or twist piece. It is very delicate at this point. Press both palms of your hand together to squeeze some of the water out. It will still be wet and may even be dripping a little bit. That’s ok.
  4. Place the piece on the towel and spread it out carefully not to over stretch.
  5. Roll the towel from one end to the other end as if to make a pastry roll.
  6. Now press on the towel to remove the excess water. I like to but the roll on the floor and walk on it. That does a great job of getting the water out.
  7. Now you’re ready to spread the piece over the blocking mats and pin into proper shape. If you don’t have blocking mats, get creative and use anything that will allow you to put pins through it. Some use the guest bed for blocking, placing the piece over a dry towel and pinning down through the mattress. 
  8. Wait until the piece is totally dry before removing the pins. This may take 1 –2 days.
  9. Once blocked and after the piece relaxes, if it had been stretched too much during blocking, it is not unusual for it to shrink back a bit.
Blocking garments that require seaming and putting together such as sweaters and cardigans.
  • Unless specifically instructed, all pieces should be blocked before seaming. Follow same directions above. 
  • Block pieces to dimension according to pattern schematics. For example, if I am blocking the back piece of a cardigan, I will want to form the back piece to fit the proper dimensions. These dimensions include the width, length, armhole depth, back width, or any other dimension noted on the schematics for that particular piece.
  • I like to use masking tape to mark my blocking board. I will put a long strip on the top and bottom of the board, then on both right and left side. Then using a measuring tape, I mark the masking tape to indicate where and how the piece will be spread. 
  • Once all the pieces have been blocked to the right size and dimensions, you will find it easier to do the seam.

Blocking Lace

When blocking lace, something quite magical happens. To bring out the beauty in knitted lace, it needs to be blocked. Blocking relaxes the stitches and opens up the eyelets. It’s as if it has been delicately ironed.
To make “point” at the edge of a shawl, use pins to stretch out the area where you want a point.