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Knitting & Crocheting

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The Art of Knitting

Knitting in always associated with arrival of a new born. The sight of a
pregnant mother, knitting small sweaters for her child is a well known scene
for many. It is said that when you knit a sweater or a scarf with your own
hands, and gift it to your loved ones, it signifies the concern and love that
you feel towards them.

During ancient times it was compulsory for all young women to be acquainted
with the art of knitting. But due to the invention of knitting machines, it
became more of a recreational activity.

Knitting, literary means the method by which a thread or a yarn is weaved to
prepare a cloth. Thread loops which hold together al the threads is known as
stitches. These loops or stitches are pulled through each other. The two
stitching needles hold the active loops until a new loop is put through them.

Although knitting by using machines belongs to the contemporary times, the art
has its roots, in the ancient Egypt civilization. During an excavation in Egypt
a beautifully knitted cotton sock was found, which dates to the later half of
the first millennium AD. The first Commercial application of knitting was done
in Paris in the year 1527, when the first knitting trade guild was started.

Immediately after the invention of the knitting machine, hand knitting lost its
importance. But recent study shows that at the turn of the 21st century, this
art has regained its position and is the rage with the people inn the metros.
To knit the woolen threads into cloth, two knitting needles are used.

These needles are available in a wide variety, ranging from bamboo needles,
glass needles, circular knitting needles and so on. The type of the needles
decides the distance between two stitches. Hence by using different types of
needles knitters can create variations in their product.

As the needles vary in their size and types so does the type of yarn. The two
basic types of yarn are the S-twisted yarn and the Z-twisted yarn. Though many
knitters use yarns in not more than single color, variations can be created by
using different colored yarns. To increase the durability of the knitted
product, a single thread of synthetic yarn combined with pure wool is used.
This not only increases the durability, but produces a product that need low
maintenance than a pure woolen product.

Once the knitters are well aquatinted with the different types of stitches like
stockinet, purl, garter and so on. He can add some decorations to his knitted
product, to improve the wear and look of the fabric. Bobbles, sequins, beads
etc compliment the beauty of a knitted object. Embroidery and applique work can
also be done to give the object a professional touch.

If the embroidery on an object resembles knitting, then it is known as Swiss
darning. Colored beans, leaves, flowers etc can be added to the final product
to increase its beauty. These objects can be knitted into the garment using
applique work.

Knitting enthusiasts can work magic using different types of stitches,
textures, yarns and decorations, once they are well rehearsed with the basics.
Knitting is an art that requires imagination and creativity. After learning the
basics, it is your enthusiasm and creativity that guides your way in the
beautiful world of knitting.

Hence the beginner who are learning the art of knitting, should keep their
scope for imagination wide, to absorb the beautiful world outside.

Knitting Techniques

A wide variety of techniques add colorful dimensions to the process of
knitting. Good quality knitting supplies combined with creativity, imagination
and skills help produce a perfect finished product. Techniques to knit the yarn
in a variety of ways help in creating a variety of patterns and designs on cloth.

Knit stitches and purl stitches form the basics of knitting. Alternate use of
knit and purl stitches helps form interesting designs on a fabric. The knit
stitch is formed by making loops that interweave each other. It resembles 'V'
patterns when viewed from the knit side of the pattern. The purl stitch
resembles a 'brick face'. Knitting techniques make use of a large variety of
knitting stitches which include Fair Isle, tuck stitch, slip stitch,
Stockinette stitch, striped stock stitch, stock stitch etc.

The stocking stitch, a simple form of knitting stitch is used widely in the
process of knitting. It is used for making stable fabrics that curl up when the
fabric is stitched completely. This type of stitch is used widely in pullovers,
sweaters and other such garments.

A variant of the stocking stitch, a striped stocking stitch is a very easy
fabric to produce. In this type of stitch, a new color can be incorporated in
every row. But a color should be used in an even number of rows before moving
on to the next row.

The tuck stitch is a knitting technique of producing a textured pattern of
cloth. This type of stitch can be created only by using a knitting machine.
Depending on the knitter's preferences, either side of the cloth can be used as
the right side. Two or more colors can be included a tuck stitch pattern. The
slip stitch is less textured than the tuck stitch and uses one or more colors
in the fabric pattern.

A Fair Isle stitch is a stitch whereby two colors can be included in a single
row. This stitch pattern can be produced on machines using patterning devices
or on olden style machines by hand selection of needles. A simple Stockinette
stitch is composed of alternate rows of knit stitches and purl stitches.

Knit-weaving is a knitting technique of producing a thicker fabric by knitting
the purl side of the fabric. But this technique makes use of a weaving yarn,
which is quite thick as compared to the knitting yarn. Plating is a technique
whereby two strands of yarn are held in a way that one appears to be in front
of the other. Striking effects can be created on a ribbed fabric through
plating.

Another interesting knitting technique is that of producing a double jacquard
fabric. This fabric can be produced using a knitting machine with a patterning
device. The double jacquard has two reverse colors across the fabric.

Those planning to start with a piece of knit work could follow a few techniques
as an aid to produce a fine finished product. These pertain to the size of the
needle, the type of yarn and type of patterns and designs.

Supplies For Knitting

Knitting is a popular activity the world over. But like the olden days, this
activity is no more confined to a needle and a yarn. The world of knitting
supplies is vibrant and expansive. One can choose from a vast variety of
knitting supplies.

Needles, yarn, buttons and clasps, stitch markers, knitting needle gauge,
snippet thread, textile shears, needle storages, knitting machines, knitting
software, magnifying glasses, stitch holders, knitting kits, knitting books
etc. are few entities on the huge list of knitting supplies. They lend a whole
new meaning to the process of knitting.

The quality of the finished product in the process of knitting is determined
largely by the quality of the knitting yarn. Yarns come in a huge variety.
Knitting yarns are generally composed of materials like natural alpaca, durable
acrylic, bamboo, cotton, corn, nylon, polyester, cashmere, merino wool, rayon
and others.

Different types of yarns are used for different purposes. For example, a
special type of soft yarn is used for making knit-wear for babies, while bulky
weight yarn is used for making yarn accessories.

Knitting needles are considered among the most important knitting supplies.
These come in several types and sizes. The most commonly used knitting needle
is a straight needle with a capped knob at one end and a taper at the other.
The other types of knitting needles include circular needles, double-pointed
needles etc. Many manufacturers supply multi-colored needles. One can also
avail to hundred of options of needle kit sets.

Knitting gauges used for measuring knitting needle size are fast becoming
popular in the world of knitting supplies. They comprise holes of different
sizes wherein the knitter can insert his/her knitting needle and determine its
size. Knitting gauges come in the size range of 3-5 inches. An ally of knitting
needles, knitting storages are available in several varieties. Straight needles
can be stored in attractive cases. Circular needles can be hung on decorative
hangers.

Several knitting supplies aren't used directly in the process of knitting,
nevertheless are important. Stitch markers available in assorted colors are
used for marking/highlighting stitches. Wool combs having plastic handles
remove fuzz and pilling from woolen garments. Textile shears, also called
knitting scissors are useful in cutting multiple layers of thick fabric.
Needle-point protectors are rubber caps that prevent stitches from coming off
the needles.

T-pins are used for blocking knitted garments. Having an approximate length of
12 cm, stitch holders protect against the loss of stitches. Linen testers and
magnifying glasses can be used in a number of textile related activities. They
can be used for analyzing both, raw yarn and the finished product. Buttons and
clasps in materials like wood, mirrors, ceramic etc. are used for decorating
knitted products.

The other knitting supplies include books, software, gift kits and other
material pertaining to knitting-related activities. Books on knitting written
by professionals and industry experts provide the perfect guidance. Several
websites on knitting provide tips, news, techniques and step-by-step methods.
One can choose from a wide variety of knitting software available on-line and
through other sources.

Knitting gift kits comprise all the important knitting tools along with step by
step illustrations which facilitate knitting. They make for the most cute and
innovative gifts.

The world of knitting supplies is large, growing by the day and is spreading
smiles across the faces of all knitting enthusiasts.

Knitting Yarn

The knitting yarn plays a pivotal role in the process of knitting. The quality
of a finished knit product depends entirely on the quality of yarn used.
Hundreds of colorful types of yarns surround you. But it is extremely essential
to select a yarn material that suits your chosen project.

Knitting yarns come in a variety of weights. The weight of a yarn refers to its
thickness. One can choose from a wide variety of yarn weights which range from
super bulky to super fine. It is important for a knitter to choose yarn with
the right weight as it is the yarn weight that determines the total number of
stitches he/she can produce with the yarn.

One can choose from the multitude of varieties of knitting yarns. These are
composed of several types of materials like cotton, bamboo, mercerized cotton,
wool, organic cotton, silk, ribbon, mothproof etc. Different materials of yarns
are used for different projects.

Knitting yarn made out of wool is probably the most popular variety of yarn. It
is used widely in knitting projects. The crimps in the wool's fiber make its
bulky. This is probably the reason why wool keeps us snug in winters. Thin
wools have more crimp than coarser wools. Objects knitted using wool yarn
generally are durable, warm and long-lasting.

A relatively new entry in the world of knitting, the bamboo yarn is fast
becoming popular. The bamboo grass is harvested, distilled into cellulose and
spun into yarn. The bamboo yarn is an anti-bacterial and thus is preferred by a
large number of people. A fabric knitted using a bamboo has a great drape, good
luster and is quite cool and breathable.

Cotton yarn is light-weight and cool. Although many people dislike knitting a
cotton yarn, it carries many an advantage. A fabric made out of cotton yarn
holds together well and doesn't pill. Besides, it is durable, strong and
machine washable. Cotton yarn can be dyed in a variety of colors thereby making
your projects more colorful.

Mercerized cotton yarn, a high-end variety of knitting yarn is more lustrous
than conventional cotton. This shiny yarn adds a touch of elegance and beauty
to all finished products. Organic cotton yarn, a variety of knitting yarn
produced using organic cotton has made a sparkling foray in the world of
knitting. It is gaining popularity as more and more people are turning to
organic/natural products.

Recycled silk yarn as the name implies is made from recycled silk, more
precisely the waste silk from industrial mills in India. Small projects like
bags, hats, scarves, wraps etc. can be accomplished by using recycled silk
yarn. The colorful ribbon yarn made from materials like cotton, nylon, rayon
etc. is taking the world of knitting by a storm. It is used widely in several
decorative projects.

Mothproof wool is a simple knitting yarn treated with chemicals to repel moths.
The soft texture of the natural alpaca yarn is irresistible. This high quality
fiber is soft, buttery and a lot of fun to work with.

The world of knitting yarns is huge and enchanting. The bright and colorful
knitting yarns add a lot of excitement to the process of knitting.

Knitting Stitches

They play a vital role in any knitted fabric. The shape, type and pattern of
these stitches add to or take away from the appeal of the finished product.
They also determine the quality of the fabric. The stitches produced using
knitting machines are generally more even-textured than the ones produced by
hand/manually. Some are easier to produce with hand knitting, while the others
are easier to produce with knitting machines.

Hundreds of beautiful patterns can designs can be created on cloth with the aid
of knitting stitches. These stitches combined with purls can literally create
visual effects on cloth. Permutations and combinations in these stitches and
purls create fabulous effects on cloth. Purls, stitches and wales combined
together, literally create the most interesting patterns and designs ever.

The easiest form of knitting stitches is the stocking stitch. It is used for
creating stable fabrics that curl up when one is done with knitting. This type
of stitch is usually used in making pullovers, single-colored sweaters, shawls
etc.

The striped stocking stitch is a type of stitch whereby a new color can be
incorporated in every stitch row. But on a machine, an even number of rows
should be knitted before making color changes in the succeeding rows. If a
person is hand-knitting, then he/she can create several interesting designs
with a 'striped stock stitch'.

The 'Fair isle' patterns of stitches take the process of knitting to an
entirely different level. By means of this pattern of stitch, one can
incorporate two colors in every row. These stitch patterns can be knitted on
machines with patterning devices (electronics, punch cards etc.) or on older
models of machine by hand-selection of needles. One can create appealing visual
effects of cloth through the Fair Isle stitch.

The 'tuck stitch' is a textured pattern that can be created only with the use
of a knitting machine. One cannot produce this stitch by means of hand
knitting. Either side of the fabric can be used as the right side. This depends
on the knitter's preferences. One can incorporate two or three colors in a
fabric with this type of stitch.

The 'slip stitch' is a variant of the tuck stitch. It is less textured than the
tuck stitch. The slip stitch thus isn't as appealing as the tuck stitch. One can
incorporate one or more colors on a fabric that is knit using this type of
stitch.

The 'knit stitch', a very common type of stitch is formed by making loops which
interweave one another, alternately. When viewed from the knit side of the
pattern, the knit stitch will resemble 'v' patterns. The 'purl stitch', another
basic stitch resembles a 'brick-face'.

The 'Stockinette stitch' is one of the most widely used knitting stitches. It
consists of alternate rows of knit and purl stitches.

Besides, the aforementioned knitting stitches, there are many and other
knitting stitches that add several dimensions to the activity of knitting. In
fact, more and more knitting stitches are being incorporated by the day in the
world of knitting.

We have beautiful patterns and designs on our sweatshirts, pullovers, shawls,
scarves, socks etc, courtesy the enchanting knitting stitches.

Knitting Socks

One of the best arts and a nice activity to spend the leisure period. Most of
the people love knitting socks and they do this work as a hobby. It is
interesting to learn about knitting socks. Decide first about which sock
pattern you prefer and arrange the stitches squarely according to the pattern.
This indicates your pattern requires 80 stitches, you have to cast 20 stitches
onto every needle.

You will have to take a round about change at center back, amid needles 1 and
4. This position can be located easily by observing where the end thread is
from when you cast on at first.

The next process in knitting socks is to work the leg in rounds. Some of the
rounds should be in rib pattern. This pattern is suitable to hold the leg
closely and in a better way. One can knit a sock completely in rib model if he
wants or can change the pattern of his choice.

At first, complete the leg and the length that is required. After completing
the leg, start making the heel. You have to work in open rows over the stitches
on needles 1 and 4 to make the heel. While making the heel the needles change in
round on both the sides. Thus, during this process one knits the stitches from
needle 4, then needle 1 and then turns the work on the way back as if he is
knitting a scarf.

The first and last two stitches on both tails are repeatedly worked in garter
stitch to make a better border to the sock. Use the bumps as a pointer to at
the end to count the consequential rows. You may slip the stitches from needles
2 and 3 onto a stitch holder to handle it easily. If you put stoppers or little
erasers onto the tails of the knitting needles, then it is easier to handle.

Turning the heel is the next process in making the heel. During turning the
heel, you have to organize the stitches on three needles according to the
pattern that you are following. You can also check the equation for number of
stitches for turning the heel. To make this process easier, imagine that the
size of your heel has been divided into three sections.

You are keeping the center portion in one piece, taking one stitch from every
side panels systematically, and knitting it jointly with the stitch on the
external tail of the center panel. Thus, the sock under the heel includes
dipping the outside and keeping the center unchanged.

One should remember that the socks should be fitted inside shoes. They will
spend much of time chafing your foot. Therefore, while knitting socks be aware
of this thing. Select the fibers cautiously. Wool is better for feet and its
natural softness helps the sock hold one's foot in a warm fit.

Fibers that have less elasticity like silk, cotton, soy may stretch out of
shape after some time. Thus, knitting socks is an art and one should make sure
all these things before starting the process.

Knitting Patterns

Gone are the days when knitting was all about making monotonous patterns. Today
is the age of vibrant and multifarious knit patterns. Knitting truly is
conquering new heights with the rise in the number of knitting patterns. In
fact, one can create his/her own knitting patterns by applying creativity and
imagination.

One can combine knits and purls in an array of ways to form unique knitting
patterns. In case of two stitches, the former stitch is called the knit stitch
whereas the latter one is called the purl stitch. Both these stitches create a
unique effect whereby a particular stitch appears to be a purl stitch from one
side of the fabric and a knit stitch from its other side.

The different visual effects created by the knit and purl stitches help in
creating several types of designs and patterns. Knit stitches generally look
like 'V's stacked vertically. Purl stitches look like wavy horizontal lines
running across the fabric. Rows of long and short stitches can be created to
form interesting knitting patterns. They create an appealing visual effect.

Stockinettes are simple fabrics in which all the stitches are either the knit
stitches or the purl stitches. Both these stitches are twisted to create unique
design patterns. Right and left plaited stitches create beautiful visual
effects. One can knit attractive patterns of jewelry from fine wires of metal
by using plaited stitches.

The different types of purls and knits include box stitch, basket weave, garter
stitch, moss diamonds, moss panels, rice stitch, seed stitch, parallelograms,
windmill, mistake rib, twin rib, triangle squares, triangle ribs, single
chevron, close checks, elongated chevron, pavilion, purled ladder, weave, pique
triangles etc. All these create interesting 2D and 3D effects on the fabric.

Interesting knitting patterns can be created through several types of stitches.
The various types of knitting used for creating beautiful types of patterns
include shadow knitting, slip-stitch knitting, fair-isle knitting, drop-stitch
knitting, cable knitting, lace knitting, bias knitting etc. All these types
make use of purls, knits and wales to create a variety of design patterns.

Each pattern of stitch can be created keeping in mind the stitch multiples
required for that particular pattern. A multiple of 7 means that one can cast
on a certain number of stitches that are divisible by 7. A multiple of 9+2
stitches means that one can cast a certain number of stitches that are
divisible by 9 along with two extra stitches.

Reversible stitch patterns are of two types. In the first reversible pattern,
the stitches on the cloth look similar on both its sides. The stitches on the
fabric look different when seen from its both sides in the second reversible
pattern. These visual effects add interesting dimensions to the fabric. The
different types of reversible stitch patterns include layette, diagonal rib,
little pyramids, purled ladder, moss stitch, diamonds etc.

Several websites provide information about knitting patterns with beautiful
illustrations and step-by-step guides. One can also avail the books and
magazines on designs and patterns.

Be it a cute teddy bear or a chic shawl; cozy little mittens or smart
cardigans, one can incorporate interesting knitting patterns to add that extra
style to the stuff he knits.

Knitting Patterns For Beginners

Knitting has become a rage amongst the young and the old throughout the world.
This recreational activity not only releases your stress but lets your
creativity flow. People, who are new to the world of knitting, can try knitting
patterns for beginners. These patterns are easy, and entertaining, by practicing
these basic patterns you will get a knack for knitting, which will help you
churn out beautiful knitted products.

When it comes to knitting patterns for beginners, you have to learn the knit
stitch. This is the basis of all knitting stitches. After you learn this stitch
you can create basic things like wash cloths, scarves, and basic Afghans. The
art of casting on and knitting are the two fundamental things necessary for the
knit stitch.

Once you are acquainted with the number of cast on stitches for a project you
can easily create fun objects like garter stitch scarves. This is one of the
easiest knitting patterns for beginners as all you have to do is cast on, make
a knit stitch and bind off. This pattern comes in handy when you have to create
some last minute presents. You are required to use a size 13 straight needle,
crochet hook and 100 yards of super bulky yarn.

To churn out a warm lap afghan during winters, you can use the moss stitch.
This is a simple stitch, with four repeating rows. All you have to do is cast
on 144 stitches, by using your method. Then work is repeating four rows, using
the knit stitch and the purl stitch.

This is an easy pattern as all you have to do is knit one and purl across in
the first two rows and purl one and knit across in the preceding two rows. This
sequence is to be repeated to produce a long but narrow afghan. To help
distribute the weight, a size 10 circular needle is used. Once you get familiar
with the method you can easily produce beautiful Afghans using the knitting
patterns for beginners.

By using knitting patterns for beginners, you can make simple party wraps,
which add a touch of elegance to your party wear. These wraps are easy to make,
as the only skill required apart from knitting and purling is the basic
increasing and decreasing. You can also use the stockinet stitch to combine
simplicity and fashion. The fuzzy yarn and the floppy style hides any mistake
made during knitting, hence this pattern is best suited for all the beginners
attempting knitting.

Once you get a nag of knitting, you will look forward to try out other knitting
patterns for beginners, to prepare wash cloths and dish cloths. To prepare a
hassle free, quick wash cloth you can use the broken rib stitch. This gives a
great effect to your normal wash cloth. And you get a lot of practice by
knitting such items. In method you have to cast on 61 stitches and use the knit
and the purl stitch to complete your wash cloth. This method consists of
repeating the two stitches alternately.

To produce a soft wash cloth use 100 percent cotton yarn and a pair of size 7
US needles. This pattern is suitable for beginner as it is quick and easy.
After practice you can easily create variations in your object, to create
different effects.

The knitting patterns for beginners, encourages the young knitters to try out
different stitches to produce beautiful knitted articles. As these patterns are
easy and quick, your knitting experience will be hassle free.

These patterns make knitting a quick and trouble-free process.

Knitting Needles

A needle is the most important tool in the process of hand-knitting. In fact,
the use of a needle is inevitable in this process of hand-knitting to produce
knitted fabrics. The needle used in knitting is not quite like the small and
sharp sewing needle. Most of these knitting needles have a long shaft and a
taper at their end. Both, the shaft and the taper play important roles in the
knitting process.

The active (unsecured) stitches of the fabric are held together by the shaft.
This prevents them from disentangling. The taper is used for forming new
stitches.

The size of a knitting needle is determined by its radius, which in turn
determines the size of the stitch. The radius affects the length of the yarn
loom drawn from the previous stitch. Fine needles are used for making petite
stitches, whereas large needles are used for making big stitches. In case of
uneven knitting, one can use several types of needles. One can influence the
stitch size by wrapping yarn about a single needle for a multiple times. Large
needles are used for large-scale projects.

Knitting needles come in several types and sizes. Probably invented in the 19th
century, a straight needle is used by a large number of people the world over.
This needle is capped at one end with a knob/head and tapers at the other end.
It is used widely in the process of knitting two-dimensional fabrics mostly in
squares and rectangles. The straight needle is used extensively in domestic
knitting. It allows a person to create fabrics using extremely simple stitches.

Another knitting needle called the circular needle has two tapered rigid ends
that are connected by a flexible cord. The long flexible cord holds the active
stitches, whereas the tapered ends are used for creating new stitches. A short,
straight rigid needle tapered at both ends is a popular variety of knitting
needle.

Circular knitting (socks, sweaters etc.) whereby a needle with a small radius
is essential uses this short type of knitting needle. Another short type of
knitting needle is used for forming permutations in the order of stitches in
cable knitting.

Different countries use different sizes of knitting needles. They have set
their size standards for different types of needles. One can determine the size
of a knitting needle with the aid of a needle gauge. Although most needles have
their sizes written on them, their size label fades out with the passing time.
Needle gauges have holes of different sizes in which a person can insert his
knitting needle to determine its size. They are in a size range of 3-5 inches.

Contemporary knitting needles are made from materials like aluminum, steel,
wood, bamboo, casein, plastic and glass. Plastic needles have no pointed edges
and can be safely used by children. Previously, wood and metals were used for
making knitting needles. The beautiful antique needles were created using
tortoiseshell, walrus tusks and ivory. But soon they were banned as they made
use of endangered species of animals.

A knitting enthusiast can store his needles in several types of needle
storages. Straight needles can be stored in attractive cases. Cylindrical
containers with padding on their bottoms keep the needle points sharp. Circular
needles can be kept dangling on hangers. In case they are coiled tightly, one
should soak them in warm water before using them.

Despite the presence of high-tech knitting machines in the markets, many of us
still prefer to use the good 'ol knitting needles. These needles probably won't
ever fail to amuse use and keep us engaged.

Knitting Machines

Also called the knitting frame, knitting loom and hand knitting machine, the
knitting machine is one of the most interesting gadgets of the modern times.
This machine works on the application of a fixed bed of hooked needles mounted
together. These needles are used for knitting different patterns of fabrics.
The basic components of a knitting machine are a needle bed, yarn guides and a
carriage.

Knitting machines can be powered by a motor or can be manually operated.
Different patterns of stitches on a cloth can be created by hand manipulation
of needles or with mechanical punch cards, computers, electronic pattern
reading devices and push-buttons and dials. The motor-powered ones are ruling
the roost today.

Knitting machines can be divided as the ones used for domestic purposes and the
high-profile ones used in industries. Both the domestic and industrial models of
these machines have either flat or circular beds to produce rectangular or
tubular fabrics. Flat-bed knitting machines come in two types-single bed
machines and double-bed machines. The two parallel beds of a double bed
knitting machine produce purl and plain rib fabrics, as also a variety of multi
patterns.

The weft knitting method used in domestic machines produces fabrics similar to
the hand-knitted ones. These knitting machines work an entire row of loops in a
single go. They are easy to operate and save a considerable amount of time. They
produce a much more even-textured fabric, as compared to the fabric that is
hand-knitted. Even a person with average creativity can produce a variety of
patterns using the knitting machine.

Most domestic knitting machine models produced in the late 20th century use up
to 200 latch hook needles to hold the stitches in a normal or bulky sized
needle. Every consecutive stitch is produced by passing a carriage or cam box
across the bed of needles causing needle movements. Alternative selection
methods like punch cards make the desired needles pass through the cam box by
alternate pathways.

Knitting machines are highly useful and perform many functions that a person
cannot perform through manual knitting. Besides, they save a lot of time and
produce knit patterns in several varieties. The stock stitching methods used by
these machines perhaps produces the simplest patterns. Pullovers are generally
knit by using the method of stock stitching.

The next easy stitch pattern used by these machines is 'striped stock stitch'
whereby new colors are used in every row. The machine should knit an even
number of rows before changing the color. Machines can stitch two colors in
each row by using the 'Fair isle' pattern of stitching. They use the 'tuck
stitch' method of knitting to incorporate two or three colors in a fabric.
These machines knit thicker fabrics using the 'knit weaving' method.

A variety of knitting machines with varying applications are available in the
market. In fact, a few of these are designed especially for children. Gone are
the days when a person would take ages to knit a simple sweater.

The knitting machines surely have added a lot of fun and color to our lives.

Knitting Looms

Knitting is an old art form which has regained popularity in recent times, so
is the case with the knitting looms. Knitting on looms is much easier than
knitting on needles. Various manufactures produce knitting looms that can be
used by knitter at home. These are easy and convenient items that help to make
knitting interesting. These knitting looms range from, plastic looms to the
heavy duty wooden looms.

The knitting looms available in the market, belong to the various shapes and
sizes, including round, oval and rectangular. You can also buy looms in shapes
like butterfly, which are helpful in creating knots and crochets. Various
brands have launched fun filled looms which glow in the dark. These knitting
looms are helpful when you want to work while watching TV or in a dimly lit
room.

Parents can gift child knitting loom sets to their children on birthdays. The
child set includes a set of four plastic looms, with all the instructions, all
the possible steps are taken for the safety of the children. But it is advised
that these looms are not for the children below 5 years of age.

By gifting your toddlers a set of knitting looms you can inculcate and develop
this art at an early age. It is also said that knitting is a very good
recreational activity. These looms can also be used for worsted and bulky yarns.

A round knitting loom can be used to create tubular objects like hats, wrist
warmers and so on. The round knitting looms come in single rake or double rake,
i.e. it has a single row of pegs or a double row. A single row loom can be used
to create objects with one right side and a wrong side. While the double peg
loom is used to create a garment that can be used both the ways. You can easily
make tube scarves, golf covers, stockings and much more using these looms.

Rectangle knitting looms are useful in creating scarves, Afghans, and other
large projects. This loom has a single rake, and hence it is easy to work with
these looms. If you buy a set of rectangular knitting looms, you will get
rectangular loom, pick and hook tool and the necessary instructions.

These knitting looms are a boon for every beginner, and amateur to the world of
knitting. The knitters who are unable to knit using needles can surely use a
knitting loom. By using various methods of wrapping the yarn on the pegs, you
can create knit works of various stitches and patterns.

If you have left knitting because of arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or
other ailments, stop worrying and regain your talents. The knitting looms
available, does not put any stress on your back hence providing you with utmost
comfort.

The projects created using knitting looms are as good as the ones prepared
using needles. Hence with out wasting any moment, get yourselves a knitting
loom, with the help of which you can create exquisite knitted items at a much
lesser effort.

Knitting Instructions

Beginners who are interested in knitting should follow basic knitting
instructions like practicing with light weight knitting needles and using light
weight yarn. This will help you with your accuracy and evenness, which comes
after practice. Knitting basically consists of interlocking series of loops,
which gives the fabric elasticity.

As these stitches are the fundamentals of knitting it is necessary to master
them. You can also try circular knitting by using three or more needles, but
you can make circular knitting by using circular needles.

Learning the art of cast on, is one of the important knitting instructions. To
make a strong cast on all you have to do is make a slip loop over your left
needle, then pass the right needle through loop, from the left to the right
direction. Take the yarn under and over the right needle, then pull the yarn
through the loop and take it on the left needle, by pulling the left needles
through the loop in the right to left direction. You can repeat these steps to
get the desired number of stitches on your left needle.

Purl stitch and the knit stitch are two of the most important stitches required
for knitting. The knitting instructions for the knit stitch are simple and easy
to learn. After getting the desired amount of cast on stitches, you have to
insert the right needle into the first loop on the left needle, in a left to
right direction, with the yarn under and over the right needles.

Then draw the yarn and let the first stitch slip off, repeat the steps until no
stitches remain on your left needles. To create the garter stitch, you have to
repeat the plain knitting back and forth. This creates a work which is alike on
both the sides.

To learn the purling which is an important stitch you have to follow the
instructions. Bring the yarn in front of the needle and pull the right hand
needle in the first loop, on the left needle, in the right to left direction.
Passing the yarn around the back of the right needle, draw the loop backwards
to allow the stitch to slip. But always keep in mind that the yarn should be in
front of the work.

Once you master these two stitches, you can also try other stitches like the
stockinet stitch, just follow some knitting instructions. To produce this you
have to knit the first row, purl the second and work in this order. If you use
a circular needles or a sock needle you can knit continuously.

Once you start practicing your knitting talents, you can even learn the
increasing and decreasing method, or the methods of binding off, and to work
even. These methods help you in creating variations in your knitting projects.

By following some simple knitting instructions, you can also learn weaving the
stockinet stitch. Using a darning needle, join the ends of the piece. Draw the
yarn in the first stitch on the upper piece, by inserting the needles from the
wrong side. Then insert the needles from the right side of the lower piece in
the first stitch.

By working in this manner you can weave the two pieces of the project using the
stockinet stitch. Just make sure that you fasten your yarn before breaking off.
By using these knitting instructions you can create beautiful projects, by
using simple stitches. Hence, along with some recreation you can also polish
talents.

Help With Knitting

Need some knitting help, be it a case of needles, stitches, yarns or any thing
about knitting, you will find everything here. We have tired to answer some of
the common asked questions which create problems for beginner or professional.
The answers to questions lie in your own hands but you are unable recognize
them.

Knitting help for some common problems like dropping knit stitch. Picking the
right needle, yarn and patterns are often faced by amateur knitters. For the
problem like dropped stitch, first you have to realize your mistake. Once you
identify your problem sit down, relax, you will observe that the loop has two
legs, right and left.

The right leg should always be in the front of the needle. Then put the
stitches n the needle as they were before. Always keep the same order of the
stitches, as any mistake can lead to twisting of the stitches. Once you have
got your stitches back in place you can carry on knitting.

Knitting help regarding selecting the correct needles, yarns and patterns, will
help you creating great patterns without any hassle. You should always keep in
mind the type of project you are planning to make. To make larger projects like
sweaters, Afghans and so on you will need bigger needles that the needles used
for making socks and hats. If you bring a kit for knitting it includes all the
material needed. You can also take the advice of a shopkeeper if you are buying
a needles or yarn for the first time.

The yarns that are available in the market are of a wide range. But if you
knitting for the first time then try using light weight yarns as they will not
tire your hands, making your first knitting experience comfortable. The
patterns or stitches you use for your projects should not be complex as that
creates a lot of problem. If you are keen on using complex stitches, then try
using them to create variations, by using simple stitches for the base.

To take care of complex problems like holes in your knitting projects, here is
some knitting help to solve the problem. The common reason for holes in the
knitting project is the yarn over. The inevitable wrapping of yarn over your
needle is termed as yarn over, it usually happens, when you are not knitting a
stitch.

This problem can mess up your pattern in return messing up your project. The
way you can solve this problem is by unknitting. Well there is no need to ravel
your whole project, just unknit the portion beyond the hole. And then resume
your knitting. After mastering the art of knitting you can use these holes to
create beautiful patterns in your project.

Baby blunders occur with most of the beginners. While you are happily knitting
your project, you suddenly see some problem in you stitches or rows. This is
the easiest problem to solve; you will not need much knitting help for this
problem. All you have to do is retrace your steps and unknitting them on your
left needle, so that you can knit them correctly. Then rectify your mistake to
precede knitting.

The larger problems, you face during knitting, can be rectified only by
unraveling the whole garment. Though this can be a little disappointing but,
you can benefit from the practice you get from raveling and redoing. Once you
master this art you can easily correct all your problems without any knitting
help.

Knitting Cast Offs

Casting off is a method by which you can create an edge which will not ravel.
In knitting cast offs has great importance, it is because of this technique
that, our sweaters and other knitted objects do not destroyed. This is
basically the final stitch that gives your project strength.

The basic technique of knitting casting off involves, passing the final loop of
a wale, over the loop of an adjoining stitch. You can create variations in this
technique to create simple casting off, knit casting off, purl casting off;
sewn cast offs and so on. These different types of casting offs can be used to
provide strength, durability and comfort along with quality to your project.

In simple knitting cast offs, a loop is passed over the adjoining stitch; here
the yarn is passed through the final loop, to fasten everything in place. This
method produces a tight edge with a little elasticity. Unlike other casting
offs, the bounds do not undo due to tension. Hence this technique is used in
shoulder seams. Another convenient thing of this bounding is that it does not
need a knitting yarn nearby and can be done in any direction.

Another version of the simple knitting cast offs in the knit cast off. Here
every loop is knitted before passing over the other loop. You have to start
with knitting two normal stitches and then pulling the first stitch on the
right needle over the second the stitch.

Knit the next needle on the left needles and continue till the end with this
cycle. You can make your casting offs loose or tight by applying the
appropriate tension. To create loose cast offs use a needle that is two sizes
bigger than the required project needle.

Knitting cast offs like purl wise, sewn casting offs and so on can be used to
create variations and elasticity. The purl wise casting off can be used create
rib patterns. While the sewn casting off involves the use of a tapestry needle
attached with a long tail of yarn. The most popular form of this cast off is
from Elizabeth Zimmermann's book "Knitting without Tears".

This bound produces an extremely elastic edge, which is perfect for the top of
a sock. The technique is simple, use the long yarn and the needle to pull
through the two front loops, and then pull it back through the first stitch.
After dropping the first stitch repeat this method till the end.

If you are looking for a strong, stitch to join your front and back of your
sweater, then try using the three needles casting off. This method of knitting
cast offs creates a strong seam. Hence this bounding provides strength and
durability to your sweaters. In this method two needles are held parallel, with
the right sides of the knitting facing each other.

The knitting cast offs used for socks and neckline edges is the tubular bind
off. This bound produces a stretchy edge. Hence it is very useful, when you
create surprise gifts for your loved ones.

For creating good knitting cast offs, you can use crochet hooks, this makes
creating bound offs easy for beginners. A crochet hook acts like a right hand
needles, this hook is useful in creating loose, elastic bounds. The bounds
created using a crochet hook retain their elasticity for a longer time.

Loom Knitting

Also referred to as French knitting, reel knitting, spool knitting, box
knitting, rake knitting, ring knitting, bung knitting, frame knitting etc.;
loom knitting is an ancient art that has recently seen resurgence. Knitting,
today is popular the world over. And the foray of knitting looms in the world
of knitting has given all knitters a reason to smile.

Looms were used extensively in the medieval age in countries like Britain,
France, Germany and many other places in Europe. People used the technique of
loom knitting to knit bags, purses, tasseled caps, petticoats, shawls,
hammocks, curtains, nets, petticoats etc. A popular belief is that guild
apprentices knit carpets for their masters on frame boards i.e. knitting looms.

Knitting looms can be bifurcated in three basic types- the round loom, the rake
and the knitting board. The round loom is not necessarily round. It could be a
square, rectangle, an oval or even diamond-shaped. All pegs of this loom are
required to be continuous without any specific starting or stopping point. The
distance between the pegs of this loom determines its gauge. A lot of distance
implies a lot of gauge.

There isn't much difference between the round loom and the rake. However, the
rake, second type of knitting loom, has continuous pegs which have a starting
and a finishing point. Again, the gauge of the pegs in this loom is determined
by the distance between them. Only flat knitting can be done on this type of
knitting loom.

A knitting board is a loom with two parallel rakes. These parallel rakes are
used to knit across the loom. A double knit fabric can be produced with the
help of a knitting board. The gauge of this type of loom is determined by two
factors- the distance between its pegs and the distance between its rakes. A
larger gauge is created by a large distance between either of the two.

Loom knitting is facilitated by the various devices on a knitting loom. The
knitting looms that have single rows of pegs are called single rakes, while
those having double rows of pegs are called double rakes. Knitting fabrics that
have a distinctive right and wrong side can be created with single rakes. A
double fabric with both 'right' sides can be created with the aid of double
rakes.

The purpose pegs serve in loom knitting is same as the purpose needles serve in
hand or machine knitting. Each peg in a loom is like a knitting needle which is
used to create different patterns and stitches on a loom. Gauge is the distance
between the pegs of a loom. It is this standard of measurement that determines
the size of the stitches that can be produced, as also the thickness of yarn
that would work the best for a particular loom.

Loom knitting has not only made a comeback but also is gaining popularity. It
is easy to learn and the knitting looms are simple to use. Those who have given
up crochet and needle knitting owing to arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or
other such ailments can enjoy loom knitting instead. It does not involve use of
needles and is quite user-friendly.

The trend of loom knitting is taking the world by a storm and is surely doing a
lot good to the world of knitting.

Knitting Baskets

Perfect and appropriate gifts for knitters are good quality knitting baskets.
Or if you are facing the problem of misplaced knitting accessories or needles,
then you can gift yourselves a beautiful, simple knitting baskets. These
baskets can be used to store all your yarn, accessories and needles, without
messing up your house.

Earlier knitting baskets made out of cane and straw were used to store knitting
material and accessories. But now days as the rage of knitting are catching up
so is the rage for beautiful knitting bags. Today these baskets are available
in a wide range of colors and shapes. From the traditional cane baskets
decorated with ribbons to the modern one made out of silk, and fabric. But even
today most of the basket manufactures use cane frames or wooden frames for their
baskets.

The knitting bags not only make knitting easy as you can pack your knitting
material and head to your garden or a nearby park. But mostly people use
knitting baskets to store their knitting yarns at homes. Unlike knitting bags,
you will never face the problem of poking needles if you use a hard basket. You
can buy a larger basket, so that you can create separate sections for storing
yarns, needles and other accessories.

If you are looking for a gift that will be appreciated by everybody, then try
gifting a knitting basket filled with beautiful yarns and other accessories.
But this gift will only be appreciated by the person who is interested in
knitting or is learning this art. To make your gift even more appealing try
putting colorful yarns, with accessories like sequins and buttons.

You can also decorate the basket with exquisite wrappings. If the person you
are gifting is a knitter he or she will definitely appreciate your efforts, and
keep the basket as his prized possession.

You are enthusiastic enough then you can try making your own knitting baskets.
All you will need in some time and a lot of creativity. Just keep one thing in
mind that always use a heavy fabric, and a good quality wood for the frame.
These home made knitting baskets are useful to keep all your knitting material,
and if you are not undertaking at present then use them to store your
newspapers, TV remotes etc.

If you are creative enough then decorate your basket with some ribbons, sequins
etc. if your basket turns out stylish then you can use it to carry your knitting
material, to your visits to the parks and gardens. When you are not knitting
making knitting baskets is a good recreational activity.

Using knitting baskets made out of salt water reeds is the latest trend amongst
knitters. Originally, this basket was used to carry rice from the field to the
market. The baskets were woven by the village artisans, who used to harvest
salt water reeds. They used to flatten these reeds using hand press, and then
it was dyed. You can get these baskets in the natural hay color.

By using simple or stylish, modern or traditional knitting baskets you can
certainly avert the mess that is created due to storing of knitting materials.
Hence these baskets not only make your knitting experience pleasing but also
well organized.

Knitting Bags are Indispensable

The main aim of these bags is to make your project portable and easy. A
knitting bag not only makes your knitting organized but caters to your needs
while you are on a run. These bags are specially made to provide you comfort,
while you are engaged in this recreational facility.

As knitting bags are used to carry your knitting material, is it necessary you
consider the type of project you are undertaking. These bags are available in a
wide range; hence you are a faced with the problem of selecting the appropriate
bag.

If you are on the project of making large afghans, sweaters and so on then you
will need a large bag, which can accommodate each and every of your knitting
material. If you are enthusiastic enough you can end up making your collection
of knitting bags.

There are various kits available in the market, which offer all the required
materials and the instructions for creating knitting bags. This kit is for
everyone who is looking forward to make his own collection of knitting bags.
The bags you make can be carried with you to parties and social gatherings.
Once you are through with the basics of knitting bags, you can even pass on
your talents to others.

The passion for knitting comes from the ancient times. Though we cannot in
point the accurate period of the evolution of knitting bags, we certainly know
that it is an ancient art which is here to stay.

Knitting bags are generally made out of thick yarns and using the purl stitch.
Both these things provide the knitting bags with the durability and beauty.
Many people use simple or complex stitches while knitting bags. These
variations provide a personal touch to the home made bags.

The beginners who are interested in knitting bags can try making the simple
cable bags. These bags are famous for their beauty and many people consider
them of being difficult. But the truth is that, the only skills required for
making a beautiful cable is the basic knowledge of knitting. You can use
various textures, patterns and stitches to create beautiful cable bags.

Or if you are looking for small but exquisite bag for a party then try knitting
bags, using ribbons and laces. Use stitches like the blanket stitch; you can
even knit the bottom of the bag with 12 stitches. Generally when you are
knitting bags, always try with smaller sizes as they are easy to make and
quick. Once you get a knack of knitting bags you can easily create beautiful
bags on the basis of your talent.

If you are using a kit for making knitting bags, then you will be provided with
yarn, markers, cable needles, and most important instructions. The instructions
not only help you in knitting a cable bag but also provide you with training
for skills like creating cables using the cable needle, creating single stitch
twists without the needle. Making wide button holes and decreasing techniques
and so on.

Hence by knitting bags you can practice your knitting talents and also create
beautiful bags which will increase the beauty of your party outfit.

Knitting Bags

A knitting bag is as important as a needle for knitting. These bags make your
project portable and easy to carry. It is important to have a good knitting bag
which caters to your basic knitting needs. These bags have special compartments
for your needles, yarns, and so on.

While choosing a knitting bag, always keep in mind the type of project you
undertake. If you are a person who makes sweaters, Afghans etc then you will
need a larger bag than the person preparing socks, and other small items. While
choosing a bag always keep in mind, that is bag is for carrying knitting
material from place to place, hence the stronger your bag the more objects you
can carry.

If you are looking for a knitting bag that also serves the purpose of a purse,
then try buying knitting bags which come in leather, or suede. There is a large
variety of knitting bags in the markets. Some of the bags are fancy with
embellishments while the others are simple but smart. Hence you can also choose
a knitting bag that satisfies your mood or is a treat for an eye.

While picking your knitting bag always keep a track of the latest fashion and
your needs. While shopping for bags always look for bags which have hard sides
as it is easy to carry and more durable.

Instead of zippers always choose bags which have a snap, so that your knitting
does not get stuck in between zippers. You should always look for bags that
have a pocket or two for keeping accessories. If you are buying large bags then
always opt for the bags which have purse length handles, which makes it easy to
carry it on your shoulders.

You can over look these rules if you are buying a small bag to carry knitting
material for smaller projects. While buying a small bag always look for a bag
that has soft sides, so that you can fit extra material without harming it. A
drawstring and a short strap make it easier to wrap the bag around your wrist.
If you carry bigger bags then it is possible that the small items get misplaced
in your bag.

It is not necessary to buy a knitting bag, if you are enthusiasts enough then
you can make one for yourselves. You can knit a bag or make it out of fabric in
any case there are a lot of patterns to choose from. You can use any type of
fabric or material to make a bag that pleases you and carries your load.

As you are aware of your needs, you know how to keep yourselves organized.
Hence you can go for a tote bag which is simple and without interior pockets. A
bag containing a series of pouches and slots is also a better option to store
small needles and supplies in an orderly manner.

A knitting bag not only makes you mobile, but provides an opportunity to show
case your talents. Whenever you sit in a garden, and people ask you about your
knitting talents, you can easily teach them a stitch or two by carrying an
extra needles and yarns in your knitting bag.

Circular Knitting Needles

Circular knitting needles are a perfect option if you want to create something
like a seamless garment. Making seamless bags, sweaters and other objects
becomes with the use of circular knitting needles. These needles come in
various sizes and shapes. But for the beginners who are not aware of what these
circular needles are, here is a brief introduction.

Circular knitting needles are not much different from an ordinary straight
needle. But the only difference is that the two hard tips of a needle are
joined with a flexible cord. These needles are made from the same material as
the straight needles. Hence you can buy your circular knitting needles, in your
favorite materials like plastic, bamboo, metal and resin.

These needles can be bought in a fixed format or an interchangeable one. In the
fixed format the needle is permanently attached to the cord, while in an
interchangeable system you can change needles according your needs. The
circular needles can be bought as a part of needle set which includes all the
needles necessary for knitting.

Circular knitting needles generally range from size 3 to 15, the chord can buy
according to your circumference of the object. Commonly the needles are
available in sizes 16,24,29,36 and 40 inches, but different producers make
needles of the odd sizes like 11 and 34. The length of the needles depends on
the pattern you are planning for your object.

Working with the circular knitting needles is a pleasing experience. The chord
attached to the needles holds most of the stitches, and hence you can cast on a
fairly large amount of stitches on the needles. As the weight of the stitches is
well distributed in a circular knitting needle, you can easily carry on large
projects or work with heavy yarns.

Circular needles prove beneficial when it comes to working round, joining the
two ends to create a circular knit can be difficult on straight needles. But
with the circular needles it can be done in a jiffy. Stitches like the
stockinet stitch are mainly used for circular knitting. But knitting
enthusiasts can make use of the garter stitch.

To create a stockinet stitch you will have to knit ever row, while for a garter
stitch, you will have knit one row and purl one row, which is to be repeated.
You can create a reverse stockinet stitch, by purling every row.

The circular knitting needles facilitate the knitters to try out different
stitches without any trouble. By using these needles for circular knitting you
can easily create different patterns and variations.

Along with circular knitting, the circular knitting needles can also be used
for flat knitting. If you want to knit a big afghan or warps then these needles
prove beneficial. These needles hold the stitches in place, so that it becomes
easier for you to knit large objects. While working on flat objects, do not
join the ends in round, instead cast on the stitches and start knitting.

The circular knitting needles help the beginner to carry out big projects,
without thinking about the twisting of the stitches. Hence once you are
acquainted with the basics of knitting, you can easily use circular knitting
needles to produce beautiful objects.

Brother Knitting Machines

As we all know knitting can be carried out in two ways, mainly hand knitting
and machine knitting. If you are looking for good quality machine to create
exquisite knitted objects then go for the brother knitting machine. The brother
knitting machines are a big name in the world of knitting machine manufactures.
The machine is known for its quality and the beautiful items it produces.

The brother knitting machines are Japanese made. As the latest technology is
used to prepare these machines, you will get the updated and latest patterns by
using the machine. The machines are available in two types mainly punch card
machine and the electronic machines. If you are planning to use this machine
for households then buy a standard gauge machine with 200 needles that are 4.5
mm apart. But if you plan to start a business then buy a bulk machine with 114
needles that are 9mm apart.

The distance between every needle determines the thickness of the yarn that can
be used in the brother knitting machines. The farther apart the needles the
thicker the yarn, and closer the needles, thinner is the yarn that is used. You
can use thicker yarns, in a standard-gauge brother knitting machine, as it uses
alternate needles for knitting; you can also every third needle if the yarn is
thicker. But this decreases the needles available for knitting, and because of
this the width of the knitted piece becomes narrower.

The punch card brother knitting machine can produce patterns which are around
224 stitches wide. You can repeat this pattern across the whole width of the
piece or use it to create motifs in specific parts of the piece. But the only
problem with this machine is that you have to create knitted items that are
either 24 stitches wide or in a number that is evenly divided into 24.

This problem is taken care in the electronic version of the brother knitting
machine. An electronic machine can produce patterns with one stitch to around
200 stitches. This is the total number of needles in a standard-gauge machine.
Hence we can say that the machine produces knitted projects which are as wide
as the total number of needles. If you buy a bulky version of the machine then
you can produce a piece that is about 144 stitches wide.

The brother knitting machines can be used to produce patterns and pieces of
various stitches without any extra efforts. The fairisle pattern, single or
multicolored tuck stitch, slip or skip pattern and so on can be easily done on
this machine. You can even use laces like the drop lace, thread lace, normal
lace or a fine lace to create exquisite patterns. The laces used to decorate
your knitted piece can be knitted into your piece using this machine.

The brother knitting machine can also be used to weave, and knit reversible
patterns. The machine can be affixed with external attachments like ribber
attachments, which is used to undertake jacquard knitting. This type of
knitting is similar to fairisle knitting but without any floats.

The electronic brother knitting machine can be used to create patterns that are
uploaded on the web. By using a personal computer you can easily scan patterns,
download patterns and then use them for your knitting projects. The machine has
an optional garter carriage which can be used to knit and purl in the same row.

If you use a single bed machine then you are free to do your other work while
the machine knits for you. The automatic version uses one color yarn at a time;
this accessory is only available with the standard gauge machines.

The brother kitting machine also has optional extra accessories like ribber
attachments, four color changer, garter bar and so. But when ever buying a
machine always buy it from original distributors to get the high quality
machines.

Hence by using these knitting machines you can easily create master pieces, to
be gifted to your loved ones or to start your own household business.

Bamboo Knitting Needles

For a light weight, hassle free knitting experience use bamboo knitting
needles. These needles are prepared after extensive research and using high
technological processes. The companies producing these needles maintain, high
quality, smooth finish and a perfect, uniform needle points. The high quality
and standard of these needles makes the knitting, an unforgettable life long
experience.

By using bamboo knitting needles, you can minimize the possibility of splitting
yarns; these needles also maintain a smooth flow of yarn, which makes knitting
hassle free. As these needles are light weight your hands will not tire even
after long hours of knitting.

The smooth wooden finish of the needles makes them glide over each other, hence
minimizing the noise created by other aluminum needles. The unique thing about
these bamboo needles is that they go on becoming smoother, the more you use
them. Hence knitting with these smooth bamboo needles is a comfortable
experience unlike the plastic and aluminum needles.

The bamboo knitting needles are made out of the finest natural bamboo, grown in
parts on Japan. The manufactures take great efforts to prepare bamboo needles of
the highest standards. The strict quality control assures that the bamboo
needles prepared last longer and produce some of the exquisite knitting
patterns.

The bamboos used to produce bamboo knitting needles are harvested during the
cold winters. The bamboo that is from the cold climates is more resilient, and
hard. During the winters the water contained in the bamboo is minimum; hence
this avoids any staining, or molding.

During winters the woody fibers of the bamboo are tighter, and hence these
shoots are used to produce needles of strong density. Use of a fully matured
shoots signifies that the needles produced are strong and long lasting.

These bamboo needles are available in different shapes and sizes. The tapered
point of the needle, ensures that every loop is even, which leads to a
beautiful stitch. Hence these needles are perfect for the beginners and the
people who like the feel of a smooth warm bamboo passing between their fingers.

These needles prove great for beginners as they are not as slick as the plastic
or metal ones. Hence the possibility of the loops sliding from your needles is
minimum. The professional knitters prefer bamboo knitting needles as they knit
quickly without any mistakes.

The flexibility, strength and comfort provided by these needles are much more
than its price. Knitters can get a good quality bamboo needle at an affordable
price. Unlike the bamboo needles the wooden needles are much expensive, and if
they are homemade then it will cost you a lot to own it.

Bamboo knitting needles are available in double points, single point and
circular types. The size of every needle is so accurate that you can various
same sized needles and still get a superior and uniform stitch. You can also
buy bamboo needles with paperweight tops.

The needles come with a bulb of glass containing beautiful glass flowers, or
other patterns. These needles are worth colleting for their beauty and
elegance, and the beautiful glass designs add an exquisite touch to your
knitting experience.

Even though the bamboo knitting needles are long lasting, if you are using them
for longer times it is beneficial to sand their tips, to keep it smooth. This
stops the needles from splitting yarns, and breaking it. Apart from this the
bamboo needles do not require any special maintenance.

Vogue Knitting

Knitting is an interesting art and most of the people spend their leisure
period in knitting socks, sweaters and other things. Therefore, many people are
crazy about knitting and they love vogue knitting. There is always something new
in this fascinating technique. There are five popular stitch types and all of
them are considered as the heart of knitting.

Learning to knitting includes learning various types of knitting stitches. Five
popular knitting styles are the purl stitch, the knit stitch, knit 2 together,
stockinet stitch and the yarn over. One who will learn these five popular
stitches will become a skilled knitter. All other patterns come out of these
five stitches.

Knitting follows some structures and one side of the knitting seems dissimilar
from the other. The knit stitch is shaped by creating loops that are
intertwined with one another and one after another. When one looks from the
knit side of a pattern, the knit stitch looks like little "v". To structure a
knit stitch people use one needle drag a circle of yarn through the presented
stitch on the additional needle.

In the knit stitch, one has to hold two needles in his hands and has to put in
the right needle from front to back into the first stitch on the left needle.
Then keep the thread at the back and bring it over the tilt of the needle like
a counter clock. Again, pull the thread down and hold it with the right needle.

The purl stitch looks like brick face, when you look it from the purl side of a
pattern. One holds the thread in purl stitch to the front of the knitting. One
has to insert the right needle from back to front into the first stitch on
another needle. With the right index finger, you have to enfold the thread down
and round the right needle like a counter clock. Thus, you will be able to form
a purl stitch.

Stockinet stitch is the most popular vogue knitting. This process includes
knitting in one row and then purling the next. Every knitter should start
knitting from the stockinet stitching and should attach with it until he gets
expert in it.

Yarn over is another famous vogue knitting. The Yarn over knitting is used in
openwork designs. For a yarn-over after a knit stitch you have to bring the
yarn crossways with your work. After that, knit the other stitch. You will see
an additional stitch on the row while stitching.

When you come to this stitch in your next row of knitting, it will not look
attached like others, as you put it there, all itself. Knit this stitch as if
you would knit every stitch. As you keep the process continue, you will observe
that yarn-over makes holes in the knitting.

Knit 2 Together means just knit two together. Put in the right needle into the
second stitch from the tilt of the left needle, ensuring to hold the first
stitch with it.

This is the knit 2 together knitting. Thus, many vogue knitting styles help you
to start knitting from the first process.

Knitting Machines For Socks

Socks in a rainbow of colors adorn every fashion conscious person's wardrobe.
Babies can't do without a pair or two of cutely knit socks. In fact, pet owners
love to pamper their poodles and other pets with chic and decorative knit socks.
Sock knitting is meticulously practiced the world over. Such immense love among
all has led to the advent of numerous sock knitting machines.

In the 19th century, virtually every nation held a patent for a sock knitting
machine. Several nations manufactured circular sock knitting machines which
were a rage in those times. Canadian, Dutch, Scottish and English models of
these machines were particularly innovative. In the 20th century, a German
manufacturer came up with a sock knitting machine that had 42 slot ribber dials
and 84 slot cylinders.

Today, the trend of sock knitting machines is widespread. The machine knits
socks way faster than what one could knit by hand. Not many brands manufacture
these machines today. As a result, antique machines ought to be retailed. These
machines have an old world charm that entices all.

Many companies are retailing antique sock knitting machines by restoring their
parts. The restoration process of these machines includes sanding and
application of primer, removal of dust and grime, replacement of worn metal
parts and mechanical overhauling of the entire machine.

The devices that make up a standard sock knitting machine include are ribbers,
cylinders, working needles, heel weights, 'pick up' tool, bobbins, yarn swift,
heel hook and a set up basket. The ribbers and cylinders are arranged in slots.
Many of these machines have an attached automatic needle latch opener for
ribbers and cylinders. This is to help prevent stitches from coming off.

Ribbers in a sock machine help in creating purl stitches. Many machines have a
facility for easy adjustment of ribbers which implies mechanical adjustment of
ribbers without the aid of screwdrivers and other tools. They have a heel
tension that is efficient and effective. Some machines are designed to easily
accommodate needles for knitting thicker yarns. This feature enables the user
to knit scarves, hats, hem top socks etc. with both thick and thin yarns.

One can knit a sock on a sock knitting machine in an hours' time. Those who
specifically wish to knit socks on these machines can use a self-patterning
sock yarn or a sport weight yarn. Machines with 54, 56 and 60 slot cylinders
enable the use of worsted weight yarn. The 72 and 80 slot cylinders facilitate
the production of tighter fabrics.

Cylinder machines are probably the best options for knitting socks. The tension
of this machine should be loosened while using knitting thicker yarns. One can
place his/her sock knitting machine on a circular table or a workbench. One can
avail the antique sock knitting machines with several companies. They retail
sock machine kits with a user-manual and a warranty card. Many companies also
provide machine cleaning services.

The sock knitting machine has won many a heart as it combines the old-world
charm with modern sock knitting. A sock knitting session with a sock knitting
machine in your backyard will certainly help you revive the charm of the sunny
olden days.

Magazines For Knitting

Considered an ancient art, knitting is a popular modern hobby. Knitting is
ardently practiced as a hobby the world over. Knitting machines have brought in
a revolution in the world of knitting. These machines have simplified this
otherwise tedious art. The latest trend in the world of knitting is the vibrant
knitting magazines which are all over the place.

Colorful illustrations, interesting facts, informative testimonials and smart
tips characterize these knitting magazines. Knitting enthusiasts can also avail
a number of these magazines online. Yarn companies, knitting machine companies,
professional knitters and businesswomen publish these magazines. They are
published in several languages like English, German, Spanish, Chinese,
Japanese, and French etc.

Knitting magazines provide useful tips and information to both, the
professional knitters and amateurs. In fact, many beginners turn to these
magazines to learn the art of knitting. They are of great use to even those
starting from scratch. Colorful illustrations add to the readability quotient
of these magazines. Even the very easy procedures are aided by illustrations.

The various knitting magazines keep their readers updated with the latest
trends in the world of knitting. The useful tips provided in these magazines
come in handy when people indulge in knitting. Readers can share ideas and
personal experiences through the testimonial columns in these magazines. The
other readers can benefit heavily from these testimonials.

Knitting magazines are a great platform for manufacturers and suppliers to
promote their products. Many of these magazines carry useful product
information and also give good warranties on products. Readers can choose from
the various options of knitting machines, yarns, needles etc. by viewing their
product profiles. Budding fashion designers can showcase their knit-wear
collections here.

A particular knit-related website provides useful tips, reviews, product
profiles, information on knit patterns, weekly updates and yarn information to
its members. All one has to do is to register his name on this free website.
This site can be viewed in Spanish, English, German, French and Italian.

Another website produces six publications a year, each featuring a step-by-step
guide to learn knitting. It also provides facilities for mock-knitting in a
variety of stitch patterns. The Knitting magazine published by the Knitting
Guild of America is published four times a year. Each of its issues includes
technical articles, free patterns, guild news etc.

A popular European yarn company publishes a knitting magazine, seven times a
year. Each issue includes comprehensive details about the changing trends in
the world of knitting. Another free knitting e-zine features exclusive patterns
and stitches. The knitting magazines published by yarn companies and knitting
houses also include the list of jobs they offer. Those planning to make a
career in this field can refer to these magazines.

A high-profile fashion magazine forecasts its knitting-related trends in its
online magazine. This website has beautiful illustrations of women adorned in
bright cardigans, pullovers, jerkins, sweaters, and shawls, cropped jackets etc.

A knitting enthusiast has plenty of options of knitting magazines to choose
from. He/she can inform himself with these vibrant magazines that add an extra
edge to this wonderful art.




Tips for Those Beginning to Crochet

Congratulations on your decision to learn to crochet! Crocheting is a pastime
which has been enjoyed for many years by our mothers and grandmothers alike.
And, it has been popular for good reasons. Crocheting not only allows you to
make some wonderful garments and household decorative items, but it also allows
you to create while you relax and watch television or listen to music as well.

Crocheting gives you an amazing sense of accomplishment when you are finished
with a project. Whether you are making a blanket, sweater or even a simple
scarf, you will be proud to show off your handiwork work when you have finished
it.

Being new to crocheting, there are a few things you need to keep in mind so
that you will have the most success possible. They are:

Crochet Yarns and Fibers for Newbies

When you are first learning how to crochet you should stick to using natural
fibers and yarns. These natural fibers tend to be less slippery and easier to
work with.

Just as important as the fibers you use is the way that you hold them in your
hand. By learning the "correct" way to hold your yarn and crochet hook from day
one, it will be much easier for you to advance your crocheting projects without
having to relearn how to hold things. Here is the best way to hold your yarn
and crochet hook:

1. Place the yarn over your little finger, below your ring finger, and above
your fore and middle fingers. 

2. Hold your crochet hook as you would a pencil or fork. This allows you the 
best hold to heave the yarn from your fingers down to the loop in the hook.

As you begin to crochet more and more you will come up with just the right
positions for you. But, it is always best to learn in a more classical style
from the start and adopt your own style from there.

When you purchase yarn or fibers for your projects make sure you take the time
to get all of it from one dye lot. The packages of yarn will be marked with a
number and you want to make sure they all match. This ensures that all of your
yarn is an exact match to each other.

Crochet Hook Sizes

One of the most important considerations for any crochet project is the size of
the hook and the yarn you choose to use. Crochet hooks are labeled with numbers
and letters. These numbers and letters correspond to different sizes. The
higher the number or letter then the larger and thicker the size of the hook,
and when you are new to crochet this means the quicker your project will be
completed. Crochet With Others

Being new to crocheting offers some challenges. One of these is trying to learn
to crochet well from a book or off of the Internet or television. Crocheting is
one of those things which appears much harder than it really is. If you have a
friend or relative who crochets, ask them to show you how. If you do not know
anyone who crochets, then you might want to take a class at your local
community college, or join a local crocheting group. While you can learn to
crochet on your own, and many people have, it is a lot easier to learn when
there are people around you who can show you what to do.

Learning to crochet allows you to make new friends and to create beautiful
works of art while relaxing at the same time. By taking care to use the right
supplies for beginners, and for looking for groups where you can learn new
techniques, you will be on your way to crocheting complex sweaters and blanket
projects in no time. You will soon find that you have a long list of potential
projects you want to complete.

Tips for the Beginning Knitter

Congratulations on your decision to learn to knit! Knitting is a pastime which
has been enjoyed for hundreds of years, and with good reasons. Knitting not
only allows you to make some wonderful garments and household decorative items,
but it also allows you to create while you relax as well.

Knitting gives you an amazing sense of accomplishment when you are finished
with a project. Whether you are making a sweater or a scarf, you will be proud
to show off your work when you have finished it.

Being new to knitting, there are a few things you need to keep in mind so that
you will have the most success possible. They are:

Knitting Needles

Knitting needles are not all created equal. By far, the easiest needles to knit
on are made from wood. Wooden knitting needles allow you to knit much easier
because your yarn will stay in place on them. When you use plastic or metal
knitting needles you will soon find that your yarns want to slide off the
needles if you are not careful in handling them. When you are new to knitting
it really is best to stick to wooden needles.

If you cannot find wooden knitting needles in your area, you can take a dowel
of wood and cut it to be about a foot long, sharpen the end with a pencil
sharpener to a blunt point, and then rub a bit of candle wax on it. This makes
a great pair of inexpensive and custom knitting needles.

When you are a beginner at knitting you should create your first project with
large needles for a couple different reasons. The first reason is that the
large needles are easier to work with and allow you to see your mistakes much
easier. If you drop a stitch you will immediately know it and can rip out and
start again fairly easily. The second reason is that large knitting needles
make your projects much quicker to do. You can very easily finish a scarf on
large knitting needles in only a couple days. This sense of accomplishment is
great for newbies.

Yarns and Fibers

When you are new to knitting you will want to start out with natural fibers
such as cotton or wool. The reason you want to stick to the natural fibers is
because they will not slide off of your knitting needles quite as easily as
synthetic fibers will. While all those fancy yarns look inviting, they can be a
challenge to work with if you are new to knitting. It is best to start off
simple and move you way up.

When you purchase yarn or fibers for your projects make sure you take the time
to get all of it from one dye lot. The packages of yarn will be marked with a
number and you want to make sure they all match. This ensures that all of your
yarn is an exact match to each other.

Knit With Others

Being new to knitting offers some challenges. One of these is trying to learn
to knit well from a book or off of the Internet or television. Knitting is one
of those things which appears much harder than it really is. If you have a
friend or relative who knits, ask them to show you how. If you do not know
anyone who knits, then you might want to take a class at your local community
college, or join a local knitting group. While you can learn to knit on your
own, and many people have, it is a lot easier to learn when there are people
around you who can show you what to do.

Learning to knit allows you to make new friends and to create beautiful works
of art while relaxing at the same time. By taking care to use the right
supplies for beginners, and for looking for groups where you can learn new
techniques, you will be on your way to knitting complex sweaters in no time.

Tips for Knitting Your Own Socks

As a knitter, at some point you might decide that you want to try your hand at
knitting a pair of socks. Because hand knit socks are like no others in their
comfort and warmth, it is no wonder that today's knitters are attempting to
make socks in record numbers. However, you will find knitters who love making
socks, and you will find knitters that simply hate making them. Basically, it
all boils down to personal preference and your own knitting skills.

Let's take a look at each part of the sock knitting process, and things you can
do to make your socks easier and more enjoyable to knit.

The Sock Cuff

The top of the sock is referred to as the cuff. The job of your sock's cuff is
to keep your sock up on your leg and keep it from sliding down into your shoe.
The best way to cast- on to make your cuff is to use a plain backward loop
cast-on. This cast-on method works the best because it will automatically
adjust itself to the stretch of the stitch you choose to use.

Your sock cuff will need to be stretchy to hold up your sock. The best choice
here is to do a knit 1, purl 1, rib knit, which requires you to cast-on an even
number of stitches. You can also do a knit 2, purl 2, rib knit, which requires
you to cast-on in multiples of four.

The Sock Cuff to Leg Transition

As you move from your sock cuff down to the leg, you will need to increase or
decrease your number of stitches to match your sock pattern. The best way to do
this is at the last row of the cuff, or the first row of the leg portion.

The Leg

If you want to make highly decorative socks, the leg is the portion you want to
spice-up because it is easily the most seen portion of the socks. The leg is the
perfect place to be creative and use those specialty yarns.

The Heel Flap

To knit the heel flap, you will work on only half of the stitches you have on
your needles. And, you will work back and forth rather than in the round. You
can leave the stiches you are not working with on their needles or you may want
to move them to a stitch holder.

The best stitch choice for the heel flap is to do a slip 1, knit 1 on the right
side and to purl all of the stitches on the wrong side. The result will be a
tight and sturdy rib-like stitch.

Turning the Heel

Turing the heel is the bane of most knitters. It is easily the biggest
challenge in making socks, but it is also the most appreciated when done
correctly. In reality, turning the heel is all about creating short rows of
stitches on either side of a center row of stitches. This causes your knitting
to come together at a right angle and for your heel to be successfully turned.

The Instep Gusset

Once you have turned the heel you will want to start working on all of the
stitches again. To accomplish this start picking up stitches from the side of
the heel flap and adding one new stitch per row. Work on all of those stitches
and then pick up the stitches on the other side of the heel flap. From this
point start decreasing stitches where the side stitches meet up with the held
stitches from earlier.

The Foot and Toe

When you knit the foot itself you should use a straight knitting technique.
Stockinette stitch works wonderfully here. Stop knitting the foot about two
inches below the toe. Knit the toe according to your pattern and you are
finished with your sock!

While the idea of knitting your own socks can seem daunting, it really is not
that hard with a bit of patience and practice. And, nothing matches your sense
of accomplishment when you can wear socks that you made yourself!

Tips for Joining A Knitting Group

If you are new to knitting, or a seasoned pro, a knitting group might be just
what you have been looking for. Joining a knitting group can offer you help
with a new pattern, help completing a lingering project, new knitting project
ideas, and the ability to make new friends with a very similar interest to
yours.

You may have investigated the idea of getting some classes to help with your
knitting and found that the cost is too high for your budget, or there are no
class times which work for your busy schedule. A great alternative to the
structure and cost of knitting lessons are knitting groups.

Knitting groups are simply a collective of people who get together to knit and
teach each other things about knitting. Whether you have never knit anything or
if you have a bunch of successful projects under your belt, you can benefit from
a knitting group.

Here are four of the top benefits of a knitting group:

Benefit #1 -- Learn New Patterns from People Not Books -- Have you ever read a
knitting pattern and went "huh?" Most everyone who knits does that at some
point. The abbreviations get the best of us and we have no idea what a pattern
is talking about, let alone try to knit it.

When you are a member of a knitting group, you can bring your patterns and
knitting projects along with you to the meetings, and get help and advice from
others who understand the techniques better than you do. Learning something
like knitting is always better when you learn from another person rather than
to try and learn it yourself from a book.

Benefit #2 -- Help and Motivation to Finish Your Lingering Projects -- Nearly
every knitter, at some point, finds that they have an unfinished project which
they are either stuck on, or that they have become bored with and abandoned.
Knitting groups are great for finding help to finish up the project yourself,
or for getting a volunteer who will happily finish it for you. Sometimes, even
the act of showing your half-finished projects to other people can prod you
along and get you finishing them up.

Benefit #3 -- Make Friends Who Knit -- One of the best advantages to a knitting
group is that you will make new friends who also love to knit. While knitting is
generally thought of as being a pretty solitary art, getting together allows you
to learn from each other and also to simply make friends. At group meetings you
can swap ideas and you can even make-up fun contests or community service
projects. Your knitting group is truly what you make it. So, get involved in a
group and help to improve it!

Benefit #4 -- Get Ideas for Your Next Projects -- It happens to even the best
knitters, they run out of ideas for their next project. Sometimes you can look
through a ton of knitting resources and nothing screams "make me" to you. When
you are an active participant in a knitting group, you can see what everyone
else around you is making and that can spark something in you. You might love
the new yarn that someone is using and think of something you could make with
it, or you might love a new technique and have just the right yarn at home to
try it out.

No matter what your motivation is, there is a great knitting group in your area
just waiting for you to join. There really isn't any reason for you to struggle
with your projects or making new friends when you can attend knitting groups
and accomplish both goals at once. If you happen to live in an area where there
is not an existing knitting group, maybe you should start one for yourself.
Advertise with free flyers and get some other knitters to join you. Before long
you will have a room full of happy knitters in your group.

The Top 7 Knitting Yarn Questions Answered

One of the most important decisions you must make when you knit is what yarn to
use for your project. The yarn you choose has everything to do with how your
finished project looks and stands up to time and wear. The last thing you want
to do is spend hours making something only to have it fall apart in the wash,
or look worn out after the second wearing. Taking the time to choose just the
right yarn will help make your knitting projects a success.

Here are the answers to your top seven knitting yarn questions:

1. How do I learn about all of the different yarns? The easiest place to learn
about yarn is by simply reading and comparing labels. Yarn labels include such
information as the brand name, the fiber content of the yarn, the color name
and number, the dye lot number, the number of piles or strands, the weight
classification of the yarn, the knitting and crochet gauge, cleaning
instructions, and the length of the yarn itself. By reading the labels and
comparing them to each other, you can easily learn all you need to know about
yarn.

2. Why do I care about yarn weight classification? The term "yarn weight
classification" does not refer to the actual physical weight of the yarn, as
you might have guessed it would. Rather, the yarn weight classification refers
to the diameter of the yarn strand. The smaller the strand, the smaller the
weight, and vice versa:

3. Can I use a different yarn brand than my pattern calls for? Generally the
answer is yes. You will want to knit a test swatch and make sure your gauge is
correct before knitting your entire project though.

4. What is yarn gauge? Gauge is the number of stitches and rows in every inch
of knitting. Gauge is specified on patterns to assure that the end project is
true to size.

Because everyone knits differently, it is very important to make a test swatch
with your project needles and yarn to check to make sure your gauge matches
that of the pattern you are working with. Gauge is especially important when
working with clothing.

5. Can I substitute one yarn weight for another one? Generally the answer is
no. Because your yarn weight has a lot to do with the finished size and look of
a project, by using a yarn of a different weight you risk your project coming
out the wrong size. Generally you cannot substitute yarn weights unless you are
making something like a blanket or scarf where it will not matter as much and
you can easily adjust your project for the change in size.

6. What is a dye lot and why do some yarns have one and others do not? Dye lot
numbers refer to the batch a skein of yarn was in when it was dyed at the
factory. Because dying is not an exact science, the same color yarn, from
different dye lots, can appear to be two different colors. This is why you
should always purchase enough yarn to complete your project all from the same
dye lot if at all possible. Some yarns and fibers do not list a dye lot number
because the fibers are colored first and then the yarns are made. This means
there are no dye lots available for the yarn.

7. How do I care for my knitted fabrics? The easiest way to know how to care
for a knitted fabric is to check on the laundering instructions on the yarn
label. Generally you will want to hand wash all of your hand knitted items in a
mild detergent and then dry them flat. If you do not have a yarn label, you can
sometimes find similar yarn at your local craft store and read that yarn's
label for care directions.

The Top 7 Crocheting Yarn Questions Answered

One of the most important decisions you must make when you crochet is what yarn
to use for your project. The yarn you choose has everything to do with how your
finished project looks and stands up to time and wear. The last thing you want
to do is spend hours making something only to have it fall apart in the wash,
or look worn out after the second wearing. Taking the time to choose just the
right yarn will help make your crocheting projects a success.

Here are the answers to your top seven crocheting yarn questions:

1. How do I learn about all of the different yarns? The easiest place to learn
about yarn is by simply reading and comparing labels. Yarn labels include such
information as the brand name, the fiber content of the yarn, the color name
and number, the dye lot number, the number of piles or strands, the weight
classification of the yarn, the crocheting and crochet gauge, cleaning
instructions, and the length of the yarn itself. By reading the labels and
comparing them to each other, you can easily learn all you need to know about
yarn.

2. Why do I care about yarn weight classification? The term "yarn weight
classification" does not refer to the actual physical weight of the yarn, as
you might have guessed it would. Rather, the yarn weight classification refers
to the diameter of the yarn strand. The smaller the strand, the smaller the
weight, and vice versa:

3. Can I use a different yarn brand than my pattern calls for? Generally the
answer is yes. You will want to crochet a test swatch and make sure your gauge
is correct before crocheting your entire project though.

4. What is yarn gauge? Gauge is the number of stitches and rows in every inch
of crocheting. Gauge is specified on patterns to assure that the end project is
true to size. Because everyone crochets differently, it is very important to
make a test swatch with your project needles and yarn to check to make sure
your gauge matches that of the pattern you are working with. Gauge is
especially important when working with clothing.

5. Can I substitute one yarn weight for another one? Generally the answer is
no. Because your yarn weight has a lot to do with the finished size and look of
a project, by using a yarn of a different weight you risk your project coming
out the wrong size. Generally you cannot substitute yarn weights unless you are
making something like a blanket or scarf where it will not matter as much and
you can easily adjust your project for the change in size.

6. What is a dye lot and why do some yarns have one and others do not? Dye lot
numbers refer to the batch a skein of yarn was in when it was dyed at the
factory. Because dying is not an exact science, the same color yarn, from
different dye lots, can appear to be two different colors. This is why you
should always purchase enough yarn to complete your project all from the same
dye lot if at all possible. Some yarns and fibers do not list a dye lot number
because the fibers are colored first and then the yarns are made. This means
there are no dye lots available for the yarn.

7. How do I care for my crochet fabrics? The easiest way to know how to care
for a crochet fabric is to check on the laundering instructions on the yarn
label. Generally you will want to hand wash all of your hand crochet items in a
mild detergent and then dry them flat. If you do not have a yarn label, you can
sometimes find similar yarn at your local craft store and read that yarn's
label for care directions.

The 4 Reasons to Join a Crochet Group

If you are new to crochet, or even a seasoned pro, a crochet group might be
just what you have been looking for. Joining a crochet group can offer you help
with a new pattern, help completing a lingering project, new crochet project
ideas, and the ability to make new friends with a very similar interest to
yours.

You may have investigated the idea of getting some classes to help with your
crochet and found that the cost is too high for your budget, or there are no
class times which work for your busy schedule. A great alternative to the
structure and cost of crochet lessons are crochet groups.

Crochet groups are simply a collective of people who get together to crochet
and teach each other things about crochet. Whether you have never crocheted
anything or if you have a bunch of successful projects under your belt, you can
benefit from a crochet group.

Here are four of the top benefits of a crochet group:

Benefit #1 -- Learn New Patterns from People Not Books -- Have you ever read a
crochet pattern and went "huh?" Most everyone who crochets does that at some
point. The abbreviations get the best of us and we have no idea what a pattern
is talking about, let alone try to crochet it.

When you are a member of a crochet group, you can bring your patterns and
crochet projects along with you to the meetings, and get help and advice from
others who understand the techniques better than you do. Learning something
like crochet is always better when you learn from another person rather than to
try and learn it yourself from a book.

Benefit #2 -- Help and Motivation to Finish Your Lingering Projects -- Nearly
everyone, at some point, finds that they have an unfinished project which they
are either stuck on, or that they have become bored with and abandoned. Crochet
groups are great for finding help to finish up the project yourself, or for
getting a volunteer who will happily finish it for you. Sometimes, even the act
of showing your half-finished projects to other people can prod you along and
get you finishing them up.

Benefit #3 -- Make Friends Who Crochet -- One of the best advantages to a
crochet group is that you will make new friends who also love to crochet. While
crochet is generally thought of as being a pretty solitary art, getting together
allows you to learn from each other and also to simply make friends. At group
meetings you can swap ideas and you can even make-up fun contests or community
service projects. Your crochet group is truly what you make it. So, get
involved in a group and help to improve it!

Benefit #4 -- Get Ideas for Your Next Projects -- It happens to even the best
crafters, they run out of ideas for their next project. Sometimes you can look
through a ton of crochet resources and nothing screams "make me" to you. When
you are an active participant in a crochet group, you can see what everyone
else around you is making and that can spark something in you. You might love
the new yarn that someone is using and think of something you could make with
it, or you might love a new technique and have just the right yarn at home to
try it out.

No matter what your motivation is, there is a great crochet group in your area
just waiting for you to join. There really isn't any reason for you to struggle
with your projects or making new friends when you can attend crochet groups and
accomplish both goals at once. If you happen to live in an area where there is
not an existing crochet group, maybe you should start one for yourself.
Advertise with free flyers and get some others who love crochet to join you.
Before long you will have a room full of happy crochet lovers in your group.

Make Your Knitting Projects Sparkle by Adding Beads

With the popularity of beading and jewelry making today, there are literally
millions of different beads which you can purchase and add on to your knitting
projects. Beads are very readily available just about everywhere and can be
very inexpensive to purchase. Beads can be found made of many materials and of
all shapes and sizes. Some beads are made from plastics while others are made
from more natural products such as wood and glass. Whether you want to add a
single focus bead to your crochet projects, or add hundreds of small beads, it
is simple to do and will produce great results every single time.

No instruction about beading your knitting projects would be complete without a
warning about babies. If you are knitting baby items, they are not appropriate
for beading. The baby's hands can work beads loose and they are a possible
choking hazard if swallowed. The best way to deal with this is to avoid the
issue all together by not adding beads to your knit baby items.

No matter if your knitting project is simple or complex, adding beads is a
simple process which you can learn very quickly. However, one very important
thing is to remember is that your bead holes need to fit over the yarn or fiber
which you are knitting with. If the bead hole is hard to get on your yarn then
you will find the entire process frustrating. And, the bead, if hard to string,
will rub your yarn and cause it to fray. This fraying will cause your finished
product to look less than professional.

The first step in adding beads to your knitting projects is deciding how many
beads you need and where you will place them on your project. Your options are
limitless when you are adding beads to knitting. You can add one bead, you can
add just a few beads or you can add many beads. You also have the option of
forming patterns with your beads or making them appear more random. Once you
have decided some of these things then it is time to hit your local craft store
to purchase your beads.

While you are selecting beads, take care to decide on the quality of the beads
and the wear they may receive. If your item will be machine washed then it is a
good idea to stick with sturdy beads. If your item will be hand washed then you
can use more delicate beads. Whatever your choice in beads, make sure you use
quality beads so they will last the lifetime of your finished knitting project.

When you are going to embellish your knitting with beads you have two choices
of how to do it. The first choice is to add on your beads as you knit. To do
this you will want to feed your beads onto your yarn when you are at the stitch
where you want the bead to be. Place the bead right where you want it to be, and
then make your last yarn over. This will secure down the bead into place. If you
are working on an open or lacy design, you will need to add your beads as you
knit.

The second choice you have is to sew on your beads after your fabric has been
made. To do this, you will want to use the same knitting yarn or thread to sew
on your beads that your fabric is made of. This will allow the thread to blend
in and not stand out on your finished design. This is a good technique for
tightly woven knit fabrics.

Adding beads to your knitting projects gives you a way to make a simple item
really have some sparkle and visual interest. Whether you choose to add a
single bead or thousands, the process is simple and you can do it well with
very little practice. Your only limitation is your imagination!

Learning to Knit is as Easy as 1-2-3

Knitting is one of the most relaxing crafts you can do with your hands. Once
you learn to knit you can easily sit back and knit and listen to the radio or
watch your favorite television program while you happily knit away and make a
great item, for yourself or someone else, at the same time.

Knitting is great for those of us who like to keep our hands busy but also like
to multitask as well. I used to sit and watch my aunt knit at family gathering
and was always amazed that by the end of the day she would have participated in
all of the conversation and still she had a ton of knitting done.

When you first start knitting, it seems hard to do and it feels awkward in your
hands. However, that awkwardness soon leaves and is replaced with the satisfied
feeling of knowing you created something with your own two hands. It really is
a very satisfying feeling.

While knitting is not difficult to do, it does require a few special supplies
and some patience. With these three simple steps you can learn to knit today:

Step #1 -- Your Supply List

To begin knitting you will simply need to have a pair of knitting needles and
some yarn. If you are going to attempt to make an item from a pattern, you will
also need that as well.

Knitting Needles

Knitting needles are not all created equal. By far, the easiest needles to knit
on are made from wood. Wooden knitting needles allow you to knit much easier
because your yarn will stay in place on them. When you use plastic or metal
knitting needles you will soon find that your yarns want to slide off the
needles if you are not careful in handling them. When you are new to knitting
it really is best to stick to wooden needles.

When you are a beginner at knitting you should create your first project with
large needles for a couple different reasons. The first reason is that the
large needles are easier to work with and allow you to see your mistakes much
easier. If you drop a stitch you will immediately know it and can rip out and
start again fairly easily. The second reason is that large knitting needles
make your projects much quicker to do. You can very easily finish a scarf on
large knitting needles in only a couple days. This sense of accomplishment is
great for newbies.

Yarns and Fibers

When you are new to knitting you will want to start out with natural fibers
such as cotton or wool. The reason you want to stick to the natural fibers is
because they will not slide off of your knitting needles quite as easily as
synthetic fibers will. While all those fancy yarns look inviting, they can be a
challenge to work with if you are new to knitting. It is best to start off
simple and move you way up.

Step #2 -- Learn Some Basic Knitting Lingo

Learning to knit means you have to learn the language which goes along with
knitting. At first it looks a bit daunting, but here are the basic
abbreviations. You can find more in a knitting dictionary in the front or back
of most knitting books.

K stands for Knit KB stands for Knit-in-Back BO stands for Bind-Off P stands
for Purl EOR stands for knit every other row

Step #3 -- Just Do It

Just like the Nike ads say -- Just do it! The only way you will ever learn a
new skill, such as knitting, is to try it out and practice.

Learning to knit allows you to make new friends and to create beautiful works
of art while relaxing at the same time. By taking care to use the right
supplies for beginners, and for looking for groups where you can learn new
techniques, you will be on your way to knitting complex sweaters in no time.

Learning to Crochet is as Easy as 1-2-3

Crocheting is one of the most relaxing crafts you can do with your hands. Once
you learn to crochet you can easily sit back and crochet and listen to the
radio or watch your favorite television program while you happily crochet away
and make a great item, for yourself or someone else, at the same time.
Crocheting is great for those of us who like to keep our hands busy but also
like to multitask as well.

I used to sit back and watch my aunt crochet at family gathering and was always
amazed that by the end of the day she would have participated in all of the
conversation and still she had a ton of crocheting done.

When you first start crocheting, it seems hard to do and it feels awkward in
your hands. However, that awkwardness soon leaves and is replaced with the
satisfied feeling of knowing you created something with your own two hands. It
really is a very satisfying feeling.

While crocheting is not difficult to do, it does require a few special supplies
and some patience. With these three simple steps you can learn to crochet today:

Step #1 -- Your Supply List

To begin crocheting you will simply need to have a crochet hook and some yarn.
If you are going to attempt to make an item from a pattern, you will also need
that as well.

Crocheting Hooks

One of the most important considerations for any crochet project is the size of
the hook and the yarn you choose to use. Crochet hooks are labeled with numbers
and letters. These numbers and letters correspond to different sizes. The
higher the number or letter then the larger and thicker the size of the hook,
and when you are new to crochet this means the quicker your project will be
completed.

Crochet Fibers and Yarns

When you are first learning how to crochet you should stick to using natural
fibers and yarns. These natural fibers tend to be less slippery and easier to
work with.

Just as important as the fibers you use is the way that you hold them in your
hand. By learning the "correct" way to hold your yarn and crochet hook from day
one, it will be much easier for you to advance your crocheting projects without
having to relearn how to hold things. Here is the best way to hold your yarn
and crochet hook:

1. Place the yarn over your little finger, below your ring finger, and above
your fore and middle fingers. 2. Hold your crochet hook as you would a pencil
or fork. This allows you the best hold to heave the yarn from your fingers down
to the loop in the hook.

As you begin to crochet more and more you will come up with just the right
positions for you. But, it is always best to learn in a more classical style
from the start and adopt your own style from there.

Step #2 -- Learn Some Basic Crocheting Lingo

Learning to crochet means you have to learn the language which goes along with
crocheting. At first it looks a bit daunting, but here are the basic
abbreviations. You can find more in a crocheting dictionary in the front or
back of most crocheting books.

CH stands for Chain Stitch DEC stands for decrease DC stands for Double Crochet
DB DEC stands for Double Decrease INC stands for Increase HDC stands for
half-double crochet REP stands for Repeat RND stands for Round SC stands for
Single Crochet SK stands for Skip SL ST stands for Slip Stitch SP(S) stands for
Spaces ST(S) stands for Stitches YO stands for Yarn Over

Step #3 -- Just Do It

Just like the infamous Nike ads say -- Just do it! The only way you will ever
learn a new skill, such as crocheting, is to try it out and practice.

Learning to crochet allows you to make new friends and to create beautiful
works of art while relaxing at the same time. By taking care to use the right
supplies for beginners, and for looking for groups where you can learn new
techniques, you will be on your way to crocheting complex sweaters in no time.

Knitting Yarn Selection Tips and Tricks

Most everyone who knits appreciates all of the variation in the yarns and
fibers available on the market today. Even in a large store like Wal-Mart, you
can discover many different kinds of yarns. As you move to craft stores and
knitting shops your yarn selection options go through the roof. At these
specialty shops you can find yarns made of some of the most exotic fibers such
as alpaca and cashmere. For a knitter, browsing through all the options in a
store which carries yarn can take hours and is a very enjoyable pastime.

Yarn selection for your knitting projects is a much more complicated process
than simply selecting a color which appeals to you. While yarn color clearly
matters, the most important thing about the yarn you select is that it matches
your project and that it is the highest quality available in your price range.
The product you end up with is a direct result of the yarn you choose; if you
choose quality you will have a quality end product, if you choose a lesser yarn
it will show in the quality of your finished work.

If your knitting pattern calls for a very lightweight smaller yarn and you use
a larger chunky yarn, then you can count on your end project being a very
different size than the pattern states. While this is easy to adjust for in the
case of scarves and blankets, it is not as easy when you are making things like
socks, hats, and sweaters. It is important to keep this in mind when you are
selecting your yarn.

Some of the highest quality yarns available are made from natural fibers from
animals and plants. These yarns are: cottons, alpaca, mohair, cashmere, and
wools. Each yarn has a different feel and thickness that should be considered
when you are deciding how you want your finished project to turn out.

Another consideration when you are choosing a yarn is how it can be cleaned. If
you are making a baby blanket or baby garment, then you will want to insure that
it can be machine washed and possibly dried. Dry cleaning just won't do in the
case of items for babies; they need to be able to be machine washed.

When you are looking at yarn for a particular pattern, make sure that you
understand the fiber content and structure as well as the gauge of the
suggested yarn. If you are going to substitute another yarn it is important to
match the fiber content, structure and the gauge of the new yarn to the one
suggested in the pattern. If you do not do this, then your end project will not
come out as you expected.

While no one particularly loves knitting a swatch to check for gauge, it is
vital when you are looking at substituting a different yarn for a pattern. This
quick check will show you if your gauge is correct for the pattern or if you
will need to switch needles or adjust your tension.

As you can see, yarn and fiber selection is very important for all knitters to
consider. If you choose the wrong yarn for your project it will be blatantly
obvious in your finished project. However, if you choose the correct yarn, your
project will be as fabulous as you set out to make it. By always using a high
quality yarn you can assure that you end up with high quality finished projects.

Knitting is Not for Grannies Anymore

One of the fastest growing trends today is teenagers learning to knit. While
the word "knitting" used to make you think of grandma sitting in her rocker
knitting a baby blanket for some distant relative, this is just not the case
anymore. Today, millions of teens and young adults everywhere are learning to
knit. And, they are creating some amazing garments and decorative items!

Today, there are many knitting books published which are targeted specifically
at teens and young adults. These books are flying off the shelves in record
numbers. Many of the knitting books today come with some really hip and
colorful projects which appeal to teens and young adults. Add to that the
amazingly cool yarns and fibers available today, and you have a winning
combination.

As the popularity of knitting grows, there are even starting to be after school
clubs dedicated to the art of knitting. In these clubs teens get together and
learn new knitting techniques, share ideas, and show off their latest completed
projects with each other. While knitting is usually seen as a very solitary
craft, joining a knitting club allows you to share your works with others and
gain inspiration. Knitting clubs also bring a social aspect to the art of
knitting which has never been there before.

While teen knitting is the most popular with girls, an amazing number of boys
are learning to knit as well. It is no longer considered taboo for a boy to
learn to knit. And, if he is interested in girls there are plenty of them at
the local knitting club. Many a teen romance has started over knitting needles.
Many boys are making laptop covers and gifts for the special people in their
lives. What teen girl wouldn't love to get a hand knitted item from her
boyfriend?

Why is knitting popular with teens today? Some believe it is the affordability
and ease of acquiring the supplies necessary coupled with the popularity of
simple items such as iPod cozies and cool hats and scarves. Others credit the
Internet and the availability of really cool patterns which designers today are
aiming at the teen and young adult markets. Where knitting books and magazines
tended to be marketed for older people, the Internet and today's books and
magazines are aiming for a much younger market.

For many years past, knitting was seen as something your granny did. Now, as we
move on in the twenty-first century, knitting has become cool among young women
and even young men. The recent introduction of the Internet into everyday life
has made knitting an easy skill to learn and gives you something to share with
others all over the world. Even when you are brand new to knitting you can
create some great items with all of the new and exciting yarns and fibers on
the market today.

Hand knit garments are seeing a resurgence in popularity, and this fact is
fueling the knitting trend even more. Everyone wants to have a special knit
item that they can say that they made themselves. With the popularity of
knitting came knitting clubs which offer a great venue to show off your latest
creations and gain ideas for more knit projects to come in the future.
Thankfully, the trend of teen and young adult knitting is expected to continue
for years to come.

Knitting as a Home-Based Business

The word "knitting" used to conger up thoughts of grannies sitting in their
rockers and making baby blankets to pass the time, but thankfully it has now
taken on an entirely different connotation. Knitting has seen a major
resurgence in interest in the past ten years or so. People young and old, from
all walks of life, are discovering knitting in an entirely new way. And, the
best part is that now some stay-at-home parents are using their love of
knitting to create income for their families. As owners of a home-based
knitting business, many are finding they can earn some extra money to support
their family, while enjoying their craft as well.

There are many aspects to knitting which can be made into a home-based business
venture. The most obvious one is selling the items which you knit. However, even
more in demand is teaching knitting to others, and selling knitting items to
others who knit for their hobby. With the proliferation of the Internet, you
can now set up shop and be in business in just a couple days' time.

Whether you choose to sell your items online, teach or sell retail, there are a
few basic business guidelines that you will need to follow to be successful.
Some of them are:

The Business Plan

No matter what business you decide to start, you 100% have to have a solid
business plan. There is no way possible to have a successful business venture
without one. The best way to develop your business plan is to think about all
of the variables which go into your unique business, and what your ultimate
short-term and long-term goals are for the business. With all of this
information, you can sit down and formulate a business plan without it taking
you a lot of valuable time. You can easily make a business plan with a pencil
and a piece of paper.

Financial Records

The best thing you can do for yourself is to keep good business records from
day one of your business. Start with the fees to get a business license, and
start recording every single business expense that you have. By doing this as
you go you will save both yourself and your tax preparer a ton of headaches
come tax time.

Setting Your Prices

The number one mistake many home-based knitting businesses make is to charge
too little for their services. You need to make a living, and you need to be
pricing your items and services accordingly. Whatever you do, do not sell
yourself short! Ask a going rate for your items and services and expect that
people will pay you what your time and product is worth. This allows you to
work smarter and not harder! And, it allows you to stay in business because you
are seeing some profits from your time investment.

Marketing

Marketing is simply getting the word out and letting others know your business
exists. You can market online, through a press release sent to your local
newspaper, flyers, brochures, craft fair booths, etc: Anywhere you come into
contact with potential customers you can market your items and services. You
can even do simple things like always carry business cards, available these
days very inexpensively online, and hand them out to everyone you meet as you
go through your days.

The absolute best way to market your business is through word-of-mouth. Once
your business gets going, if you treat your customers well, then they will tell
their friends and family about you; this will bring you more customers without
having to pay a dime to advertise.

As you can see there are a lot of things for you to consider when you are
thinking about starting a home-based knitting business. However, your business
can be very successful and profitable if you take the time to make it so.

How to Starch Your Knitting Projects

As you foray into the art of knitting, there will be times where you want to
add some stiffness to your finished work. This is the case when you are
knitting items such as handbags and certain kinds of lace. Stiffening your
yarns or fibers can easily be accomplished by starching your projects with a
variety of different stiffening mediums. Starching has been around for a very
long time and with the different options available today for starching; you can
find just the right one for your project.

Classic Starching

The oldest form of starching is simply to dissolve 1/2" cup starch in 1/2 cup of
cold water. Take this mixture and bring it to a boil slowly over a low flame.
As the mixture begins to thicken up, gradually add 1 1/2" cups of cold water. Boil
the mixture while stirring constantly until the mixture becomes clear. This will
leave you with a think pasty type mixture.

As soon as your starch mixture is cool enough to safely be handled, dip in your
knitting work and squeeze the starch into it thoroughly. Your goal is to soak
your project with the starch but not to have it in the holes or any openwork in
your project. At this point you will want to allow your project to dry in the
position you want it to be in when the starching process is completed.

Once your item is completely dry, you can iron it with a steam iron on a medium
setting.

Spray Starch

An easier way to stiffen your knitting items is to use spray starch. Spray
starch is readily available in the laundry detergent area of any of your local
grocery or drug stores. To use spray starch you will want to use one of two
methods.

Method one is to lightly spray your piece and the press it using a warm iron,
on the wrong side, covered with another material in-between your item and your
iron.

Method two is to lightly spray your piece and then pin it in place and allow it
to dry. If you choose to pin your pieces, make sure you use rust proof pins so
you do not get any staining on your finished work.

Spray starch is perfect for household items and holds up under normal wear.
However, it is not permanent and if you wash your item then you will need to
starch it again.

Liquid Starch

Using liquid starch allows you to control the stiffness
of your piece very easily. You have the option of using the starch straight
from the bottle, or diluting it with water and having a less stiff piece as a
result. The process is identical to the directions above for classic starching.

Stiff Stuff

There is a great product on the craft market called "Stiff Stuff." And, just as
the name implies, it is used to starch craft items and handiwork. The process is
exactly the same as using spray starch; however, your resulting item will be
very stiff. And, if you wish to hasten the process you can use a blow dryer to
dry the starch faster. Stiff Stuff is not permanent and will wash out if you
wash your piece.

White Glue and Water

If you are looking for a permanent starching option, you can accomplish it by
using white glue and water. Simply mix together equal parts of white glue and
water. Dip your item into this mixture and squeeze out the excess. Lay your
item on a hard non-stick surface to dry and you will have a permanently
starched end product.

Shellac

Shellac is used in the case where you want a very firm finished product. Simply
shape your piece and using a small brush add a thin layer of shellac. Let this
layer dry, and then apply 2-3 more coats on top of it. Once your item is dry
the shellac is permanent and your item will be very hard to the touch.

By using these techniques, you can ensure that your knitting projects are
starched like a professional and will last for many years to come.

Don't Waste Your Extra Yarn -- Use It!

Traditionally, handicrafts were born out of invention and necessity. People
needed warm blankets for their bed so they learned to weave threads and
eventually how to make quilts; they needed clothing so they learned to make
fabrics and sew them together. Today's handicrafts are similar for many of the
people who believe that sustainability of our plant is a big issue for those
living in our current times. The idea of recycling is often practiced in craft
work through the reuse of yarns, fibers and fabrics.

While it is fun to browse around your local craft or yarn store looking at all
the variations of yarn skeins you can buy, it is also important to take the
time to look around you own house, and your ever growing yarn stash, and use up
those left-over yarns from previous projects. Each of those skeins of yarn at
your local store has had to be grown, processed, created, shipped, etc: and
each task has taken its own small toll on the earth we all live on.

While buying yarn is a necessity for those of us who choose to knit or crochet,
it is important also to use the yarns we already have, and those others have
cast off at the local thrift and charity shops as well, when we can. It is just
as important to also use knitting needles and other supplies to their fullest
usefulness as well.

Wasting your scraps of yarn is simply throwing money out the proverbial window.
A much better option is to find a project where you can best utilize your scraps
and make them into something beautiful and useful. What this is depends on what
scraps you happen to have lying around the house.

Start by sorting your yarns by color. This can help you to make new project
such as scarves and blankets where you can mix and match colors in new and
unique ways. Look at each color combination and think about the projects you
could make with them.

Dealing with yarns of different weights can be an issue if you attempt to knit
them using techniques like stripes. However, you can knit them in other
patterns where they will flow nicely together and the variation in weight is an
added bonus.

One of the best stitches you can use for combining variations in weight is the
granite stitch.

Take your scrap yarns and make some quick swatches. Combine colors and
techniques to get ideas about what you could make with all of the scraps you
have of one color or another.

Another fun way to deal with yarns of different weights, colors, and textures
is to knit granny squares and then combine them all into a blanket or shawl.
With this application your variations will enhance your project and not take
away from it.

As you become more and more skilled at knitting and crochet you learn that
free-form projects allow you to craft and create new and exciting items which
are 100% unique and one-of-a-kind. Use a free-form technique and see what you
come up with.

Whether your ultimate goal is frugal living or saving the plant, you can make
great strides by shopping in your own yarn stash before you hit the craft store
or yarn shop. Challenge yourself to use up your odds and ends and see what you
can come up with!

Crocheting is a Popular Teen Pastime

One of the fastest growing trends today is teenagers learning to crochet. While
the word "crochet" used to make you think of grandma sitting in her rocker
knitting a baby blanket or baby clothing for some distant relative, this is
just simply not the case anymore. Today, millions of teens and young adults
everywhere are learning to crochet. And, they are creating some amazing
garments and decorative items as well!

Today, there are many crochet books published which are targeted specifically
at teens and young adults. These books are flying off the shelves in record
numbers. Many of the crochet books today come with some really hip and colorful
projects which appeal to teens and young adults. Add to that the amazingly cool
yarns and fibers available today, and you have a winning combination.

As the popularity of crochet grows, there are even starting to be after school
clubs dedicated to the art of crochet. In these clubs, teens get together and
learn new crochet techniques, share ideas, and show off their latest completed
projects with each other. While crochet is usually seen as a very solitary
craft, joining a crochet club allows you to share your works with others and
gain inspiration. Crochet clubs also bring a social aspect to the art of
crochet which has never been there in the past.

While teen crochet is the most popular with girls, an amazing number of boys
are learning to crochet as well. It is no longer considered taboo for a boy to
learn to crochet. And, if he is interested in girls there are plenty of them at
the local crochet club. Many a teen romance has started over a crochet hook and
yarn. Many boys are making laptop covers and gifts for the special people in
their lives. What teen girl wouldn't love to get a hand made item from her
boyfriend?

Why is crochet popular with teens today? Some believe it is the affordability
and ease of acquiring the supplies necessary coupled with the popularity of
simple items such as iPod cozies and cool hats and scarves. Others credit the
Internet and the availability of really cool patterns which designers today are
aiming at the teen and young adult markets. Where crochet books and magazines
tended to be marketed for older people in the past, the Internet and today's
books and magazines are aiming for a much younger market.

For many years past, crochet was seen as something your granny did. Now, as we
move on in the twenty-first century, it has become cool among young women and
even young men. The recent introduction of the Internet into everyday life has
made crochet an easy skill to learn and gives you something to share with
others all over the world. Even when you are brand new to crochet you can
create some great items with all of the new and exciting yarns and fibers on
the market today.

Hand crochet garments are seeing a resurgence in popularity, and this fact is
fueling the crochet trend even more. Everyone wants to have a special hand made
item that they can say that they made themselves. With the popularity of crochet
came crochet clubs which offer a great venue to show off your latest creations
and gain ideas for more crochet projects to come in the future. Thankfully, the
trend of teen and young adult crochet is expected to continue for years to come.

Crochet Yarn Selection Tips and Tricks

Most everyone who crochets appreciates all of the variation in the yarns and
fibers available on the market today. Even in a large store like Wal-Mart, you
can discover many different kinds of yarns to work with. As you move to craft
stores and yarn shops your yarn selection options go through the roof. At these
specialty shops you can find yarns made of some of the most exotic fibers such
as alpaca and cashmere. For someone who crochets, browsing through all the
options in a store which carries yarn can take hours and is a very enjoyable
pastime in itself.

Yarn selection for your crochet projects is a much more complicated process
than simply selecting a color which appeals to you. While yarn color clearly
matters, the most important thing about the yarn you select is that it matches
your project and that it is the highest quality available in your price range.
The product you end up with is a direct result of the yarn you choose; if you
choose quality you will have a quality end product, if you choose a lesser yarn
it will show in the quality of your finished work.

If your crochet pattern calls for a very lightweight smaller yarn and you use a
larger chunky yarn, then you can count on your end project being a very
different size than the pattern states. While this is easy to adjust for in the
case of scarves and blankets, it is not as easy when you are making things like
socks, hats, and sweaters. It is important to keep this in mind when you are
selecting yarn for your crochet projects.

Some of the highest quality yarns available are made from natural fibers from
animals and plants. These yarns are: cottons, alpaca, mohair, cashmere, and
wools. Each yarn has a different feel and thickness that should be considered
when you are deciding how you want your finished project to turn out. A small
yarn will yield a smaller finished project and vice versa.

Another consideration when you are choosing a yarn is how it can be cleaned. If
you are crocheting a baby blanket or baby garment, then you will want to insure
that it can be machine washed and possibly dried. Dry cleaning just won't do in
the case of items for babies; they need to be able to be machine washed.

When you are looking at yarn for a particular pattern, make sure that you
understand the fiber content and structure as well as the gauge of the
suggested yarn. If you are going to substitute another yarn it is important to
match the fiber content, structure and the gauge of the new yarn to the one
suggested in the pattern. If you do not do this, then your end project will not
come out as you expected.

While no one particularly loves crocheting a swatch to check for gauge, it is
vital when you are looking at substituting a different yarn for a pattern. This
quick check will show you if your gauge is correct for the pattern or if you
will need to switch hooks or adjust your yarn tension in one way or another.

As you can see, yarn and fiber selection is very important for all who crochet
to consider. If you choose the wrong yarn for your project it will be blatantly
obvious in your finished project. However, if you choose the correct yarn, your
project will be as fabulous as you set out to make it. By always using a high
quality yarn you can assure that you end up with high quality finished projects.

Crochet as a Home-Based Business

Similarly to knitting, crochet has been seeing a nice resurgence in popularity
in the recent years. Crochet is generally thought of as being quicker and
easier than knitting. While the two are similar they require entirely different
skills to master. But, the good news is that both are fairly easy to do once you
learn the basics.

Items made from knitting and crochet are all the rage today. And, for those who
do not have the skills or time to create them themselves, they are willing to
pay you to make handcrafted items for them!

There are three ways you can make a business out of your crochet work. The
first is to make items to sell, the second is to teach others to crochet, and
the third is to sell crocheting items online for other crafters to use.

You can easily sell your crochet items at local craft fairs or online. And, the
best thing is that all you need to get started is a ball of yarn and a crochet
hook!

Whether you choose to sell your items, teach, or sell retail, there are a few
basic business guidelines that you will need to follow to be successful. Some
of them are:

The Business Plan

No matter what business you decide to start, you 100% have to have a solid
business plan. There is no way possible to have a successful business venture
without one. The best way to develop your business plan is to think about all
of the variables which go into your unique business, and what your ultimate
short-term and long-term goals are for the business. With all of this
information, you can sit down and formulate a business plan without it taking
you a lot of valuable time. You can easily make a business plan with a pencil
and a piece of paper.

Financial Records

The best thing you can do for yourself is to keep good business records from
day one of your business. Start with the fees to get a business license, and
start recording every single business expense that you have. By doing this as
you go you will save both yourself and your tax preparer a ton of headaches
come tax time.

Setting Your Prices

The number one mistake many home-based crochet businesses make is to charge too
little for their services. You need to make a living, and you need to be pricing
your items and services accordingly. Whatever you do, do not sell yourself short!
Ask a going rate for your items and services and expect that people will pay
you what your time and product is worth. This allows you to work smarter and
not harder! And, it allows you to stay in business because you are seeing some
profits from your time investment.

Marketing

Marketing is simply getting the word out and letting others know your business
exists. You can market online, through a press release sent to your local
newspaper, flyers, brochures, craft fair booths, etc: Anywhere you come into
contact with potential customers you can market your items and services. You
can even do simple things like always carry business cards, available these
days very inexpensively online, and hand them out to everyone you meet as you
go through your days.

The absolute best way to market your business is through word-of-mouth. Once
your business gets going, if you treat your customers well, then they will tell
their friends and family about you; this will bring you more customers without
having to pay a dime to advertise.

As you can see there are a lot of things for you to consider when you are
thinking about starting a home-based crochet business. However, your business
can be very successful and profitable if you take the time to make it so. Your
options are only limited by your imagination and the time you invest in your
business venture.

Aran Knitting Is Simple But Sure Doesn't Look Like It

Aran knitting is a form of knitting where you use one solid color of yarn and
essentially make patterns and cables by using various basic stitches and needle
techniques. The Aran knitting technique is also sometimes called sweater
knitting, cable knitting, or fisherman knitting, because Aran knitting
techniques were used in the past primarily to knit cable sweaters. Today, Aran
knitting techniques are used on a wide variety of hand knit items from the more
traditional sweaters to blankets, scarves and bags.

While Aran knit garments and household items may look very complicated to knit,
they really aren't all that difficult to do once you have mastered a couple new
techniques. Anyone with basic knitting skills can learn to do Aran knitting and
create wonderful heirloom items for their friends and family.

In addition to traditional knitting needles, for Aran knitting you will also
need to have a cable needle which you will use to make the special cable
designs with. Cable needles come in various shapes and sizes. The shape and
size you choose to use in your knitting is mostly about personal preference as
they all perform the same function. Personally, I know that I prefer wooden
cable needles because they are less likely to slide out of my projects.

Yarn selection is probably the most important step in knitting anything. I know
I started out with a cheap and just "okay" yarn. I ended up with a just okay
looking finished project. When you are putting a lot of your time into
something, you are well advised to use the best materials you can afford to
use. This is so that you can be proud of the way your finished project turns
out and to insure that it will stand the test of time.

The absolute best yarns to use for Aran knitting are wools and cottons. You
also only want to use a yarn which is a single color. The trick to Aran
knitting is that you want the patterns you knit to stand out -- not the yarn
itself like in many other knitting projects. You do not want to use a yarn with
a lot of fluff or extra bulk to it for Aran knitting. Stick to the easier yarns
for your first couple projects and then branch out from there into the more
creative yarns and fibers if you so desire.

While the cables and designs of Aran knitting look terribly daunting, they are
created by moving stitches over to the cable needle and then back to the main
project surface again. You will be varying the order in which you knit the
stitches and this forms the cable designs. The process of Aran knitting really
is that simple.

If you want to learn Aran knitting I would suggest picking up one of the many
books on the subject or even better have someone show you how it is done. By
learning a few basic techniques you can create some intricate looking patterns
to add to your garments and blankets. As with any knitting project you will
have the best results however, if you have someone show you how to do the
techniques and can be there to assist you if something doesn't look right. It
will take a few rows of knitting before Aran knitting starts to look right or
wrong.

Adding Starch to Your Finished Crochet Projects

As you foray into the art of crochet, there will be times where you want to add
some stiffness to your finished work. This is the case when you are crocheting
items such as handbags, doilies, and certain kinds of lace. Stiffening your
yarns or fibers can easily be accomplished by starching your projects with a
variety of different stiffening mediums. Starching has been around for a very
long time and with the different options available today for starching; you can
find just the right one for your project.

Classic Starching

The oldest form of starching is simply to dissolve 1/2" cup starch in 1/2 cup of
cold water. Take this mixture and bring it to a boil slowly over a low flame.
As the mixture begins to thicken up, gradually add 1 1/2" cups of cold water. Boil
the mixture while stirring constantly until the mixture becomes clear. This will
leave you with a think pasty type mixture.

As soon as your starch mixture is cool enough to safely be handled, dip in your
crochet work and squeeze the starch into it thoroughly. Your goal is to soak
your project with the starch but not to have it in the holes or any openwork in
your project. At this point you will want to allow your project to dry in the
position you want it to be in when the starching process is completed.

Once your item is completely dry, you can iron it with a steam iron on a medium
setting.

Spray Starch

An easier way to stiffen your crochet items is to use spray starch. Spray
starch is readily available in the laundry detergent area of any of your local
grocery or drug stores. To use spray starch you will want to use one of two
methods.

Method one is to lightly spray your piece and the press it using a warm iron,
on the wrong side, covered with another material in-between your item and your
iron.

Method two is to lightly spray your piece and then pin it in place and allow it
to dry. If you choose to pin your pieces, make sure you use rust proof pins so
you do not get any staining on your finished crochet work.

Spray starch is perfect for household items and holds up under normal wear.
However, it is not permanent and if you wash your item then you will need to
starch it again.

Liquid Starch

Using liquid starch allows you to control the stiffness of your piece very
easily. You have the option of using the starch straight from the bottle, or
diluting it with water and having a less stiff piece as a result. The process
is identical to the directions above for classic starching.

Stiff Stuff

There is a great product on the craft market called "Stiff Stuff." And, just as
the name implies, it is used to starch craft items and handiwork. The process is
exactly the same as using spray starch; however, your resulting item will be
very stiff. And, if you wish to hasten the process you can use a blow dryer to
dry the starch faster. Stiff Stuff is not permanent and will wash out if you
wash your piece.

White Glue and Water

If you are looking for a permanent starching option, you can accomplish it by
using white glue and water. Simply mix together equal parts of white glue and
water. Dip your crochet item into this mixture and squeeze out the excess. Lay
your piece on a hard non-stick surface to dry and you will have a permanently
starched end product.

Shellac

Shellac is used in the case where you want a very firm finished product. Simply
shape your piece and using a small brush add a thin layer of shellac. Let this
layer dry, and then apply 2-3 more coats on top of it. Once your item is dry
the shellac is permanent and your item will be very hard to the touch. Shellac
is perfect for use on things like crocheted Christmas tree ornaments and
bookmarks.

By using these techniques, you can ensure that your crochet projects are
starched like a professional and will last for many years to come.

Adding Beads to Your Crochet Projects

With the popularity of beading and jewelry making today, there are literally
millions of different beads which you can purchase and add on to your crochet
projects. Beads are very readily available and inexpensive to purchase. They
can be found made of many materials and of all shapes and sizes. Whether you
want to add a single focus bead to your crochet projects, or add many of them,
it is simple to do and will produce great results every single time.

No instruction about beading crochet would be complete without a warning about
babies. If you are crocheting baby items, they are not appropriate for beading.
The baby's hands can work beads loose and they are a possible choking hazard if
swallowed. The best way to deal with this is to avoid the issue all together by
not adding beads to your baby crochet items.

No matter if your crochet project is simple or complex, adding beads is a
simple process which you can learn very quickly. However, one very important
thing is to remember is that your bead holes need to fit over the yarn or fiber
which you are crocheting with. If the bead hole is hard to get on your yarn then
you will find the entire process frustrating. And, the bead, if hard to string,
will rub your yarn and cause it to fray. This fraying will cause your finished
product to look less than professional.

The first step in adding beads to your crochet projects is deciding how many
beads you need and where you will place them on your project. Your options are
limitless when you are adding beads to crochet. You can add one bead, you can
add just a few beads or you can add many beads. You also have the option of
forming patterns with your beads or making them appear more random. Once you
have decided some of these things then it is time to hit the craft store to
purchase your beads.

While you are selecting beads, take care to decide on the quality of the beads
and the wear they may receive. If your item will be machine washed then it is a
good idea to stick with sturdy beads. If your item will be hand washed then you
can use more delicate beads. Whatever your choice in beads, make sure you use
quality beads so they will last the lifetime of your finished crochet project.

You will be placing your beads on your project in the reverse, so you will want
to line up your beads in reverse order, if they are not all the same. When you
are going to embellish your crochet with beads you have two choices of how to
do it. The first choice is to add your beads as you crochet. To do this you
will want to feed your beads onto your crochet hook when you are at the stitch
where you want the bead to be. Place the bead right where you want it to be,
and then make your last yarn over. This will secure down the bead into place.
If you are working on an open or lacy design, you will need to add your beads
as you crochet.

The second choice you have is to sew on your beads after your fabric has been
crocheted. To do this, you will want to use the same crochet yarn or thread to
sew on your beads that your fabric is made of. This will allow the thread to
blend in and not stand out on your finished design. This is a good technique
for tightly woven crochet fabrics.

Adding beads to your crochet projects gives you a way to make a simple item
really have some sparkle and visual interest. Whether you choose to add a
single bead or thousands, the process is simple and you can do it well with
very little practice.

Add Pizzazz with These Advanced Knitting Techniques

There are many ways in which you can add pizzazz to your knitting projects.
Through the use of colors, textures, and structures you can modify even the
simplest knitting project and make it really stand out against the crowd. And,
while advanced knitting techniques can take a bit of time to grasp, they really
are not hard once you have learned and practiced them.

Advanced knitting techniques come in four different categories. They are:
color-work, cables/Aran knitting, lace, and structural techniques. Let's look
at each of these in a bit more detail:

Color-Work

There are three main styles of color-work in knitting. They are: fair isle,
intarsia, and mosaic. Each of these allows your knitting to have multiple
colors knit on the same knitting row.

Fair isle is originally from Scandinavia and involves only two colors. Each
color is carried through each row with one color "floated" behind the other
when it is not in use. Fair isle is often used when knitting in the round and
creating such items as sweaters and jackets.

Intarsia in contrast to fair isle, is generally not worked in the round, and is
used to create geometric shapes and other decorative items.

Mosaic knitting, otherwise known as slip-stitch knitting, allows you to knit
with only one color at a time and is much more time consuming than either fair
isle or intarsia.

Cables/Aran Knitting

Aran knitting is a form of knitting where you use one solid color of yarn and
essentially make patterns and cables by using various basic stitches and needle
techniques. The Aran knitting technique is also sometimes called sweater
knitting, cable knitting, or fisherman knitting, because Aran knitting
techniques were used in the past primarily to knit cable sweaters. Today, Aran
knitting techniques are used on a wide variety of hand knit items from the more
traditional sweaters to blankets, scarves and bags.

While Aran knit garments and household items may look very complicated to knit,
they really aren't all that difficult to do once you have mastered a couple new
techniques. Anyone with basic knitting skills can learn to do Aran knitting and
create wonderful heirloom items for their friends and family.

In addition to traditional knitting needles, for Aran knitting you will also
need to have a cable needle which you will use to make the special cable
designs with. Cable needles come in various shapes and sizes. The shape and
size you choose to use in your knitting is mostly about personal preference as
they all perform the same function. Personally, I know that I prefer wooden
cable needles because they are less likely to slide out of my projects.

Knit Lace

One of the most decorative and intricate types of advanced knitting is making
lace. Lace is simply made with a specifically ordered, decorative increases and
decreases in stitches. However, because if the specific order, lace can vary
from fairly simple to make to very advanced. The smaller the lace will be
sometimes the harder it is to make.

Structural Knitting

Structural advanced knitting techniques involve those such as entrelac and
mobius. Both of these structural techniques involve inverting and modifying the
rows and structure of a piece. Entrelac is used to make faux woven fabrics,
while mobius makes flipped but connected circles which resemble mobius strips.

Some knitting projects combine one, tow or even three of these techniques into
one finished piece, while others simply show off one individual technique. Some
of the most exciting uses for these advanced knitting techniques are in making
unique sweaters and shawls to be worn.

One of the best things about knitting is that you can try new techniques and
keep those which you like the results of. If you don't like something, you can
simply pull it out and start again using a different pattern or technique until
you get one you like. By experimenting with the more advanced knitting
techniques, you can make some amazing and unique knit items for yourself, your
home and for gifts.

A Knit Baby Blanket is One of the Best Baby Gifts

Finding the perfect gift for new parents can often be a challenge. Many times
new parents have either already shopped for their babies, or they have other
children and have many of the things they will need already in their homes. One
perfect gift option in this case is the gift of a handmade knit baby blanket. By
presenting the new parents with a handmade blanket you can show that you took
the time to make something special with their baby in mind. The blanket will be
appreciated and likely treasured for years to come.

With the recent popularity resurgence in knitting and crocheting, there are
limitless options available for yarns and fibers which you can quickly and
easily knit into an heirloom baby blanket. And, the best thing is that many of
today's yarns and fibers are dyed colors which lend themselves well to making a
baby blanket. With the soft pinks, light blues, and mellow yellow yarns, you can
be sure to match any nursery decorations the new parents may have done. Or you
can create a wonderful unisex design appropriate for any baby regardless of
their gender.

A handcrafted gift is one which can be passed down through generations and
appreciated by everyone. It shows the receiver that you spent a lot of time and
effort to make just the right gift for them. And, because of the time you have
invested in the gift, it will be one of the best received.

When you are going to knit a blanket for a baby, there are a few important
things which you need to keep in consideration as you find your pattern and buy
your supplies. A few of them are:

Pattern Selection -- You should choose a knit pattern which is tightly woven if
the blanket will be used by a very young baby. Often designs with any open-work
allow for the baby's fingers or toes to get caught up in the blanket and cause
discomfort. This is both a health and a safety risk.

Yarn Selection -- When you are knitting an item for a baby you want to find a
yarn or fiber which is both soft and machine washable. New parents are often
too tired and over-extended to spend time hand washing items. And, because
babies can be very messy, it is essential that anything they come into contact
with can be successfully washed.

Blanket Color -- If you know the color scheme of the nursery, or even the sex
of the baby, you can better match your blanket colors to them. If not, use your
imagination and create a wonderful unisex blanket.

Blanket Size -- When you are knitting for a baby, your first inclination might
be to make a very small blanket. However, babies grow very quickly into
toddlers. And, babies move around a lot and require decently sized blankets to
keep them covered up and warm. Your blanket will get much more use if you make
it a bit larger than your first inclination to allow it to be used as baby
grows.

No Beadwork -- While beadwork is popular in today's knitting and crocheting
patterns, beads are never appropriate for a baby item. A baby can loosen them
and they can become a choking hazard.

By keeping these simple considerations in mind, you can be well on your way to
knitting a keepsake baby blanket which will be cherished for years to come. As
with any baby gift, you want to insure that your blanket is safe and secure for
the baby who will be using it. However, by using your imagination and creativity
you can come up with the perfect and safe design for the new bundle of joy.

Top of Form

A Crochet Blanket -- The Perfect Gift for Baby

Finding the perfect gift for new parents can often be a challenge. Many times
new parents have either already shopped for their babies, or they have other
children and have many of the things they will need already in their homes. One
perfect gift option in this case is the gift of a handmade crochet baby blanket.

With the recent popularity resurgence in knitting and crocheting, there are
limitless options available for yarns and fibers which you can quickly and
easily crochet into an heirloom baby blanket. And, the best thing is that many
of today's yarns and fibers are dyed colors which lend themselves well to
making a baby blanket. With the soft pinks, light blues and mellow yellow
yarns, you can be sure to match any nursery decorations the new parents may
have done.

A handcrafted gift is one which can be passed down through generations and
appreciated by everyone. It shows the receiver that you spent a lot of time and
effort to make just the right gift for them. And, because of the time you have
invested in the gift, it will be one of the best received.

When you are going to make a blanket for a baby, there are a few important
things which you need to keep in consideration as you find your pattern and buy
your supplies. A few of them are:

Pattern Selection -- You should choose a pattern which is tightly woven if the
blanket will be used by a very young baby. Often designs with any open-work
allow for the baby's fingers or toes to get caught up in the blanket and cause
discomfort. This is both a health and a safety risk.

Yarn Selection -- When you are making an item for a baby you want to find a
yarn or fiber which is both soft and machine washable. New parents are often
too tired and over-extended to spend time hand washing items. And, because
babies can be very messy, it is essential that anything they come into contact
with can be successfully washed.

Blanket Color -- If you know the color scheme of the nursery, or even the sex
of the baby, you can better match your blanket colors to them. If not, use your
imagination and create a wonderful unisex blanket.

Blanket Size -- When you are crocheting for a baby, your first inclination
might be to make a very small blanket. However, babies grow very quickly into
toddlers. And, babies move around a lot and require decently sized blankets to
keep them covered up and warm. Your blanket will get much more use if you make
it a bit larger than your first inclination.

No Beadwork -- While beadwork is popular in today's knitting and crocheting
patterns, beads are never appropriate for a baby item. A baby can loosen them
and they can become a choking hazard.

By keeping these simple considerations in mind, you can be well on your way to
creating a keepsake baby blanket which will be cherished for years to come. As
with any baby gift, you want to insure that your blanket is safe and secure for
the baby who will be using it. However, by using your imagination and creativity
you can come up with the perfect and safe design for the new bundle of joy.

Top of Form

10 Steps to Learning How to Crochet

The art of crochet has been around for thousands of years. People in earlier
times who had means would purchase hand crocheted and knitted laces and fabrics
for their opulent garments and decor. Having these items showed others that you
were a person of means and you led an opulent lifestyle.

Over the years, through industrialization and mass production of lace and
fabrics, items made with crochet and knitting have gained popularity in the
lower to middle classes and the upper classes started showing their wealth in
other, more material, ways.

Today, crochet and knitting are the craft art of choice for many people all
over the world. They are both handicrafts which are challenging to learn yet
affordable for nearly everyone. Supplies are easy to find to create some very
amazing hand crafted items with the emergence of new yarns and colorful fibers.

As a beginner to the art of crochet, there are some simple things to learn to
be successful. Here are ten steps to get you started on your road to crochet
success:

Step #1 -- Gather Up Your Supplies -- To crochet you will need a crochet hook,
yarn, scissors and a large-eye needle.

Step #2 -- Holding Your Crochet Hook -- You will want to hold your crochet hook
in your dominant hand. Create a slip-knot and place it over the end of your hook.

Step #3 -- Create a Continuous Stitch -- Slide the hooked yarn to the slip-knot
on the hook. This will create a chain of stitches. Continue to make this chain
by brining your yarn to the top of the hook and pulling it through the
slip-knot.

Step #4 -- Move Up The Chain -- Move up the chain allowing the first chain
stitch to knot on the hook. This allows the yarn to stay in place and not
loosen. It is generally a good idea to make this first knot tight rather than
loose.

Step #5 -- Creating Two Loops -- Next, insert your crochet hook into the hole
of the next chain stitch and slide the passing yarn through its center.

Step #6 -- Bring Your Yarn Back -- Bring your yarn back on the hook from back
to front and slide your knot in the center of the loops which you have already
created on the crochet hook.

Step #7 -- Making Rows -- From your second yarn loop, create another single
chain stitch and make a counter-clockwise loop. Start again and create the same
loops as the previous stitches.

Step #8 -- Crochet Until Done -- Continue this basic crochet technique until
you have a swatch of fabric.

Step #8 -- Cut your Project Off -- Once you have completed a swatch of fabric,
it is time to remove it from your ball of yarn. Cut it with about a 6" tail
left at the end.

Step #9 -- Fasten Your Project so it won't Unravel -- Bring your tail of yarn
back through the last stitch to fasten it.

Step #10 -- Cut the Excess -- At this point you are finished and can cut off
the excess tail of yarn.

Using these simple ten steps you can learn to successfully complete a basic
crochet fabric. Like any new skill, crochet takes time. You will want to
practice a lot at first and see what techniques and hand holds are the most
comfortable for you.






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