Learning Curve – Two Shawls for the Adventurous Knitter

Are you ready for your next knitting adventure? Today we are featuring two elegant knitted shawls from among the fabulous selection on display in store. Both are suitable for the more adventurous knitters among you, and I think we’ll dive right in with the more challenging of our pair…

The Cypri Shawl by Amanda Scheuzgerin Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn. Draped over a chair.

The Cypri Shawl

This beauty is the work of Twist Collective designer Amanda Scheuzger, and comes from the needles of our own guru-of-shawls, Jacqui :)  Cypri is cast on at the bottom edge, and shaped with short rows to create a gently flowing crescent.  The travelling stitches are achieved with a slipped stitch technique, over a garter stitch background, with the instructions for these details given in charted form only.

The Cypri Shawl by Amanda Scheuzgerin Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn. An elegant knitted shawl.

Jacqui really enjoyed working on this project but she did confess to having to rip back on a few occasions.  Her advice?

“Switch off the television and focus 100% on the pattern. The instructions are very well written but some of the techniques may be unfamiliar, so keep an open mind.  The results are so worth the effort though!”

This version was worked in Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn, in colours that mimic the original design, but of course there’s lots colour combination inspiration to be had among the other finished projects on Ravelry.

So what do you think? Are you ready for the challenge? Or perhaps our next shawl, Holyrood, is more your cup of tea?

The Holyrood Shawl by Justyna Lorkowska in Townhouse Yarns Fade St 4ply. An elegant knitted shawl. Modelled.

Holyrood

Chevrons, eyelets, cables, stripes and ribs – Holyrood is a shawl that has it all.  In fact, this is a perfect learning project for someone looking to expand their stitching repertoire.  We’re a big fan of Justyna’s patterns here in the shop, and this design proved to be everything we’ve come to expect from her: clever, stylish and interesting to knit.

The yarn combination this time is two shades of Fade Street 4ply from our own Townhouse Yarns line – Rippleberry and Mustard Seed. And again there are oodles of inspiring combinations to browse through in the gallery of finished projects.

The Holyrood Shawl by Justyna Lorkowska in Fade St 4ply by Townhouse Yarns - Detail

While some patterns would have you plough through miles of garter stitch or stockinette just to get to the fun parts, Holyrood’s frequent change of stitch pattern can, almost counter-intuitively, lead to a faster end result.  It’s similar to knitting with self-striping yarns: you keep going just to see what’s coming next and then, all of a sudden, it’s done!

So there you have it, two elegant knitted shawls for the intermediate knitter, both tried and tested and guaranteed to give you warm fuzzy feelings of accomplishment when complete.  While each may pose their own learning curve, both will definitely provide hours of knitting fun.

Have we tempted you to push your knitting boundaries? Or are you working on your own challenging knits right now? We’d love to hear about them in the comments. :)

An Interview with Debbie Bliss

We were so thrilled to have Debbie Bliss join us recently for our 10 year anniversary party at This Is Knit. We got to hear about her creative process, her most recent yarns and patterns, and what we can expect in the coming new year. She was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions in this interview, for all of those who weren’t at the event, and want to know a bit more about this icon in the craft community!

Debbie Bliss and Louisa Harding Special Guests at the This is Knit 10th Anniversary Party

Firstly, we’d like to thank you so much for taking a few moments for an interview with us, it was such a pleasure hearing you speak at the This Is Knit Anniversary party!

It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to be part of your celebrations!

Q: What would you say is your main source of inspiration when designing a new yarn?

A: Normally I will see a yarn at Pitti Filatti, the trade show in Florence that I go to twice a year . If it is already perfect as with Lhasa, it will go into the ranges as it is but I may feel after swatching that a yarn can be improved by altering the blend. Or sometimes I will be approached by a company such as Laxtons, who introduced me to Falkland Aran, a beautiful pure wool from the Falkland Islands which is spun in Yorkshire.

Debbie Bliss holding her Falkland Aran Mood Board at the This is Knit 10th Anniversary Party

Q: Does your creative process often start with colourway or fibre choices?

A: When it is a book of designs rather single leaflets I will be looking at a collection that includes a variety of styles, different skill levels and a harmonizing colour palette.

Q: How much does modern fashion trends influence your design choices? Do you look more to current trends, or to the past for inspiration?

A: I love to research trends and keep up to date with current and future looks. This doesn’t mean that I will follow slavishly what is appearing on the catwalks but it interests me to see what shapes or textures are coming through and how I may want to interpret this in my own collections.

Q: Currently, what is your favourite trend in knitwear?

A: I love the way that ready to wear knits have adopted a very strong hand knit look, with textures traveling in different directions, vertical and horizontal cables for example, or a patchwork of texture.

Q: Your favourite fibre to work with?

A: At the moment I am really enjoying working with Lhasa, a cashmere/yak blend which is part of my Pure Bliss Collection. It is incredibly soft but still has great stitch definition.

Mixed Shades of Debbie Bliss Lhasa Yarn

Q: What would you say is the biggest challenge you face when designing a new pattern?

A: I think it is trying to balance and incorporate all the elements that I think are important, style combined with wearability, creating silhouettes that are flattering to women, thinking about how the yarn behaves. All of this and then making sure that the design/pattern still works in all the sizes!

Q: What is your creative process for choosing colourways for a new yarn?

A: When it is a new yarn I am always lead by the “story” it tells me, a silk blend may call for bright vivid colours, or a soft cotton ice cream pastels.

Q: Which pattern would you say is an essential knit for babies/children?

A: A simple, classic cardigan.

Q: What is your earliest memory of knitting, and did you feel in that moment that you had found your calling?

A: My mother knitting me a school cardigan in a virulent bright blue. It came out before the start of every Autumn term and went straight back in the bag again after a few knitting sessions.

Q: If you were stranded on an island and you could only choose one yarn to take with you, which would it be? (If weather weren’t a factor)

A: My new Spring 2017 yarn Sita.

Q: If your dogs could speak, what would they divulge about your yarn stash and/or knitting habits?

A: They wouldn’t, they are very loyal!

Q: Currently, what is your favourite TV show to knit to?

A: The Vikings ( Netflix)

Q: And finally: do you have any hints as to what we can expect from Debbie Bliss in the coming year?

A: New downloadable toy patterns are launched this week in time for Xmas! A beautiful mako cotton/silk Spring yarn will arrive in shops in January and if knitters follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter I will keep them up to date on all our news!

Many thanks again to the lovely Debbie!

Warmth without the Weight

Oh Chunky Sweaters, how we yearn for them on days like these. So satisfying to knit, so cosy to snuggle in to, but so often such a drag (literally). You see, there has traditionally been a trade off for these quick-knitting beauties: weight.

We have seen Super Chunky sweater patterns that call for upwards of 2kg of yarn. And while those all-over cabled tunic-length garments are beautiful creations, they often sag and grow with time, turning into shadows of their former selves.

But fret not – we have two solutions for you today! Both sweaters are still quick to knit, and warm to wear, yet they each took less than 400 g of yarn. So you can have the best of both worlds: warmth without the weight and without the wait

Coda Sweater in Woolfolk Får Chunky Knitted Sweater

The Coda Sweater

While this is technically a worsted weight pattern, it falls in to this quick-knitting-and-cosy category due both to the fitted finish (less knitting) and to the incredibly warm yarn we chose for our shop sample: the simply divine Woolfolk Får. This sweater was worked up in less than 7 skeins (under 350g), so it’s very lightweight to wear, but the “chainette” construction of the yarn lends extra insulation to the garment. Rather than being spun in the traditional sense, chainette yarns are very fine knitted tubes in themselves.  These tubes or chains have lots of tiny air pockets that trap the wearer’s own body heat proving that, when it comes to wool and warmth, bigger is not always better. Very clever stuff indeed.

The pattern from is from Brooklyn Tweed and it has all the signature style and smart detailing that you would expect from this respected design collective.  We opted to stick with the three-quarter length sleeves as provided for in the pattern, but they could easily be lengthened for added warmth.

Il Grande Favorito in Rico Alpaca Blend Chunky Knitted Sweater

Il Grande Favorito

Aptly named, this pattern is a firm favourite among us all at This is Knit.  “Il Grande Favorito” is a top-down sweater with optional short row shaping at the lower back to create a flattering dipped hem.  The original pattern called for holding two strands of yarn together to get the correct tension, but we have happily discovered that Rico’s  Alpaca Blend Chunky is perfect for this design, just as it is.

While the chainette construction of Får kept things light in our first example, this time around it is blended nature of the yarn creating a “best of both worlds” scenario.  Alpaca Blend Chunky contains 50% natural fibres (alpaca & wool) and 50% acrylic, and this allows for a full sweater to be made with just 8 balls (400g for the 38 inch size).  So we get all the cosiness of natural fleece fibres, with the dash of practicality from a lighter weight synthetic and it all adds up to a stylish winter “must-have”.

Do you have a favourite Chunky Sweater pattern?

Or have we inspired you to make one of these two?

Don’t forget you can pop in to see these garments (and all our shop samples) any time!

15 Knitted Gift Ideas

Are you in need of some knitted gift inspiration? Then this post is for you! We have compiled a list of our favourites along with some yarn suggestions so that you can whip up a gorgeous handmade gift in no time at all…

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas from This is Knit 2016

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Zuzus Petals
The best thing about this quick  lace cowl pattern is that you can chose to knit it in either a sock weight or a worsted weight. This cowl is knit from the top down starting straight and then moving to working in the round for the lace chart section.  Jenny and myself have both made beaded versions for that extra bling and Maria has made a worsted version in Malabrigo Rios.

Willow Cowl 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
Do you have a skein of sock yarn that is just screaming to be a certain person’s gift? Then, this is the pattern for you. This is an easy relaxing knit that swaps between a simple eyelet pattern and stocking stitch to give it a springy concertina effect. Our sample was knit in Malabrigo Finito and I’m dreaming of one of these in Clarendon Sock.

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Antler Mittens
In case you missed it, Maureen knitted the above mittens in one skein of Malabrigo Rios in no time at all. A spark of an idea and some DART journeys later and she had these ready to go for the cold snap. The sizing on these goes from toddler to adult, so you can make a matching set for all the family.

Garter Ear Flap Hat 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This is a firm favourite for the tiny humans among us but the sizing does go all the way to an adult large. This simple aran weight pattern is on and off the needles almost overnight so it’s my go to pattern for the grab and go gift. I’m excited to try this in the new Falkland Aran by Debbie Bliss and a new set of Zing tips.

The Graham Hat 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
We are always asked about knitting patterns for men and this is a popular suggestion here in the shop. It’s a simple broken rib pattern worked on 5mm needles and sized for an adult medium and large. The hat is completely reversible with the decreases worked seamlessly into the pattern.  The Ella Rae Classic range and Malabrigo Rios would look great in this pattern.

Tea Sympathy Tea Cosy 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
You would be surprised the number of requests we get for a tea cosy pattern. This is a simple garter stitch pattern in Studio Donegal Aran worked flat and seamed. This means it can fit any teapot and I know a lot of people have been choosing their colours to match their dishes. The blue and white Denby combination is very popular and topped off with a luscious pom pom, what’s not to love!

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Barley Hat
Another worsted weight hat pattern sized from baby to adult. This is perfect for a relaxed weekend knit. I have also knit this pattern in Hedgehog Fibers Sock held double on a 5mm needle as an alternative to using aran weight yarn and ended up with a super soft hat that just begs to be worn.

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Probys Armwarmers
One of our favourite patterns from Carol’s wonderful book, Knitting with Rainbows. If you picked up any mini skeins during 2016 then this is the perfect way to showcase them. This pattern would be a great way to use up any 4ply leftovers that you might have from shawls or socks – what a wonderful way to wrap up the year, with a trip down your very own knitting memory lane..

Rye Socks 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
Sock patterns usually take a lot of time but these Rye Socks knit up rapidly using worsted weight yarn on 3.75mm needles. The pattern goes from baby to adult large and is adorned with a garter stitch panel from cuff to toe. Perfect for toasty toes in front of the fire at Christmas.

Iceling Jacket 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This two piece aran weight cardigan and hat set is ideal for wrapping those winter baby arrivals in snuggles. This timeless piece has a broad size range from 3 months to 10 years old. This is also a great introduction to a top down raglan knitting with a beautiful i-cord edging. The double row of buttons allows this garment to grow with the child making this a perfect gift knit that might even still fit next winter too.

Blackrock Vest 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This is a beautiful little cable pattern worked in fingering weight yarn for added warmth without excess bulk. The yarn of choice is of course the Dublin Dye merino sock for softness and durability. Firstly, the vest is worked in the round from the bottom up then the stitches are picked up around the arms and neckline to form the collar and arm ribbing.

Composite Tunic 15 Knitted Gift Ideas
This is a beautiful DK pattern with lace sleeves and  a gorgeous button side panel. This newborn size is free but you can get the child version called Quaintly which has sizes to 10 years old . This is a perfect pattern for any double knit yarn. How about Rialto DK by Debbie Bliss?

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Herriot Hat
Made with 1 skein of Herriot Great on 5mm needles, this is a hat filled with Alpaca-y, Pom-Pom-y Goodness! This has been a firm favourite for teens with a choosy, hard to knit for attitude. The largest size in this hat, has less than 60 rows so this hat is easily achieved in a weekend.

Quilted Lattice Cowl 15 Knitted Gift Ideas

A sumptuously soft cowl (our version was worked in the truly exceptional yarn that is Woolfolk Får), featuring an easy repeat of an interesting stitch pattern. This gift knit is guaranteed to be enjoyable to work up, and quite difficult to give away!  Our sample used three skeins of Får but you can customise the length to suit your time frame and budget…

 

15 Knitted Gift Ideas Powder Snow Cosy

What knitted gift list wouldn’t be complete without a hot water bottle cosy. This is a quick and interesting knit in Malabrigo but you can of course choose any cosy aran to snuggle up to. This elegant knit is worked in the round from the bottom up with a charted cable pattern with written instructions provided.

And there you have it folks. Is your favourite gift knit missing from the list? Let us know in the comments!

We’ve got the blues…

… but in the very best way!

Anyone who has stepped foot in our shop (and many of you that have followed us from afar) will know that we’re addicted to knitted shawls, wraps and scarves.  We have so many samples in the shop, and so many pretty hand-dyed yarns to play with – it’s can be hard to keep up with the many wonderful creations that fly off the needles of our talented staff!

Watering the Garden knit from a Burlington Sock Blank by Townhouse Yarns
Watering the Garden

With that in mind we have a mini shawl round-up here on the blog today, with two true-blue creations, both of which play with colour in a different way.

Burlington Blank in "Myst" Gradient
Burlington Blank in “Myst” Gradient

First up is “Watering in the Garden” by Giddy Davies, which was knit using one of Townhouse Yarns’ “Burlington Blanks”, to achieve this beautiful gradient effect. The pattern is available to purchase and download on Ravelry, and the instructions are given in both written and charted form.

Also, if you have never come across a sock blank before, then you might want to know a little more about how they are used.  They may be a little odd to use, at first, but the effect is certainly worth it! These blanks are limited editions, but there are still a few available in the Townhouse Yarns Etsy Shop.

Bryum Shawl in Hedgehog Sock
Bryum Shawl in Hedgehog Sock

 

Our second shawl takes a more traditional route when combining colours – this time using stripes and slipped stitches to produce a beautifully textured scarf.

This sample is the “Bryum Shawl“, again available for purchase on Ravelry, where there are (currently) 518 stunning projects to browse for colour inspiration.  We opted for the Hedgehog Fibres Sock for our version, and it is just a dream to be wrapped up in.

Byrum Shawl Detail
Byrum Shawl Detail

 

 

We don’t currently list Hedgehog Fibres on our website, but we do get regular deliveries… so if you’d like to get some shipped to you just contact us today for the latest picture of what we have in stock.

Don’t forget to follow us over on Instagram for further project inspiration and yarns to drool over!

So what colour are you knitting with right now? Winter blues and icy greys? Or warming reds and rich jewel tones?

Do you have a colour “comfort zone”?

And Our Two Winners Are…

We were overwhelmed with the response to our blog giveaway this week – with over 130 entries in response for our call for just two words to describe what knitting means to you.  It was tough to pick out our winners, but Terri and Sinéad’s entries captured two wonderful aspects of knitting life, so we felt they deserved the prizes…Blog Winners Two Words

Congratulations to you both! We’ll be in touch about your winnings!

Other entries that we loved ranged from “No Jailtime” to “Moving Meditation”, with a nod to “Duh, Socks!” there too :)  You can read all the entries over on the original post, and thank you again to everyone who commented!

Two Words, Two Winners!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a giveaway, so we figured it was time to run a fun little competition.  We’re making this very simple to enter, and there’ll be not one, but two winners come this Saturday!

Prize photo
Oh the pretty goodies…

You may have heard Lisa on 2fm last week, when she was chatting to the crew on the Nicky Byrne Show about all the many reasons why people knit. They mentioned creativity, relaxation, general mental and physical health, and others. And it all got us thinking… what does knitting mean to you?

So, that’s all you have to do – tell us why you knit (or crochet, or spin, or weave!), or what benefits you find you get from the process.

The only catch is… you have to tell us in two words.

Simply leave your comment on this blog post, and we’ll pick two winners at the end of the week.

Competition Prize
You could win this ensemble!

Our prizes are based around these beautiful new printed bags that we have in store from KnitPro – we’ve selected some co-ordinating yarns and accessories to show them at their best.

Comment entries for the giveaway must be left before 7pm (GMT) on Friday evening, and we’ll pick our winners on Saturday. The first name drawn will get first choice on the prize and it can be collected in store, or posted within Ireland. Prizes for overseas winners will incur a postage charge (sorry!).

So that’s it, couldn’t be easier. Just leave your two word comment below and hopefully you’ll be hearing from us with good news this weekend!

KAL Season

Hello, it’s Nadia (Bunnyt) here, and I’ll be your guide through some of TIK’s favourite Knit-a-longs that are happening this season.

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the fast pace of Ravelry and you might miss the announcement of your perfect KAL. So how about taking a quick look at today’s round up of  Top 5 KAL’s running through this October / November season –  it might help you navigate your way to some fun new techniques and a gorgeous FO…

Our favourite KALS this season

Stephen West – Building Blocks KAL

We’re sure by now you have seen Jenny’s inspired Instagram pictures of Townhouse Yarn choices for the Building Blocks MKAL happening over on Ravelry.  It can be a little difficult to get your hands on the suggested yarn for the KAL so we think either Fade St. or  Clarendon Sock would be the perfect substitute.

Briocheveron Cowl by Stephen West. Photocredit: S. West
Briocheveron Cowl by Stephen West. Photocredit: S. West

This is a mystery KAL so you don’t see what your making until the last clue is released but (if you would like a sneak peek) there are a few spoilers floating around the Ravelry group and on Instagram! 

There is also a mini KAL for everything Brioche over in the WestKnits fan club group. This is a nice one if your not up for a full on KAL but would like the support of trying Brioche on a smaller project. The Briocheveron Cowl has been a favourite option for this knit-a-long so far.

2. WoollyWormhead MKAL

After the excitement of her recent workshops here in This is Knit, we are all still wanting a bit more of Woolly. Thankfully we can participate in her 9th mystery hat knit-a-long! This year there is a little bit of a twist: there are 3 hats, each featuring the same stitch pattern, but you can choose between a beret, beanie or slouchy style. You have plenty of time to get your needles and yarn ready for this one. We’re thinking of Dublin Dye DK or Ella Rae DK.

The boards for this are always fast, fun and full of support, so make sure you follow along here. We’re still in awe of Woolly’s approach to hat construction, and this KAL is guaranteed to incorporate her signature fun details and clever techniques.  Don’t you just love how Woolly’s mind works?

Luwan by Carol Feller (Photocredit J. Feller)
Luwan by Carol Feller (Photocredit J. Feller)

3. Carol Feller Luwan KAL / Wrap up Winter KAL

It wouldn’t be Autumn without a garment KAL from Carol. This year she has a beautiful textured stitch pattern with short row shaping called Luwan.  This KAL is happening on Carol’s dedicated KAL group on Ravelry, which is fantastic resource for support direct Carol and from a friendly bunch of fellow KAL-ers.

Luwan is knit from the top down and we think both Malabrigo Rios and Juniper Moon Herriot will work for this design.  The original yarn straddles between a DK and Aran weight though, so a tension swatch will be essential before committing.  Carol has written a little bit about swatching for this garment over on her blog and it’s definitely worth a read.

If the garment KAL is too big of a commitment, Carol is also running a Wrap up Winter Accessory KAL on the Stolen Stitches group. News is released in her News Reel thread and it’s perfect for the smaller “Knitmas” gift knitting season.

4. Ysolda Teague Knitworthy

Knitworthy 3 - Ysolda Teague (Photocredit: Ysolda)
Knitworthy 3 – Ysolda Teague (Photocredit: Ysolda)

Ysolda is back with Knitworthy 3, an annual gift knit-a-long for those that you deem worthy of a beautifully knitted gift. There are 8 patterns which are released every two weeks starting from the13th of September. There is still plenty of time to join in and it’s always fun in the Ravelry Group. We really like the look of Alleunmer in Ysolda’s Sport 5ply yarn but if you can’t get your hands on that you can look at Baby CashmerinoMalabrigo Finito, Mirasol Nuna or Grafton 4ply.

5. Boo Knits – Halloween mKAL

We couldn’t leave out one of favourite shawl designers – Boo Knits always runs a fun knit-a-long and this year is no exception. The Halloween KAL has a little nod to the 400 year anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. The Taboo shawl is a top down crescent shape that has a bit of lace, beads and that Boo Magic. We’re in love with both Findley by Juniper Moon and Townhouse Yarns Trinity 2ply for this spooky KAL…

Do you have a favourite designer running a KAL at the moment? Drop a link in the comments so we can all have a look too! If you’re joining in a KAL and need help with choosing the right yarn for your project then you can drop into the shop – we would only be too happy to help – or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram as @ThisisKnit. 

Simple and Swift

Are you looking for some quick, cosy and stylish accessories to whip up with some very squishable yarn? On today’s blog we’re highlighting two fabulous shop samples that we think will do the job quite nicely…

File 17-10-2016, 21 55 35  October_15__2016_at_1122AM

First up is this Cable Edged Cowl from the lovely people at Conway and Bliss.  Using just two balls of their Odin yarn and 10mm needles, you can cast on for this project on Friday evening and be snuggling in to its cosy depths come Monday morning… This project would be a wonderful introduction to cables for the newer knitter, or a super gift-knitting option for the more experienced of you out there.

October_15__2016_at_1116AM

It’s been all about hats at TIK recently, and the project choices just keep piling up! Sample number two is a sweet slouchy beanie, made using a nifty free pattern from TinCanKnits and one skein of cloud-like merino in the form of Debbie Bliss’s new Falkland Aran. The pattern is called Barley and it’s available in sizes from newborn right up to adult’s large. Why not make one for everyone?

Are you getting a head start on gift knitting right now? Or using any super chunky yarn? We’d love to hear all about the quick-knitting projects you have on the needles!

Top 10 Essential Knitting Techniques

Every knitter should have a few tricks up their sleeve, techniques that can be life savers or help you put the finishing touches on any project. We’ve compiled a list of 10 techniques that we think are essential for knitters of any skill level, and are sure to come in handy no matter what you have in your queue!

Top 10 knitting techniques

1) Long-tail Cast On:

Though there are dozens of ways to begin your project, the long-tail cast on is a go-to for many knitters and pattern writers alike. It is versatile, flexible and neat, with the biggest perk being you get to skip row 1 and begin knitting immediately on row 2! Once you have some practice there’s a rhythm to casting on each stitch that is easy to remember, and there are also variations for creating knit and purl cast on stitches which is great for ribbing. Video here.

2) Mattress Stitch:

There are many ways to create a seam in knitting, and depending on the edges you’re looking to bind together, the technique you should use will vary. But in the case of two side seams (where the knitting runs vertical on both sides) there is nothing better than mattress stitch. It is completely invisible and sturdy, excellent for finishing off the sides of a garment or joining multiple swatches for a blanket. It’s easy to learn and all you need is a tapestry needle. Video here.

3) 1-Row Buttonhole:

If you can cast on and bind off, you can do this buttonhole! You choose the size you want to make it by binding off as many or as few stitches as you need to create a snug hole for any size button. It works in stockinette as well as it does in garter, ribbing and most other knitted fabrics. Video here.

4) M1L and M1R Increases:

Increasing stitches can be done many different ways, and while the pattern and stitches surrounding the increases will determine which method is best to use, in most cases you will find M1L and M1R is a good fit. They are perfectly mirrored and don’t leave any gaping holes in your work. Video here.

5) Stretchy Bind Off:

A tight bind off is a common problem for many knitters, as is matching your bind off to your cast on edge, especially in the case of ribbing where you’ll want the most elastic edge possible. There is a very simple way of binding off for maximum stretch, which will create a tidy, finished edge for any project. Video here.

6) Correcting dropped stitches:

Dropped stitches can happen to even the most careful knitter, which is why a crochet hook should always have a place in your knitting bag. A crochet hook is the best way to catch a stitch you’ve dropped, no matter how far down it’s run, by bringing it up one row at a time. Video here.

7) Invisible join in the round:

There is a very simple way to avoid the obvious bump that occurs when joining to knit in the round, this trick will make your first row transition into the second seamlessly! Video here.

8) Lifelines:

Even the most seasoned knitters make mistakes, and when it comes to projects with lace or complicated stitch patterns, a lifeline is the best insurance policy! This simple trick will save you from scrapping your whole project when you’ve made a mistake, you can even do it after you’ve already noticed an error and need to go back. Video here.

9) Magic-Loop:

If you learn how to do the magic loop, you can knit a project in any diameter in the round with just one extra long circular needle. From socks to sweaters, magic loop lets you knit any number of stitches in the round on the same length of cable. If you invest in a set of interchangeable circular needles, you won’t need a set of straight or DPN needles ever again! Video here.

10) i-cord:

There are many different uses for an i-cord, you can use them anywhere you need a sturdy strap, or a tidy, finished edge. They’re simple enough to make and all you need is a double pointed needles (DPNs)! Video here.

Have you mastered all of these essentials? What other technique would you add to the list?