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A collection of handy knitting tips

Butterfly clips or paper plates can be used to help organize needles for storage.
Butterfly clips or paper plates can be used to help organize needles for storage.
Holli Friedland

Here are some little tips for knitting that you might not know.

Losing your place

If you often lose your place in your pattern, use different colored highlighters to shade some of the rows and you will be able to see what row you are on at a glance.

Winding a ball of yarn

If you need to wind your yarn, be careful not to wind it too tightly. You do not want to stretch out the fibers, which can damage the yarn. This is true for ball winders and winding by hand.

Support other crafters

There are lots of people who dye yarn and sell it on Etsy.com. It is a wonderful place to look for unique colorways and hand spun yarn. You can even find ¼ or ½ inch wide cut up T-shirts for knitting.

Get organized

Keep your best patterns in sheet protectors and then arrange them in a 3-ring binder by topic.

More organizing

Use butterfly hair clips to keep pairs of straight needles together. They are inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes to fit all needles. Or, punch holes in cut up sections of paper plates and slide needles through the holes. Mark down the size on the paper so you can quickly find the size you need.

Stitch markers

There are a variety of objects that can be used as stitch markers if you need them: metal washers, plastic washers, cut pieces of plastic straws, hoop earrings, plastic paper clips, safety pins, really just about anything that has a small loop.

Scraps

Knit wool scraps into 6-inch squares and then felt them to make coasters. Each coaster can be made of multiple yarn scraps.

Another scrap idea

Leftover yarn can be used as stuffing for knit toys. After every project, you always have leftovers. They add up quickly.

Blocking

Instead of buying expensive blocking mats, look at the dollar store for kids’ floor mat segments. They are pretty much the same thing, but less expensive.

Casting off or on too tightly

If you have a problem with your cast offs being too tight, try casting off with a needle that is a couple sizes larger. This also works if you cast on too tightly.

Knitting bowls

Make your own knitting bowls (keeps your yarn from getting tangled) by drilling or melting a hole (with a soldering iron) in the lid of a jar. Put the yarn in the jar and feed through the hole.

Knitting sweater sleeves

When you knit sweater sleeves, knit them both at the same time with separate skeins of yarn or pull from both ends of one skein. You know they are exactly the same length in the end.

Feel free to add your own tips in the comments section.