Add to Your Knitting Bag of Tricks

There used to be so many things in knitting I thought you just had to deal with. I told myself, this project is handmade, and only the most dedicated perfectionists would notice or care about a too-tight bind-off, mismatched yarnovers, or the gap that appears in each buttonhole.

I’d make up excuses for these little imperfections. The bind-off will take care of itself in blocking, right? If people are judging the size of the yarnovers in my shawl, they are just standing too close! Those buttonhole gaps will just be covered with the buttons anyway.

The problem I found is, all these little things add up and start to make your project look a little off. Over a sweater-sized project, your garment can start to look a little less handmade and a little more homemade.

If you’re like me and thought the gap at the end of your bind-off row was just a part of life, or measuring armholes was just inherently frustrating, it might be time to step back and think about the whys of your knitting woes before you begin to consider how to fix them.

Have you ever stopped to think about how much yarn each stitch takes, and why the yarn’s path might affect the look and integrity of your fabric? Once you consider that the extra slack from a purl stitch feeds backwards into your adjacent yarnover and creates a poor match to your yarnover that was preceded by a knit stitch, lopsided lace starts to make a lot more sense.

After watching Knitting Bag of Tricks with instructor and designer Patty Lyons, I realized that taking the time to make little fixes and tweaks is worth it and is actually really fun.

One day I hope to create an heirloom-quality shawl or sweater that people will hold closely and say, “Wow, look at the thought and care that went into every stitch.” With the amount of love, time, and yarn that go into my projects now (and I’m sure all of yours as well), it makes sense to do it right the first time.

I bet you’ll have as much fun as I did learning Patty’s simple, yet ingenious, tips and tricks.

Happy knitting,



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