Settle in with a Good Book!

Knitters have so many tools to explore, from knitting needles to notions to yarn! I also consider books a tool, especially reference books full of knitting techniques. Two that I can't manage without are Vicki Square's Knitter's Companion and Lisa Kartus's Knit Fix.

The Knitter's Companion is a perfect reference guide. It provides instruction in everything knitting, from soup to nuts! And it's perfectly sized to carry in your knitting bag. I keep one on my side table by the couch so it's at my fingertips in my main knitting spot. But there's also one in my knitting bag. It may sound corny, but it truly is my companion.

Here's great tidbit from the Companion:

Measuring Your Knitting

To measure knitting length, as in ribbing, garment, or sleeve length, lay the piece on a flat surface and without stretching it, measure the center of the piece from the bottom edge to the lower edge of the knitting needle (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Figure 2

To measure a shaped edge, such as an armhole or a sleeve, measure on the straight of grain (perpendicular to the bottom edge, Figure 2).

For example, measure an armhole by laying a ruler or other straight edge horizontally across the garment, even with the first row of stitches bound off for the armhole. From that straight edge, measure vertically to the lower edge of the knitting needle. Do not follow along the slanted, shaped side edge! Erroneous measuring can result in sleeves that are too short, armholes that are too shallow, and an overall appearance of being squeezed into your sweater. Not an attractive sight. . . .

—Vickie Square, The Knitter's Companion

It's a simple tip, but crucial for making your garments fit.

Knit Fix is a book I recommend to all beginning knitters. It's great for experienced knitters, too, but I think it's so important for beginners to know how to fix their mistakes. Many beginners make a mistake and then put down their knitting for good because they don't know how to fix it. So sad!

The clear instructions, photos, and illustrations will help all knitters learn how to fix knit glitches.

Here's how to fix the gap that sometimes appears at the beginning of a project knit in the round.


Step 1
Step 2
Step 3

Mind the Gap!

Problem: There's a big gap where I joined to work in the round.

Fix: This happens all the time, especially with socks knitted on double-pointed needles from cuff to toe. Try trading the positions of the first and last stitches in the round.

1. Move the first stitch off the left needle onto a space needle.

2. Move the last stitch from the right needle onto the left.

3. Finally, place the stitch from the spare needle onto the right needle.

On the next row, work the stitches in their new order. The gap will have vanished.

—Lisa Kartus, Knit Fix

With these references on hand, you'll be able to navigate those tricky parts of knitting, and fix your mistakes with confidence.

I encourage you to get The Knitter's Companion and Knit Fix for yourself! I can't recommend them highly enough.


P.S. What's your favorite fix-it trick? Share it with us in the comments!

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