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Learn to Knit Socks

Knitting socks is not as hard as you might think. This how to knit a sock pattern takes you through the skills on a large scale.

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Cable Knitting Projects

cable knit pillow

Cables are a fun way to take your knitting in a different direction. Learn how to knit cables and have fun with these free projects.

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Knitting Spotlight10

Tips for Arm Knitting Success

Thursday April 24, 2014

Arm knitting is really simple, and there's not a lot to learn to get started, but as I was trying the technique out I thought about some things that might be helpful tips for arm knitting success.

arm knitting tipsAn arm knitting project on a stitch holder. Sarah E. White.

For instance, how do you keep even tension? What if you have to put the project down in the middle? How can you best substitute yarns?

All of that and more is covered in this quick guide to help make your arm knitting a little more successful. As always if you have questions or need more help contact me at my Facebook page or on Twitter.

Arm Knitting Books and a Free Pattern

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Now that arm knitting has been big for a while, there are starting to be printed booklets and pattern collections devoted to the technique.

magenta medley arm knittingThe Magenta Medley arm knit scarf by Mary Beth Temple. Design Originals.

If you like that classic cowl pattern that is so often what you see when people talk about arm knitting, the Leisure Arts pamphlet Learn to Arm Knit is a fun choice. It shows the same pattern worked in more than 30 different yarn combinations, so you can really see how different the same project can look worked in different colors, textures and weights of yarn. This booklet also includes a finger crocheted scarf and has links to video tutorials if you need to see the technique in action.

Want a little more variety in your arm knitting patterns? Mary Beth Temple's Arm Knitting has 15 different patterns, including basic scarves and cowls, of course, but also shawls and projects that use different stitch patterns. There are even some that aren't that bulky. Temple's publisher kindly allowed me to share the Magenta Medley scarf pattern, which uses eyelash yarn and just three stitches for a less voluminous project (though you'll see my version, made with random yarn I found in my office, is a bit bulkier, but I still love it).

Alluring Arm Knitting

Monday April 21, 2014

I have been skeptical of arm knitting for a long time. Sure, it's great to be able to finish a project really fast, and it's good for stash busting because you're using three or more yarns at a time, but I'm not a huge fan of the look of the really bulky projects -- usually scarves and cowls -- that are made with this method.

arm knittingAn arm knitting project in progress. Sarah E. White.

It looks to me a lot like knitting with size 50 US knitting needles, which I'd rather do, frankly, because it's easier to put down a project when it's on needles than when it's on your arms.

But I finally tried an arm knitting project, something smaller than the things you usually see, and I have to admit it was fun and I do like it. Even starting off not knowing how to do it at all, it took just a couple of minutes to figure out what I was doing and the whole project was done in less than half an hour. There's certainly something to be said for making an accessory that I can wear today (which I am).

If you're skeptical, too, check out my roundup of arm knitting resources, and stay tuned this week for some book reviews, patterns, tips and more.

Have you ever done arm knitting? What did you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Books to Help You Knit Green

Friday April 18, 2014

Need a little more inspiration for eco-friendly knitting? Check out these books.

knitting greenKnitting Green by Ann Budd. Interweave Press.

Knitting Green by Ann Budd includes essays on things such as assumptions about green knitting, a shop owner's view of organic yarn choices and natural dyeing, among other issues. It also includes 20 patterns worked with eco-friendly fibers to get you started on your sustainable knitting journey.

Joanne Seiff's Knit Green covers a lot of different options a person concerned about the environment might think about when it comes to knitting, such as supporting biodiversity, vegan knitting, fair trade and recycling. This one also has 20 projects using yarn with the features described in the essays.

Sweater Renewal by Sharon Franco Rothschild is a fun one that isn't actually a knitting book. This one offers options for remaking old sweaters -- whether you knit them or bought them -- into home decor items and accessories.

And while "local" is relative, Knit Local by Tanis Gray encourages thinking about where your yarn comes from and how far it has to travel to get to you and highlights 28 yarn companies from the United States and Canada that use domestically sourced materials to lighten the ecological load and support in-country fiber production.

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