Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tip Tuesday

(I apologize! I started this post on Tuesday, but here it is Thursday - Maybe I should re-name the post "T[h]ip Thursdy" instead of "Tip Tuesday"!)

These notions of mine probably don't really qualify as "tips", but they're things I've learned over the years that make knitting easier for me.

So...stitch markers. At some point after I took up knitting again, I became aware of all the pretty markers you can buy or make and for a while I used those instead of my old plastic ring markers. But...the down-side to both of those types of markers (in my humble opinion) is that they both have this propensity for jumping off the needles right when you're trying to slip them from the left needle to the right needle, and even worse, some of them *poof* disappear once they hit the floor. Over time, my supply of stitch markers had dwindled. I don't think I thought up the idea of making little markers using odd bits of yarn but I began using those. When I began to try lace knitting, those bulky yarn markers were a pain, so I began making them using crochet thread. Now I use crochet thread markers in nearly every project that calls for markers. Easy as pie to make - cut a length of crochet thread about six or seven inches long, fold it in half and then tie an over-hand knot fairly close to the fold. Trim off the excess thread and viola, you have a stitch marker.

Some patterns call for markers that denote different areas or patterns within each row or round - and if all the markers look the same it can be confusing. In this case you can make markers from different colors of crochet thread, or you can just use multiple markers, i.e. one marker for the first marker of the round, two markers for the second marker, etc. (This last method only works well for up to three markers...after that it gets ridiculous.)

If one of the markers manages to jump off the needle, they don't usually go very far - they tend to stick to the knitting, or to your clothes. And if they do make it to the floor, they don't roll and bounce the way plastic/decorative markers do. Nope, they're not very pretty, but they do the job.

On a completely different subject, there were a couple of "new" birds at my feeders this morning - Yellow headed black birds! I've seen this kind of bird before, but not for many, many years. What a nice surprise. (Embiggen picture if you can to actually see those yellow heads.)

And finally, (I'm tempting fate here) here's the heel flap of my second Twisted sock. The first pic shows the heel flap from the right side of the sock. Second pic shows it from the wrong side. (Actually these socks are reversible so there's technically no right or wrong side.) I love the texture on these heel flaps!

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