Saturday Research —

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There are so many terms to learn when you knit and crochet. Most you won’t learn until you need them.  I have suggested this before but I think it’s worth mentioning again, if you need help with basic stitches and abbreviations visit

One of the things that drive me crazy is when a pattern says M1 and  doesn’t specify which type of increase should be used here. says:

“Make 1. This means to increase a stitch. If the method isn’t specified, use whichever increase you like, for instance M1F.” – See more at:

Just one bit of great advice, they have tons. They also include crochet terms and advice. Visit the next time you have a question.


What I Learned From My Students Today

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Today was the last class of the semester for my business students and their term project was to help me with my business plan. So what did I learn from them? Lots! First they don’t know anything about knitting, crocheting or other crafty pursuits and I don’t know much about their interests or hobbies either. This allowed them to take a fresh look at what I love. They suggested that I have to meet the potential market on its terms. Since much of that market is younger than I am I need to concentrate on social media as a marketing tool. They even made suggestions of products that I should sell and showed potential items geared to different age groups. They did lots of research into the history of the fiber arts and taught me somethings that I didn’t know. I intend to add some of their research to this blog. They suggested a logo and a business card design. I was truly impressed and you will see more of their suggestions in the near future. Well done class.

Sunday — My Weekly Review

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Time for the weekly recap. Most of my time this week was spent reading and researching. I am determined to learn felt making. So many catalogs full of fiber. I’m still planning to take a felt making course in March. Until then I have decided not to buy any fiber. My compulsive nature can find me spending money on things I don’t really need. So patience is the way for now. I will continue to read and learn what I can on my own. I am beginning to put together a list if items that I think I need. Once I take a course I’ll have a better grip on what is necessary and what isn’t. In the mean time I need to  get back to my UFO’s which in a minute I’ll be stashing until  fall.

If you missed my pictures this week here they are:

Fulled Crocheted purse beautifully lined by Debra
Fulled Crocheted Heart


Saturday is Research Day

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Well usually it is but today was my first day of classes at school number one and when I got home I was determined to finish what is now my grand daughters vest. I didn’t finish but I made progress and I have to finish it in the next few days because I have so many other things to do. So the time I usually spend on my weekly research got away from me.

Hope you’ll visit again.

Happy Saturday!

Saturday Research – Am I knitting as fast as I can?

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I just spent some time watching speed knitters on YouTube. Watching them is impressive to say the least. I could probably do twice or three times as much if I could knit that fast. Practically however, I realize that I am probably never going to knit that quickly. So I searched for other tips that could help me knit more efficiently and came across an article entitled “How to Knit Faster” by domiknitrix. She makes practical suggestions that may help us knit faster. I think that everyone can come away with a useable tip from this list. Some may not resonate with you but that’s okay and you may have figured out some of them yourself. Anyway take a look and see what you think.

Types of Cast Ons for Knitting

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Last night at the Bergen Crafters meeting we had a discussion about casting on stitches for knitting.  While I knew that people had preferences I was unable to explain the different types of casting on. So I did some research and found out about several types of cast on.

First of all casting on has a lot to do with personal preference. When I was a kid and first learned to knit I used what is often called the loop method. This is a simple method to teach a new knitted because they only have to make a loop on their finger and transfer it to the needle. Very simple and quick once you get the hang of it. Unfortunately this method can give you crazy gaps between stitches on the firs row that you knit. I find this disconcerting and imagine that many new knitters may feel the same way. As a result your first row (edge in this case) may be uneven and not particularly attractive. It’s okay for early career projects and really won’t matter for that first scarf once the fringe is on. Not so good for a sweater. I never use this method any more.

Often the pattern that you are working on will tell you which cast on to use and then you don’t have to guess. If it doesn’t you will probably use your favorite. For me that is the long tail method of casting on. I learned this method several years ago from a video and it has become my go to cast on. I find it quick and it gives a nice even firm but elastic edge to your project. The only down side of using the long tail method is that it requires you to leave enough of a tail to create the number of stitches that you need. I have often had to start over because I have used up the tail before reaching the number of stitches required. At the other extreme I have wasted yarn unnecessarily by making the tail too long and not wishing to start over. You will understand once you see a video of this method.

The cable cast on method is also firm but stretchy enough to use in many garments. It makes a nice edge and according to Elizabeth Zimmerman, knitting expert it “looks equally well on both sides”. Not hard to do once you see it done and a useful method to know.

The knitted cast on also creates a firm edge that looks very nice. It is very similar to the cable cast on in execution and may be just what you are looking for.

Any way that is casting on in a shell. I can’t show you these methods here but there are tons of videos on You Tube that can show you each method. Happy knitting!!!