Making the Big Switch to Circular Knitting

It all began when I saw those luscious cake yarns that looked like big, juicy, colorful sweet rolls made of yarn. I found myself thinking, “I wish I could knit something that preserved those lovely swirls of color.”

After knitting “flat” since my girlhood days, I recently made the big switch to knitting in the round. And I’ll have to admit, I’m enjoying my knitting and making higher quality garments after making the big switch to circular knitting.

What makes it better? First of all, it’s easier. If you’d rather knit than purl, circular knitting is for you. In top-down knitting of sweaters, once you make your increases at the neckline, you pretty much flat-out knit until you’re done. You also don’t have to play “yarn chicken” as much, wondering if you you’ll have enough yarn to bind off that neckline or finish off those sleeves. By starting at the top with circular needles, you make the crucial parts of the sweater first. If you run out of yarn, your sweater will be a bit shorter than you planned, but you’ll still have a completed garment.

And did I mention no sewing up seams and very little tying off loose ends? I’ll admit, I love the process of knitting but often procrastinate for days (if not weeks) in putting a flat-knitted sweater together after finishing the knitting. With top-down, circular knitting, you make the sweater in ONE piece, with only a slight amount of tying up loose ends that even I can handle within a couple of minutes.

The downsides? For very small circular knitting projects, you still have to use the old double pointed needles, which tend to poke out in all directions and tie your brain in knots. But once you get your project up to a certain circumference, you can switch to small length circular needles, and you’re on your way down the path of quick and easy again. For most sweaters, you can use a set of interchangeable circular needles, and you don’t have to fool with the dreaded double pointed needles at all.

You do need a few new tools if you’re making the switch to circular needles. Here’s what I’ve needed to add to my knitting tool kit:

Is Circular knitting worth the time, effort, and expense to make the big switch? I vote yes! Making any change in your life involves new tools, new skills, and taking advantage of new resources and wisdom. But like most life changes, you’ll eventually be glad you made the switch.

Happy Knitting, Cindy

 

New Blanket Patterns: Knitted, Crocheted, & Quilted

Winter has finally arrived here in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, and that’s got me thinking about making some new blankets for my family and for Christmas gifts.

Several new pattern books have just come out, offering lots of great ideas and patterns:

Designer Knit Home: 24 Room-By-Room Coordinated Knits to Create a Look You’ll Love to Live In by Erin Eileen Black. This just published book features big, chunky blankets for all over your home: bedroom, kids’ rooms, family room, and even your office. A few pillows, baskets, and other accessories are included. All are knit with big needles for quick and easy projects.

Corner to Corner Crochet: 15 Contemporary C2C Projects by Jess Coppom. For advanced beginners, this book has plenty of technique tips and instruction on “C2C.” The blanket patterns in this book are particularly nice.

The Art of Crochet Blankets: 18 Projects Inspired by Modern Makers by Rachel Carmona. This beautifully photographed and colorful book will inspire crochet crafters to up their game. The author showcases the work of several artists to draw inspiration for her own designs. Artists working in papercraft, quilting, tiles, fabric design, and tiles are featured, along with a crochet design based on that artist’s work. Designs based on paper craft and quilts were especially nice.

Quilt Big: Bigger Blocks for Faster Finishes by Jemima Flendt. The concept of this book is beautifully simple: make big square instead of tiny squares for quicker, easier projects and bold designs. With vivid designs, this book gave me lots of project ideas to last me the whole winter.

Enjoy these new books! Happy Crafting!

Cindy

 

 

New Crochet Books for Beginners to Advanced Crafters

Do you crochet? Want to learn? Several new resources have just been published to help you learn, help you add some new stitches to your repertoire, or to help you knit more advanced, delicate garments.

Recently Published…

Crochet 101 by Deborah Burger. This is a great book on basic techniques of crochet. I’m a lifelong knitter, and I wondered how easily I could learn the basics of crochet. I gave this book a test drive and successfully made a swatch of single chain stitch. This was a good basic book that takes the beginner step by step in learning crochet. Available in Kindle, paperback, and spiral-bound, currently on sale and with a coupon on the website.

The Crochet Stitch Handbook by Betty Barnden. This is and excellent crochet stitch dictionary. The illustrations and graphics clearly show the stitches and are easy to follow.  I love a good stitch dictionary for designing my own work. In hardback, currently on sale.

Coming Soon…

Delicate Crochet by Sharon Hernes Silverman. This collection includes shawls, cardigans, scarves, cowls, fingerless gloves, and more. All designs are made with lightweight #3 yarn or lighter, and some designs utilize Tunisian crochet. Lots of great patterns for the advanced crochet crafter. Available for pre-order now in paperback and Kindle.

All these books are highly recommended. Happy crafting!