All of these patterns belong to me. They are here for your personal use, but please do not post them to other websites. Instead, link back to them.


If you make any of these items to sell, you cannot claim the design as your own. You can claim that you handmade the item, but you must credit me, Julie Hicks, as the designer.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Ruffled scarves

You know, they're all the rage. They're soft, squishy and beautiful. They're also a pain in the backside to make. Oh, they're easy enough to do, once you get the hang of it, but they're still a pain. If you Google 'ruffled scarf tutorial' you can find any number of youtube links showing you how to knit these. Here's one where the tutor is going very slowly and explaining each step. She's even using the same yarn I am, from the look of it. Red Heart Boutique Sashay in the Waltz colorway.

Ruffled Scarf Tutorial

The only differences are that I'm holding the yarn in my right hand, it's how I'm used to holding it. And when I cast on, I skipped two loops, meaning I put every third loop on my needle and used six loops. I continued to knit every third loop. I now have about two feet of it done. It's got a looser ruffle than hers, but I like it. I'm also using a size 10 US needle. I may try a tighter ruffle some other time.

A few words of advice:

Do NOT use slippery needles. In fact, a sixteen inch circular needle would be better. Bamboo needles aren't slippery and will help you not to drop stitches. I recommend this if you plan on putting your work down. I learned this the hard way when my needle slipped out of all the stitches and I had to carefully rip back to a row that didn't have a dropped stitch on it. Also, I found out it's easier to hold both needles in one hand while you're making each stitch if you use a circular.

If you plan on sitting there from start to finish, then straight needles will be fine. Otherwise, use a circular so that you can just push the stitches down onto the cable if you put it down. Oh, and don't worry about whether you're doing it right or wrong, just be consistent.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Must give knitting it's fair share of time

In the last post I detailed how I held my yarn while crocheting. Hopefully it will help some people, if not, well it's still there.

Now, one would think that as a crocheter who twists the yarn intricately around her left hand to crochet with it would do the same as a knitter. You would be wrong. Again, it's all in who taught me. My mother could never learn to knit, but she had a friend who did and she taught me.

So, how do I hold my yarn? Not in the continental way, as most might guess. I simply hold the yarn in my right hand, along with my working needle. No twisting it around my fingers or anything fancy, I just hold it and throw it. This is known as the English method, though some who hold the yarn this way would also wind the yarn around the fingers as well. But I don't. It's most comfortable for me to simply hold it.

So, how do I avoid dropping my working needle while I'm throwing the yarn? Once I insert the working needle into the stitch I use the index finger and thumb of my left hand to hold the end of the
needle in place for the bit of time it takes to throw the yarn for the stitch. After a few stitches, the needle is held in place that way. Am I a fast knitter? No. I'm not too much of a slowpoke either. I'll never be lightning fast and I don't want to be. It's a bit annoying to watch someone knitting faster than I can see the stitches dropping off the needle. I prefer my sedate pace that doesn't make me look like I'm frantically trying to finish my project before suppertime.

Not that I'm disrespecting fast knitters. I'm not. It's just not for me. I applaud anyone who can knit that fast and not drop stitches or lose their place in the pattern.

Knit on, turtle slow or hare fast.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

How I hold my yarn while crocheting.

Yeah, there are as many ways to hold yarn while crocheting as there are crocheters-from simply holding it in their non-dominant hand to intricately wrapping it around the fingers of their non-dominant hand. I'm an intricate wrapper, I can't help it, it's how I was taught by my mother and I've been doing it for more than forty years. As intricate as it is, it only takes about half a second to do it once it's learned.

I'll put up this picture that shows (hopefully) will show how I was taught. I will also include detailed written instructions.

First the picture:

It's clickable if you need to see it in it's original size.

Now the instructions. After you make your slip knot on your hook, you will pass the yarn between your pinky and your ring finger from the back of your hand, wrap around pinky and go between it and the ring finger again. Then pass the yarn under the ring finger and over the middle and index fingers. You will hold your work with your thumb and your middle finger and hold your index finger up to control the tension as you crochet.

I promise after you practice it a few times it will become as natural as breathing to wrap the yarn this way. Of course I don't advocate it over other ways, it's just the way I was taught, so it's how I hold it. You go ahead and hold it the way that's most comfortable for you. There is no right or wrong way to hold your yarn as you crochet, just like you can hold your hook in whatever way is most comfortable for you-whether it's holding it like a drumstick or whether you hold it like a pencil  (I hold it like a pencil, BTW).

So, crochet away.