13 March 2011

Kathleen Taylor's Tips and Tricks

Yesterday was Kathleen Taylor's class 'Little Tips and Cheater Tricks for Knitting' (that's unaware me, top photo, way in the back corner, in the red shirt ~ when did this photo get snapped?!) at Great Yarns in Everett.  The 2 hours flew by and we learned so many valuable things that only years of experience can provide.  I couldn't wait to come home and pull out some projects, both finished and unfinished, and put some of these great ideas to use.  We learned how to hand-wind a center pull ball (love this tip ~ I've always balled my own yarn up until about a year ago when my husband got me a swift and ball winder but I never knew how to get a center pull going!), spit splicing (thankfully after the demonstration Kathi was nice enough NOT to pass the example around for us to touch ~ yuck!), an amazing embroidery trick to correct an errant cable when you don't want to rip out an entire garment to fix the mistake, adding beads to your knitting with wire (I think I'll stick with the crochet hook method but only because it's the way I was taught and it works for me), and 'knitting back backwards'.  The last one took me a few minutes to wrap my brain around but once you get it, it's the coolest thing.

So, now I have 3 projects pulled out that I want to fix and finish with my new skills:
  1. Cabled Piper Purse - I got 1/3 done and put this simple project down since the bobbles were so tedious but now that I know how to 'knit back backwards' bobbles are actually quick and fun so I'm definitely going to finish this up now.
  2. My Ingeborg - if you look at the pictures, this vest was great right after I finished it but after one wearing, the yarn on the lower 1/2 is heavy enough that it pulled away from the solid color yarn and there is a gaping sloppy seam that I now know how to stabilize on the inside with a quick single crochet.  I'll be able to wear this again!
  3. Hot for Teach - the button band on the sweater has plagued me since I made it ~ my button holes are loose (I've already put bigger buttons on it to make up for this problem) and the button placket ribbing has no structure and I learned yesterday how to tighten a loose ribbing that doesn't need elasticity.  I can use this trick on the button band and the button holes themselves so I can finally get more use out of this really cute sweater, also!
I'm glad Lois from the guild told me about the class or I may have missed it!  And of course, afterwards I had to do a little loitering in the shop and I lucked out and found some lace yarn to make curtains for my knitting attic.
Baruffa Cashwool Decatito
It's Italian 100% extra fine merino laceweight ~ I'll double strand it (the darker color is Cocoa and the lighter color is Latte ~ mmmm, coffee!).  I think I'll come up with my own pattern for this project ~ time to go pull out my lace books and do a little dreaming ;)

ETA:  The spit splicing came in handy ~ I wound my yarn tonight and four, yes FOUR snaps, all spit spliced back together, good as new!  Thanks, Kathi!


  1. Awesome post Melissa~ I'm impressed with your follow-up regarding improving your finished projects! I really enjoyed that class too. I was so amazed at how simple her tips were! and how much sense they made.....(what does it say about me that I wasn't "that" freaked out by the sharpie trick??)

    I ended up purchasing Jane Slicer-Smith's book,
    "Swing, Swagger, Drape" and some gorgeous Tonalita yarn to make a wrap/vest that they had a finsihed one on display in the shop. There was also a a completed sweater from the same book that will definately be on my to do list, just as soon as I finish up a few "unfinished objects"!! :)

  2. Lois ~ I saw the sweater on you ~ adorable! Didn't see the vest but when you're done with it you can show it to me. The big question is, did you buy a new project bag for your new project? ;)

  3. Ha ha! I'm just about finished with a couple things so I'll be able to re-claim a couple of project bags~ {:)