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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In the details.. Needles and Patterns

   Well, first of all, the kids and I are sick... But luckily I am not so sick that I can't do some crafting. If I am so sick that I'm not even crafting in my recliner, there is a major problem haha.

   But to finish the two-part posting that I started Saturday, in which I barely touched on the amazing world of yarn (ahh the fiber :D). This post is about needles and patterns, and what wisdom I can impart from my experience.

Knitting Needles and Crochet Hooks:
   Needles: There are generally three types of needles in knitting: straights, circulars, and double point needles (from this point forward to be called DPN's). The only type of needles I do not have are plastic, sorry.




   These are a sample of unmatched Straights haha. The one on the left is wooden and the one on the right is metal.

  A tip for someone who typically crochet's, the length of these may feel super awkward in your hands. I generally suggest that a crocheter who wants to learn how to knit try knitting with circulars.








 

      Speaking of circulars, these are my favorites, they are Knitter's Pride Dreamz and fixed. There are subcategories of circulars, fixed and interchangeable. Interchangeable means that you can detach the cord connecting the tips for different lengths. I prefer to have very long fixed that way I don't have to worry about making sure they are tightened enough that they won't come apart during a project. I've even gone so far as to super glue together the joints of my Knitpicks Harmony needles, and I am very happy with the result.







    Last is the DPN's, which simply mean that each end has a point. This can be useful in making i-cords or for knitting in the round at the top of a hat when closing, but I just use the magic-loop method for everything so these are rarely pulled out for use in my knitting.




    Crochet Hooks:
       Crochet hooks are available in metal, bamboo, wood and plastic. I do not have a picture of plastic, because apparently I don't like to use them.. Not something I've noticed before haha. Below I have an example of three metal ones and one red wooden one. I love my wooden one, it's the only one I have and it's so warm. You may notice that two of the hooks below also have a hand section, this is nice for people with arthritis and saves movement too.


Patterns:
   Do not be afraid of charts, give them a chance and you may be surprised. Both crocheting and knitting charts seem to intimidate crafters and I find that sad, but I get tripped up on written instructions that are really long so I suppose we're all a little different. All I always suggest is to give it a chance.

    When I was 18 years old I was trying a pattern while crocheting and it just wasn't working. It was driving me crazy, I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, but it just didn't work! I had been crocheting for 5 years so was getting around intermediate skill at that point. When suddenly, I realized it wasn't me, the pattern was wrong! This is something to keep in mind when learning any new craft, it really may not be you.

   Those are the details. Back to obsessively knitting and crocheting hats, mittens and scarves (oh my!) in the hopes that I may get into a Holiday Bazaar in November. If I don't, the items will end up on my shop haha.

  Please feel free to give me feedback and you can reach me pretty easily through my facebook page or shop. Be well and healthy, it's getting colder out there! :D

Jen Riley
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