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Author Archives: Heather Lodinsky

  • A Good Read: Identifying Your Stitches

    Designer and teacher Heather Lodinsky joins us to share tips on reading your knitting.

    For the last two decades, I have been a freelance designer writing patterns for knitters and crocheters.   For just as long, I have taught knitting at my local yarn shop three times a week here in Buffalo, New York.  These two jobs of mine have always complemented each other.   Knitters (and want-to-be knitters) walk in for instruction and help with their projects.  I always want the knitters that come to my class to be happy with their knitting and not feel the urge to throw their projects in the back of a closet to become a so-called “UFO” (Unfinished Object).   From the very start, I like to get students familiar with “reading” their knitting, so that they can identify what stitches they are working, understand what they have already done and know where they are going with their knitting.   Think of this “reading” or identifying your stitches as your own knitting “GPS”...or compass for those of us “pre-techies”.

    Probably the most amazing revelation for me as a knitter was when I realized (after many years of knitting) that the knit stitch and the purl stitch are the exact same stitch—but they are done on the opposite sides of the fabric.    We are taught as knitters that if you knit every row you will get that wonderful, reversible ridge fabric named “garter” stitch—shown below.

    Knit Garter | A Good Read: Identifying Your Stitches | Lion Brand Notebook

    So, what happens when we purl every row?  Garter Stitch again!

    Purl Garter | A Good Read: Identifying Your Stitches | Lion Brand Notebook

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  • Unlock the Secrets of Crochet Cables

    Crochet Celtic Afghan

    Knitting teacher and author Heather Lodinsky joins us for another article on the wonderful world of cables. Click here to read her previous blog post on knitting cables.

    Creating cables with yarn may conjure thoughts of knitting—but did you know that this magic twisting of stitches can be worked in crochet?  Last month, we explored how cables in knitting are created by the use of a cable needle to change the order of stitches and to shape the resulting left or right twist of the cable.   The first time I saw a crochet cable pattern, I thought there must be a complicated technique  to "twist" stitches that were already worked.  In knitting, cables are made rearranging the order of "live" stitches (ones that are not bound off, or finished).  So, with the exception of the one loop on your crochet hook, how do you create a cable with stitches that are already finished?  The answer lies in how you work each stitch and in which order they will be worked in a given row.

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  • Doing the Twist: Basics of Cable Knitting

    Author, knitting teacher, and erstwhile crochet-along/knit-along host Heather Lodinsky joins us for an article on cables.

    This season, style sections of newspapers and magazines are once again telling us that cables are a hot trend in fashion, showing up in all sorts of knitwear for women, men and children.   In knitting, there are those trends that appear again and again, such as lace, fair-isle knitting and cables.   It is safe to say that if you have never tried to knit a cable before…now is a great time to learn!

    Cables in knitting look much more difficult than they really are.  I remember as a girl, looking at a cardigan my mother had knit with cables.   I was positive that she must have cut her knitting, and then twisted it to form the “ropes” in her knitting.   Well, I had half of the technique right, as cables are made by twisting  or moving your stitches as you knit, but no cutting of those stitches is necessary.

    Choosing the Right Tools for Cable Knitting

    In addition to the knitting needles you need to knit your project, you will also want to find the right cable needle for your project.   Cable needles come in various shapes and sizes, but the one thing that they all have in common is that they have two points like a double-pointed needle.   Some knitters do use a double-point needles as a cable needle, but there is a very good reason why cable needles are shaped the way they are.   Some cable needles are shaped as hooks, or simply have a bend in the middle of the needle.   But both work the same with the stitches being “moved” held on the bent part of the needle.

    Cable Needle

    Frequently cable needles come in a package with 2 or 3 sizes.   It is best to use a cable needle close to the size of the needle you are using to knit your project.   If a needle is too thin, the stitches may slide off as you are working your cable.  Alternately, if the cable needle is too thick, then your stitches will be stretched as you try to slip them on.  Choosing the right size cable needle will make your cable knitting a fun and rewarding  experience.

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