Organic Cotton vs Cotton

Just as we’ve seen organic food show up on grocery shelves, the interest in organic products has extended into your local yarn store. The yarn industry has not contributed as greatly to the environmental and human labour issues that have plagued textile production and the fashion industry. Today, the hand knitting yarn industry consists of…

The Cable Needle

Cables are one of the most fascinating textural stitches in knitting. Traditional Aran and Fisherman sweaters rely on combining cable patterns for their beautiful embossed appearance. The technique for making cable stitch patterns requires a short needle with points at both ends – the cable needle. Cable Patterns All cable stitch patterns are formed by…

Stitch Markers

I have so many stitch markers in my toolbox, that it’s unlikely I could use them all in a lifetime. My favourite ones are purely functional; solid metal rings. Yet, I always seem to be drawn to the latest jewelry-like “designer” markers. Regardless of how many you have or the style, they are important accessories…

The World of Japanese Stitchery

I recently purchased the book “Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible, 260 Exquisite Patterns” by Hitomi Shida, one of Japan’s best known knitting designers. This is the author’s second collection of stitch patterns. The patterns presented in this book are innovative, elegant and intricate; a unique resource for the experienced knitter looking for new patterns to incorporate…

The Exceptional Qualities of Qiviut and Yak

Ready for a luxe knitting experience? Two fibers that have moved into mainstream knitting are qiviut and yak. Both are expensive, luxury fibers due to their combination of  softness, fineness, lightness and warmth, and eco-friendly means of gathering their downy undercoats. Yarns made from these fibers provide an enjoyable knitting experience, and make for the…

Ball Winder, Swift, or Maybe a Nostepinne

I find my ball winder indispensable. I’ve had a Brother winder since the beginning of my knitting journey, and didn’t own a swift until many years later. Even with only a winder, you can wind balls of yarn from a hank placed on the back of a chair. Because much of the yarn sold today…

Roving Yarn

Ever wonder what to do with the pillowy soft mass of fibers found for sale in craft stores, specialty yarn shops, and local yarn cottage industries. This unstructured mass of unspun fibers is known as roving. What is roving? Roving is a continuous sheet of fiber that has been washed and carded. A carding machine…

What is yarn weight?

One of the many confusing terms in knitting is “yarn weight”. It has a couple of different meanings, but each influences the other. Hand knitting yarn is purchased in a few different formats, a ball (round), skein (oblong), or hank. Each format is commonly sold in 25, 50, or 100 gram units. This is the…

Do You Really Need to Learn How to Use a Row Counter?

  You may be thinking, wow is she for real – of course I know how to use a row counter. I know this may seem like something not worth talking about, or an insult to your abilities. But sometimes in life it’s the small tips that make all the difference to creating the projects…

Stitch Holders Make a Knitter’s Life Easier

Some knitting accessories aren’t absolutely necessary, but like many tools they will often make your task a lot easier. Holders are tools used to hold a group of stitches that are worked at a later time, such as those at necklines, shoulders, and pockets. These tools come in a variety of styles and sizes. My…