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December 08, 2017


Marianne Griffith

I have self contained project bags, simple projects for waiting, more difficult for home alone ☺️

Cathy Hosek

When I have to cast on a large amount of stitches, I use the long tail method and pull one strand from the center of the ball and one from the outside. That way I don't have to guess and can just cut one of the yarns when I start knitting!

Kimberly Townsend

I make notes on my patterns all of the time so that when I use it again I know where the difficult areas are and how I made it thru there. I have a favorite sock pattern that is for wearing with flip flops that my sister loves, I have changed the top several times and love how versatile this pattern is.


I have a magnetic guide that I use to keep me on the right line when reading a chart. It definitely helps to keep me in the right place of the pattern.


I always have several projects going at one time. So I make tons of notes in a notebook so I can keep track of where I am and decisions I have made for each project. Helps me pick and change projects frequently.


For colored pattern charts that require careful, slow attention to detail, I re-create them on larger square graph paper (sometimes hand drawn), and hand color the design into the boxes with colored pencils. It allows me to study the pattern carefully before stitching, a bit of artwork, and a prepared stitch guide that doesn't require a trip to the copy center to enlarge.

Danielle Sime

Tip: don’t make decisions after dark - heard from Mary Hunt (financial guru) but I apply it to my knitting as well. The color choice for that project, size modification on this sweater, buying those few extra skeins “just in case” of that sparkly brown mohair blend with fun fur accents.... yeah. It never ends well.


A long tail cast on with 2 balls or with both ends of the ball is one of my favorite tips. This way I never run out of yarn for my cast on. And let me tell you, it used to take me 2 or 3 tries to get it right!


I use GoodReader on my ipad and mark up the pattern before I ever cast on. I use highlighting and boxes to mark color changes, key notes like changing needle sizes, and to keep my place. Life changing!

Becky Gray

I use sticky notes to keep my place when reading charts. Makes it easy to keep your eyes on the right row. 🎄🐑🎄

Nancy J

I am a disorganized person but I always make a copy of the pattern that I can mark up as I go. I also write the year and the person for whom I am making it. From there ...not so organized. I do have a plan though for 2018 and beyond. I hope to make a plain muslin bag, just big enough for a sock project and embroider the word SOCKS on it so that when I rush out the door I can see it and grab it easily for knitting on the go.

Barbara Belden

While knitting entrelac or any stockinette project learning to knit backwards which is purling from the rigbt side is an absolute
The technique of continental knitting at the same time makes knitting backwards a technique i look forward to.


I use 5 x 8" notebooks to record every project I'm working on as I work. Besides the obvious pattern, yarn, and needles I jot down every change I make or tip I get from Ravelry as I work. I also listen to and watch podcasts as I knit and I jot down patterns and websites that I want to follow up on later. I started doing this in the pre-Ravelry days and I've kept it up because I add so much more detail to my notebooks than I do to my Ravelry project pages.


I rarely have only one WIP so I always print the pattern and end up writing all over it...and if my notes are important ones I pull up the PDF of the pattern and put my notes on it in a bright color (for example: sometimes the yarn is noted in the pattern but I may not know if it's worsted or fingering so I make this a permanent note) and if I print it again my note is there.


I print 2 copies of a pattern, then i keep one in plastic in a notebook and use the other one to write on...when i am done i put that one in the plastic with my "notes" in it as well.


I'm relatively new to knitting so don't really have any tips or tricks figured out yet. I do like to print patterns and make notes. I also try to keep everything organized. Each project has its own bag. I have a needle/notions organizer to keep all my needles straight.


I keep the swatch(es) and a length of yarn for mending in a baggie and punch binder holes in it, which I keep with the pattern in my binders.


The click row counters and highlighter tape

April R.

I make copies of patterns and file them in a file cabinet according to what the pattern is such as scarfs, mittens, hats, etc. Then I use multicolored slim post-its to tag the weight of the yarn and also tag the pattern as something that I really love and will make in the near future. I also use the post-it note for marking my pattern row (the magnet seems to slide or move to much for me). I will use the long tail cast on that was mentioned earlier - this will be a big help! Thank you!!

Geraldine Nehl

I print out the pattern and put the pages in a plastic sheet holder. Then I use a strip of post-it that comes on a roll to keep my place. I write notes on it, like how to do stitches I am not familiar with. For charts I place the strip above the row I am working on so that I can see what I have done.


I always have at least two projects going on at once, so if I get bored with one, I swap to the other.

Also, I keep a journal of all my projects. Needles/yarn used, start/end dates, who it was for, notes, errors/workarounds, etc. Also includes stickers, notes from companies/designers, pictures of babies wearing the hats. It's marvelous.

Amanda Guthrie

I agree with weaving in ends as you go. It makes finishing so much more bearable!


When I'm doing a cabled or lace pattern, I use different colored highlighters to color in the chart symbols -- so k2tog is always pink, ssk is always blue, etc. Then when I'm knitting, I'm not staring at the pattern trying to figure out which way the symbol slants, I'm just looking for the colors. It's especially helpful if I've got two projects IP from different designers: doesn't matter how their charts show k2tog, I'm just looking for the pink squares. (And Sharpie makes sets of highlighters with 10 different colors!)

Betty K

I am very disorganized and do not do any of the things that have been mentioned. My projects still turn out and I have had many compliments on finished items. If they only knew, lol!


My 2 go to tips are 1) use lifelines! and 2) I find removable highlighter tape indispensable for helping me keep my place on patterns and, especially, charts.

Nancy F.

I like making fisherman knit type sweaters with multiple cable panels, often with different numbers of row repeats. I use index cards, where each panel gets its own set of cards. I write out each line of the pattern on a separate card, clipping each panel with a separate butterfly clip. After knitting a row, I move the top card of each stack of cardsto the back of the pile. Handy way of keeping track over time.


I like to knit lace - I use lots of stitch markers and count everything even though I can read my knitting. Also I start a Ravelry project as I'm casting on and record as much detail as I can.

Caitlin A

I just discovered the awesome trick of doing the longtail cast on with yarn from each end of the ball, and it has changed my life. No more running out of yarn half-way through the 250 st -cast on for a sweater for my husband! I also use Adobe Reader to take notes on my patterns and then I save those as separate copies so I can always go back later to see what I changed.

Karen Caron

I also use sticky notes for keeping my place when working a chart. Along with that I use one of the Clover knitting counters to keep track of each row also.

Eileen Bator

When Kitchener stitch is required I take a tip from machine knitting. Start and end the knitting on waste yarn. It’s much easier to kitchener stitch the pieces together without the needles in them.


When I started knitting, I was a monogamous knitter. 5 years later I usually have two or three projects going at a time. A quick knit for my impatient instant gratification self. A vanilla sock for my purse. Lastly, a big or complicated project that lives next to my knitting chair. It's not so much I'll catch cast-onistis and never finish but enough that I have something to work on when I get an opportunity to pick up my needles. It works for me and my life.

Abby M

I have never gotten a provisional cast-on to work with the crochet method. I switched to Judy's Magic Cast-on (the toe of socks looks seamless no?) then I put 1/2 of the stitches on holders while I work the other. The holder may be cumbersome at the first few rows, but after that ... smooth sailing AND no picking up stitches or ripping out a crochet line!

Linda Cram

I learned the hard way to mark a repeating pattern in my work. When making cowls or shawls with lots of yo, kfb, pfkb, and k2tog, I place a stitch marker at the end of the pattern repeat. Initially it takes longer to set up, but you can quickly out and find where mistakes were made without too much backtracking.
It goes without repeating to read the instructions thoroughly before starting any project!

SuEllyn Rody

1st, I just discovered KnitCompanion and I love it!
2nd, I often knit top-down, in the round, stockinette sweaters. You increase every other round. I use a reddish locking stitch marker attached to a greenish lockin stitch marker. At the beginning of the row I have the red marker on the needle to indicate "no increase" and then on the next row I use the green marker on the needle to indicate "increases row." Helpful on garter stitch cardigans too. Anytime right side/wrong side isn't easy to tell.


I always read through the entire pattern before I start knitting and identify areas that may be confusing. I then write out that part of the pattern so I can 'see' what's happening. I also make marks where pattern repeats occur and how many there are.


If there is going to be seaming I leave a long tail at cast on so the yarn is available to seam from the beginning. I don’t have to attach anything and it makes me get right to it. I usually wind it into a little ball that hangs there or pin it into my work with a wooden straight stick pin.


I also use a little notebook to keep track of the pattern and where I am etc. I tend to lose sticky notes, don't have all the technology and it is sor of a keepsake too and fun to look back on. I may make note of what else I am doing or where I am or why I picked to colors.

I was picking out colors for a Goldfish Memory, which I saw someone wearing at the Open House, and after about the 3rd try I was happy with the colors I was knitting. All of a sudden I realized they were Simply Sock colors, 2 shades of pink and brown. I found that lovely and that is why I was feeling so contented.


Lots of good ideas! I make sure I make note where I am in the pattern, when I put my project away. Case in point, a sweater that sat for about 7 yrs before picking back up. Lifelines, lots of stitch markers for lace. I am beginning to make project notes on items that I knit again and again, ie mittens, hats.

Jan Ball

I use highlighter tape on paper patterns after I place them in plastic paper sleeve. I keep a small notebook with sock "formulas" for the folks I knit for most. I make notes on the type of yarn used too.

Rhonda Atkinson

I keep the measurements for those I knit socks for in a note on my phone. I am usually doing more than 1 project at a time so I use sticky notes on patterns of where I am or if I make changes so when I get back to that project I know where I am. Saves me so much time from having to figure out where I am.


When I pick up stitches for the gusset of a sock, I also pick up a loop from the stitch below the first and last stitch of the top of the foot needle. I knit this stitch together with the first stitch of the gusset on each side, which I think helps to reduce the hole I often get at that spot where the gusset starts.


I like to add the pdf for my pattern to the Goodreader app on my iPad. It allows you to add notes, highlight the instructions for the size you have selected, and insert a line that you can move along a chart to keep your place.


My favorite knitting "trick" had been to really analyze and accept my personal style. Much as I love done brightly variegated sock yarns, I'm just not going to wear them as shawls. I'm also not going to wear baby pink, no matter how pretty the skein is. So knitting myself better has changed the projects I pick and brought them mostly into the category of things I love when finished!


I always keep a something by the door or in the car.

I also try to have the patterns on my electronics as back up to paper. I use my Adobe app to convert some or all I might need to PDF.

Lynn Mozzoni

I like Highlighter tape for keeping my place in my pattern! When kitting on DPN's I find remembering to tug on second stitch of each needle helps to eliminate ladders.

Debbie  (KnitterDeb1030 on Ravelry)

I hear people talk about how hard it is to knit with dark yarns but I've had an OTT light for a couple of years now and with my older eyes it makes such a difference! I love it! I, too, weave in my ends as I go. And I LOVE Knit Companion for more complicated patterns especially with charts.

Lisa Loback

I have to go with using a stitch counter on my phone!! Makes keeping track soooooo much easier. I also like to store my pattern in iBook so I always have them available.

Andrea Mundt

Mine is to remember lifted increases:

right through the rear and left through the front

Just keep the r's and f's together!


My tip is never knit when you're tired, I always make mistakes. I have a notebook I always write whose yarn it is, color, and number of rows completed. I also record any info on the pattern sheet I may find helpful for future projects.

Nicole Acuna

For me? It’s Portuguese knitting because using the pin really helps me (I normally have tension issues) and it speeds up my knitting so much more!


Whenever I knit anything in the round, I cast on on 1 more stitch than needed. When working the first pattern round, I pass the extra stitch over the first stitch to "lock" them together - it makes the cast on edge look much neater!


Not sure what this counts as, but I am a continental knitter and when I learned the Norwegian purl it was a game changer. It looked complicated but made purling SO MUCH EASIER continental.


I love my highlighter tape when reading charts and even to keep track on written patterns. I like to think I can keep track in my head, but really, I should know better.


I'm a sucker for check-boxes, so I rewrite ALL my patterns. I put them in Google Docs so I can access them anywhere, and add check-boxes/space for tally marks anywhere I might need to keep track of my place.


I use playing cards to keep track of row counts. For example, if it’s a 4 row repeat, I’ll use the ace through the 4, flipping over the card at the end of the row. I clip the cards to the pattern when I set down my knitting and I can easily see which row to start on when I pick it back up.

Neecy Rohrs

Swatching.....I used to hate it until I took a class at Vogue Knitting Kive. He said that we have a lot of time and money in our projects, so we need to love the finished product. Searching a large swatch is the answer to get a correct gauge and to know the feel, drape of the yarn,


I read through the pattern and highlight all instructions specific to the size I'm making.

Deborah Pogue

I rely on Knit Companion for most of my projects. Keeps all my notes, progress, etc


I have the colored tape that helps with reading a pattern line. I also have different stitch markers to remind me what to do in certain parts of the knitting process.


For socks, I've completely switched to 9# circular needles. It took 3 full socks before I could figure out how to place my hands comfortably, but once I got past the learning curve I've fallen in LOVE with them. No laddering, everything is nice & tight and continuous. I still need DPNs for heel flaps and toes, but those are easy.


Always knit stranded colorwork in the round with the right side on the inside of the tube. It helps to avoid puckering.


I agree too about weaving the ends in as you go. I also print out a copy of the pattern and always make notes when I finish up a knitting session to remind myself of where I left off in case I don't get to pick it back up again for several weeks.


I can never remember which is which with a M1L vs. M1R. Then, I learned the phrase "I'll be right back, I left the front door open". M1R = knit from the back, M1L = knit from the front. Oh, it works for decreases too. I left leaning decrease is knit from the front (K2tog) and right is from the back (SSK).

Also, when knitting socks it's a 1/4 inch for every whole shoe size. So, I know how long I make mine and adjust for the person I'm making them for (plus a women's size six is a men's 5)

Trina Mechling

I make 2 copies of a pattern. I can then use a highlighter to highlight the stitches for a given size. I also use different color pens to make notes that I want to remember as I knit.


When I do a long tail cast on, I use an end from each end of the yarn cake - - no waste really makes me feel so efficient!


I love to use an erasable highlighter on patterns that I'll be making more than once. I photocopy it and use it multiple times.

Alex Wang

Highlighter tape is a godsend! It keeps me on track when reading lace charts.

Robin Jamerson

I always have more than one project going at a time. I usually have a harder project (lace) and an easy one like socks. I always make a copy of the pattern and make notes all over it. It is the best way to keep track of where you are.


I love the app Good Reader for PDF patterns on the iPad. I use a highlighter bar to mark the row that I'm on, moving it up and down as I go. I add notes and "post its" to the pattern too and cross out the sizes I'm not working on.

Before I start I go through and mark all the directions for the size I'm working on.

Ann Knepper

I'm pretty old fashioned. I just always have paper and pen in my bag to keep notes!


highlighter tape for complicated patterns! and seperate project bags.

Dana Lovitt

So many good ones already mentioned by others! I, too, have many projects going at one time from simple tv watching garter to more complicated. So I always have something to knit whatever I feel like doing at the time. Also, when blocking, more pins close together is always better!

Patricia Richardson

I have three tips. Since I hate weaving in ends, I do it as I go especially on projects that have a lot of color changes. I love knitting socks and use the magic loop method. I learned to knit two at a time (TAAT) on one long circular to avoid second sock syndrome. Its' so satisfying that when you're done with one, you're done with two!!! Lastly, as I make notes on a pattern, I immediately make them in my Ravelry projects. Saves a lot of hair pulling when I lose a ball band or the copy of a pattern I made notes on. 😀


I use a knitting journal to keep track of items I have made, patterns I like, yarn I have stashed. It helps when you have many WIP's. My next favourite tool is a magnetic board and magnets to hold the pattern and identify where I am in the chart, which I always enlarge to avoid having to decipher the knitting symbols.


Learn to knit "backwards" on purl rows! I use this on my heels and they come out even and as tight, if not tighter, than my standard in the round gauge.

ann lally

This may not seem knitting related but it is: drink plenty of water! I’ve recently started drinking more water and I don’t get tired as quickly when knitting and am able to bounce back after marathon knitting sessions as I get ready for the holidays.

Brenna Delosier

Stephanie pearl mcphee taught me how to knit in the back of my two stitches instead of a slip slip knit and it speeds up my knitting.

Diane Jespersen

I have a 2" x 8" pencil case that goes with the project of the minute. In it is a pencil, tape measure, mini scissors, stitch markers, yarn needle, cable needle, dental floss for lifeline, fix-it tool, stitch holder, and row counter. It's small and easily fits in my project bag. I am always ready for whatever happens to the project I am knitting at that minute.


I use large post-it notes to track my progress on charts. I also love knitting socks TAAT so that I can ensure I end up with identical socks with no counting rows and not having to worry about my tension changing between each sock.

JoAnne B

My favorite trick is that I print & laminate a 4x6 index card for each size sock in the Yankee Knitter sock pattern. I just grab the right card and stick it in my sock bag. I have knitted so many that I just use key words and numbers and I'm good to go. Perfect for any time or place.

Sandra Sprouse

I love the Post-it graph paper to keep track of my rows. I learned about it in a class I took and now I can’t live without it.


When working with a pattern with multiple cables, I get out my colored pencils and give each different cable pattern a different color. That way it is so easy to keep track of what cable pattern to use.


I keep a “go bag” in my car so that I always have a knitting project with me for appointments and errands. I keep a project bag with a wip, needles included.


Ifvi have a lace patter with lots of repeats, I use stichmarkers to designate each repeat. Usually my daughters bands from her rainbow loom, so no only do I keep my lace straight, but my knitting is very colorful.


Using stitch markers when knitting lace makes my life soooo much easier!


Spit splicing joins. So many fewer ends to weave in!


I learned a couple of tricks that I use all the time. The first is when you use an SSK, slip the first stitch knit-wise and the second stitch purl-wise which makes the stitch look more like a K2Tog as usually when knitting socks these are paired decreases. The other trick is the KFB (knit front and back increase) instead knit into the back of the stitch first and then into the front of the stitch as it makes a neater looking stitch.


I've started using Knit Companion on my iPad, and love it - it's very easy to keep track of your row and even your place in the row. For whatever reason, I also find that I remember to use the row counter - something I seem to forget when using an actual row counter! If I'm using a paper pattern with a chart, I use the highlighter tape to keep track of what row I'm working on.


I make notes on Revelry so when I get to the second glove or sock, I know how many rows or decreases or whatever I changed from the pattern. Notes would help me if I ever decide to knit the pattern again

Manette Crawford

I can't think of any tips pr tricks that I do but YouTube has been a great resource for learning how to do many unfamiliar knitting patterns.


The Fish Lips Kiss heel made sock knitting way more enjoyable for me

Janet Duff

I don't always do it, but writing down everything about a pattern that I change. I always think I will remember, but I don't. The yarn and needle helps too. Just do it!


I take a photo of the yarn band when I start a project. Then if I lose the band, I still have the info!

Mary M

Thanks for doing this. The giveaways are beautiful kits. You always put the nicest kits together and I have enjoyed the ones I have purchased in the past.
If I am working with a pattern that has several repeats of a section with 6 rows or more I make a chart I can mark off and keep track of where I am at or if it is more complicated I have typed the pattern in excel and simply copied the repeats down the sheet so I can keep track by marking off the rows one at a time. I also use highlighter tape and make notes on my pattern for future reference in case I knit the same pattern again.

Rebecca Snyder

Save your sock yarn scraps! I always keep a little extra ball in my project bag for little emergencies. Fingering weight merino makes a great stitch holder because it's pliable, slides easily, and is thin and lightweight. You can also make a quick stitch marker by tying a knot to make a small loop - I like these for lightweight projects because store bought stitch markers sometimes distort my stitches.


Post it notes & a pencil. I must have a pad even if I am not using a pattern. I change as I go or need to stop mid way. Post it notes are great for that and if you are using a pattern it is easy to attach. Or if you change until you get it right, you are not marking all over the pattern until you need to.

Beverly Shearon

I save my patterns in Google docs so that I can pull them up anywhere and anytime on my phone or iPad. If I need to print them, I can. Also, when I get a new skein of yarn from a yarn club, I go on Ravelry to see what kind of patterns were used with that yarn.


My tip is, put your knitting away in a bag that can't be opened by cats. Like a zippered bag. When the kitten wakes up, put your knitting away, it's just safer that way and it makes for less problems later. If she gets into it. Less headaches.


I'm not well organized in my work, but I'm sure to sit in good light, and try to keep up with finishing ends as I go.

Coby Hanna-Butler

Highlighter tape is everything. :)

And absolutely every change is documented in Ravelry so if I make it again I have my notes.

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