featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Note: This site uses Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Now that there’s a hint of a nip in the air, those of you who knit and crochet have probably started a few new projects. Here are some tips for you.

*Sprinkle a small amount of talcum powder on your hands before knitting or crocheting to keep your hands from perspiring while you work.

*Use a rubber tipped bobby pin to mark the beginning of each crochet round. The bobby pin will stay in place securely and will not snag the yarn.

*Using red nail polish, mark 1” from the end of your crochet hook or knitting needle to quickly check your gauge.

*To prevent yarn from cutting into your fingers as you knit or crochet, crochet a thread thimble for yourself. Wear it on the finger the yarn wraps around.

*Slip a stitch marker onto your knitting needle every tenth stitch as you cast on for quick counting.

*Loose leaf binder reinforcement tabs make very inexpensive stitch markers.

*To keep fiberfill from showing through crocheted animals and dolls, stuff the piece first to determine the amount of fiberfill needed. Then remove the fiberfill and place it in a piece of pantyhose, preferably in a color that matches the animal or doll. Place the filled piece of pantyhose back in the animal or doll.

*To keep yarn from tangling when working with more than one color at a time, place the balls of yarn inside a mesh laundry bag. String the yarn through the holes in the bag, and they will stay tangle free as you work.

*Use a hook a size or two larger to stitch your starting chain if it tends to be tighter than the rest of your crochet stitches.

*Use a music stand to hold your instructions while stitching. It can be adjusted to the proper height for easy reading.

*When adding embroidery, such as facial features, to a knitted or crocheted piece, cut a piece of felt the same color and shape as the embroidery and glue it to the crochet or knitting with fabric glue. Embroider directly over the felt for neat, even stitches.

Do you knit? Have any great knitting or crochet tips? Let's hear from you. Post a comment to be entered in the drawing for a free book from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP


Mason Canyon said...

These are great tips. It is funny how we do more knitting and crocheting in the cooler months. I've just started knitting a baby blanket for a relative. I especially like the idea of adding the stitch marker as you cast on stitches.

Thoughts in Progress

Unknown said...

I got my crochet hook out last week and I've been browsing around Ravelry like crazy! These are some great tips. I would suggest that if your wooden needles and hooks don't slide as well as you like either run them through your hair or put a little bit of moisturizer on your hands then run the needles through your fingers and wipe any excess oil off with a tissue. The oils in your hair and the moisturizer will help the needles glide more smoothly.


Mason, I think people tend to knit and crochet more in cool weather because it can be uncomfortable doing so in the heat, even if you have air conditioning. And especially if you're making something large like an afghan.

Janel, good tip, but you have to be sure that the moisturizer won't stain your yarn. This can happen even if you're careful to wipe down your hands and needles. Check at your crafts or yarn shop for moisturizers specially made for crafters to prevent possible staining.

Unknown said...

These are great tips for working with yarns. I haven't done any crochet in a few years, but his has inspired me to dig out my crochet needles and try a small afghan..


Cindi, let us know how that afghan comes out.