Knitting Tips and Techniques

Knitting tips and techniques can be so helpful as you learn how to knit. And by knowing a few tricks of the trade it can turn a so-so knitting project into a fun experience making it easier and quicker. It can even look better too.

What I have done is created two pages of knitting tips, this one and a page on tips for knitting beginners.  Rather than sifting through the tips on this page, I wanted a dedicated page for new knitters as well.  

I just wanted to give you some extra knitting help as you begin knitting your first few rows. 

1.  Long Tail Cast On Without Estimating Yarn Tail              Yippee!

I really enjoy using the long tail cast on.  I like the nice clean stretchy edge it creates and how it makes my knitting look. But...

How many of you have needed to cast on a lot of  stitches only to find that you ran out of yarn before you were done?  And the next time you tried casting on you over-compensated and had three extra feet of yarn left?


Me too.  Well not anymore, check this out. 


If your're a new knitter you will need to check out the original version of the long tail cast on too so that you have the full step-by-step instructions.  Then you can come back here and see this terrific tip for knitting the long tail.  Don't worry I'll wait for you.


OK Here's How To Do It

knitting tips long tail cast on

All you are going to do is use two balls of yarn or one ball using both ends.  Now tie both ends together into a slip knot.

Then use both ends just like using one long end the other way.


When you are counting stitches make sure not to add the slip knot as a stitch.  You won't be using it.

knitting tips long tail cast on

When you have all the stitches you need, cut one yarn end so that now you are using just one ball of yarn. Now you can start knitting your row until you come to the slip knot and stop.

knitting tips long tail cast on

Remove the needle from the slip knot and....

knitting tips long tail cast on

Just undo the knot and carry on.

Isn't that great?  I sure like it, especially when I am casting on two or three hundred stitches.  And there's no wasted yarn. 

2.  The Biggest Knitting Tip of All - Knitting Gauge

Yup it really, really is the most important knitting tip. In fact it may not sound like a tip to you but I want you to know how much easier knitting will become when you learn and understand about knitting gauge.  It truly is that important and honestly when you get into the habit it will become second nature.  Really.  

3.  When You are Knitting a Gauge Swatch...

To make sure you don't forget what size needle you used for the swatch you made...  

Just make a row of eyelets for the size needle you used.   

And just a little knitting tip reminder: 

To get less stitches per inch use larger needles 

To get more stitches per inch use smaller needles

4.  Clean Stripes When Working Ribbing

This is the greatest little knitting tip and it's so e-a-s-y.

Have you ever noticed that when you change colors when ribbing stitches the little purl stitches poke through on the right side making it look....well kind of messy and not crisp and clean?

When you add a new color just knit the whole row with the new color and then continue on with your ribbing.  Now it's nice and clean and crisp.

5.  When You Bind Off Knitting...

Do you ever find that you bind off stitches too tightly?  And do you find that the last stitch on the bind off row is really loose and messy? 

Me too.

But I have ways to clean up that bind off row once and for all and I even made a page about it to help you too.  Check out my bind off knitting tips page right here.

6.  Knitting Cables Without a Cable Needle.  Oh My..

Sound scary? 

Maybe, but when I discovered that there was a way to cable stitches without using the cable needle it was a total epiphany for me.  Suddenly knitting cables wasn't so difficult anymore.  You may feel the same way.  Have a look and see how to knit cables without a cable needle.  I'd love to know what you think.

7.  SSK - Slip Slip Knit - Improved?

The SSK decrease has always seemed, well let's just say not as neat as his cousin the K2tog decrease.  Try this little knitting trick and see if you like it better.

The regular ssk: slip as if to knit, slip as if to knit. Then place left needle in front of those two stitches and knit them together.

Try it this way:  slip as if to knit, slip as if to purl. Place left needle in front of those two stitches and knit them together.

Some people like it better and some people don't really notice too much of a difference.  What do you think?

8.   Knitting Mistakes - Simple Techniques to Help You         Fix Them

Everyone makes knitting mistakes.  It's a fact of life but these simple techniques will show you how to fix those mistakes with confidence.  You'll be up and knitting in no time.

Here's a list of common techniques for fixing mistakes:

Twisted Stitches   What is a twisted stitch?     

Tinking   Great knitting technique for undoing stitches one at a time

Dropped Stitches  Did a stitch slip off your needle? Here's an easy fix

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Need help with your knitting? Please post all knitting questions on my Knitters Digest Forum where I or another member will happily answer your questions. It's free to join.