Stash’s tips

By | October 6, 2005

I’ve been quiet lately and for loyal readers, I’m sorry. On top of moving apartments last month, I found out I needed to get a wireless router for my computer. Well, since funds are tight, that had to wait a while. I should be able to pick one up this weekend though, so look out – lotsa stuff has been percolating in my little head.

I’ve been quite prolific without the distraction of the net at home, so I’ll be posting tons of pictures too. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are some tips to tide you over until we’re back together…

  • ALWAYS make a swatch, especially if “size matters”. Keep checking your gauge as you move through the project. As you get comfortable with the pattern, you will loosen up.
  • Have lots of reference books on hand. Many times you may not understand the directions from one book, but another might be more helpful.
  • Make a photocopy of your pattern when you work with it and keep it in a page protector. Cats, dogs, people and coffee won’t matter then if they get on your pattern.
  • Try something a little more challenging than you have before – that’s how you grow.
  • Check your dyelots! Nothing’s worse than having two different dye lots and there being a noticeable difference in shade – especially if you can’t find any more of the original!
  • Buy at least one more ball of yarn than the pattern calls for (or you think you’ll need) – you can use any excess for charity squares, scrapghans or de-stash it at the Guild!.
  • Invest in a CD burner for your computer… you can save all your Internet patterns without taking up room on your harddrive. Also if you have a crash, you don’t lose all your must have patterns.
  • Keep track of your stash…. pattern books, hook sizes and types. Make notes on it as to average gauges for different weight wools, patterns you have in mind and the wool required, and a complete listing of your stash. Not only is this important for insurance purposes, it also helps when you come across a sale – you know how many balls or size of hook that you need – and prevents you from buying duplicates.
  • If you buy wool to make a certain project that you won’t be getting to in a while, make a photocopy of the project and include it with the wool before you put it in storage.
  • If you get bored and put a project away for a while (or sometimes even a night if it’s a difficult pattern), make sure you write down on the pattern as much information as you can. What hook you were using, what repeat/row you were on, anything you’ve changed on the pattern, any information that you think you might forget, and any information that you’re sure you’ll remember – that’s the one you’re guaranteed to forget.
  • After you’ve made your gauge swatch (and before crocheting the article) wash it in different ways to see if it’s going to fall apart, pill, or behave beautifully. Make sure you match your wool to your lifestyle. If you don’t have time to handwash something, then why would you knit with wool that only works if handwashed?
  • Make your gauge swatches large enough (8″) and donate them to a charity! If you make them smaller, you can always throw your swatches in a box and when you have enough of them, sew them into a sampler afghan.
  • If you’re not sure you’ll be able to figure out a pattern stitch, buy some kitchen cotton and try it dishcloth size – that way you’ll know before you buy the wool and go through the hassle of chaining a billion stitches all for nothing.
    Often the pattern calls for ch3 to turn (pretending to be a dc). This leaves a hole as the ch3 is taller than the next dc. Instead just ch2 and it all works out fine.

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