5 Knitting Tips You Need to Know

5 Knitting Tips You Need to Know

 

5KnittingTipsYouNeedtoKnow-trafalgarbooksDON’T YOU LOVE IT when someone who has mastered a craft shares a trade secret? Something that ensures your creation comes out with the polish that comes with years of practiced expertise? Yeah, we do, too, which is why we have collected five great tips from some of our top authors.

 

KNITTING TIP 1

It’s a traditional saying in parts of Scandinavia that if you put aside knitting in the middle of a row, a sailor will drown! (Much like stepping on a crack is said to break a person’s back, in parts of the US.) While you probably don’t have to worry about that particular consequence, it isa good idea to finish the row you’re on before you set a piece aside, if only to avoid dropped stitches or pattern mistakes when you pick it up again. (Tip from TRADITIONAL SWEDISH KNITTING PATTERNS by Maja Karlsson.)

 

KNITTING TIP 2

Cables are beautiful and fun to knit—but they can be a little tricky, too! Wrapped stitches are a quick and relatively easy way to add a little visual interest withoutknitting a cable: just place a small number of stitches on a cable needle, wrap the yarn clockwise twice around those stitches, and then slip them to the right needle without working them. (Tip from THE CABLE KNITTER’S GUIDE by Denise Samson.)

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KNITTING TIP 3

It’s usually a good idea to use the needle size recommended by the manufacturer of your yarn—but you don’t have to! Fine yarn on big needles will come out light and lacy, and thick yarn on reallybig needles will come out looser and drapier. Or go smaller for a denser, sturdier knit—perfect for a handbag or a change purse! (Tip from ONE-PIECE KNITS by Tine Tara.)

 

KNITTING TIP 4

When you’re binding off on a circular needle, it’s important to remember to knit the first stitch of the round one more time before the previous stitch is passed over it. (Tip from KNITTING DETAILS START TO FINISH by Ulla Engquist.)

 

KNITTING TIP 5

Even in the most complicated pattern knitting, there might still be single-color sections—and when those sections are more than 5 stitches across, it’s a good idea to catch the float (the strand not in use) on the wrong side! Otherwise, it’s easy for floats to catch on your fingers (when putting on a garment) or on something else (the hook of a clothes hanger) and pull, or even break. (Tip from MEDIEVAL-INSPIRED KNITS by Anna-Karin Lundberg.)

These books, and many more bestselling knit, crochet, weaving, mosaic, and other craft books, are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE to learn more.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft titles, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont. 

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Winter on Trafalgar Square Farm.

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Danish Knit Designer Vivian Høxbro Featured at 20th Anniversary Madrona Winter Retreat

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We are thrilled to announce that Danish knitwear designer and TSB author Vivian Høxbro will be a keynote speaker and teacher at the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Washington, February 14-17, 2019. Not only is Madrona celebrating 20 years of hosting their popular event, it will also be the last as organizers have announced their retirement.

traditionaldanishsweaters-trafalgarbooksVivian Høxbro’s Friday night talk will explain her recent research of the Danish Nattrøjer (“night sweater”) and the distinctive star and cross patterns that were traditionally on them. She will also share samples from her forthcoming English-language edition of the book TRADITIONAL DANISH SWEATERS, which will be published by TSB in July 2019.

Høxbro will teach a class she calls “Star Struck” Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon, which will show students how to knit the 19th-century Danish star motifs featured in her book. There are many different kinds of stars, and they can, in turn, be used in a variety of fabulous patterns. To register for the Retreat and Høxbro’s classes, CLICK HERE.

Høxbro has been designing for knitters for more than 30 years and is well known for her books on Domino Knitting and Shadow Knitting, as well as her patterns on Ravelry.

traditional danish sweatersCLICK HERE for more information about her book TRADITIONAL DANISH SWEATERS.

Hope to see you in Tacoma!

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

Meet Knit Designer Lumi Karmitsa

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Visit Lumi Karmitsa @lumikarmitsadesign on Facebook!

In September, TSB released WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS by Lumi Karmitsa, an addictive collection of stranded knitting patterns with funky cool motifs that are sure to stand out in a crowd. This month, we had a chance to ask the designer a little about her life in Finland and what inspires her.

“All Finnish children used to learn the basics of knitting at school, and so did I,” Karmitsa said. “However, I was never into knitting, until one day, out of the blue, I decided to knit a pair of stranded mittens for a friend. I found a nice pattern and followed it. The end result was pleasing enough, and this first introduction to colorwork knitting made me realize that I could design my own patterns. A few years later my first knitting book was published! Surprisingly, it was a sensation in Finnish knitting society and allowed me to become a full-time knitwear designer.

“I now live a secluded life in a little house in a small village with my Chihuahua mix, Caleb,” she went on. “As well as being the most agreeable and handsome fellow on the planet, Caleb is also a professional model. He poses in both my books!”

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“My hobbies include taking super long walks with Caleb, writing, reading, renovating, drawing, painting, and indulging in any kind of activities that result in a more beautiful world. I work at home in my tiny old house. In the winter there’s a fire in the fireplace; in summertime, I often knit in the shadow of an apple tree. Wherever I choose to sit and knit, that’s where I sit and knit—until Caleb decides to leave my lap.

“Sometimes I’m inspired by what is right in front of me (Caleb is portrayed in my Chihuahua mittens and socks). However, most of the time there is no obvious source of inspiration, just hard work thinking and trying what might work. Every piece is first my favorite, then my enemy, and when it’s finished, it is my favorite again—until it’s time for a new piece to go through the same process!”

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We asked Karmitsa what she would say her happiest knitting memory was. “Signing the publishing contract of my first knitting book,” was her reply, “and later on hearing the book was gonna go all the way to the United States!”

Wild Mittens and Unruly SocksWe have to say, we’re thrilled her book made it all the way here, too! WILD MITTENS & UNRULY SOCKS is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

 

Enjoy this knitting tip from Lumi Karmitsa:

When following a colorwork chart in a book, attach a piece of paper to the page with a paperclip or a hairpin, covering the part of the chart you haven’t knitted yet. Move the paper to reveal a row at a time. This way your eyes find the right row immediately and your risk of errors decreases.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

5 Reasons We Love Knitting Afghans

5 Reasons We Love Knitting Afghans

“One of the reasons I love designing and knitting afghans is the wonderful flexibility they offer,” says renowned knitwear designer Martin Storey and author of the book AFGHAN KNITS. Here are five more motives for giving your knitting needles a chance to play with an afghan pattern (or seven!):

1 Because the patterns are so straightforward, you can go to town on a great range of textured stitches or brilliant color ways, or a combination of the two.

2 Projects composed of afghan squares or strips are so portable, you can knit on trains, boats, and planes, on your lunch break or on the beach, all with your knitting project fitting conveniently into a small bag.

3 For knitting addicts, there’s room to play, for novice knitters, nothing could be simpler.

4 With size, the sky is the limit! It is easy to change a small project into a much bigger throw, or a larger one into something you can complete sooner, if the mood takes you. Look at the projects above from Martin Storey’s book AFGHAN KNITS: The same basic pattern can be a placemat, a table runner, or a beach blanket!

5 Patterns can be converted to hardier fare: for example, a blanket can become a rug by choosing thicker yarn and bigger needles.

 

AfghanKnitsWhy do YOU love knitting afghans? Share your reasons—we’d love to know what moves your creative muse!

Martin Storey’s book AFGHAN KNITS is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

Did you know…

TSB has a generous loyalty program. That’s right, we’ll pay you to buy craft books publisher direct, plus give you free shipping in the USA! CLICK HERE to read more about our Needle Points program.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

 

From Jewelry-Making, to Sculpture, to Costumes: Getting to Know Knitwear Designer Irene Haugland

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Recognized as one of Norway’s most talented knitwear designers, Irene Haugland blends her love for the natural beauty, people, and cultural heritage of the Telemark region of the country with her contemporary sense for color and pattern. Her book KNITS FROM THE HEART OF NORWAY offers stunning sweaters, cardigans, socks, hats, and mittens for men, women, and children, with step-by-step instructions, gorgeous color photographs, and the occasional finishing touch of traditional Norwegian embroidery. All the garments were designed and knitted in Lunde, in the heart of Norway’s Telemark region.

“I loved dolls of all kinds,” says Haugland, “and was already designing clothes for them by the time I was five years old…the incipient spark of design had been lit.

“When I was 17 years old, I entered the goldsmith program at Elvebakken Vocational School. It was absolutely fantastic, but living in an apartment in Oslo was a challenge. I missed my home, my parents, my friends, and Telemark. I was on of the eight students who went on to the second level, but in the middle of the second year, I wanted to go home, and so I dropped out of the program. Mamma and Pappa said that I wasn’t about to loaf for the rest of the year, so they sent me to the homemaking school in Seljord. There I got a certificate in handcrafts, although I refused to follow the curriculum in Hardanger embroidery and white embroidery on white fabric, etc. I almost lived in the handcraft room, creating fantastic clothes from woven and knitted fabric…

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The garments in Haugland’s book were designed and knitted in Lunde, in the heart of Norway’s Telemark region.

“In 1974 I enrolled in the Metals program at the National Handcraft and Art-Industry School in Oslo. After meeting the exacting drawing requirements, I was one of the few lucky ones. It was a huge honor to be accepted by the program. I was already halfway trained as a jeweler from before, so now i was able to engage in larger projects. However, almost all my free time was used for designing clothing. During my second year, I received permission to leave school. and change to a clothing and costume program.

“The fourth year was time for a comprehensive thesis in knitting…The next fall, my portfolio of knitted creations was ready. I designed and knitted a collection for Knitted…The collection was successful and I was asked to work at Dale of Norway where I had 12 exciting and productive years.”

 

 

KNITS FROM THE HEART OF NORWAY is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE to order now.

 

Did you know…

TSB has a generous loyalty program. That’s right, we’ll pay you to buy craft books publisher direct, plus give you free shipping in the USA! CLICK HERE to read more about our Needle Points program.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

Welcome to the Yarn Circus!

knittingforthefunofit-trafalgarbooksKnitting’s never been so much fun…or so colorful!

“Welcome to my ‘yarn circus,'” says handcrafting designer Frida Pontén, “where ‘more is more’ is the only way!”

In her delightful new book KNITTING FOR THE FUN OF IT, you’ll be immersed in a strikingly vivid world where Pontén has brought some of her favorite patterns together (44 in all!) into a brilliant, eyecatching celebration of all things knitted. Whether you’re seeking an airy summer jacket, a cozy poncho for cool days, a warm striped scarf, funky wrist warmers, or stylish blankets, look forward to handknit designs that are sure to be a highlight of your home and wardrobe. Step-by-step instructions are accompanied by full-color photos throughout.

The possibilities are endless. In fact, you might find yourself saying, as Pontén does, “So much yarn, so little time!”

KNITTING FOR THE FUN OF IT is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

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Did you know TSB has a Needle Points Loyalty Program? That’s right, we’ll pay you to order directly from us, the publisher! CLICK HERE to find out more.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

Free Spring Wrist Warmer Knitting Pattern!

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With the coming of spring-like weather (well, at least for some of us) our inclinations when it comes to knitting may change. Unless we’re working months ahead (and there of course those organized individuals who certainly are), we veer away from cozy and toward decorative…away from sweaters and toward shawls. Instead of a blanket, a table runner appeals, and rather than boot toppers, perhaps pot holders.

In all likelihood we’ve put our mittens away for the season, but when the sun still hasn’t gained its full summer strength and the light doesn’t yet linger past eight, hands and arms can still be chilled, especially when short sleeves begin to make an appearance. These openwork wrist warmers from our book ONE-PIECE KNITS by Tine Tara are the perfect segue from covered to bare. They add a bit of warmth and a bunch of style to your spring collection of handknit accessories.

Download the FREE PATTERN HERE.

OnePieceKnits FINALONE-PIECE KNITS features 24 seamless patterns knitted in the round and is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information or to order.

Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.