By Orla Cronin
There are certain problems every knitter faces. Whether it be an addiction to yarn, never finishing a project or runaway yarn, we've all faced these over the years. How many of these 10 problems do you relate to?
Tell us your biggest problems in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
1. Yarn Addiction
If you’ve started hiding yarn from your other half, well then you know you have a problem! It’s Magpie Syndrome and there’s no simple cure. So much beautiful yarn and such little time!
You’ll just get mad with yourself if you keep stockpiling without ever producing anything from it though. So, no time like the present, take out that yarn and knit up that beautiful shawl you’ve been promising yourself!
2. Runaway Yarn
It’s happened to us all. You only have to turn slightly in your seat and that lovely neat ball of yarn takes on a life of its own, bounces to the floor, jumps just beyond your reach and bops n’ rolls out the door and down the hallway until it either meets a wall or runs out of yarn. Aaagghh! So, you start rewinding but it never rolls back up as neatly or as nicely as it was to start out!
One way to keep your yarn under wraps, is to use a yarn bowl. See the gorgeous Irish handcrafted ash wood yarn bowls now back in stock at Yarn Vibes. Not only will it keep your yarn in control, it also looks just fabulous on your side table!
3. Dropping Stitches
This is a real pain! Dropping stitches slows you down and it can sometimes be really difficult to pick them up again (depending on how far down they’ve unravelled). Here’s a few tips to avoid it happening in the first place;
No two knitters knit with the same tension. This is why you could never get away with getting your mom to do your knitting homework when at school!
If your tension is too tight, it’ll make knitting really uncomfortable and slow and your child’s new sweater is more likely to fit their teddy. If it’s too loose, on the other hand, your finished garment is likely to be too baggy.
For more complex projects it can really be a problem if you knit much looser/tighter than the pattern designer. Their 28 stitches can work out much wider/narrower than yours and so you can’t be sure of the size of the finished garment.
The best way to know for sure how you compare is to knit a tension square. You’ll then either have to adjust the knitting gauge i.e. the number of stitches or rows per inch to take account of the difference in tension, or you could practice tightening/loosening your knitting tension on some old yarn before getting started.
Glen Field yarn is a pleasure to knit with - view the range here
5. Sitting on your knitting!
Ouch! Well this could really be a pain, not to mention potentially dangerous – no-one wants to get spiked by a knitting needle! It’s much more likely to cause damage to your knitting than your posterior, though.
Broken needles, dropped stitches, stretched knitting – never mind the fact that you’ll have to stand up again to sit down! What can we say – don’t leave your knitting on your seat when you get up to make that cup of tea!
6. Knitter rage
Are other people always to blame for your knitting woes? They distract you, interrupt you, make you lose concentration, causing untold damage like a dropped stitch or losing where you are in the pattern. Other people simply don’t understand that just because you’re not speaking, it doesn’t mean you’re available for conversation.
Set the ground rules with family and friends. Devise a hand signal or a head nod that indicates your availability, otherwise they need to keep clear! Or suffer the consequences!!
7. Night knitting and dark yarn
Knitting in the dark… hmmm we do like a challenge and after all knitting is like our 6th sense. We don’t need to be able to see it, do we? And bright lights can be so harsh when you’re trying to relax. Although if you add dark yarn into the mix, you’d need to be a ninja knitter! There is a simple solution, of course, you can always turn on a light.
8. Needle damage
There’s no bag safe from the dreaded knitting needle. Somehow, they seem to work their way through even industrial strength material – no matter how strong the bag, those needles will make a hole in it! Similar shaped objects, pens and lipsticks, will be the first to go, but the losses don’t stop there. Point protectors or bottle corks are your only hope, but you’ll see – even they will fail you!
9. Cats and dogs
If you have them, you love them. They’re sure to get tangled up in your knitting sooner or later – after all curiosity killed the cat! Once they’ve claimed it, there’s no going back – that ball of yarn is theirs! Put it away, hide it, keep it safe from those little paws.
10. Love starting, never finishing
Be honest, have you all your knitting WIP projects hidden away with your yarn stockpile? You’re just going to have to get strict with yourself – no more knitting projects until you’ve finished all your work in progress… well, at least one of them anyway! It’s so difficult to stay motivated, especially when the baby you started knitting those booties for, is now six years old! There has to be another baby you can gift them to though, so get going!