The subject of technology comes up daily at String Theory. We look to the internet for free patterns, ideas for what to make next, videos demonstrating a new technique and more. And lately, it seems that in addition to showing people how to kitchener or which yarn would work best for the pattern they’ve chosen, I’ve been passing along tips on the different technology tools I use. I’m no tech guru, but I have discovered a few tools that make my knitting life easier and I thought I would share a few with you, so your life can be easier too.
Today’s tip: Evernote. Evernote is like a giant file cabinet that collects all your ideas. These ideas are stored in Notebooks. You can create a different Notebook for recipes, appliance warranties, landscaping ideas, etc. For example, I have a notebook with all my favorite knitting techniques. When I find a video that shows me how to make the perfect bobble, I save it on Evernote. If I’m reading a blog and discover a great tutorial on how to pick up stitches, I use my web clipper to save it on Evernote. If a site has an email option, I’ll just email the article directly to my Evernote account.
Imagine you are at knitting group and someone is knitting with the most amazing yarn you’ve ever seen. Use your smartphone to take a picture of the yarn label and email it to your Evernote account. Now imagine several months later, you are at String Theory and you see a project that would be perfect for that yarn you liked, but you can’t remember the name of it. This is when you discover the real magic of Evernote.
Install Evernote (it’s free) on your computer, your phone and your iPad and you’ll have access to your files no matter where you are. So, in our scenario you are at String Theory and you take out your phone, and a quick search on Evernote brings up the yarn label.
Evernote’s search is thorough and fast. You can organize things by notebooks and tags, but Evernote also searches inside the document. So don’t worry too much about being organized. It can even search text within images, like the words on the yarn label that you took a picture of. Evernote even searches handwritten text in images. Do you have old patterns that have been handwritten by your grandmother? Scan them into Evernote.
Does anyone else use Evernote? Please leave us a comment with your tips.
I love the skinny stripes in this top down baby sweater. But since the sweater is knit in the round, the stripes spiral, rather than line up. We’ve all been there. You start a project, finally get some momentum and then look down and go “oops!”. You could stop, rip back and look up the jogless stripe technique or you could knit on with reckless abandon. Some days you just want to knit.
Anything that you do consistently is considered a design element, even the “mistakes”. So here is the tip: instead of hiding the jog, we’ve embraced it with a little chain embroidery. Susan Anderson demonstrates this simple technique here. She shows you how to chain in a circle; it is even easier going in a straight line. I originally considered sewing a row of tiny buttons between the two chains, but decided to use my favorite monster button instead.
I love the result. Anyone would think that we had planned it this way….No Comments
I know many of you believe that at some point your days of ripping out rows and rows of knitting will be over. You dream of some distant point in the future when you will be experienced enough to only go forward and never go back. Sorry, but I don’t think that is going to happen.
Some of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s best blog posts are about ripping out. There is the shawl that she cast on 10 times or this post, just last week. As much as she knits, if she is still ripping things out, there is really no hope for the rest of us.
For example, I’m making a sweater out of Fibre Co.’s fabulous Acadia, a slubby blend of merino, alpaca, and silk. I love this yarn! It has a silky hand and the color is iridescent. I’ve already used several skeins with no problem and then I looked down and saw this:
See where I started my last skein? These skeins all came from the same dye lot. I know, because I scooped up the whole bag before it ever even hit the shelf. I’m guessing this happened because the fibers in this skein didn’t twist the same way that the fibers in the other skeins did. You can see it is a little less slubby than the previous skein, so maybe more of the bronze colored merino ended up on the outside of the strand. Who knows!
To fix it, I slipped my stitches off the needle and I ripped back all the rows I had knit with the new skein and a few rows of the old skein. Then I started knitting again, alternating two rows of one skein and two rows of the other. It blurs the line, so that your eye isn’t drawn to the spot where I changed colors. (We often recommend this technique when working with hand dyed yarns that rarely match from skein to skein.)
If you look closely, you’ll still see a little variation, but it isn’t a long straight line anymore. And honestly, a little variation is what I love about artisan yarn.
Need help (or moral support) ripping something back without losing your stitches? Stop in or take a look at this video.
The back view of Baby Poonam pullover:
In the previous chapter, you saw the finished right back, right front, right sleeve. Guess what’s next? If by free association you came up with a phrase including the word “left,” yep, that’s it. All those non-periwinkle colors of yarn in the photo = live stitches to pick up and away we go.No Comments
Lisa has been making Dahlia in preparation for her class which starts Wednesday evening January 11. This beautiful cardigan has a very interesting construction so I thought we would track her progress for a while.
Dahlia is a knitting story, in chapters. Here’s the back, a bit of lace knitting 13″ x 13″ or so (mine is more 14″ x 14″, but Dahlia is an easygoing kind of girl). The back would also make the front of a perfect pillow cover. Yarn: Frog Tree Pediboo in — surprise! — Periwinkle.One Comment
Glen Ellyn Jazz Fest is tomorrow. Seven glorious hours of sitting and knitting and listening to great music. The weather is supposed to be perfect. Bring a chair and your yarn and join us.
String Theory will be open until 9pm, so if you forget your knitting, get bored with your current project or just need to stretch your legs, come on in. We would love to see you. (We just got a box of Mountain Colors 1/2 crepe and wintersilk.)
Since Jazz Fest takes place right in front of the store, you won’t be able to park in your usual spot. So I’m going to let you in on Glen Ellyn’s best kept secret. Did you know that all the “leased” parking by the train tracks is open to the public for free all day on Saturday (and after 11am on weekdays)? This parking is just south of the train tracks between Main St. and Park Boulevard and north of the train tracks to the east of the train station. Just a block or two from String Theory. Here is a map if I’ve confused you.
There is also a new customer parking lot on Pennsylvania west of Main Street next to where Schmid’s used to be.
See you tomorrow.No Comments