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Apply These 7 Secret Techniques To Improve Knitting Baby Blanket

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Apply These 7 Secret Techniques To Improve Knitting Baby Blanket
10 knitting tips that really 
make your project look neater 
Hi everyone. My name is norman, I run the blog 
nimble-needles.com and I want you to become  
a better knitter, and that's why todays 
video is all about knitting hints, tips,  
and secret techniques. Now, if you are an advanced 
knitter or you are currently learning how to knit  
here on youtube, then you probably already saw a 
video or two about knitting hacks. For example,  
you could use a hand-painted antique teapot 
instead of a yarn bowl. Isn't it genius?  
Setting the jokes aside, I have to admit that 
most of the knitting tips, and hacks you find  
all over the internet work. However, most 
of them just make knitting easier, cheaper,  
or faster – which is fine. But they don't 
make you better at knitting. I mean sure,  
picking bamboo needles instead of metal needles 
might prevent your stitches from falling off so  
easily. But will it make your finished project 
look better? Maybe not. So in this video,  
I want to focus on ways to improve standard 
knitting techniques. You know, just simple  
little twists that you can employ right away 
for instant results – even if you're a beginner.  
I also made sure to attach two very interesting 
bonus tips which you will find at the very  
end of this video. So enough of the preface, let's 
show you some very easy knitting tips. But before,  
if you know a tip that I'm not 
mentioning in this video, please,  
comment below and tell me what works for you. 
I'm very sure other people watching this video  
will find it super helpful. And of course, 
like this video right now to support my work. 
Knitting tip number one: neaten up 
the last stitch of a bind off. Okay,  
you probably know this problem. You bound off all 
stitches and your last stitch looks like this. It  
forms this little ear…. not so nice in a lot of 
cases! But there is an easy way to prevent that.  
So when you are at the last stitch, 
instead of knitting this stitch as normal,  
slip it to the right needle, and then find 
this little stitch here, and lift it onto your  
right needle, and then slip these two stitches 
back to your left needle, and knit them together  
knit them together. And then, bind off that last 
stitch the normal way. And if you do it like this,  
your bind off edge will look like this. So there 
is not this huge ear here. Instead, you will have  
a really nice and flat bind-off edge.
Knitting tip number two: A neater SSK.  
Another common problem in knitting is ssk – 
slip, slip, knit. No matter if you're knitting  
socks or a sweater, you're k2tog – knit two 
together – probably looks neat. But you're  
left-leaning the decrease always looks a bit 
wonky. Now there are many different ways to knit  
a left-leaning decrease and some of the discussion 
is really kind of academic. Like slip three times  
under a full moon and add a little bit of fairy 
dust. But there is one super, super easy, and  
simple solution which looks like this. Let me show 
you! First of all, knit your ssk the regular way,  
and try to knit it at the very tip of your needle 
without stretching those stitches overly much. But  
knit it the regular way. And here comes the trick! 
When you come across the ssk on the return row,  
you purl it through the back loop…. you purl 
it through the back loop. And that's already it.  
So if it's flat you purl it through the back loop, 
and obviously, if you're knitting in the round,  
you would have to knit it through the back loop. 
So let me get to the end of the row quickly…  
And when you do it like this, your decrease line 
will suddenly look all nice and neat. And the  
reason why I prefer this method is quite simple: 
SSK looks a bit wonky for two reasons. First of  
all, you may stretch out the stitches too much 
as you work the decrease. Okay. But the second  
reason is… you are actually creating a twisted 
stitch here. After all, you are knitting these  
two stitches together through the back loop. But 
in the next row, you knit across the regular way,  
meaning you create an untwisted stitch. And 
that is always going to look a bit weird.
Knitting tip number three: A neater cast-on edge. 
Much like the bind.off edge, the cast-on edge is  
often a very visible part of your project. And 
there are two common problems I observe a lot.  
Problem number one: Your edge is actually 
too stiff and the fabric will get wider  
towards the middle. And there is a 
very, very easy way to prevent that.  
Instead of casting on around 
one needle, pick up two needles,  
and do your regular cast-on, and use both 
needles. Cast on the required number of stitches,  
and once you're finished, simply remove the 
second needle and knit across. It will look  
a bit weird in the first round or row but it will 
stretch out later on – big promise! You can also  
cast on around a needle two sizes bigger or so 
for a stretchier or less stretchy edge. And the  
second problem: most people start they cast on 
with a slip knot. Now when you're knitting flat,  
I don't really see a problem there. It's okay. 
However, when you're knitting in the round,  
that knot can be very visible. See? Here is 
my cast-on edge, and here is the slipknot.  
So even when you're using a special method to 
join in the round, that slipknot will be visible.  
But there is a super easy solution. Instead of 
starting with a slipknot, simply start with a  
simple twisted loop around your knitting needle. 
And then, continue casting on the regular way.  
And see? You have stitches here but there is no 
slipknot at the base. And once you joined in the  
round and knit across a couple of rounds this 
is the way it looks like now. So the transition  
is utterly seamless and you don't end up 
with a little slip knot here. By the way,  
I'm not going to address knitting in the round in 
this video. So if you need help or tips please,  
watch my video. I'll link it to you up in here.
Tip number four: Weave in tails using a sharp  
tapestry needle. Now I have a full video on 
weaving ends here on youtube with 10 different  
techniques. I'll link it to you up in here. So, 
I want to make this as brief as possible: For  
whatever reason, someone in the U.S. established 
that weaving in ends with blunt tapestry needles  
is a thing. And it has been repeated so many times 
that you'll even find it in some knitting books.  
There are, however, two kinds of tapestry needles. 
There are blunt tapestry needles and you use them  
for grafting, seaming, and all the techniques 
where you need to go around stitches. But  
for weaving in ends, you really should go 
through stitches. So right through. See?  
I split them. And I hope the benefit is kind 
of obvious. When you go around stitches,  
there's not a lot holding these stitches in 
place. But when you split them as you weave in,  
the fibers will interlock so much easier.
Knitting tip number five: Don't twist your yarn.  
Okay. So this is a really really important topic 
that a lot of knitters aren't even aware of. Yarn  
is spun and twisted. So just pick apart a 4-ply DK 
or a 8-ply yarn and you will see what I mean. Most  
commercially available yarn is balanced, meaning 
it will stay flat and it doesn't curl upon itself.  
However, a lot of knitters add a twist to the 
yarn through their knitting process. And why  
is this important? Have you ever knitted a two 
by two rib stitch only to notice that the left  
stitch is kind of wider than the right stitch? Or 
you finished a square in stockinette stitch and  
stitches just didn't look right – even though you 
normally know you can maintain an even tension.  
Well, in almost all of these cases the answer is 
…well that's because there is a twist! And in  
some cases, YOU are the one responsible for that. 
So let me show you something very interesting.  
So, I wound up a little ribbon here evenly around 
this knitting needle sort of to imitate a center  
pull. Let me get this off the needle to imitate 
a center pull. And now, I'm going to pull my yarn  
here as if to knit from the center. Do you see 
what is happening? Suddenly there is a lot of  
spin and this is twisting. And the reason why 
this is happening is, you spin the yarn around  
as you wind but as you unwind, you don't spin it 
around. And this will add twist. And sometimes  
you will notice that your yarn actually looks like 
this, and this is a really really good indicator  
that you have been adding a twist. This will 
influence your stitch definition. So if you have a  
yarn cake like this, ideally speaking, you should 
unwind it like this. So mount it… i don't know  
on a spindle or so…so that it can spin around 
itself and untwist the yarn as you knit from it.  
If you do the center pull, well then this effect 
happens. You twist the yarn! Now I mean, for  
most yarns this is probably not the biggest 
issue. However, if you are using a dk yarn  
or any other highly twisted yarn, you will often 
see how the yarn will sort of curl up like this  
as you knit. And this is a good indicator that…. 
well… something is maybe not going as it should.  
And it's just so easy to fix and actually 
that's the reason why I rarely use yarn  
cakes and I always wind my yarn into a ball.
Knitting tip number seven: Fixing twisted stitches  
on the fly. This is a regular knit 
stitch. So it starts here at the back  
and ends up and in the front. From left to right. 
And you can just knit it. And sometimes you end up  
with twisted stitches on your needle. So it starts 
here in the front, and go ends here at the back,  
from left to right. Often this happens when you 
pick up stitches for the gusset of your heel,  
or when you accidentally drop stitches, or you 
have to unravel parts of your work, and especially  
when you fix stitches. The last stitch you slip on 
the needle is often twisted. And there's an easy  
way to untwist. Shem simply knit them through 
the back loop. Just knit them through the back  
loop. Now I know you can also manually untwist 
them like this. Or you can slip things back like  
this. But I just feel knitting through the back 
loop is so much more seamless. And it also works  
for twisted purl stitches. You can also purl 
them through the back loop to untwist them. 
Knitting tip number seven: Fixing stitches 
without a crochet hook. You probably know that  
you can fix a drop stitch with a crochet hook. 
And that's always a nice technique to master.  
However, when your stitch just unraveled 
one row, you can also fix it just using  
your knitting needle. So pick it up with your 
needle, and slip it back to the left needle,  
make sure that you don't twist the stitch, and 
then simply pick through that strand. And there  
is your fixed knit stitch. You just have to slip 
it back to your left needle. And this is a super  
helpful technique because you can also use it to 
adjust stitches. So imagine your pattern required  
this stitch here to be a purl stitch. But it is 
a knit stitch. So what you can do is, you can  
insert your right needle into that stitch one row 
below, and then pull out that extra strand here,  
then slip that stitch back to the left needle, 
and bring the yarn to the front. And then you can  
purl that stitch. And just like that you created a 
purl stitch here. And of course, it also works the  
other way round. So, insert, then pull out the 
extra strand, bring the strand to the back, and  
create a knit stitch. And we are 
back to the beginning. Here is that  
knit stitch. And this technique is super helpful 
and actually has a lot of smart applications.  
For example, if you are noticing you are producing 
ladders when you're knitting in the round,  
you can simply slip the first 
stitch. So slip it without knitting.  
And this will create a little float here on 
the back side which is much shorter than the  
yarn used for a regular knit stitch. And when you 
come across the slip stitch in the next round,  
you can knit it using that little strand. And 
this will create a much tighter knit stitch.  
And then obviously, you would have to slip that 
stitch again to create another float, and continue  
knitting. So this can be a very helpful technique 
to fight ladders when knitting in the round. And  
some people even use it to create neater 2×2 rip 
stitches. So it is really, really, really helpful. 
Knitting tip number eight: Fixing your tension. Do 
you know the problem? You are knitting stockinette  
stitch, and you end up with a couple of stitches 
that are just further apart? Or you're knitting  
in the round, and you end up with ladders here. 
Now there are probably a million attempts here  
on youtube showing you how to maintain an even 
tension. And that is certainly a very important  
topic. It is also not the easiest thing to teach 
because it's very difficult to visualize tension,  
and it takes a lot of practice. That's why I want 
you to make you aware of the fact that you can  
also manually adjust your tension with your 
knitting needle after you're finished. So no  
matter if it's these kind of weird stitches or 
ladders, you can fix it. Let me show you how.  
So what you would have to do is, you need to 
pick up your knitting needle, and then pull  
out the excess, and move it towards the sides. And 
every stitch you sort of… well … you make it a  
bit bigger. A tiny bit bigger than it originally 
was, and thereby you distribute the yarn a bit  
more evenly. This sometimes takes a bit more time, 
and you may need to go over each stitch twice.  
But the idea is, you pull out the excess and 
distribute it evenly across the whole row. So,  
the whole row will be a tiny bit bigger 
but it will be so much less visible than  
one stitch being bigger. And when you're knitting 
in the round, you can do exactly the same.  
Starting on the wrong side, you just go into the 
adjacent stitches and pull it out one at a time.  
So always follow the path of your yarn 
and pull out any excess towards the sides  
like this. And you obviously have to do the same 
on the other side as well. Move….distribute  
the yarn evenly. What you can also do 
… what you can also do is, you can…  
here is the ladder. Well, I fixed it a bit 
already… what you can also do, you can  
bring your knitting needle from the back, and then 
stretch out the rib between the knit stitches here  
like this…. like this! And do the same on 
the other side, and fix the ladder like this. 
Tip number nine: Knit with two different 
needle sizes. Here is another very easy tip  
to adjust your tension. A lot of knitters 
struggle with their purl tension, meaning  
their purl stitches are always a bit looser than 
their knit stitches. And that's why stockinette  
stitch ends up looking like this. Now 
I do urge you to practice your purls.  
However, as a shortcut, you can also purl 
the return rounds using a smaller needle  
to balance your stockinette stitch. Because the 
size of your stitches is only defined by the right  
needle -within limits of course. It doesn't matter 
how big or small your left needle is. Only your  
right needle defines the size of your stitches. 
But there is another twist to this technique.  
You can also use it to create almost lace-like 
patterns without any yarn overs. So if you have  
a set of interchangeable knitting needles, you can 
simply attach two different sizes to either end.  
If you don't, well watch my review of the best 
interchangeable knitting needles. I'll link it  
to you up in here. So for this shawl here, it 
is a simple one-by-one rib stitch. However,  
I knit the right side with a really really small 
needle and the return row with a really really big  
needle. And this is the result. Isn't it stunning? 
It looks complicated but it is super simple! 
Tip number 10: Consider knitting in the other 
direction. This tip can only be used when  
you're knitting in the round but there it is super 
helpful because some stitches are so much harder  
to perform than others. A lot of people struggle 
with their purling. If you're one of them,  
watch my video on how to pull faster. But even 
experienced knitters will have problems with  
stitches like purl three together through 
the back loop and so on. So in these cases,  
you can simply turn your work around, and 
knit in the other direction. So what you  
would have to do is, you need to slip the 
first stitch, and then you can knit across  
simply knit across to achieve purl stitches on 
the right side. And once you're finished with  
that section, why, just turn around again 
slip the first stitch, and knit across.  
And every knit stitch has a purl equivalent. So 
purl two together – knit two together. Ssk – ssp,  
and so on. So you can exchange all these stitches 
and knit either from the right or the wrong side  
for some easier knitting.
I promised you two bonus  
tips and here they are. Bonus knitting tip one: 
Count the right way. One of the biggest issues,  
at least for me, when knitting is counting. If you 
are not a knitter, then you might never understand  
how difficult counting to 100 can be. But I found 
two things that really helped me and they both  
boil down to breaking down larger numbers into 
manageable parts. First, use stitch markers  
and use them a lot. But I don't use them the 
regular way, meaning you will very rarely see me  
actually having stitch markers on my needle. 
Instead, I will use them to count my cast on. So  
every 10 or 20 stitches, I place a little marker, 
and then I cast 10 or 20 more stitches. That way,  
if you are disturbed, and we all know how easily 
this can happen, you only have to count the last  
couple of stitches and not all those 400 stitches 
you needed for the lace shawl. And then I will  
attach a stitch marker at the beginning of my 
round. But I will do so one or two rows below.  
That way I see, okay here is the start of my 
round, but I don't need to slip the stitch marker  
because that is sort of annoying. And if you add 
a stitch marker in that manner every five or ten  
rows or rounds this will make counting super easy 
because. You don't have to count all the rows from  
the cast-on edge to your current row to check if 
you have the 50 rounds required by your pattern.  
You simply count the stitch markers. And the 
second thing that really was a breakthrough for me  
is counting the right way. So when I have stitches 
on my needles, I don't count like this: one, two,  
three, four, five… I don't! Because this takes 
forever, and it's also very easy to mess up once  
you are past a certain point …. say 40 stitches. 
I count like this: 3, 2, 3, 2 – which is 10.  
Now every brain works differently but I promise 
you that you will find certain numbers of  
stitches, or items in general really, that you can 
count correctly at a glance without counting one  
by one if that makes sense. So, how many knitting 
needles are there? Three! You can see this without  
counting. So for me, three plus two really works 
because this makes five. And when I counted three  
plus two twice, I have ten. I mean saying it out 
loud makes it sound complicated but I do hope you  
know what I mean. Try to group the stitches in a 
way they are faster to recognize for your brain,  
and then count those groups instead. And in a 
similar way, you can assign certain stitches  
to numbers. For example, if you are knitting 
a two by one rib stitch, then you could say:  
Every number dividable by three is a purl 
stitch. So you count as you knit. One, two,  
three means purl, four, five, six, six means 
purl, seven, eight, nine, nine means purl.  
And then you can start all over again with one. 
No need to count to 127 and wondering if that's  
dividable by three or not. Now again, your brain 
might work differently. So maybe you're more a  
visual kind of girl or guy. Then try to group 
things into pictures. Maybe two knit stitches  
next to each other a little fork and a couple of 
purl stitches next to each other a little river  
or whatever. Just try to group things so they 
are faster and easier to process for your brain. 
And for my second bonus tip, we are back in 
my living room because my last tip is not an  
actual technique but more a recommendation 
that comes from the heart. Take breaks and  
take them frequently! Use an alarm clock, or the 
timer function of your mobile phone, or maybe an  
hour class. But don't knit for one or two hours 
straight without ever changing position. First  
of all, it's bad for your body. Your muscles and 
your eyes need some diversity and time to relax.  
So every 15 or 20 minutes, you should stretch out 
a bit. Go to the toilet, get a new cup of tea, or  
even bring out the garbage, whatever. But there is 
also a second reason why you should take breaks.  
Use this moment to quickly check your knitting. 
A mistake is so much easier to fix when it's  
just two rows below, and not somewhere down here. 
Also, if you are knitting a fitted garment like  
this sweater in the making here, you can 
use this moment to check if it still fits.  
Pull it on, or use a tape…. whatever. Because 
you know, mistakes happen. And I've been knitting  
for 30 years and don't, for a second, believe 
that all my projects are flawless. However,  
mistakes are easily fixable when you notice them 
when they happen. Once you finish that sweater,  
and you notice it's two sizes too big 
or you messed up the central repeat,  
well, then things are maybe a bit too 
late. o do check your work frequently. 
Anyway, those were the 10 knitting tips. I really 
hope I was able to inspire you a bit. Again,  
if you know any other tips that I didn't mention 
in this video, kindly comment below. And of  
course, like this video right now if you enjoyed 
watching, and consider subscribing to my channel  
in case you don't want to miss any new videos. 
Happy knitting and enjoy the rest of your day!

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