Kara Gott Warner is the editor of Creative Knitting magazine. She's also a mom and a lover of anything having to do with two crazy sticks and some fabulous yarn. On this blog, Kara will share tips, tutorials, book reviews, contests and in-depth designer interviews, all dedicated to the craft of knitting.
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April 22, 2014
I thought it would be fun and start up a little Summer Knitting Challenge here on the blog. Now that the Summer 2014 issue of Creative Knitting is fresh, let’s jump in and have some fun exploring new stitch patterns together!
In this tutorial video, I decided to get a little scrappy with my knitting! Once I find a stitch pattern that resonates, I explore it inside and out by changing things up such as:
- Needle size– I like to go to extremes. Kind of like I do with my hair! If a project calls for a size 4 needle, then I will immediately jump to a size 13 to see what happens. I’m always amazed at what emerges from my needles!
- Change yarn– If a project is made in fingering or sock-weight yarn, such as with my Trellis Lace scarf design, featured in this video and in the Summer 2014 issue of Creative Knitting. I made this scarf with Kollage Riveting Sport, but why not test the waters, and jump up to a worsted weight, or even a super-bulky weight yarn?
Take a look at the two examples below to see the difference between these two yarns. They look like two totally different designs, but I did not change a single stitch!
Trellis lace, made with super-bulky yarn on a size #10 1/2 US knitting needle.
Trellis lace, made with fingering-weight yarn on a size #6 US knitting needle.
So here are the steps for the Challenge:
#1: Watch the video below for the stitch pattern shown above and to see how I played around with a variety of yarns.
#2: Now go to your stash and pick out whatever yarn speaks to you.
#3: Find a pair of needles that are drastically bigger or smaller than what the yarn label recommends. This is a challenge, right? Let’s get daring!
#4: Now be spontaneous and start knitting. Just allow what happens to happen!
#5: Show and tell! After you are finished with your swatches, or if you discovered a fun new way to work the trellis stitch, then…
I’m a firm believer that learning comes from doing. Some of the best learning experiences happen by mistake or when you least expect them, so commit to knit today!
April 7, 2014
When I need a little boost, I like to fill my brain with positive brain candy. One of the ways I do this is by listening to inspiring audio books and podcasts. If you ever meet me, you’ll probably see me plugged in listening to one of these favorites, which are great companions on a morning run:
Create Your Own Slogans
Instant Mindset Changers
I also find that reading positive affirmations that resonate with me over and over really help to change my mindset instantly. I might be a little on the nerdy side because I keep sticky notes with reminders on my desk, and in my car. I also keep little index cards in my wallet reminding me to express gratitude and practice patient acceptance during challenging moments.
Now, carry on, smile and keep on knitting!
March 28, 2014
If you’re like me, when the weekend rolls around, you’re excited about the prospect of kicking back and getting some serious knitting time in. There’s nothing better than casting on for the perfect project Friday night and binding off by Sunday. (or sooner if you’re a speedy knitter!)
In this video, designer Cheryl Beckerich provides you with clear, step-by-step instructions to knit her Quickie Mesh Cowl, which is featured on the cover of Creative Knitting’s Special Interest Issue– Knits in No Time just in time for the weekend!
Alternating mesh and stockinette sections, achieve an interesting undulating effect that creates the illusion of shaping, but in fact this look is achieved by simply changing needle and stitch pattern.
Designer’s tip: It’s easy to forget a yarn over in this pattern, so count your stitches and don’t forget your last yarn over before the edge stitch.
This cowl is made back and forth, however a circular needle is suggested for ease and comfort. I personally use circular needles no matter what project I’m making, and my straight needles make pretty needle vases to display around the house!
Here are a few quick facts about this pattern:
- Width: undulates between 6 1/2 inches (stockinette sections) and 10 inches (mesh sections)
- The designer uses a rib stitch on each edge. This helps give the cowl more structure and keeps the edges from rolling, which is common with stockinette stitch.
- You will use two different needle sizes: size 6 for stockinette sections, and size 8 for mesh sections. (This creates the undulating effect.)
Techniques that you’ll learn and use:
You can watch these videos on StitchGuide.com
Ater watching this video, I know you’ll be itching to cast on. Now go make this weekend memorable and create knits in no time!
March 26, 2014
In this edition of The Editor Wants to Know, I’d like to ask you a few simple questions in an effort to understand what kind of topics you like seeing on this blog.
When I first started this blog back in 2011, I created this post about the differences and similarities of Seed and Moss Stitch. Instead of showing you how to work a stitch pattern on camera, I decided to share a short historical background about the techniques, along with a little “show and tell” segment, which I personally found to be the most fun.
Click to watch the video: Seed vs. Moss Stitch
So this got me thinking– if this is the most watched video, then why? I came to the following three conclusions:
- It gives you something of value.
- It provides information and education–which you can take and use immediately.
- Last but not least– I had so much fun creating this video! I love this kind of “show and tell” presentation because it’s more entertaining then having to look at my boring hands! How many more videos do we need like that?
My goal is to always present the material I share in a way that excites and inspires you, so if you can answer these questions, it will help me greatly in achieving my desire to serve you.
Please feel free to be as descriptive as you’d like. There are no right or wrong answers, just different preferences!
Q: When you visit this blog, what are your favorite topics?
Q: Do you like reading the posts that only pertain to tutorials?
Q: Do you like variety and enjoy a mix of tutorials and articles?
Now go share in the comments section about the topics that resonate with you most. I can’t wait to hear from you!
March 24, 2014
Now that we’re at the top of a new week, do you feel overwhelmed, or are you energized about the promise of another week ahead? Do you map out your tasks and To Do’s, then jump in with enthusiasm, or do you consider them a boring chore and look at what you have in front of you as an overwhelming trudge up hill?
You’d be perfectly content if you could stay home and knit for just another day, right? If the word Monday was removed from the English dictionary, you’d be perfectly fine with that.
It’s All in Your Head
Just think for a moment about this– if you’re feeling not so warm an fuzzy on a Monday morning, could it be from some bad habitual thoughts that you’ve created over the course of time? Perhaps you’ve programmed yourself to believe that when Monday rolls around it means you have get back into “work mode” and deal with all of those icky emails that have piled up over the weekend. How different is Monday compared to say, Friday? Could it be that the only difference is the “label,” not the actual course of events?
Shift Your Thoughts
If you’re a creature of habit, how about trying something new? Why do you have to jump right into those emails. Can’t they wait? Just give this a try and tell yourself it’s just a little “experiment.” Is there anything really keeping you from you spending the first fifteen minutes or half hour of the day taking time to give yourself some mental candy in the form of knitting or another activity that you love?
The Magic of Practicing Gratitude
If I need a pick me up, I quickly take mental note of all the things I’m grateful for. As soon as I begin this activity, my mind suddenly shifts to positive thoughts. I think about how there are so many unfortunate beings in this world that don’t even have a roof over there head, or are able to wake up in the morning and pour a delicious cup of coffee or read a great book. I know these are little things I sometimes take for granted. I consider myself to be so fortunate. I don’t believe that I’m entitled to anything. Everything is a gift.
Our thoughts can change the way we see the world. Read this post for three ways that you can do this right now.
Just mixing things up can reprogram your thinking and before you know it you’ll be on your way to thinking Mondays are magnificent!
What you think about Mondays? Do they give you the blues, or do you embrace the day with a sense of excitement and gratitude?