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Helpful knitting articles from Leisure Arts
  • A Tip or Two for Knitting with Your Knook!

    The Knook! Such a creative little tool! Who’d ever dream that while it’s easy learning to knit with your Knook, it can also be just a little tricky? I’ve been getting a lot of questions from new Knookers about the Knook that I don’t know the answers to (’cause I’m new, too!), so I consulted with Sarah—our Knook guru, and she was kind enough to share a favorite Knook trouble shooting tip or two with us!

    PROBLEM 1:
    The Knook cord became unthreaded while working a row...

    Trouble Shooting Tip #1. Thread the Knook with the cord end and “unknit” back to that point.

    Trouble Shooting Tip #2. If you don’t wish to lose all the knitting on the row, leave the stitches on the Knook. Slide as many as possible onto the angled end of the Knook, making sure that they are not twisted (Yarn should be straight at the bottom for a normal stitch, not twisted). Wrap a rubber band around each end of the Knook so they will stay on. Then, while holding the end of the cord that slipped out of the Knook, slide the cord out of the row below until you have enough to reach the Knook. Thread a yarn needle with the cord and slip the stitches onto the cord, once again making sure that they are not twisted. Thread the Knook with the cord leaving around 6-8" extending from the eye. Remove the rubber bands and slide the stitches onto the cord.

    PROBLEM 2:
    Skipped a stitch while working a row...

    Trouble Shooting Tip #1. As long as the cord is still in the row below, simply “unknit” until you reach the skipped stitch.
    Trouble Shooting Tip #2. If the cord has been pulled out and the stitch is hanging free, slip a paper clip or a split ring stitch marker onto the loop to prevent it from unraveling. Check to make sure it hasn’t unraveled any of your rows. If it has, you will see strands above the stitch. If it has unraveled, use the Knook to loop up the loose strands. With the knit side of the stitch facing, insert the Knook in the stitch, catch the strand directly above the stitch and pull it through. Continue until you have used all the strands. Once you have reached the top of the row, place the stitch on the split ring marker or paper clip. Work across to the stitch, hold it open normally (show the difference in the way the yarn is straight at the bottom for a normal stitch, not twisted), then either knit or purl it. The stitch will be on the cord once the Knook is pulled through.

    PROBLEM 3:
    Wrong stitch or stitches several rows below...

    Trouble Shooting Tip #1. Work across the row to the stitch above the wrong stitch. Thread a yarn needle with a second cord and slip all the stitches on the row that haven't been yet worked onto this second cord EXCEPT for the stitch above the wrong stitch. Slide the Knook cord out of the stitches on the row below. All the stitches will be either on the Knook cord or the second cord except for the stitch that you need. Unravel the stitch down to the row below the wrong stitch. With the knit side of the stitch facing, insert the Knook in the stitch, catch the strand directly above the stitch and pull it through. Continue until you have used all the strands. Once you have reached the top of the row, work this stitch. Work across the stitches on the second cord, turn the work, slide the stitches onto the Knook cord. Turn your work, then slip the second cord out of the row below along with the Knook cord.

    Trouble Shooting Tip #2. If there are several mistakes that are on a row below, it may be easier to unravel to a row below them. You can use a second cord to pick up the stitches on a row below the mistakes. Thread a yarn needle with a cord. In order for the stitches to not be twisted, slip the right edge of each stitch onto this cord. Be careful to stay on the same row all the way across and count the loops to make sure that you have gotten all the stitches. Once the second cord is in place, you can remove the Knook and its cord from the row above and unravel down to the second cord. Thread the Knook onto this cord and work across.

    Hope these Knook trouble shooting tips make learning to knit with your Knook even more fun than ever for you! Maybe you’ll even design your own original Knook project and enter our Knook & Tell Design Contest!

  • Breast Cancer & Knitting for a Cure

    Hello knitters! You’re such kind and loving folks that I’m sure that doing things for others is an important part of your life! Many of you out there are already knitting for your favorite charity! One cause that’s important to most of us is the fight against breast cancer, and I’m proud to say that Leisure Arts has just released the perfect knit pattern book to support that cause—Knitting for a Cure by designer Kay Meadors!

    Check out the details about this inspirational knit for charity book:

    Knowing the power of encouragement, Kay Meadors has created the 18 designs in Knitting for a Cure to knit and share with loved ones who are fighting breast cancer. Kay says, “The journey of Knitting for a Cure began a long time ago, when Denise Bell and I came up with the Traveling Shawl, a single project created by 50 different knitters. Its pattern and the story of its journey are right here in this book that I am so pleased to share with you, because this is one of my favorite kinds of knitting—knitting with the heart.” All in pink and with many bearing images of the breast cancer charity awareness ribbon, additional projects include scarves, a hat, a headband, fingerless gloves, a lap throw, teapot cozy, hot water bottle cover, pillow, and more.

    Take a look at the 18 inspiring knit for charity designs that Kay has included in this book!

    Traveling Shawl
    Beaded Traveling Shawl
    Traveling Scarf

    Entrelac Shawl (in two colors)
    Crescent Shawl
    Headband & Fingerless Gloves
    Stocking Cap
    Face Cloth
    Card Insert
    Entrelac Pillow
    Hot Water Bottle Cover
    Lap Throw
    Mug Cozy
    Sachet or Soap Cover
    Teapot Cozy

    Meet the Designer: Kay Meadors!
    Kay Meadors is the author and designer of numerous Leisure Arts knit and crochet books, including I Can’t Believe I'm Lace Knitting. She also has written about how to teach a group of kids to knit and crochet and designed numerous collections of afghans, ponchos, christening sets, kid’s caps, and other creations. Early in her career, Kay was a Leisure Arts knit and crochet instruction writer. To learn more about Kay and her passion for knitting, spinning, weaving, and quilting, visit her blog at and check out all of her Leisure Arts publications on

    Join Kay Meadors and help make a difference! Do your part in charity knitting for a cure! Get a copy of Knitting for a Cure today and start those needles flying to provide comfort to folks fighting breast cancer! 
  • Learning Loom Knitting with New Book

    I’ve been flirting with the concept of learning loom knitting. I'm hoping that learning to knit with a loom rather than knitting needles just might work for me! The ladies at Leisure Arts are loaning me knitting looms and encouraging me, but I’ve been procrastinating…However, I think it may be possible that I will procrastinate no more thanks to the release of Kathy Norris’ new how-to book—Big Book of Loom Knitting: Learn to Loom Knit!

    Check out the details:
    Knitting looms are amazingly easy to use, and they're available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Look at the stylish knits you can create—without knitting needles! All the basic instructions are here in Big Book of Loom Knitting. You can make hats, wraps, and a cozy blanket with sleeves (inspired by those popular fleece cover-ups sold on TV!). There are slippers, scarves, a felted tote, and mitts that convert to handwarmers. Kids will go ape over the sock monkey earflap hat and pocket scarf! It’s a snap to find the information you need, because the projects include page references for the techniques you'll use. Dozens of photos show how simple it is to make all 18 of these exciting designs by Kathy Norris on round or straight looms!

    If you think the idea of learning loom knitting sounds intriguing, check out Kathy’s designs:

    Favorite Cowl

    Hooded Wrap
    Slouch Hat
    Sideways Beanie
    Comfort Shawl
    Mitered Diamond Scarf
    Comfy Slippers
    Felted Striped Slippers
    Felted Mitered Tote
    Toggle Cardigan
    Afghan with Sleeves
    Wavy Leg Warmers
    Little Wings Keyhole Scarf
    Flip Top Mitts
    Tassel Hat
    Sock Monkey Earflap Hat & Pocket Scarf
    Mitered Square Baby Quilt

    Meet the Designer: Kathy Norris!
    Kathy Norris says her passion for fiber arts began more than 30 years ago when she first started knitting with needles. In recent years, she taught herself to use a knitting wheel (loom) while teaching at an arts and craft store. Her first loom knit designs were created to use in her classes to teach others how to use the loom. Now her designs can be found in various publications. In addition to knitting, she is a bead and crochet artist.

    Get your copy of Big Book of Loom Knitting today! Next thing you know, you’ll be learning loom knitting in no time. At least that’s the way I hope it happens for me.
  • I Can’t Believe I’m Fair Isle Knitting

    Here I go again…I don’t knit, but I guess I’m going to have to learn ’cause now I wanna learn how to knit all 6 of the projects in the I Can’t Believe I’m Fair Isle Knitting by Sheila G. Joynes!

    This book, like all of the others in our best-selling I Can’t Believe series, offers up everything you need to know—in this case, about Fair Isle knitting. As a special feature, you can even personalize the color keys, making it easy to use the yarn colors of your choice! Some of the designs are even photographed in two color versions for inspiration…check them out:

    Garden Cowl

    Columbia River Ear Flap Hat

    Autumn Beanie

    Little Sophia’s Hat

    Ginger’s Slouch Hat

    Cranberry Rose Hat

    Meet The Designer!

    Sheila G. Joynes says, “Friends and family describe my relationship to Fair Isle knitting as ‘She paints with yarn.’” Sheila’s knitting journey began when she was a teenager, but she was fascinated by color long before then. She says, “As a small child, I would spend hours studying a book of my grandmother’s called World Famous Paintings. Years later, I graduated from the University of Washington with an Art Education degree. It provided me with an opportunity to focus on my love of color and fiber. Watercolor, fiber art, and photography were my favorite classes. I incorporated art in most of my lesson plans as a teacher and a volunteer.”

  • The Lace Knitting Palette

    The back cover blurb on designer Catherine M. Thomson’s new pattern book reads, “Knit a world of luxury with 22 lacy garments and accessories. Irresistible items for women and heirloom designs for babies. Helpful tips, special techniques, and optional trims.” The Lace Knitting Palette is exactly that and more!

    For those about to begin the journey into lace knitting or those already underway, The Lace Knitting Palette opens up an entire world of new possibilities! You’ll discover new trims and edgings and knit up lacy face cloths while you practice what you’ve learned. You’ll create beginner and heirloom samplers, fashion accessories, baby wear, lacy warm ups, plus glorious wraps of all kinds…Take a look at a few of Catherine’s designs…

    Boot Toppers


    Toddler Hat

    Celebration Baby Robe

    Lace Ladder Scarf

    Cable Hat

    Leg Warmers

    Lace Wrap

    Butterfly Shawl

    Meet Catherine M. Thomson!
    Award-winning designer Catherine M. Thomson learned to knit at age 6 in Scotland. After many years of knitting as an adult, she turned to designing hand-knitted lace. Recognized for the artistic quality of her designs, Catherine relies on intuition in the design process and the techniques she has developed as new concepts evolved before her eyes. Today, she’s still on a pathway of discovery. Catherine’s work has been displayed in exhibitions in Canada and other parts of the world. Her works won awards in two sections in the 1999 American Knitting Guild lace section, Winner of the 2000 American Knitting Guild Millennium Design Contest, Lace Section and have been displayed in several exhibitions such as “Threads of Life - Culture of Cloth”, B.C. Fabric Artists’ Guild 30th Anniversary juried exhibition, Vancouver, Canada, January 2001, New South Wales at the Australian Cotton Fiber Expo 2001, “Taking Cotton into the New Millennium”. In 2002 Catherine’s lace design was awarded a Very Highly Commended at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland.

  • Celebrate Christmas in July with Knitting

    It‘s never too early to get started on your Christmas knitting! I thought you might like a few ideas for some little projects to carry around with you to work on this summer:

    Grab a copy of Holiday Knit Dishcloths by Katherine Satterfield and knit up a bunch of Christmas Tree, Saint Nick, and Dashing Snowman cloths for everybody on your list. Nobody ever has too many dishcloths, and these Christmas-themed, hand-knitted dishcloths work up quickly and make perfect little gifts.

    Knitting + Beading = Beautiful! With Beaded Ornaments to Knit, you can create simply beautiful decorations for Christmas or to display year-round, and they make thoughtful gifts for special friends and family members.

    Those famed stockings from The Night Before Christmas story were surely hung by the chimney with care by dedicated knitters! If you’d like to knit up special, keepsake stockings for your family and friends, I’ve got some great options to share:

    If you’re looking for a whole book of knit stocking patterns, take a look at The Stockings Were Knit by Mickey Landau. It offers up 8 designs with something for everybody—including the family pets.

    Check out the Nordic Stocking and the Trees Stocking from A Cuff Above by Cynthia Guggemos! The great thing about this book is that not only do you get two festive stocking patterns, you get 21 other patterns for socks, legwarmers, and slippers that would also make excellent gifts.

    My complaint about stocking stuffing on Christmas Eve has always been that the stockings just weren’t big enough. These two oversized Stocking designs from Knit with Deborah Norville would definitely solve that problem.

    And how cute are these knitted Bears? Also from Knit with Deborah Norville, they’re all made from the same pattern using different yarn weights. What little kid wouldn’t be thrilled to find one of them stuffed in a stocking?

    The ultimate knitting gift giver needs a copy of Knit Along with Debbie Macomber: A Charity Guide for Knitters. In addition to including heartwarming ideas for sharing your knitting with the folks who need most, the book features 18 knit projects specially designed to brighten the lives of men, women, children, and infants who face illness or other difficult situations—hats, mittens, socks, and more!

    Okay folks, get busy and tend to your Christmas knitting!

  • I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Mittens

    Looking for a new knitting challenge? Learn how to knit mittens! Mittens are the perfect small projects to carry along on all your summer travels, and they make excellent Christmas presents! (Hint: I really like the handwarmers and mitts!)

    To get you off to a good start on your mitten knitting adventure, Leisure Arts has added a new how-to book to our ever-expanding I Can’t Believe series—I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Mittens by Cynthia Guggemos, and it includes everything you need to know on the subject: step-by-step instructions, diagrams, great photography, and more. All you need is basic knitting skills plus yarn and needles, and you’re ready to go!

    Check out the projects that you could be knitting up in no time with I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting Mittens:

    Basic Mittens (each section is knit with a different color so you can easily distinguish between them)

    Cabled Cuff Mittens

    Autumn Woods Mittens

    Quick & Easy Handwarmers

    Cabled Mittens

    Victorian Mitts

    Partridge Eye Mittens

    Northland Mittens

  • Portable Knitting Patterns

    To get you knitters ready for all that public creativity you’re going to be participating in (World Wide Knit in Public Day on June 11) and for an on-the-go vacation season, I thought I’d share some ideas for portable, easy take-along knitting projects.

    Grab any Knit Along with Debbie Macomber pattern book. Each one is filled with a variety of designs—especially great little sock, bootie, and scarf projects that will travel easily.

    Get a good hat pattern book, a skein of yarn per hat, and your needles—that’s all you need to bring in your bag. For the book, you might check out Lisa Gentry’s Celebrity Slouchy Beanies to Knit. You can wear the hats you make during your summer adventures and pretend to be a movie star.

    Knit socks! Everybody needs socks…and you can get an early start on your Christmas presents. Leisure Arts has the perfect pattern book to take along—Socks to Go, from our Little Book series. It’s a great smaller, go-anywhere size.

    How about dishcloths? You can never have too many dishcloths! Plus, if you get a copy of Katherine Satterfield’s Holiday Knit Dishcloths, you can get busy knitting the Patriot’s Fanfare and Flying Flag patterns in time to give them away as 4th of July gifties!

    Or find a great basic book like Better Homes and Gardens Knitted Gifts. It features some simply adorable small projects like facecloths, a felted clutch, an exercise mat & matching tote, socks, golf club covers (Father’s Day is coming up), mittens, hats, and more!

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