Getting technical

Considering I've been knitting obsessively for years, it's surprising how few stitches and techniques are solidly, reliably in my memory and ready to go. The list is pretty short: just the basic stitches (knit, purl, yarn-over, k2tog, ssk), the cable cast-on, the long-tail cast-on, a plain bind-off, and weaving in ends properly. Using these and no more, I could make a huge array of knitted stuff. But I'm a nerd and a perfectionist, so I'm always on the look out for new tricks that can add refinement or something cool or special. And that's where the internet and the library come in. :)

This afternoon I was finishing off the top of a knitted mitten, and as always, I had to look up a tutorial on grafting to remember the moves. Looking through my browser bookmarks, I was struck by just how many techniques I use somewhat regularly but never seem to remember the details from last time.

Grafting the top of a stranded mitten (pattern forthcoming!)

Some of the techniques I've used several times, and still need to look up each time are grafting (aka Kitchener stitch), fancy cast-ons like tubular & twisted German, the wrap-and-turn trick for short rows, bobbles, and Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off. I have a few favourite sites that I look up when I need to learn a new technique or remind myself of one. If it's not there or if I still don't 'get' it, I try searching on Youtube, or the Ravelry forums, or Google.

My favourite knitting instruction sites:
And in book form:
  • Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague (jersey and cardigan patterns, plus how to get a good fit and other tricks)

I'm much less adventurous with crochet than I am with knitting, so I don't need to look up techniques as often (I mostly stick with basic stitches and granny squares). Continuing my round-up of favourite reference sites and books, here are my crochet handy-helpers:
  • The Attic24 blog ('Patterns and Tutorials' links in the left sidebar)

Lastly, here are my favourite spinning how-tos (I'm still learning the basics):

I'm sure having these all in one place will save me time next time I need to find that one particular video or photo-tutorial. I hope you find some of these helpful! If I've missed any great sites or books, please do share. :)