Tips Theme Week: Techniques, tutorials and tools

(That’s a lot of T’s.)

First of all, today is a very important day in Sweden – Midsummer, second only to Christmas – so glad midsommar, happy midsummer to you all!

Today we’re sharing some of our favourite resources for the more technical side of knitting. Learning how to use a certain technique, when to use which decrease or bind-off, or what the heck k2togtbl means can be tricky, but luckily we live in a time where you can learn EVERYTHING on the internet. (I honestly don’t know how people managed before!) Here are some of our favourites.

  • knittinghelp.com has GREAT videos with the really great feature that there’s a version for continental and one for English for every technique listed. My personal favourite is their collection of different increases and decreases.
  • Doing a simple search on YouTube always works – there are tons and tons and tons of knitting tutorial videos just waiting to be seen. Really useful when you’ve been staring at instructions and scratching your head with a spare DPN.
  • TECHknitting is a goldmine for the science behind knitting. So clever. If you want to know how to do ANYTHING, you can probably find it in her index.
  • For those (Swedes) of you who are a bit intimidated by the idea of knitting in English, Drops has a great terminology list. Additionally, they have a video library with instructions for various techniques.
  • Knitty has a whole bunch of useful articles. A lot of them are published under Techniques with Theresa. (Her Kitchener stitch tutorial has been my friend many, many, many times.) There’s also the collection of instructions which has a few “famous” articles, like the JSSBO.
  • ChartGen is a fun and free chart generator.
  • Stickskolan is a great resource in Swedish.

Additionally, there are some really great apps to help you with your knitting. Both Anneli and I are iPhone owners, so unfortunately we can’t say anything about apps for Android or Windows Phone, but here are some of the apps which are frequently used on our iDevices:

  • KnitCounter Lite – free row counter tool. (There are a whole bunch and they all work pretty much the same way; this just happened to be the one I downloaded and stuck with.)
  • Knitting Daily – a mobile library of videos, blogs and glossaries from Interweave Knits.
  • JKnit – I actually only just discovered this PDF reader which comes with a built-in row counter and a highlight row the other day. If it lives up to what it promises, I think it may well become my new best friend.
  • Speaking of PDF readers, let’s not forget the trusty ol’ iBooks app. I love using my iPad as a virtual library of all of my patterns, and it’s so convenient to just prop it up on its stand with a chart up while you knit – I haven’t printed out a pattern in absolutely ages. Not as big a fan of looking at patterns on the iPhone, though it’ll do in a pinch.

(Whatever people may tell you, I am in fact NOT sponsored by Apple. Totally open to the idea, though, Apple. Call me.)

Any knitting wizards whose word you swear by? Share the magic in the comments!

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