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Using Knitter's Pride SmartStix Needles to Level Up your Knitting Game

What makes our new SmartStix needles so smart? These specially-designed needles allow you to...

Save time
Measure stuff
Assess gauge
Reduce clutter
Test weight

No more searching for a tape measure -  no matter where you are, as long as your needles are in your project, you’ve got a way to measure on the go. Today we’re going to share a few more ways to use SmartStix needles to level up your knitting game!

Casting On

When you’re casting on, do you run out of yarn before you have all the stitches you need on the needle? Vicki Howell recently shared her tips and tricks for casting on using the SmartStix needles in her Ask Me Mondays series. What it boils down to is this:


  1. Grab the needles and yarn you’re going to use for your project.
  2. Figure out how many stitches you’re going to cast on for your swatch or project.
  3. Leaving a short tail (to weave in after), start wrapping your yarn around the needle. If you’re knitting a swatch and you’re casting on a small number of stitches, wrap the yarn around the needle a number of times equal to the number of stitches you’re going to cast on. If you’re casting on a larger number of stitches, wrap the yarn around the needle a smaller measurement (ex. 10 times).
  4. When you’re done, pinch the yarn between your fingers just after the final wrap on the needle.
  5. Pull the yarn off the needle. If you wrapped enough yarn for your entire cast on, start the cast on at the point in the yarn that is pinched between your fingers. If you only wrapped a smaller measurement, fold the yarn back and forth on itself as many times as you need to, to get enough yarn for your cast on. (ex. If you wrapped the yarn 10 times for 10 stitches, and you’re casting on 80 stitches, fold the yarn back and forth 8 more times to get enough yarn to cast on those 80 stitches.)

See, it’s easy to never run out of yarn on your cast on again!

Swatching

When you’re swatching, your SmartStix can double as a measuring tape so you can see if you’re getting gauge without any other tools! While the stitches are on the needle, you can check the approximate width of the swatch. Are you hitting the right number of stitches per inch? This can be a little tricky if your yarn blooms with washing and blocking, in which case you’ll need to do that before you measure.

Do you need to knit a swatch of a certain length? Use your needle tip to measure the length of your swatch and see if you’ve knit enough!

Once you’ve washed and blocked your swatch (and we always recommend that!) you can also use your needle tips and cords to measure how many stitches and rows you’re getting per inch. Simply lay your needle over the swatch in the appropriate direction and get a quick count. No extra tools necessary!

While Knitting

It is a truth universally acknowledged among knitters that no matter how many measuring tapes you have, there’s never one handy when you need it! But have no fear, SmartStix can help you here too! Measuring the length of a brim on a hat or a cuff on a sock? No problem. Pull the needle tip out of the project and give it a quick check. Checking the length of a sleeve? You can use the cable and the needle tip to measure! You’ve already got a handy “measuring tape” the length of your needle. For example, your 24” needle will have 24 - 1” markings. You can use any part of the needle to measure anything you’d like!

We hope we’ve given you a few tips and tricks to use your SmartStix to level up your knitting game. And if you haven’t tried SmartStix yet, Santa is coming soon! Ask your preferred Knitter's Pride retailer about our 2019 limited edition gift set featuring SmartStix, which you can learn more about in the video below.


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Win Great Prizes in the Knitter's Pride Fall 2019 Photo Contest!

What are your favorite needles, hooks or accessories from Knitter's Pride? We'd love to see what you're making with the latest items from our 2019-20 Collection, as well as your tried-and-true favorites from our extensive family of products.

Share your best photo with us this fall for you chance to win some great prizes! One lucky winner will be selected at random to win a SmartStix Interchangeable needle set, but we'll also be selecting other entries at random to award prizes from our new collection. Let your creativity shine - we look forward to seeing your photos!



You have until Midnight EST on Friday, November 15 to submit your photo - click here for our official entry form to submit your entry and full contest details.

Winners will be notified via email and we'll share the winning entries on our blog and social media channels prior to November 30.

Pin this post to help spread the word!

2019 Limited Edition Holiday Gift Set Featuring SmartStix Needles!

Introducing the 2019 Limited Edition Gift Set from Knitter's Pride, featuring our new SmartStix Needles!


We're pleased to present this clever needle set in a modern carrying case that's multi-purpose: it can be used as clutch, a cross-body bag, a project bag or tool kit - the possibilities are endless! We've used vegan leather, ethically sourced beech wood and nickel-free metal hardware to construct this sturdy bag that's bound to be your new favorite.


But the real treat, of course, is what's inside! Each case contains a plush velvet roll-on and a vegan leather pouch to keep the accessories safe in style.

All 9 pairs of SmartStix Interchangeable Needle Tips and the color-coded cords are marked at every 1" interval for quick measuring on the go.

Each set includes SmartStix tips in sizes US 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5 & 11 and 4 color coded cords (included in lengths of 1-24"/60cm, 1-32"/80cm & 2- 40"/100cm) & a set of cord connectors.


Treat yourself or your smart knitting friends to this extra-special gift set - it's sure to be at the top of everyone's wish list this year! Sets are available for a limited time at your preferred Knitter's Pride retailer.

Want to leave a not-so-subtle holiday hint for someone? Save this post to Pinterest using the graphic below! 

Free Knitting Pattern: Undaunted Hat

In the last year we have been inspired to knit for charity and one of the causes that has come to our attention is Hat Not Hate, an anti-bullying campaign launched by Lion Brand Yarns in 2018. Lion Brand asks knitters to donate blue knit (and crochet) hats and teams up with schools around the country to distribute hats to students in October of each year for National Bullying Prevention Month.

Though the deadline for 2019 donations has passed, designer Laura Cameron was inspired to create a simple hat pattern in honor of Hat Not Hate. Today we’re sharing this pattern with you so you can knit one for yourself or donate one to a charitable cause near you.


Undaunted
By Laura Cameron

Finished measurements: To fit head circumference of 20” (22”)

Gauge: 20 sts & 32 rows = 4 inches St St

Supplies:
  • US 6/4 mm and 8/5 mm - 16”/40 cm circular SMARTSTIX needles
  • 1 skein TreasureGoddess Treasured Warmth Worsted Weight (100% superwash merino, 218 yards/100 grams), color: Swimming with the Fishes
  • Darning needle
  • Stitch Marker (to indicate Beginning of Round)


To make hat:
With US 6/4 mm needle, CO 84 (90) sts. Join to work in the round being careful not to twist and place stitch marker to indicate beginning of round.

Brim
Work in (P2, K1) rib until your work measure approximately 1.5”/4 cm from cast on (you can use your SMARTSTIX needles to measure!).

Hat:
Switch to US 8/5 mm needle.

Begin Pattern Stitch:
Rounds 1 & 2: Knit all stitches. 
Round 3: (P2, K1) to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1-3 until your hat reaches 7 (8)”/18 (20) cm or desired length before working crown.

Crown

Round 1: (K2tog, K4) to end of round. 70 (75) sts.
Round 2: Knit all stitches.
Round 3: (P1, K1, P2, K1) to end of round.
Round 4: (K2, K2tog, K1) to end of round. 56 (60) sts.
Round 5: (P1, K1) to end of round.
Round 6: (K2tog) to end of round. 28 (30) sts.
Round 7: Knit all stitches.
Round 8: (K2tog) to end of round. 14 (15) sts.
Round 9: (K2tog) to last 0 (1) stitch, K0 (1). 7 (8) sts.

Break yarn, leaving a long tail. Using a tapestry needle, run tail through remaining stitches twice and fasten off.

Pom Pom (optional)


Weave in ends and wash with your favorite fiber wash. We recommend using Knitter’s Pride Blocking Mats to block your hat for the perfect finish.


Allow to dry, then enjoy your new hat or donate to the charitable cause of your choice!

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Fall Crafting Inspiration

Fall is around the corner and we’re feeling the call of our needles and hooks! Today we’ve rounded up some new free patterns to jump start your fall crafting. We hope you’ll find something inspiring and cast on with abandon!

Sweaters

If you’re looking to cuddle up in a sweater we’ve got a ton of options for you! If you’re into colorwork knitting check out the bands on Maj by Rachel S√łgaard. If you’d like to add a touch of lace to your fall knitting, try the Beechnut Pullover by Amy Gundersen. If you’d like an oversized fall cardigan that will become a wardrobe staple, we love Maria by Quail Studio. And if you’re still loving those fades, check out the Metamorphic Tee by Andrea Yetman. For our crocheters, check out the Everyday Cotton Cardigan by Ashleigh Kiser (which could be done in wool for a warmer, cozier sweater) or the Elevation Sweater by Grace forthefrills!




Accessories

If you’re looking for the perfect small project to use up those special skeins, but still keep you warm, we’ve got inspiration aplenty (we ran out of room!) Just one skein of DK and some linen stitch and you’ve got the Oddly Satisfying Cowl by Christine Long Derks. A soft skein of luscious fingering weight will make these pretty Alder Fingerless Mitts by Agnes Zombory. If you want to keep your toes toasty warm, check out the Sea Oats Socks by The Blue Mouse. If it’s a hat you’re after try the Gentle Waves Hat by Beatrice Alexander-Howden or step up your game with a bit of colorwork with the August Hat by Sara Solomon (and check out all the free patterns Year of Hats from Kelbourne Woolens has to offer - a new free hat pattern each month!) If you want a quick bulky knit with just a touch of lace try the Icy Waters Shawl by EweKnit Toronto. And if you want the perfect fall shawl, we love Siki Shawl by Dawn Henderson. For our crocheters we’ve got cowls and hats for you too! Check out Anemone by the Berroco Design Team and the Kyrie Slouch by Phanessa Fong!


Other

If you’re looking for a little something seasonal, we love the Little Rustic Pumpkin by Rebecca Langford. And if you want to try a bigger knit, how about a cozy blanket? You’re not too late to join the CAL (Crochet Along) for the Cactus Garden Blanket by Susan E. Kennedy. Or if you want to knit up a cozy blanket for game night check out Dance on the Breeze by Fifty Four Ten Studio (or any of their other free blanket patterns!)



Whatever you choose to craft this fall, we hope we’ve given you some inspiration to get started!

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4 Super Stretchy Bind Offs for Knitters

You’ve come to the end of your knitting project and it's time to bind off. When you’re making items like hats, shawls, socks and sweaters, a slightly stretchy finished edge may be desired - but you also want to avoid having a bind off that’s too loose and floppy. Today we’ll explore 4 super stretchy bind offs that will give you the perfect edging to finish your next project!

Note: In all of the below examples we use our brand-new SmartStix needles and two contrasting colors of yarn so that you can see the technique more clearly.

Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off

Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off is a technique named for Jeny Staiman and immortalized (with great visuals!) in this Knitty article. This bind off combines the standard bind off with an extra yarn over which adds a bit of extra elasticity. The steps are simple.

For knit stitches:

Step 1: Yarnover in reverse (wind your yarn over the needle in the opposite direction that you usually do).

Step 2: Knit 1 stitch.

Step 3: Insert left needle into yarnover stitch and pull it over the stitch you just knit.

Step 4: Yarnover in reverse.

Step 5: Knit 1 stitch.



Step 6: Insert left needle into yarnover stitch AND previous stitch and pull both over the stitch you just knit.



Repeat Steps 4-6 until you have completed binding off all stitches.


For purl stitches:
Repeat the processes above EXCEPT yarnover in the regular direction and purl the working stitches as appropriate.

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Icelandic Bind Off

The Icelandic Bind Off is a super stretchy bind off that is particularly suited for garter stitch. Not only is it fast, easy and stretchy, but it mimics the bumps in the garter stitch so it matches the garter stitch. Beware that this will make your edges roll if you’re knitting in stockinette, so you may want to pick another one of the other stretchy bindoffs we’ve discuss here if that’s what you’re knitting.

To complete the Icelandic Bind Off:

Step 1: Knit 1 stitch.


Step 2: Transfer stitch from right needle back to left needle.

Step 3: Reach right needle through the first stitch as if to purl, and knit the next stitch, pulling the loop through both stitches.



Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you have completed binding off all stitches.


For additional visuals on the Icelandic Bind Off, Very Pink Knits has a wonderful tutorial video here.

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Elastic Bind Off

The Elastic Bind Off is a gorgeously stretchy bind off for lacy shawls, sock cuffs, necklines and sleeve cuffs. In this bind off you’ll be working a stitch, and then knitting it together with the previous stitch to create an extra elastic edge.

To work the Elastic Bindoff:

Step 1: Knit the first 2 stitches as normal.



Step 2: Knit the 2 stitches together through the back loop. (Insert left hand needle through the front of the two stitches, wrap yarn around and pull through.)



Step 3: Knit the next stitch as normal.

Step 4: Repeat Step 2.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you have completed binding off all stitches.



For additional visuals, check out this Simple Stretchy Bind Off tutorial from Very Pink Knits, which also includes how to work the Elastic Bindoff in ribbing!

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Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Bind Off

The sewn bind off was immortalized by Elizabeth Zimmerman, who was looking for a stretchier alternative to the traditional bind off. The advantage of the sewn bind off is that it makes a nicely matched edge to the edge created by the long tail cast on, so your project will look neatly matched. Unlike the other bind offs, this one is worked with a tapestry needle and more sewn than cast off with needles. This bind off is also worked from left to right, the opposite of your knitting.

To work the Sewn Bind Off:

Step 1: First cut a long tail, 3-4 times the length of the section you’re binding off. Thread your tapestry needle with this end.

Step 2: Insert the needle into the first 2 stitches on the knitting needle as if to purl and draw the yarn through.



Step 3: Reinsert the needle into the first stitch on the knitting needle as if to knit, draw the yarn through and slip the stitch off.



Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you have completed binding off all stitches.



For additional visuals, check out the Sewn Bind Off Tutorial from Very Pink Knits.

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We hope you've learned a few new techniques to add super stretchy edges to your projects!

August Blog Winners

Congratulations to our winners for this month's #KPwinyourwish contest: @lemiller26 on Instagram, Miki E. on Facebook and @curious_cusp on Instagram. We will be in touch with you shortly to arrange for the delivery of your prizes!

2019-20 Collection Reveal + Win Your Wish Contest

The wait is over: our 2019-20 collection will be arriving soon at a yarn store near you! We are pleased to introduce our latest innovations to the Knitter's Pride family of products. Ask for them by name at your local yarn store (LYS), or search our list of authorized retailers by clicking here.


SmartStix Knitting Needles


Hi-tech SmartStix are knitting needles and tape measure in one! Marked at 1" intervals on both the needles and the cords, SmartStix helps knitters measure their creations on the go, check their gauge and even test the yarn weight.

Available in Fixed Circular, Double Pointed and Interchangeable needle styles, SmartStix are are the perfect tool for the smart knitter.

Our Deluxe SmartStix Interchangeable Needle Set (shown above) comes in a stylish white and silver vegan leather case.

Smart Cords are also available individually in 6 length options.


Rainbow Row Counter Rings

With over 18,000 black row counter rings sold in just ten months, we're adding a unique Rainbow color to the Row Counter Rings range! The mesmerizing colors are brought to life using special coating technology, and each ring is made from surgical grade stainless steel for a hypo-allergenic accessory.

Expanded Sizes in Row Counter Rings

You asked, we listened! We've added additional size options to our Row Counter Ring line in both Black and Rainbow styles. Our row counter rings are designed to be worn on the index finger or thumb; if you are unsure of your ring size, click here for a tutorial on measuring ring size for any finger.


Win Your Wish Contest

Would you like to win a Deluxe SmartStix Interchangeable Set or a Rainbow Row Counter Ring from our new collection? We'll be randomly choosing 3 lucky people to win their wish this month. Here's how to enter:

Right-click or tap to save the photo of the prize you'd like to win:


Post photo on your choice of social media channels (Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram) using the #KnittersPride and #KPwinyourwish hashtags.

One entry per social media channel per person, please.

We will randomly select our 3 lucky winners to announce on our next blog post on Friday, August 30. Good luck!