How to Wind Yarn on a Nostepinne

We’re delighted to add some exciting new tools to our lineup, including our portable wooden Nostepinnes, available in your choice of two beautiful finishes. Nostepinne is a Scandanvian word that translates to “nest-stick,” and the nostepinne is one of the original ways to wind a ball of yarn. Today we’ll share a few tips and tricks on how to wind yarn using this handheld tool - and keep reading to find out how you can win one of your own!

The nostepinne is most useful for winding yarn that comes in hanks or skeins into beautiful yarn cakes that are easy to work with. You can also re-wind yarn that comes in balls if you wish.

Step 1: Setting Up Your Yarn
The first step is to gather your nostepinne and your yarn. Open the skein or hank and place it on a yarn swift to prevent it from becoming tangled. In a pinch, you can also place your yarn around the back of a chair or settle yourself somewhere comfortable and place the yarn around your knees. (There’s also the ages old image of having a helpful husband, friend or child hold the yarn for you!) Whatever you choose, you just want to choose a method that will keep the skein from getting tangled and becoming hard to work with.

Step 2: Starting to Wind
You can start winding the yarn onto the nostepinne in a few different ways. If you’re concerned about the beginning yarn slipping off, you can make a slipknot in the end of the yarn and attach that to the nostepinne. We just like to hold the end of the yarn parallel to the nostepinne. Then slowly wind the yarn around the nostepinne a few times, securing the slipknot or the end of the yarn under your yarn wraps.

Step 3: Winding Yarn Onto the Nostepinne
Next, you’ll continue to wind your yarn around the nostepinne, but now you will wind your yarn in a diagonal manner. That is, wind the yarn from the bottom left corner to the top right corner (or reverse if it is more comfortable for you). As you’re winding, slowly rotate the nostepinne at the same time so that your wraps build up evenly around the nostepinne (click here to watch a video tutorial showing how to do this).

Then keep going in the same manner until you reach the end of the skein!

Step 4: Securing the End of Your Yarn
As you near the end of your skein, wind the last few yards of yarn horizontally around the cake of yarn to secure the yarn from unwinding. You’re done!

The nostepinne can also be useful for winding center pull balls. If you want to work with your yarn cake from the center, follow the instructions using the slipknot method, and place the slipknot around one of the subtle indentations in the handle of the nostepinne. When you are done winding your skein, you can pull the yarn cake off the nostepinne and wind the last few yards of yarn around the outside of the cake. Loosen the slipknot to pull it off the nostepinne, undo it, and you’re ready to work from the center of your cake.

Ready to give winding a try? Two lucky winners will win one of two nostepinnes - just click here to sign up for our newsletter to be entered in the drawing! Already a subscriber? Don’t worry, you’re automatically entered as long as you are an active subscriber on our list.

We hope this tutorial has inspired you to wind some of your beautiful yarns by hand using the nostepinne - and if you liked this post, pin it!

Lots of LYS Love: Winners Announced (plus a NEW contest!)

Last month, we asked you to share why you love your LYS, and we received some fabulous entries for our contest! There are so many fabulous stories here in our contest thread - we wish we could share them all! Below are a few of our favorite posts, be sure to keep reading until end to find out who won our prize drawings!

MelodyJoy86 shared this:
I love The Yarn Shop in Lincoln, Nebraska! It is an amazing place to hang out; we have potlucks and casual days where people come in to knit together and laugh. It is the place to be in Lincoln! The owner, Mittra, is very helpful and really makes the place welcoming and her employees are the best! This is a flashback to last year's Christmas party!

Rosie1111 has found a home away from home at her LYS:
I don’t know what I would have done without the owner and all the ladies at my LYS Black Sheep Yarn Shop in Maryland. When I was diagnosed 4 years ago with a rare muscle disease, it became my refuge and Happy place. I was either at the hospital, home or at my LYS. It also was wonderful that many of my friends there are nurses or worked in the medical field. I remember we were doing a KAL for the Hitofude Cardigan and working on this lace project kept my mind from worrying. Donna has made her shop a place to celebrate life’s joyous times as well as a place to comfort and encourage each other when times are tough. The laughter outweighs the tears. I also purchased my favorite toy, my Knitter's Pride ball winder and swift there and really enjoy how beautiful all the pretty colors of the wood is when it is spinning around. With all the gorgeous yarn there, one feels like a kid in a yarn candy store! One of the best things about Donna and her staff is that they are always ready to help any knitter who is struggling with a project or need to understand which yarn is perfect for their project.
Sondrakb has also found a supportive community at her LYS:
Apple Knits and Purls, located in the lovely landshore city of Muskegon, Michigan. Encountering this knit shop has been the best thing I’ve done in my adult life. I’ve never enjoyed group gatherings as much as I do here. We get together for “fix it” days, we knit, crochet, and exchange stories… of our lives, our projects, the world. Chantella, the owner, gives us strength and confidence during our gatherings. I come away feeling rejuvenated and inspired. Her store carries a multitude of different yarns…all excellent quality…nothing but the best. The Shop is small, but packs a large punch in every arena of quality yarns and assortment. Just love my LYS!

Contest Winners
Chosen by the Random Number Generator, the following entries have been selected to a prize from our NEW collection (a Ginger Deluxe Interchangeable Set, a Zing Crochet Set, or a Magnetic Knitters' Necklace Kit are all up for grabs)! Winners will be contacted and given their choice of prize on a first come, first serve basis.

Winner #1: Post #57 by NataliaWP
My LYS is Tangles Knitting on Main in Waxhaw, NC.  It’s little over 3 months since I moved to NC and found this nice, cozy, well organized store with lovely owner. I joined the knitting/crochet group over there and over the summer, we did a great project together for our town - a beautiful yarnbomb mural, Waxhaw flowers. So glad that I’m part of this special community.

Winner #2: Post #9 by hjordisperkins
My favorite LYS is actually on the other side of the country. I live in a very rural area…so I haven’t got a LYS. HOWEVER, we travel, and my most frequently visited yarn store for over twenty years, is thousands of kilometers from my home. I visit every time I am in Nova Scotia, and I’ve had her mail yarn to me as well. PatriciaLynn of Baadeck Yarns in Baddeck, Nova Scotia provides excellent customer service…and got me into Knitter's Pride needles!

Winner #3: Post #46 by MaureenHD
My favorite LYS is Silk Road Textiles in Cincinnati. A beautiful shop with fabulous staff. The knitting classes are wonderful as are the open knitting sessions. I have made plenty of new knitting friends. It is always a joy to go to the store. Here we are helping make sure a sweater vest is going to fit!

Thanks to everyone who entered our contest; we hope you'll continue to show your LYS some love this fall!

Make sure that you are signed up for our newsletter, where we'll be awarding prizes from our new product line each month to active subscribers. Click here for details on our current drawing!

Let’s Learn Brioche Knitting

We can’t get enough of the brioche knitting trend - although it’s an older technique, brioche is seeing a resurgence in tons of new designs for hats, cowls, shawls and sweaters. In today’s post we’re going to show you the basics so that you can give this technique a try.

First, let’s talk about what brioche actually is: this technique creates a lofty, reversible, ribbed fabric created by accomplished by slipping stitches and creating yarnovers in one row that are then knit together with stitches in the following rows. Many patterns use two colors of yarn, which can be easier especially when you’re first starting out, but you can also knit 1-color brioche as well.

Knitting a Brioche swatch with needles from our new Ginger Special Interchangeable set.

For the purpose of today's discussion, we’ll focus on 2-color brioche so that you can clearly see the technique. Brioche has its own language so we’re going to first define a few abbreviations and terms:

Sl1yo stands for slip 1, yarnover, and it is a stitch you’ll be using on every row. You’ll need to slip the next stitch from your left needle to your right needle, while simultaneously wrapping the yarn around your needle from front to back. This slipped stitch and its corresponding yarnover will be treated as 1 stitch in the subsequent row.

Brk stands for brioche knit, and you’ll sometimes hear it referred to as the “bark stitch.” When you see a brk stitch, you will be knitting the next stitch together with its corresponding yarnover that was created on the previous row.

Brp stands for brioche purl, and you’ll sometimes hear it referred to as the “burp stitch.” When you see a brp stitch, you will be purling the next stitch together with its corresponding yarnover that was created on the previous row.

The second slightly tricky thing to understand about 2-color brioche is that to create a reversible fabric, each row is actually knit twice: once with Color 1, and once with the Color 2 - so for each 2 rows of knitting, you are actually knitting 4 rows.

Essentially, each side of your piece will have a color that is dominant on it. If we’re talking about Color 1, a light color, and Color 2, a dark color, let’s say that the Right Side of your work will have Color 1 as the dominant color and the Wrong Side of your work will have Color 2 as the dominant color.

On each Right Side row, you will first knit and slip stitches across in Color 1. Then, without turning your work, you will slide the stitches back to the beginning of the row you just worked and you will purl and slip stitches across in Color 2. You have now completed the first, Color 1 dominant side of your brioche.

Right Side of brioche swatch - Color 1 dominant

On each Wrong Side row, you will first purl and slip stitches across the row with your Color 1. Then, without turning your work, you will slide the stitches back to the beginning of the row you just worked and you will knit and slip stitches across with your Color 2. You have now completed the second, Color 2 dominant side of your brioche.

Wrong Side of brioche swatch - Color 2 dominant

Now that we have defined the terms, and talked about the order in which the rows are knit, we hope you’ll begin to understand what the following rows signify:

Row 1 (RS/Color 1): *Sl1yo, brk; repeat from * to end.
Row 2 (RS/Color 2): *Brp, sl1yo; repeat from * to end.

Row 3 (WS/Color 1): *Brp, sl1yo; repeat from * to end.
Row 4 (WS/Color 2): *Slyo, brk; repeat from * to end.

You may see patterns written slightly differently, or using slightly different abbreviations, but these are the basic stitches that make up all brioche patterns.

Brioche Knitting Pattern Inspiration
As we mentioned at the beginning, there are hundreds of brioche knitting patterns to choose from these days! Here, we’ll spotlight a few favorites to try, starting with Lisa Hannes’ All About that Brioche. This triangular shawl combines garter stitch blocks with sections of brioche knitting to create a wearable accessory that is also a great introduction to the technique!

If you’re looking for a free pattern on Ravelry to practice your brioche, we recommend Emma Galati’s Brioche for Beginners cowl. Emma uses slightly different abbreviations than we have here, but her pattern is a simple 2-color brioche cowl designed for beginners, and because it’s knit in the round, you may have an easier time mastering the technique without becoming confused about which side is the right or wrong side of your fabric.

Once you’ve conquered the basics, there are even more fun patterns to try, such as Andrea Mowry’s Ramble (below left) or Leslie Ann Robinson’s Sizzle Pop (below right).

You can find more information about brioche knitting on Nancy Marchant’s wonderful site Brioche Stitch. For a few tips and tricks about brioche, check out this post from Ann Shayne of Mason Dixon Knitting.

We look forward to seeing your brioche knitting projects on social media - don’t forget to tag us in your post!

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Second Annual LYS Love Contest Is Here!

When you drop a stitch or need to find the perfect skein of hand-dyed yarn for your next project, is your local yarn shop (LYS) the first place you visit? Yarn shops aren't just a place to buy yarn or Knitter's Pride needles and hooks - they're the nucleus of the fiber arts community where you can learn, share and make new friends.

We would love to hear about what makes your LYS so special! Tell us about your favorite yarn shop for your chance to win your choice of prizes from our NEW collection: a Ginger Deluxe Interchangeable Set,  a Zing Crochet Set, or a Magnetic Knitters' Necklace Kit!

 Here's how to enter: 
 1. Make sure you are a member of the Knitter's Pride Ravelry group! 
2. Post a comment in this thread telling us the name of your LYS, where it's located, and what you love about it. Feel free to include photos in your post and earburn the shop if they have a Ravelry account! 
3. For a special bonus entry, post a photo of your LYS on social media using #kpLYSlove - and be sure to tag your LYS, too! 

 We'll randomly select three lucky winners to announce on Friday, September 28. Good luck!

The Secrets of Colorwork Knitting

Have you ever wanted to knit an amazing colorwork yoked sweater? Or mittens with fun geometric patterns? Or some of those fun multi-colored shawl projects? Even if you’re a new knitter you can make ALL of those things - it just takes time and practice. Today’s post will discuss the different kinds of colorwork knitting you can do and some tips and tricks to help you get started or improve your technique.

Intarsia Knitting
Intarsia is a technique used to create anything from simple shapes to intricate pictures in your knitting. With Intarsia, different sections of each row are worked in different colors. Intarsia is different than stranded knitting in that the knitter doesn’t carry the unused yarn behind the work, but instead drops the old color, brings the yarn for the new color up under the yarn of the old color, and then continues on knitting in the new color until the next color change or the end of the row. This method twists the yarns to close any gaps between the old and new colors.

There are a few different methods for twisting your yarns, depending on if the gaps are vertical or diagonal. A good photo tutorial for these methods can be found at Vogue Knitting. One of the most difficult things to conque in knitting intarsia is the issue of yarn management; that is, how to keep your yarns tangle free as you twist them while knitting. There is a great article on Mason Dixon knitting - Intarsia: 7 Decent Tips that you might find helpful as you tackle your first intarsia project.

Fair Isle and Stranded Knitting
Stranded knitting is created when you carry two or more yarns with you as you work to create patterns in your knitting. The unused colors are simply carried behind your work when not in use, creating floating strands which can be seen on the wrong side of the work. Stranded knitting is how those gorgeous yoked sweaters and colorwork mittens are created. Stranded knitting tends to produce a very warm fabric, because each stitch is essentially two layers of yarn thick.

Fair Isle knitting is a specific kind of stranded knitting where only 2 colors are worked per row, and the yarn is only carried behind the work for a limited number of stitches. Fair Isle knitting originated in the Shetland Islands. Today most knitters use the terms Fair Isle and Stranded Knitting interchangeably, although they are distinctly different. Kelbourne Woolens features a great article describing the differences between the two.

One of the most difficult things to conquer in stranded knitting is to keep your floats (or strands) at the right tension. Too loose and your stitches look messy. Too tight and your knitting puckers. They key to this is practice, but we have also found learning to knit with a two-handed Fair Isle technique (that is, knitting with one yarn held in each hand) makes this easier. Check out this video from Very Pink Knits to learn the technique.

Mosaic and Slip Stitch Knitting
Mosaic knitting is probably the easiest of the colorwork techniques to learn. In mosaic knitting, you work with two colors to create intricate designs - but you only knit with one color at a time! This technique is a lot like knitting stripes, only you'll just slip certain stitches on a row as you work.

For example, if you are knitting with a light and dark color, when you work a row or round in the light color, you will be slipping the dark stitches. And when you work a row or round in the dark color, you will be slipping the light stitches. Easy, right?

Because you are slipping the stitches, there is a limit to how many slipped stitches can be worked consecutively (usually only two or three maximum). This means that mosaic knitting often ends up looking very geometric, like mosaic tiles. If you’re looking for more information about this technique, check out this article about mosaic knitting from Knitty.

We hope that this post has helped define the different types of colorwork knitting and give you a few tips and resources on how to conquer each technique.

We can’t wait to see what colorwork projects you create. Please share them with us on Instagram - be sure to use #knitterspride in your posts!

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Free Knitting Pattern: Do or Do Knot Baby Hat

Small projects and summery yarns are great choices for those of us who can't bear to pack the needles and yarn away til fall. This month, we share a fun-to-make baby hat pattern that is knit in the round with a cotton/bamboo yarn blend yarn and topped with an adorable knotted i-cord. Choose your favorite Knitter's Pride interchangeable, fixed circular or double pointed needles to whip up this sweet baby hat in your choice of two sizes!

Do or Do Knot Baby Hat
Designed for Knitter's Pride by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter

20 stitches and 30 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch, washed

0-6 (6-18) months

Finished head circumference
16.5 (18.5) inches / 42 (47) cm


  • US 7 (4.5mm) circular needles - 16" circumference, or 40" circumference, if magic looping
  • US 7 (4.5mm) DPNs
  • 2 balls Vinnis Colours "Bambi" yarn, shown in #832 Duck Egg, or 192 yards (176m) DK/light worsted yarn
  • Knitter's Pride Blocking Mat
  • 1 Stitch Marker

k - knit 
kf&b knit into the front and back of 1 stitch 
k1tbl - knit one stitch through the back loop
k2tog - knit two stitches together
p - purl 

To Make Hat
Cast on 80 (88) stitches. Place marker and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.

Work *k2, p2 rib for 1 (1.5) inches / 2.5 (3.8) cm.

Begin Working in Stitch Pattern:
Round 1: *k1tbl, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 2: K all stitches.
Round 3: *k1tbl twice, p2, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 4: *k2, p2, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 5: *k1tbl, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 6: K all stitches.
Round 7: *p2, k1tbl twice, repeat from * to end of round.
Round 8: *p2, k2, repeat from * to end of round.

Work Rounds 1-8 a total of 3 (4) times.

For 6-18 month size only, work Rounds 1-4 one more time.

Both Sizes - Begin Crown Decreases:
Decrease Round 1: *k2, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. 60 (66) stitches.
Knit 1 round even.
Decrease Round 2: *k1, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. 40 (44) stitches.
Knit 1 round even.
Decrease Round 3: *k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. 20 (22) stitches.
Decrease Round 4: *k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. 10 (11) stitches.
Decrease Round 5: *k2tog, repeat from * to to last 0 (1) stitch of round, k 0 (1). 5 (6) stitches.
Decrease Round 6: *k2tog, repeat from * to last 1 (0) stitch of round, k 1 (0). 3 (3) stitches.

With remaining stitches, work 3.5 inches of i-cord. Break yarn and pull tail through stitches to secure. Weave in ends. Knot cord as shown in photo (or do's up to you!). Machine wash in gentle detergent, lay flat to dry.

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How to Re-Use Yarn: A Guest Post with Knitted Bliss

We’ve teamed up with Julie Crawford of the Knitted Bliss blog to bring you a handy tutorial on repurposing yarn from project that either didn’t turn out the way you planned, or for some reason have gone unused since finishing them. Julie’s original post appears appears here, along with our own recommendations for reclaiming yarn so you can use it for a new project you’ll love!

I don’t often do tutorials, but I have recently learned SO MUCH about how to reuse yarn from a knit that I had to share it with you guys. In particular because I’ve finally decided to turn my Delineate Tank into a Manzanilla Sweater, using the Spirit Trail Fiberworks yarn that I loved so much the first time around. I had almost two full skeins leftover from the original project, so this sweater will be a mix of unused yarn AND recycled yarn, which will have its own considerations. First, let’s recycle the yarn.

Note: The ‘stickier’ a yarn is, the harder it is to rip back. if there is any mohair or angora in it, it will be cling to the stitches, and not want to be easily undone. It can still be done, but you’ll need to go more slowly.

You will need:

  • the project
  • wool wash (my favourite is Eucalan)
  • a crochet hook or blunt tapestry needle
  • some waste yarn
  • a sink
  • a towel

Knitter’s Pride Recommends: Our Wool Winder & Swift will make balling and reskeining yarn faster & easier!

A note about the wool wash, in case you are wondering why I’m declaring Eucalan as my fave: I’ve tried other kinds, but I always come back to Eucalan because I get a lot of product for the price, which means more washes. It’s totally biodegradable and made with natural ingredients, and I also really like that the cap and top of bottle seem to magically stay clean and never get gummed up or sticky. My favourite scents are Pink Grapefruit and Jasmine Wrapture, but I’m using classic Eucalyptus scent for this tutorial.

Step 1
If you look closely at your hems and where you bound off, and pull a bit at the fabric, you will be able to see the tiny tail of where the ends were woven in. You can use a crochet hook or a blunt tapestry needle to begin pulling it loose, until you can then undo the cast off. If at any point prior to this you can’t find the end or the knot you pulled when you cast off was so tight there’s no way you’ll undo it, then you can always get some scissors and snip out the cast on edge.

Step 2
Start pulling. You may need to pause now and then, especially with flat knitting, as the sides tend to be a bit stickier.

As the yarn comes away, you will need to wrap it into a ball. If you have a yarn winder you can attach the loose end and unwind the sweater that way.

But you can also just use your hand, like this:

Or, try one of our new nostepinnes!

You will need to make a new ball for each section of yarn that you have. So, as you are winding and come to the end of the skein in the knit, put that ball aside and start a new one with the new end that you find.

Step 3
Once you have unwound and have all the balls of crinkly, ramen-noodle style yarn, you will need to get it ready for a bath. You can use a swift if you have one (shown above is the Knitter’s Pride Signature Swift), but I used the backs of two chairs, one of which had the high chair on it. And it had so much crusted baby food and weird stains that I couldn’t bear to snap a photo. So, it should look like the photo in this link, where the chairs are clean. Then, using the waste yarn, loosely tie 2-3 sections of it to keep all the strand of yarn corralled together. This will be very important for keeping the yarn from becoming a snarled mess later on. It will look like this:

Step 4
Bath time! Pour a capful of Eucalan into a sink filled with warm (not hot) water. Immerse the yarn.

You want to ensure that the yarn is fully saturated, and not floating on the surface. Push it down until it’s absorbed a fair quantity of water, and let it sit for about half an hour to help the fibers get fully relaxed. After 20 minutes, take a look at the yarn – is it still a bit crinkly? Then it needs more time. Continue soaking. If it’s relaxed, then drain the water (no need to rinse), squeeze out the excess water gently, and roll in a towel to remove more of the water. Hang to dry away from heat or light, a shower is a good place for this.

Step 5
You can then wind your yarn into a ball, or into a hank, both are shown below. Here is a 1 min video showing how to wind your yarn into a hank (the long one that looks like a pastry), which is ideal if you aren’t going to be using it right away.

Hedgehog is just for visual interest. I was trying to get one of the cats to lay beside it, but when was the last time a cat did anything you wanted it to do?

Now, before you dive into your knit, if you have a mix of yarn you have recycled AND yarn that hasn’t been used (like me!), then you want to keep the following in mind. I would like to give a big shout out of thanks to Celeste, a previous commenter who emailed with me about this, and had wonderful tips to share:

  • Cotton and acrylic might not change a lot in the process above, but wool, wool blends (and alpaca) can stretch a little or a lot.
  • It could also have stretched a bit, if you hung your washed yarn up to dry, rather than laid it flat.
  • Once a yarn is washed, it plumps up, filling in the space between fibers. Unwashed yarn won’t have done this yet. So you know that this will affect your….
  • Gauge!! You will need to do a gauge swatch in both your washed yarn AND your unwashed yarn to compare, and see if there is any difference. There could be a very big difference, and you want to know before investing a sweater’s worth of time into a knit.

Then Celeste also suggested this brilliant step:

“Another way to do a quick check is to lay the two yarns parallel to each other. You likely won’t see a difference in thickness. If you do, then it’s a sure sign. What you’d want to look for is the twist of plies of the yarn. If you lay a ruler next to them count the times the plies curve over the yarn in 4″/10cm segment (like a swatch the larger the measurement the greater accuracy). Then do the same for the second yarn. If they match up perfectly you can choose where to go from there.”

Genius, right? So if your yarn is showing a difference, then simplest solution is to wash all of it, both the used and unused yarn. If it is treated the same way and more likely to behave the same from one skein to the next.

There you have it! How to reuse your wonderful, precious yarn. If you’ve invested all that time into creating a knitted piece, it should be something you love to wear. If it isn’t (once you have completed the 6 emotional stages of frogging a project) and you love the yarn, why not give it a new lease on life? You might knit something you can’t live without this time!

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