Bring yarn to the front (as you do with purling). Insert the left needle into the stitch behind the loop, throw the yarn over from the front and purl the stitch. Both ptbl and ktbl can be used for “twisting” a stitch at the beginning of a set.

Take left needle (remember, this is for those of us whose yarn holding hand is on the right, working needle on the left) and insert it into the middle of the stitch, from the front through the back. Then knit the stitch. This will give the stitch a twisted effect.

DSCF0011Do you ever burn out on a project? How do you keep yourself interested and motivated? I’m feeling totally done with knitting a baby blanket for my new nephew. I’ve been working on it (on and off) for the past 4 months – about 6 rows a day. I’ve learned that I stay more interested in a project if I use variegated yarn. While working on the blanket, I started using a knitting counter. I’ve found that it is a pretty essential tool to have in your knitting arsenal. I don’t know how I’ve completed other projects without it, especially when you need to stop often (I have a three-year old). There is a new product out there (at least new to me) called the “Knit Kit”. I’m not selling this product. I’m just telling you that it’s out there and I love it. Period. This product contains in one small hand-held size oval a retractable tape measure, small crochet hook (for picking up stitches), a small built-in yarn cutter and a compartment in the back for storing fold-up scissors, stoppers and place markers (all included). You can see the Knit Kit at:www.theknitkit.com. Rumor has it (from the gals at the knitting store) that it is also TSA approved so you can take it on a commercial airline without hassle. Don’t quote me on that one though. I find that the knitting counter also keeps me interested in the pattern and where I am at. I set row goals for myself and I guess my reward is putting the project away, happily knowing that I have made some progress. Let me know how you keep it interesting!

I’ve been knitting for about 7 years now and had never taken a project class before. I decided to dive right in, how hard could it be?  The class that I chose was the “SaDSCF0015ri Silk Sock Yarn Wrap” class. Basic knitting stitches and knowledge required. The pattern includes stitches like ktbl (knit through the back loop) and ptbl (purl through the back loop). These stitches are very simple. However, throw in there wrapping the yarn, dropping stitches and a specific row counting scheme and it is enough to make you tear out the project. In fact, I had to rip the entire project out three times to get it right! I am now on the last 6 rows. The picture above shows the wrap in progress. The parts that appear stretched are made by wrapping the yarn three times after a knit or purl stitch. This gives it the woven appearance. See the “stitches” page to learn more about how to k/p tbl.  If you have never taken a project class before, I would encourage you to. It’s amazing how much we forget the basics and parts of pattern reading when we don’t exercise our knitting brains!