earmark a month for clearing all your objects (UFOs). It’ll feel so good!
unfinished To check for moths get a clean white sheet and go through your stash, giving each ball a good shake over it. Any cocoons or eggs will show up on the sheet – they often match the colour of the yarn they’ve hiding in. Take the sheet outside to shake out as moth eggs can survive all but the most extreme conditions.
To treat moth-contaminated yarn, you can heat any wool or alpaca yarn in an oven – use the lowest setting and put it in for at least 20 minutes. Wrap silk, cotton and synthetics in plastic and put in the freezer for a couple of days. Take out, leave in an airtight container for two weeks, then refreeze. This kills off any moths that have hatched. But if your yarn is really motheaten just throw it out!
Swatches can seem like a pain to make, but it’s better to spend 15 minutes knitting a swatch than five weeks knitting a giant jumper! Your tension changes over time and with different yarns, so don’t assume that if you got 21 stitches to 10cm with DK yarn and 4mm needles six months ago you’ll get the same now. Joining yarn with knots creates tension in your knitted fabric. This can lead eventually to the knot breaking and your fabric unravelling. Instead, work one or two stitches with the old yarn end and new yarn end together before continuing only with the new yarn end.
Machine washing your precious knits is a sure-fire way to end up with a felted, bobbly mess. But no one really likes handwashing, do they? Specialist wool washes like Euclan and Soak may seem pricey, but they are designed especially for wool, smell lovely and, best of all, don’t need rinsing out! One less job to do...
Treat your needles to something fabulous by vowing to learn a new stitch every month. Not only will your knitting improve, you’ll discover stitches you’ll use for years to come.