Join a Virtual Knitting Circle and Solve Our Struggles Together!

Your fellow knitters need your experience, expertise, ideas, and opinions!

Once upon a time, the knitting circle was a cherished part of any knitter’s life.

The knitting circle would comprise knitters of all ages and all experience levels. The more experienced knitters would help the less-experienced knitters.

And all the knitters benefited, because oftentimes one knitter would discover a new way to solve a problem and would share it with the entire circle.

Knitting circles are hard to come by these days, sadly. Everyone is busier, and everyone has such disparate schedules that one might really struggle with finding the time to meet with others. COVID-19, of course, put a serious damper on meeting for much of anything.

Some old knitting circles may have attempted to start back up again, but many others have died from neglect.

Beyond the Top 5 Struggles of Knitting Nuggets Subscribers

Back in November, as you may know, I asked Knitting Nuggets Newsletter subscribers to share with me their biggest knitting struggle.

I compiled the responses I received, arranged them by topic, and then took the 5 most common topics and sent emails for 5 weeks. These emails revealed each of the top 5 and then linked to blog posts that would help to solve these struggles.

But even while I compiled the top 5 responses and wrote emails to direct the attention of all toward posts that could help resolve these struggles, I felt troubled.

Because, you see, I received word of a lot more than merely 5 struggles! And I didn’t want to ignore those whose struggles didn’t happen to fall into the top 5.

So, while I’m finished with the Struggles Series, I still want to help others solve their problems. To that end, I will continue to send emails for the next several weeks that will, I hope, help resolve those other issues.

However: I’m just one person, and I don’t have all the world’s answers when it comes to knitting, even charity knitting.

(I know! You’re shocked! I’ve burst your bubble irreparably! 😆)

Knitting together

This leads me back to my original thoughts about the knitting circles of old. It occurred to me that while I couldn’t necessarily have everyone gather in a big knitting circle to help solve their problems… I could do so virtually!

So today, that’s what I’m doing!

Did you miss the Struggles Series emails because you aren’t a Knitting Nuggets Subscriber? If so, let’s change that! Subscribe to the free Knitting Nuggets Newsletter and get a free guide: “How to Get Your Handknits to Local People in Need: What You Need to Know.”

Let’s Crowdsource!

I invite you, my friend, to take a look at the Knitting Struggles listed below. Do you happen to have any advice on resolving any of these issues?

Knitting together

If so, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

I know that knitters, and especially charity knitters, are some of the most generous people in the world. And I know that we all love to help our fellow knitters in whatever way we can.

So I know that you’ll want to share your ideas, opinions, and solutions that will undoubtedly help a fellow knitter!

Now then, let’s take a look at these struggles and see what we can help to resolve!

Struggles with Techniques

Picking up stitches, especially around necklines or bands, evenly

Making things fit; knit gauge swatches but fit still isn’t right, especially with positive or negative ease

Closing holes in underarm seams in children’s sweaters

How do I decrease arms when circular knitting?

Making loom-knitted hats smaller

Virtual knitting circle

Struggles Specific to Charity Knitting

Balancing time between charity knitting and personal projects

Finding people who will commit to charity knitting and will complete work in a timely manner

Charity knitting while gaining experience; “I don’t want to let anyone down.”

Struggles with Yarn

Switching between English, Canadian, and American yarn weights—“I find it confusing.”

“Help—my wool always ends up looking fluffy! No idea why, and it doesn’t seem to matter what kind I use. I’ve tried different ways of knitting, but nothing helps.”

“My issue is with spinning. I can’t justify buying more yarn till all my fleece is spun. But then, how do I know whether I will have enough for my pattern? And how do I know if it will fit a particular pattern?

How to identify yarn that has been donated

Many hands knitting

Struggles with Patterns

Getting 10-stitch blanket right from the beginning

Finding patterns that don’t need altering (“I’m short, most patterns too long“)

Struggles with Mindset or Physical Issues

Coordination is starting to fail me as I age. My hands are shaking more; I’m limiting myself to smaller projects with fewer cast-on issues. Suggestions?

Overcoming intimidation when I get stuck or make a mistake, to push through it and continue

Falling asleep after 20 minutes or so of knitting

Finding fresh inspiration after finishing a big project

Note: please don’t add more struggles in the comments! If you have a struggle that you didn’t see listed here and wasn’t in the Struggles Series emails, just send me an email at NHaschke(at)knittingforcharity.com . I would really like to restrict the comments on this post to just solutions. Thank you!

Did you see a struggle you’d like to assist with? Do you have a favorite resource that can help with any of these issues? If so, please leave a comment below!

Virtual Knitting Circle - Solve Struggles Together

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20 Comments

  1. Falling asleep after 20 minutes. I like to use variegated yarns, with lots of different colors, because I love to watch to see how the colors are going to look, after you knit them. You never know what the yarn will look like after it is knitted. The way it looks can be a fun surprise.

  2. Currently your blog concerning coordination and knitting drew my attention. Having worked the field of caring for the multiply handicapped for more than 30 years, I learned many ways to help with coordination problems.
    First, try using larger needles and/or special needles which have a foam cone near the far end
    (capped).
    Second, sometimes using heavier yarn helps weigh your hands so they don’t shake as much.
    Third, try using wooden needles instead of light plastic or aluminium needs.

  3. Picking up stitches around necklines. I like to divide the section (like a neckline) into smaller sections, maybe 4 -6 sections and mark them with pins. Then pickup stitches for the 1st area and count the #of stitches picked up and pick up the same amount in each section. You can also measure the section before marking it, to be sure the sections are the same.

  4. When I read, and I find myself dozing off– I stop and either continue to enjoy a “nap” or do something that makes you “move”–best advice, walking!! If I tire when I am knitting–I usually put the project away–and begin again at a later time–such as TOMORROW! We must not “punish” ourselves with guilt–just knit when you want to!~. Craft projects should be enjoyable–and taking a break is really helpful!! Allow enough time (if possible!), to
    complete–without stressing to do so. Sandra

  5. Re: Picking up stitches
    That can be tricky because you could be dealing with a straight or curved edge or a combination of the two. Usually patterns will tell you how many stitches you need and you will most likely be picking up stitch for stitch along a row. But since a knit stitch is just a bit longer in length than width, I believe it’s usually recommended to pick up four rows with five stitches, or two with three, depending on how tight or loose your knitting is. The problems usually lie in the corners of curves where you have a combination of stitches and rows to pick up, and the bigger the curve is the trickier it becomes. You’ll need to decrease the amount of stitches and that’s often done by picking up a row stitch and an edge stitch and knitting them together. If you feel that you’re pulling too much on a stitch and creating a hole, you can knit it as a twisted stitch (which will help close the gap) and give a little more ease to the stitch you just knit (so it doesn’t pull on the corner too much).

  6. For the person who falls asleep — two suggestions:
    1) Knitting is relaxing, but I’m with you — sometimes it’s too relaxing. But if I have the TV on, I end up watching instead of knitting. However I’ve recently discovered audio books! Nothing to watch but an interesting story going on. And I can stop it and even back up if I drop a stitch or some problem arises. I find it very helpful. Our local (small town) library has links to two different e-book and audio book services. And they even have audiobooks there. So even if you aren’t a big reader of books, check out what they have available that will read itself to you.
    2) Are you perhaps actually in need of more sleep? I prefer napping in the late morning to any time after noon — which sometimes interferes with my sleep at night. I try to avoid napping, but there are occasions…

    1. The suggestion to actually get more sleep is a really good one, and one that I should probably take, lol.

      I’m absolutely in agreement with you about audiobooks! Many small-town libraries offer audiobooks through an app called Libby, which is very much worth checking out if you (like me) like to listen to audiobooks but don’t care to get an Audible subscription through Amazon. Hoopla is another app that many libraries use. (My library uses both Libby and Hoopla.)

  7. About the “Falling asleep after 20 minutes or so of knitting” – this happens to me from time to time, regardless of whether I’m listening to an audiobook or podcast, or “watching” (actually listening, because I’m looking at my knitting) a video. My approach is to put down the knitting project, pause the whatever I’m listening to, and get up and move around. Do some stretching – hands, arms, and body. Go to the lav. Make a cup of tea. Stand up and move. Go outside for a few minutes if possible, and look at something different from my knitting space – get some fresh air for body and mind. After you’ve woken up, try going back to the knitting, possibly with a different audio or video. And get enough sleep at night if at all possible.

    1. That’s a great suggestion, Lynn–even for me, as I often fall asleep while knitting, too. I will definitely be trying these tips myself! ❤️

  8. When I have to pick up stitches evenly for around a neck or an armhole (to make a neat set in sleeve top down), I put a small safety pin through the edge every inch. Say I have 20 inches and need 116 stitches, which comes to 5.8 stitches per inch, I will pick up 5 stitches or 6 stitches between each set of safety pins to get as close to the needed number as possible. It is better, I have found, to be up to 3 or 4 stitches over. When I work the first row I knit 2 together evenly to get the number of stitches I need.

    Since I have basic crochet skills, if the edge is really uneven I will do a slip stitch crochet edge all around to have a neater base from which to pick up.

  9. Hi Nicole
    When I’m picking up stitches for a neckline, I divide it into equal sections with safety pins. Then I work out how many stitches I need to pick up in each section. It’s much easier to do this with a crochet hook. If I find I’ve got a gap (where I’ve decreased, for instance) I just pick an extra stitch up and K2tog on the way back. Hope this helps someone!

  10. Re: Falling Asleep.
    You need to be knitting something more challenging.
    I know sometimes counting stitches can be like counting sheep. But that’s where having just one section with a different stitch pattern, or a pattern throughout that will need more mindful awareness can help out.

    1. Louise, thank you so much for responding to three different struggles! I’m sure your wise suggestions will help many people. ❤️

  11. Re: Overcoming intimidation.
    All of us go through this when we’re learning a new technique. I recommend that you don’t push through it. Set it down and do something relaxing or fun. Then when you’re in a better mind set, view how-to’s on youtube or one of your favorite websites and review how others handle the same technique/stitch. Take some scrap yarn and practice until you’re feeling more confident. Then pick up where you left off. If you find that you don’t like what you’ve done, by all means unravel it and start over.
    If however, you find the technique too challenging, don’t let it stop you from using the yarn with a different technique that you’re comfortable with.
    I’ve found through the years that some skills need other basic skills mastered before accomplishing the new one.
    Don’t rush into trying to learn a bunch of new skills at once. Take your time, and experience will give you the confidence to continue learning new techniques that you will master.

  12. Re: Coordination is starting to fail me as I age.
    I hear this because I’m 75 this year. Work with heavier weight yarns and larger needles. If you’re trying to use up your stash and you mostly have lighter weight yarns, use two or more strands together. Knit small squares or rectangles and then with a the bigger size yarn needle wip stitch them together for a small comforter blanket. You can also opt for a larger crochet hook and seam them together that way.
    Also, scarves can be made in the same manner.