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Hello, and welcome to the revised Tips & Tricks page. We've merged the archive with the current page, and as always, the printable .pdf files are downloadable with the newest version of Adobe Reader. Just click the download link under each item, then save the document to your desktop.

NEW Tips & Tricks 11 || NEW Tips & Tricks 12 || Previous Tips & Tricks


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tt11bThe gansey sampler scarf can get you started on these wonderful stitch patterns from the English and Scottish fishing ports. This one is simpler, and is a single pattern, seahouses, flanked by cable and ladder patterns. It requires two balls of knitting worsted, a pair of #6 needles, and very little else. I use a cable needle, but you may want to do the cables by an alternate method.

Cast on 33 stitches, by the knitting method, in K1, P1. Work twelve rows of K1, P1, as shown on the chart, ending with a wrong row. Increase as shown on the chart in a knit row. Begin the pattern, and repeat until you have about 5 feet of length and end with the top row of the central "house." Now, decreasing on the two central stitches of each cable in a row that will read as "knit" on the front of the work. Work 12 rows of K1, P1 rib, and bind off in pattern.

On each long side of the work: With a long circular needle, size 7, pick up stitches on 3 of each group of four rows. Work 4 rows of garter stitch (knit each row), and bind off. Wash gently, block, and dry thoroughly.



Copyright ©2009 by Pat Feeley for High Country Knitwear



tt12bDownload Tips & Tricks 12

Not long ago, I worked a traditional gansey for a dear friend, along with a matching hat and fingerless mittens. The inspirations for this included Gladys Thompson’s classic Knitting Guernseys, Jerseys, and Arans, which is a little short on instruction but has a wealth of stitch patterns, and Beth Brown Reinsel’s Knitting Ganseys, the instructions of which are clear, imaginative, and extremely well done, whether you want to design your own or work from one of her traditional patterns. When that project was finished, I found myself with almost two full balls of Cascade 220 Superwash, the yarn I favor for anything for men and children, and so settled into making a sampler of gansey patterns.

I selected 30 stitches on #6 needles as an appropriate width, and cast on in pattern, for 12 rows of 2 x 2 ribbing to start the work.

I then figured out how to separate the blocks of pattern from one another, using this sequence: 2 rows reverse stockingette, 2 rows stockingette, 2 more rows reverse stockingette:


I gathered chart ideas from everywhere and set them up. While I sort of winged it, I present these charts in the order in of difficulty, simplest first, with the name of each. I did not use, as ganseys so often do, the handsome cables that are so much a part of this particular craft, because I wanted the scarf to be supple, easy to wrap and tie, and without variation in width. Working these back and forth is marginally more demanding than working them in the round, as one does for a sweater, hat, or mittens; you may need markers for some of them.You could also select a single pattern and work it the full length of the scarf.

You may also wish to work the scarf full length in a single pattern, which would surely be a handsome way to use them. Just make sure that you begin and end with the same row. In all cases, the blocks are meant to be 30 stitches wide, and 28 rows deep. I’d alternating the simplest, the more complicated, and the more elaborate patterns with one another, but make your own choice, remembering that you will want the more elaborate ones showing on the ends! When you’ve finished, and bound off your ribbing, pick up three stitches in every four rows on the right side of the work. Your edging will be garter stitch; work the second row, and bind off the third. Wash gently, roll in a towel to dry, and lay out.

When almost dry, toss it, believe it or not, in the dryer.

Here are the patterns, in order of difficulty, simplest first, and not full size.

Seed stitch:

Seed stitch


Moss stitch:

moss stitch


Double moss stitch:

double moss


A little more complicated:

Filey lifeboat pattern:






Mock rib or seed stitch rib:

mock rib


Almost a woven pattern, we’ll just call it Mock Weave:


And here are the more complicated ones:
Flying geese:





Marriage Lines:



Seahouses and ladders:


Copyright ©2009 by Pat Feeley for High Country Knitwear




Tips & Tricks 10: Download two excellent sources for fitting.
More on making it fit - because you didn't spend all that time and money just to have it sit in your drawer.
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Tips & Tricks 9: Choosing a Size and Altering To Fit.
Sizing and fitting information to make that sweater look great.
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Tips & Tricks 8: The Red Scarf Project - 2007.
Knitting for a good cause - 2007's Red Scarf Project pattern.
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Tips & Tricks 7: The Swatch that Mistook Itself for a Hat and Its Friends.
Knitting from stash - hats and a sweater.
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Tips & Tricks 6: The Lavender Cotton Shirt and the No-Sewing Seams.
A versatile, multiseason shirt - with almost no sewing!
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Tips & Tricks 5: A Neat Turtleneck that Doesn't Bind!
How not to be done in by your sweater - three ways to finish your turtleneck.
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Tips & Tricks 4: Making It Fit - a Tips and Tricks Sizing Guide.
Tips and tricks on sizing your projects.
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Tips & Tricks 3: Oh, No! Not the Boyfriend Sweater!
Tips and tricks on how to avoid the curse and keep the boyfriend.
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Tips &; Tricks 2: Substituting One Yarn for Another for Love or Money.
If you've found a knitting pattern you love, but either hate or can't afford the recommended yarn, this special knitting tip will save you money and hassle.
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Tips & Tricks 1: Winding Balls, Casting On, Joining Yarns and Getting the Hem You Prefer
For many knitters, these basic techniques may have been missed when you were learning to knit. Learn them now to improve your skills.
Download Tips & Tricks 1

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