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Essential Tips and Tricks: Prepping for Your Next WIP

Hey there, fellow knitters and crocheters! So, you’re all pumped up for your next project but feeling a tad overwhelmed? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Planning is the secret sauce to avoid those oh-no moments and create something amazing. In this blog post, I’ll spill the beans on some awesome tips and tricks that’ll make your knitting or crochet journey a breeze. And guess what? Lion Brand Yarn has this nifty yarn chart that tells you exactly how much yarn you’ll need, and I’ll show you where to find it. Let’s get started, shall we?

This post contains affiliate links. 

1. Gather the Right Tools:

First things first, my friend. Before you embark on your crafty adventure, make sure you’ve got the right tools in your knitting/crochet arsenal. Needles or hooks, stitch markers, tapestry needles – gather ’em all. Nothing ruins the mood like realizing you’re missing a vital tool mid-project. We’re aiming for smooth sailing here!

2. Find the Pattern That Sparks Joy:

Choosing the perfect pattern is like finding the Holy Grail, minus the side quests and dragons (most of the time). Whether you’re a beginner or consider yourself to be a crochet connoisseur, go for a pattern that matches your skill level and makes your heart flutter. Luckily for us the internet is our treasure trove: Ravelry, Lion Brand Yarn, social media, Pinterest – you name it. Dive in and find a pattern that’ll make you go, “Yes, this is the one!”. The more passion you have for your WIP the less likely it is that you’ll get bored and move on without finishing it. 

3. Be Realistic About Your Current Skills:

Trust me, I know it’s tempting to leap into the deep end, and choose the most gorgeous pattern with the most intriguing construction…but let’s not set ourselves up for a yarn disaster! If you’re still getting the hang of a craft, start with simpler patterns that won’t make you want to pull your hair out. I actually think that socks are the perfect beginner project because they give you a “quick” win, you learn a multitude of techniques that will help you in a wide range of future WIPs, and you’ll get an awesome sense of accomplishment (bonus points if you knit two at a time and avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome.

As you grow, challenge yourself with more intricate designs. Rome wasn’t built in a day…neither were cables & lace.

4. Measure Twice, Swatch...Again, and Again, and Again:

Take accurate measurements of the lucky recipient (or yourself!) and check that pattern’s gauge or tension. As much as I like to joke about avoiding swatching like it’s the plague it really is the most important part of your prep – it’s like a crystal ball for your yarn destiny. Swatching helps you nail that perfect tension, avoid yarn shortages, and prevent you from making a beanie for an elephant. Trust me, it happens.

5. Yarn Requirements Made Easy:

Determining the right amount of yarn for your project is crucial to avoid buying too much or running out halfway through. To make this process easier, Lion Brand Yarn created a handy dandy yarn chart based on yarn weight & project type. Simply locate your project type, and yarn weight and they did the rest. The chart calculates the approximate range of yarn you’ll need to avoid a nail bitting game of yarn chicken.

Chart from Lion Brand Yarn

Planning your knitting or crochet pattern is an important step towards a successful and enjoyable project. By following these tips and tricks, you can avoid common challenges and make the most of your creative journey. To LOOSELY quote of one of my favorite reality tv shows (Summer House, Bravo)..”Crafting Should Be FUN! Forgetting to prep…not fun!”

Remember to utilize resources like online free and paid pattern libraries and the yarn chart from Lion Brand Yarn to ensure you have the right tools and materials for your project.

Happy knitting and crocheting!

Elderly Millennial, Knitaholic, and creative director of Bobble Club House.

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