These are my own Knitting Tips garnered over 30 years of knitting experience,
I hope you will use them in all your knitting projects too!
USING DIFFERENT DYE LOTS
WORKS BEST WORKING BACK AND FORTH
There is a useful and easy way to avoid those 'bands' of differing colour hues sometimes found in hand dyed yarns within the same dye lots on finished worked panels.
With this method you also do not have to worry about purchasing yarn from different dye lots because you so badly want the yarn!
I find that using 3 skeins of yarn at the same time diminishes this problem entirely... big yay!
At the beginning of each new row, simply pick up the yarn of a new skein. There will always be a thread available on each side of work, Rs and Ws, and the loop created will only be one row apart and easy to deal with when seaming.
Use the yarn from the centre of the skein to avoid balls rolling around. This method has an added bonus of less threads per fabric length to weave in after completing a panel as you are elongating the length between ends by a third!
What to do when coming to the end of your supply of skeins? Before starting a new skein which is possibly the 2nd last in your stash, rewind off as much as possible to add another skein to work with. If you are like me then this will give your hands some time to rest inbetween knitting too and is not too bothersome to do to ensure an even distribution of dye lots and colours... Voila!
No stitch markers on hand?
Grab a small length of spare yarn and make a slip knot, slip this over your needle instead.
TENSIONS - IN THE ROUND
When working in the round, I find that my tension is more loose than when knitting back and forth. This is because when purling, my natural tensiion is tighter than working a knit row. Because of this, if I am knitting top down on a circular needle I use a size smaller needle.
USE CAKES FROM THE INSIDE
When possible, try starting a new skein of yarn by pulling the end of the yarn from the inside of the ball, this prevents the ball rolling around whilst unwinding and using the yarn.
USING A TOUCH OF STEAM
Sounds a bit radical, but steam ironing very carefully on Cotton and some Cotton blends works miracles!
The result is a very professional and even finish to your hand work, just dont over do it!
Most importantly test it out on your gauge swatch before steam rolling right in.
USING FROGGED YARN
making a yarn ball from frogged yarn should be wound up as loosely as possible to avoid stretching and 'Flattening' the yarn thereby losing the yarns' natural and original 'Bloom'
Make a quick stitch marker with spare yarn.
Very usefull for counting rows when decreasing sleeves for example:
Use the same knotted contrasting yarn slipped over your needle.
When starting a row, knit (or purl) over the loose ends and keep working over for the required amount of rows.
Its easy to quickly count the rows worked.
To work the next set of rows, slip off the marker and restart knitting over the loose end.
TO BLOCK OR NOT TO BLOCK
Blocking fabric by dampening and shaping to specific sizes on the pattern and left overnight to dry is instructed on most lace work patterns for example shawls.
But do all knitted items and garments in particular need to be blocked? The answer is no, not at all!
Most acrylic and wool blends do not have to be blocked, even those with cabling panels, but it mostly depends on how the fabric reacts to the particular stitch used. If the fabric is being nipped in then blocking will help to open out and display the stitch at its best.
Blocking is sometimes instructed on a pattern to gain the correct width of a panel to size the garment correctly.
After many frustrating years of 'filling in' the gaps created on the neckline on the final finishing, I have persevered to find a solution.
After using this method, you will eliminate the loop created between rows that makes the holes. This loop is that last stitch on the row prior to starting the neck bind off, fix that loopy stitch and you will have fixed that hole!
When yarn is worked and relaxed the yarn will naturally bloom - this means the yarn will 'fatten' out a little bit.
Looking at yarn and thinking it is a bit 'mean' is not always the case as natural blooming means it will be slightly bulkier that it appears on the skein.
CONTROL YOUR TENSION MORE EASILY
For more tension control try wrapping the yarn around your pinkie more than once. The thinner the yarn, the more wraps you use will help tremendously.
Not my own tip but so very good have to share!
Found on Flickr: rjrahardjo
Use an old zip up CD case to store circular needles. You can even note down the needle size on the sleeve.