I’ve been writing handouts since I began teaching. As a student, I prefer to have the instructor’s highlights of class material to help me remember the material. When having an “ah HA!” moment, your brain excitedly spinning as a puzzle piece falls into place or a connection is formed, it is too easy to miss the NEXT thing the instructor says. Handouts help. With your own notes scribbled all over them, of course.
Writing instructional articles was a natural extension to writing handouts. Below you see the first paragraph or so of articles written to date. Most, if not all, were accompanied by “skill booster” projects.
Writing articles for magazines led to my 2016 gig as Creative Knitting magazine update editor. I put together a tutorial for every update, mixed in the latest news from the magazine and Annie’s Craft Store, and added my own twist to wrap it up. It was a wonderful year of writing for online publication.
Need someone to help you with your online content? Email newsletter? Marketing copy? Get in touch!
All photos by Beth Whiteside unless otherwise credited.
“Being an educated consumer is tough. Being an educated green consumer is even tougher. In the past 10 years or so, the USDA has developed strict requirements for labeling products as “organic.” Truth-in-advertising laws help reassure consumers that products meet the manufacturers’ claims of natural materials, eco-friendly production and use of fair-business practices. But does … Continue reading Article: Sustainable Stitches
“The width and height of our stitches are determined largely by the size of the needles we use. But there are some neat tricks that we can use to make stitches bigger, to elongate them, either across an entire row or in isolation on a stitch-by-stitch basis.” Accompanying Project: Graphic Arts Article in Creative Knitting, … Continue reading Article: The Beauty of Long Stitches
“Patterns are our recipes, supplying our knitting list of ingredients and instructions on what to do with them. Like recipes, patterns assume a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the user, such as: the difference between minced and chopped (or a decrease that slants left and one that slants right), which knife to … Continue reading Article: What a Delicious Recipe: The Hand-Knitting Pattern
“Life is busy. Sometimes, we just want plain knitting but we don’t necessarily want a plain sweater! There are many ways to gussy up our garments after the knitting is done, and in this tutorial we’ll explore adding the look of leno to our fabric. Leno is a weaving technique used to create a lacy … Continue reading Article: Make Like Weavers Do: Leno!
“Add swagger to any project or sweater—handmade or store-bought, firsthand or secondhand—with surface embellishments using that single skein in your stash, notions from your sewing basket, or other bits and pieces too pretty to just throw out. Here are just a few ideas to ignite your imagination!” Article in Creative Knitting, Summer 2016, Volume 38, … Continue reading Article: Upcycle That Old Sweater
“Knots have been holding things together at least as long as knitting, and the I-cord projects in this issue bring them together. Like knitting, knotting has its own terminology, so here’s a few definitions to get you started.” Accompanying projects: Knotted necklaces one and two, and a choker; Knotted Coasters and Trivets Tutorial in Creative Knitting Magazine presents: Just-in-Time Knits, … Continue reading Tutorial: Knots in Your Knits
“The squares of traditional knitting charts provide a graphic representation of knitting instructions. For many stitch patterns, charts resemble the fabric produced when following said instructions: color patterning, cable crossings, groupings of knits and purls are fairly straightforward. But what about patterns that add and subtract stitches, either singly or in groups, all in one … Continue reading Article: Check the Map!
“Some years ago I came across a scarf with vertical stripes of color created using separate balls of yarn joined with intarsia techniques. I wanted to make a cowl with the same vertical stripes, but I didn’t want to have 16 balls of yarn hanging off my needles! Rummaging through my mental techniques toolbox, I … Continue reading Tutorial: Joined With a Twist
“The humble tube of knitting first christened Idiot’s Delight and later shortened to I-cord by Elizabeth Zimmerman has a multitude of uses. As an edging, you can pick up stitches in it, work it on selvages as you go, or attach it later around the outside. It is a great way to put leftover bits … Continue reading Article: I-Cord Basics & Beyond
“Go from ordinary to extraordinary and learn how to create pleats and welts. This tutorial will guide you through theses easy techniques, allowing you to add intriguing surface decoration to the simplest designs. Pleat and tuck techniques allow us to fold knit fabric back on itself, creating flaps and corded ridges.” Accompanying Project: Pretty Peaks … Continue reading Article: Practical Pleats, Wondrous Welts
“Traditional quilts were made with odds and ends of fabric that were cut and pieced together. One of the best-known block designs is the Log Cabin. It is composed of a center square with tiers of rectangular logs built around it, a structure that lends itself to rhythmic, easy knitting with beautiful results.” Photo credit: … Continue reading Article: Building a Log Cabin
“Most knitters learn early on how to work in the round from the outside in—that first hat project teaches us how to decrease and use double-point needles. Knitting in the other direction, from the inside out and using increases to grow our circles (or squares!) may introduce you to a whole new knitting addiction, whether … Continue reading Article: Going In Circles From The Inside Out
“Basket weave, herringbone, slip and wrap stitches, stranded color work turned wrong side out—many knitting techniques allow us to imitate the look of loom-woven fabrics. What if we view our knit fabric as a scaffolding, as warp for weaving on top of and through? In this skill booster we look at techniques of weaving, sewing … Continue reading Article: Weaving It All Together
“The mechanics of lace involve only a few moves—master those and you are on your way!” Accompanying Project: Lacy Tank and Skirt Article in Creative Knitting Magazine presents: Easy Everyday Openwork & Lace, Spring 2013. For more info, click the affiliate link:
“Baby hats, gloves, sleeves, socks—they’re all too small to knit in the round with the standard 16-inch circular needle. Traditionally these items have been worked on short double-pointed needles. However, what is a circular needle but a double-ended needle with a bit of flex in the middle? Two circular needles (two 24-inch optimally, but a … Continue reading Article: A Small Circumference Alternative
“This issue’s Skill Booster continues our conversation about cast ons. We’re going to discuss two more basic cast ons, the “long tail” and cable cast ons. The first, while a bit difficult to master, produces a nice elastic edge and is a good general purpose cast on. The second is similar to the knitted-on cast … Continue reading Article: Classic and Cable Cast Ons
“Casting on creates the foundation stitches of our knitting. Most knitters cast on in the same way they were taught when they learned to knit. But there is a whole world of other cast ons out there to explore. Becoming familiar with them and their characteristics enables the knitter to make appropriate choices when a … Continue reading Article: Cast On Options—Knitted-On and Picots
“Ever find yourself with one stitch more than expected? Chances are you’ve accidentally executed a yarn over, one of the most common mistakes beginners make. Done intentionally, yarn overs form simple buttonholes, decorative increases, and are one of the basic elements of lace knitting.” Accompanying Project: YO ho, YO ho, A Knitter’s Life for Me … Continue reading Article: Making Sense of Yarn Overs
“Short rows let us create sock heels that fit our heels, work shoulders without the ugly stepped bind offs, and put darts right where we need them. What exactly is a short row? Not a row with less height than its brethren; in point of fact, short rows add height. The “short” of it is … Continue reading Article: Get the Lowdown on Short Rows
“By strategically placing increases and decreases you can make interesting chevron patterns! Bias or diagonal fabrics can be created by adding a stitch at one end of the work and taking a stitch away at the other. Adding at the beginning and removing at the end of all right-side rows makes the work slant to … Continue reading Article: Tripping the Chevron Fantastic
“Double decreases are the means by which we turn three stitches into one. Like double increases, double decreases enable us to knit beyond the basics, help us shape garments and create distinctive fabrics. They are one of the foundation elements of the recent mitered square knitting craze. Accompanying Project: Mighty Mitered Bag Creative Knitting, November … Continue reading Article: Double Decreases: From 3 to 1
“Increases add stitches to our work and decreases take them away. They enable us to knit beyond rectangles, and to fashion sweaters and socks, hats and hedgehogs. Their appearance may contribute much toward a stitch pattern’s distinctive look. Double increases are the means to creating three stitches where only one existed before.” Accompanying Project: Double … Continue reading Article: Double Increases: And Then There Were Three
“As knitters we seem predisposed to knit scarves and shawls and garments widthwise, in horizontal rows. The knitting mimics the structure of woven cloth, with horizontal weft threads under and over vertical warp threads. What happens if we take this construction and rotate it 45 degrees? We see diagonal lines, and diagonal lines grab the … Continue reading Article: Show Your Bias!