Knitting Wool Tips

Scarves and Shawls Tip 1

When knitting a shawl or scarf in more than one colour, carry the yarn up the side of the garment until it is needed rather than cutting it off and having to sew the ends in later. If you won’t need that colour for a large number of rows, still carry it but wind it around the yarn currently being used at the end of every second row. That way you don’t have big loops along the garment edge.

Scarves and Shawls Tip 2

When knitting a shawl or scarf horizontally e.g. 170 stitches wide, leave 20cm ends (or length preferred) at the ends of rows. These then form a natural “fringe” for the garment. Don’t forget to knot them however!

Scarves and Shawls Tip 3

When knitting a triangular shawl increase in the middle rather than the edges. It gives a much smoother edge.


If you run out of knitting wool in the middle of a row undo the row to the beginning and start a new ball of wool. Knots in the middle of a smooth piece of knitting look either lumpy or holey.

The exception to the above rule is freeform or scrap knitting. If making a garment out of bits and pieces from your stash and the yarn runs out in the middle of the row make a feature of it. Put a great big knot in it and after the garment is made up, bead the ends of the knot! This looks great with ribbon and sari silk knitteds and the beads really add pizzazz.

Using up the Stash!

Don’t be afraid to use leftover sock knitting wool for booties! The wild sock wool that’s around looks really great knitted for babies and if you haven’t enough combine it with some plain 4ply for hybrid booties.


If you are doing Fairisle or Intarsia knitting and using many colours, use pieces of corrugated cardboard as bobbins. Cut rectangles 8cm x 4cm and cut a small nick in one end to hold the knitting wool when that colour is not being used. When they wear out they are easily replaced.

Make life a little easier…

To tame silky knitting wool put it in a small lidded box with a hole in the lid. Thread the yarn through the hole and commence knitting. The yarn wont have the freedom to unravel on itself and get in a dreadful tangle.

When knitting with heavily textured wool knit from two balls i.e. knit two rows from one ball and two rows from the next ball. This will take care of any inconsistencies in thickness. This is also a good idea with hand-dyed mohair as even within the same batch lot there can be inconsistencies with the dyeing.

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