Giveaway Day 2017 – Adele’s Legacy

Last Thursday was Giveaway Day 2017 at Lee M. Waid Elementary School in Rocky Mount, Virginia.  Giveaway Day was in Franklin County this year and next year we go back to Bedford County.

We handed out almost 400 sweaters, hats and scarves for Adele’s Legacy.  Unfortunately, the Adele’s Legacy website is down at the moment (doing a little reconstruction) so I thought I would share the  joy here! Check out all those happy smiling faces!  We sure do love to keep kids cozy!

All of the staff and employees of Lee Waid also got hats, and they have some pretty big smiles, too!

Special Thanks

Thanks to our photographer, Joe Ganiaris, who took the great pictures.

Thanks to all the ladies (both from Adele’s Legacy and from Lee Waid) who helped pass out the goodies!!

And super duper special thanks to the wonderful staff and teachers at Lee Waid who fed us breakfast, snacks, and a homemade hot lunch, as well as send us home with goodie bags.  (That had chocolate chip cookies in them – YUMMO!) We had such a lovely time! Thanks for treating us so well!









































































Newspaper Coverage

Franklin News Post




Sewing in Ends

When you start or finish a piece of handwork there is always a short length of yarn that is not actually a part of the item.  We call these the “ends.” People don’t talk much about sewing in ends but I think it’s important.

If the ends are not correctly woven into the piece you are making, then that wonderful hat or scarf that you have worked so hard on might unravel the first time it is washed!  Sewing (or weaving) in your ends when you knit can often be difficult for new knitters.  You obviously don’t want to create an unsightly bump while taking care of those important ends.  Here are some basic guidelines to dealing with yarn ends.

Leave an appropriate end

Yarn ends should be at least 7 inches long.  If they are too short you will have trouble weaving them in.  If they are too long they get in the way as you are working.

If you have cast on using a long tail method you will often find your end is VERY long.  Don’t try to be thrifty and save that extra length.  Just cut it off, leaving about 7 inches and move on.

I do not encourage waste, but that long end is going to drive you MAD, and I don’t want that either!

Use the right needle

It is best to use a sharp needle when weaving in ends.  The sharp tip will make it easier for you to split the yarn in the fabric you are weaving into.

A blunt needle is what you want to join two pieces of fabric together (like sewing up a sleeve).  Those huge blunt needles they call “yarn needles” are mostly useless.  Especially the plastic ones, they can catch on your yarn and make a mess.

Chenille needles or tapestry needles are the best for the sharp points.

Thread your needle

You would be surprised at how often I watch people struggle to thread a needle. Even people who have knitted for a long time. It’s not difficult, but there is a trick to it.

Do not waste time trying to thread your yarn through the hole like you do with a sewing thread, that’s crazy-making.  And don’t  wet it as you do with thread either, that just gets you fiber in your mouth!

  1. Fold your yarn over your needle, pull it taut, and hold the yarn in a pinch between two fingers.
  2. Slide your needle out, holding your pinch in place, so when you remove the needle your yarn is still sticking up between your fingers.
  3. Then carefully push your yarn UP through the eye of your needle. Do not loosen your pinch. Sometimes I roll my fingers tighter to make the loop that is sticking up a bit flatter, but you don’t always need to do that.

Practice this, and you will find that threading your needle is a TOTAL synch!


Once you have threaded  your needle using the sharp point of your needle skim across the fabric of your work.

The needle should go through just about a third of the strands of yarn that make up the fabric of your work. It should be enough to anchor the yarn you are sewing in, but not enough to be seen through on the other side.

Go back and forth, in the same way about three times.

If you are worried because you have a slippery yarn like cotton or silk you can do it more often.  I think it’s more effective though, instead of making MORE back and forths to make each one longer.  With wool I generally make them about 1 to 1.5 inches long.  With cotton or silk I might go as high at 3 inches.

Skim perpendicular

Now, skim aross your work one more time, but perpendicular to the three strands you just wove. (In the picture the yarn is blue just so you can see what it should look like.) This will help hold the end in place, and not allow it to unravel as easily.

When you do the last pass of weaving in you should be going through your base fabric, but ALSO through the strands of yarn you just wove in. None of this should be obvious from the RIGHT side of the work (the outside of the hat, in my example.)

Keep in mind that in the image it’s just an example.  your work you would have only one end because the other would be attached to your work.

You do it the same way no matter what type of fabric you have.  In this picture I am weaving into fabric made of all knits on this side, where the others are all purl. It doesn’t matter. You even do this if it’s crochet!!

With lace fabric you do have to be careful and not close up any of those nice holes you made!!

Taut not tight

You do not want to sew in your ends too tightly.  Use the same tension as the rest of the fabric of the item. This way it won’t show on the other side.

When you are finished cut off the excess yarn. Leave about a 1/4 of an inch or less when you cut.  You do not want to go to close and snip your fabric!!

Different colors

If you are working on a scarf, or with yarn of a contrasting color, where there might be more chance of the color showing through on the other side.  To prevent this from being a problem, or if you have very bulky yarn, you can make it less obvious by splitting the yarn.

Before you thread your yarn end onto the needle split the yarn into two pieces. For example, if you are working with 6-ply yarn, split the yarn end into two strands of 3-ply yarn.

Then weave each yarn in separately. This will lessen the thickness of the weaving and will reduce the “footprint” of the weaving. It takes a little longer, but it looks better than a bump.

What’s in your knitting bag? Knitting Bag Extas

A sometime series on What is in Your Knitting Bag? This one is Knitting Bag Extras.

Once you have your bag, and your notions bag, and all the tools, toys, and accouterments that you absolutely MUST have to survive as a knitter you enter the joy filled zen-zone of the lovely and unnecessary knitting bag extras.

Now to be clear, what you consider an extra, and what you consider a necessity might be a bit hazy and might change day to day, and project to project.  These are some things that I think of as extras, but treat as necessities because they make my life so much easier.

Nails and Lips

Knitting Bag ExtrasI tend to have long-ish nails.  More importantly, I often end up with hangnails, snags, chips, dents, and other nail and cuticle catastrophes.  Well not catastrophes as far as my nails go, but as far as their interaction with my yarn.

A nail clipper for when things really go wrong, and file to ease the smaller annoyances are very useful!  That particular nail file (metal with diamond dust) is also useful for taking care of burs on needles – but be very careful and go slowly and carefully – removing a bur and creating a larger one often go hand in hand!

I also like to have some kind of chapstick or lip balm, just in case. My mother carries lipstick, whatever works for you!


Knitting Bag ExtrasSpeaking of lotions and potions – balm for you hands is never a bad idea when you are knitting.  Some fibers tend to stick to even just regular skin abrasions (Silk, I am talking to YOU!) and a bit of balm can go a long way toward easing that annoyance.

Be careful that you don’t get something that is too goopy – you don’t want to soil your project, or be so wet and sticky that you can’t work for a while!

Some products are made specifically for knitters, so do a little research to find what works best for you.

Soap and Water

Knitting Bag ExtrasSometimes when you knit away from home you don’t have access to soap and water.  Which can be annoying after someone hands you a melty chocolate cookie that tasted great but is going to look awful in your white alpaca shawl project!

Those little testers or samples of waterless hand cleaner are perfect for this and fit easily into your notions bag.  I love this long slender water-less hand cleaner!

Other times there is a plethora of water, and it’s HOT but everyone else is a coffee drinker! (How sad!!) I always carry a teabag – you know, for teabag emergencies!

And of course band-aids. For that type of emergency.

Highlighters and Lifesavers

Knitting Bag ExtrasHighlighters are sometimes all that stands between you being a part of a great conversation and a huge knitting catastrophe.  Little mistakes (like looking at the number for a size S when you are making a size XL) that you would never make at home in the quiet of your knitting boudoir are easily and often made in the middle of exciting and important conversations (“She said WHAT to WHOM?”).

In this type of situation of world of teeth gnashing can be avoided by carrying a small highlighter.

Need to hold some stitches, mark a drop stitch that you will have to sew in later, put in a life line? Enter the lowly and under-appreciated dental floss.  I reco going with the unscented, just saying.

And those rubbery things they put on kids pencils? They work great keeping extra needles together in the bottom of your project bag.

Hair Clips

Knitting Bag ExtrasThese are magic.

Sure you can use them to hold back hair, but they also work most excellently to hold your shoulders as you sew them together, or sweater sides, or sleeve edges.

They also can mark the right side of your work from the back, or the beginning of your circular round when you do two at a time on magic loop.

My own personal favorite trick is to use them to mark where I started knitting on any particular day.  Then at the end of the day, or the meeting, or the party I can see how far I have come.  Or how much I chattered instead of knitting.  It’s good to foster a sense of accomplishment, even if I do talk too much!

More clips

Knitting Bag ExtrasThese will also do the job of holding things together, but a trifle less invasively.  They clip and hold but don’t dig into the cloth, so if you are using a fine lace yarn this type of clip might be a better option.


Knitting Bag ExtrasNeedle Holders

No, I am not talking about a holder for the needles you use to weave in your ends, but a holder for the needle you KNIT with!

This magic little toy (called a Poke Me Not) will hold the end of your circular needles so they don’t let stitches fall off, don’t let the ends poke into your knitting bag or yourself, and make is easier to find your needles in the mass of sweater in your project bag.

Knitting Bag ExtrasAnd because the Poke Me Not worked so well, I got more!

The Lose Me Not (with repair tool!!!), the Lose Me Not (needle size), and the Lose Me Not Mini (stitch marker size).

They have worked wonders! I even got an extra of the long Poke Me Nots and keep my crochet hook and dental tool in it.

Knitting Bag ExtrasWhen I am doing a lace weight project with tiny needles I often find the Poke Me Not a bit ungainly, but I have another magic tool in my notions bag.

The Lace Needle Stitch Stopper is perfect for those delicate projects on tiny needles, You know, the ones with 300 sts per row of lace that if I drop a stitch I am going to have to rip all the way back to kingdom come, yeah those ones!

I use this little piece of magically engineered orange plastic and all’s right with my world.

Broken Needle

Knitting Bag ExtrasOdd as that might sound Mum and I have broken circular needles that we keep handy.  This one was a size 2 I think, and it broke in my hand, cause I am hard on bamboo needles smaller than size 4. I don’t mean to be, but apparently I am: this is not the first small broken wooden needle along my knitting journey.  But this one we kept.

We sanded off the broken end carefully, and now we use it to hold stitches.  It’s much longer than any stitch holder I have.  It’s much easier to use than a piece of yarn, so it comes in handy.

It’s also great for picking up stitches – it’s so much easier to pick up stitches with a needle smaller than the one they dropped off – you just have to be mindful that it has no stopper on the end.

Knitting Bag ExtrasCandy

Because sometimes everyone just needs a little sugar. Or a breath mint. Nuff said.

Show us Yours!

These are the things that I don’t consider vital, but that still make my knitting life a bit easier or pleasanter.  Is there something I missed, or another use for something I included? Share your pictures in the comments or visit the Spinfoolish Facebook page and show us your non-essential joys!

Click here to learn more about What is in MY knitting bag.