Podcast Episode 334 – Welcome to the Knitting Help Desk

We’re winding down our year, finishing off our holiday projects, and taking a short break to gear up for 2021. In this special episode of the Knit Picks Podcast we’re taking some time to do our very favorite thing: answering your questions!

Hannah, Stacey, Lee, and later Producer Sarah, come together remotely from our craftrooms, offices, bedrooms or living rooms scattered across Portland, OR to answer your knitting queries. From tips and tricks with colorwork to deciding what to make next, the Knit Picks Podcast team is here to help. We bring our wealth of knowledge and unique perspective to help guide you through whatever is upsetting your knitting.

We had so much fun thinking of solutions or sharing our favorite ways to tackle problems that we’ll definitely be doing this again. Stay tuned to hear our answers to questions about all sorts of knitting and fiber conundrums. 

If you have a question you’d like help with, our Customer Service team is always happy to help – call 1-800-574-1323.

Want to be featured on the Knit Picks Podcast? Leave us a voicemail at 360-334-4847 and record your message. We’ll be checking it regularly and using your calls in later episodes. You can also record a voice memo on your phone and email us the audio file to podcast@knitpicks.com

Listen, Rate, Review and Share on Apple PodcastsSpotify or wherever you get podcasts!

Mentioned in This Episode:
Learn To Knit
KP Learning Center
Ball Winder 
Ball Winder video 
Buy Nothing Project 
Calorimtry Headband 
Norwegian Christmas Crackers 
Top Down Christmas Stockings 
Frost slippers 
Jacquard Acid Dye Starter Set

0:00 Introduction
2:04 Simpleliving246 on Instagram asks I’m having a hard time learning to knit during the pandemic – what are some good resources?
5:35 Khu_sh_bu on Instagram asks I bought your ball winder. I get tangled in the every cake. What am I doing wrong. Yes I am using the arrow. 
10:16 Galswingirl on Instagram asks What to do when you only get one part of the gauge? ie, you match the row gauge but not the stitch gauge. 
13:58 LivingBreathingLaughing on Instagram asks Help! I bought bad yarn and I don’t want to waste it or continue (with it). 
17:28 Hitomebore2004 on Instagram asks I’m the worst at estimating yarn needed for a project – is there help for this?
19:37 Efdev35 on Instagram asks What is the best yarn weight for knitting a sweater? I’m new to sweaters. 
23:00 Niko on Facebook asks I was wondering about how many yards or meters of yarn would one roughly use for a scarf for a male?
25:01 JaneMLockhark on Instagram asks What do I knit next??
27:30 Voicemail from Trina from Pitsburg asking about Types of blocks that start in the middle and you work your way out – how do you scale up?
29:43 Bella_Mattson on Instagram asking How do I knit into a yarn over in the next row?
32:13 Voicemail from Claire from Texas asking Having trouble with stranded colorwork – whenever she does it her projects become puckered in some areas and too loose in others. Looking for tips and tricks for stranded colorwork. 
Xxalirose on Instagram asks How much slack should floats have in a pair of socks?
38:01 Voicemail from Ashley from North Carolina ***She wants to know more about hand dying yarns. First question – do washing instructions change after doing hand dye? Are there items you suggest not using hand-dyed yarns for?
44:36 Producer Sarah’s rapid-fire questions
48:26 Goodbye Hannah
49:26 Credits

Producer Sarah’s rapid-fire questions for Hannah, Stacey, and Lee:

Socks – toe up or cuff down?
Hats – top down or bottom up?
How do you hold the yarn when you knit – English or Continental? 
What do you prefer to do – Colorwork or Cables?
Favorite cast on?
What kind of needles do you use more – DPNs or cabled needles (circular or interchangeable)?
What kind of needles do you like more – wood, plastic or metal?
If you had to pick just one to use, which would it be – Animal fibers or Plant fibers? 
Which do you like more – Cats or Dogs? 
Lunch time – soup, salad or sandwich? 

ID: Two feet, one in a yellow sock and one in a blue sock, are on a white blanket with yarn, notions, some bags, and a phone spread out.

Learn how to make these socks with our sock tutorial book, 
Socks for Everybody! 33406 $19.19 save 20%

Yarn shown: Dandelion 25024, Wonderland Heather 25028
Electric Blue 26406, Merit Badge 28254, and Poppy Field 26593.

Tools shown: Katrinkles Mini Tool Set 83846 $49.99, Sunstruck DPNs start at $5.09, Collage Sketchbook 84424 $14.99, Frenchie Halfmoon Pouch 84420 $13.00, Katrinkles Darning & Mending Loom Kit 84881 $34.00.


  1. Felice McNair / March 24, 2021

    The rapid fire was a great addition to the podcast

    Socks – toe up or cuff down? toe-up
    Hats – top down or bottom up? top down
    How do you hold the yarn when you knit – English or Continental? Continental
    What do you prefer to do – Colorwork or Cables? Both
    Favorite cast on? Long Tail Cast on
    What kind of needles do you use more – DPNs or cabled needles (circular or interchangeable)? Interchangeable circulars
    What kind of needles do you like more – wood, plastic or metal? wood generally, metal for lace
    If you had to pick just one to use, which would it be – Animal fibers or Plant fibers? Animal fiber
    Which do you like more – Cats or Dogs? both
    Lunch time – soup, salad or sandwich? sandwich

  2. Jessica / December 27, 2020

    I have to quibble with the advice to always handwash where possible. You should instead follow the care instructions on the yarn label, and machine wash and dry if necessary, especially for sock yarn. I just finished a pair of vanilla (toe-up!) socks in Static and they were a bit too big until put I them in the washer and dryer on delicate/low heat. Now they fit perfectly, because superwash wool needs that gentle agitation and heat to spring back into shape.

  3. Anita Stein / December 15, 2020

    I bought some 40 inch size 1 circular needles, and when I went to use them the needle was broken in half, can I get it replaced. They are still in the package, and never opened.

    • Heather Mann / December 16, 2020

      Hi Anita! Call Customer Service at 1-800-574-1323 and they’ll make it right. They’re there Monday-Friday from 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM PST.