Hey there! Welcome to trickswithsticks, a great place for beginning and intermediate knitters

Look at what we did!

Got an FO (Finished Object) to share? Send us your FO's picture and We'll post it here.


our pattern library

trickswithsticks logo


intransitive verb: | ˈtiŋk

To unknit a few stitches, one stitch at a time.


intransitive verb: | ˈfrȯgiŋ, ˈfrägiŋ

To unknit a lot of stitches, as in "rippit, rippit".

hap shawl

noun: | ˈhap shawl. (Scotland)

to cover, wrap or keep warm – was a traditional shawl of everyday wear for Shetland women. In its more common form a garter square was knit first and stitches were picked up to knit an old-shale lace border around, using different colours of wool to create interest.

woman wearing old shale tee

old shale tee pattern

The old shale tee pattern is now available for download. It’s a pattern designed to introduce lace knitting to beginning knitters looking for a new challenge. And it’s beautiful to boot! old shale – feather and fan You might look at the pattern in the old shale tee and think it’s feather and fan. There is a difference. If you are from Scotland you know that old shale is the easy pattern shown here, involving ...
lace knitting with yarn spool

lace knitting tips and tricks

Lace knitting is not my natural place to be. Give me stocking stitch any day: mindless miles and miles of it while watching TV. It’s nice stuff but it doesn’t earn you chops as a knitter. There is nothing quite so satisfactory as completing a beautiful lace project: a shawl for you or a cherished new baby, a smaller cowl or scarf, a lacy summer sweater. No doubt lace knitting is a wonderful place to ...
old shale hap shawl

old shale stitch

Old Shale is a great way to introduce yourself to lace knitting. It’s a simple four row repeat with a single pattern row. It’s easy to memorize and the result is spectacular. Old Shale is a common stitch used in the Shetland Islands for knitting a border on a hap shawl. The borders sometimes use multiple colours which emphasize the waves in the knitting. The stitch pattern in words (for knitting flat): Row 1: Knit ...
hero in a gansey

ganseys – of the channel island kind

ganseys? My mother and I are both knitters. For us the bug bit early and deep. We have gone to knitting camp together. We share techniques and ideas. Every phone call includes something about knitting. We even knit at the same tension. I recall one day getting a call about ganseys. You see, my brother, Rob, had gone to England to pursue a PhD in Engineering. He would write back with requests. “Mom, please send ...
assortment of mittens

easy two needle mitten pattern available

Okay, I admit it: as I child I always lost my mittens. I think it was even written into my Grade 2 report card: “good student, but why does she always lose her mittens?” So my mother had to knit a LOT of mittens quickly. She thinks my easy two needle mitten pattern would have been the perfect solution for dealing with me. easy two needle mitten pattern – no right or left hand These ...