|Needle, Yarn, and a Creeping Start
||[Apr. 22nd, 2011|09:00 pm]
Today I found the posh (or maybe only one of the posh) yarn shops in Austin, Gauge. As I (and the entire alto section) had totally blown an entrance to one of the pieces we sang during the Good Friday service, I was determined to make something come right...and finding Gauge and buying a circular needle did the trick. I had been looking online at many kinds of needles: bamboo, wood, plastic, metal. I don't have a problem with aluminum needles and I've used wood (very old wooden needles in the family, which I can't now find, just like I can't find my mother's circular needles. But Gauge carried KnitPicks brand of wooden needles, rather garishly colored (think of "pick up sticks" colors) but very smooth...and interchangeable on the ends of their matching cables.
That's what I got--a pair of #7 tips and a 40 inch cable and some little ring-shaped stitch markers. I carefully avoided the yarns. (They have gorgeous yarn. Of course.) Came home and started casting on for my project, 180 stitches. Despite checking again how long a "tail" you're supposed to have for long-tail cast-on, my almost-10 feet of tail was not enough. But lo...I joined it to yarn from another ball, and continued on. (Yes, there's a messy bit. Too bad.) I put stitch markers where I'm going to change the pattern, and went on and knit a row. I like the new needles, but I'm not used to working flat on a cable...something new learned...and I'm not yet used to exactly how much slip/grip the surface is, having been practicing basic stitches on aluminum needles (much more slippery.) Altogether a good side trip on the way home after church. I may knit another row before bed.
180 stitches = 11ft3 ....
As this is not a method I use, I have no idea how accurate this is ... :)
And who cares about the messy bit, you can darn it it afterwards :)
You are brave to start a circular knit with cable, good luck :)
2011-04-23 03:09 pm (UTC)
Re: calculating ...
Ah. The two suggestions I saw were "2 1/2 times the finished width" and "1 foot per 20 stitches." The first gave me 80 inches, or 6 ft 8 inches, and the second gave me 9 feet, to which I added a foot.
I'm bookmarking the URL you sent, as that's just about what I did use.
Today I'll need to unpick several stitches to make up for a mistake made last evening.
The knitpicks Harmony needles (the multicolored wood ones) are my favorite needles to work with in terms of feel in the hand. They are a bit tricky with self-striping sock yarn though, since the visuals of the two are often in conflict.
I've never mastered the long-tail cast on, though.
I found a couple of good videos online and that really helped me. I also found videos that, with different hand positions, totally confused me.
Knitting flat on circulars definitely takes some practice. It felt very strange to me at first, but these days? I love it. The only straight needles I have these days are my DPNs.
Knitting flat on circulars, btw, is supposed to be much kinder to one's wrists/hands. Based on how I knit, I'd say it's because the project tends to stay more or less in the same place relative to my arms: the weight of it never really shifts that much to my left or right hand, compared to how the weight shifts when I'm knitting flat on straights.
Practice is what this is all about...re-learning. The mistake I made last night, after an interruption that took me away from it, was forgetting which needle was which and (in the dimmer light of the room where I had the TV on) starting the wrong direction. Now I have to get those stitches off the left needle, pick up the stitches below, and do the right thing with the correct needle.
Sounds a lot like the mistake I made when I was first knitting James a Doctor Who scarf. I had to rip back practically the whole thing to figure out what was going on.
That scarf itself is kind of an interesting chronicle of my growth as a knitter. It was the first scarf I started, but I worked on other projects in the meantime, so you can take a good look at its length and see which end I started first. I made a lot of progress in those first 9 months or so. One of these years I'm going to make James a better Doctor Who scarf so I don't cringe with embarrassment every time I look at the old one.
How do you define a Dr. Who scarf other than by saying it's narrow and very long and multi-colored? (Just finished row three on this thing. I do kinda wish the cable was "limp" and not springy.)
I prefer circulars as I don't drop the empty needle, or lose it, or...
Like the pair of double-ended 7s that my mother had carefully saved in a group of 4...the two I was using I have, but where are the *other* two? Already missing in action.
We'll see how it goes with the components I bought yesterday. If there is a way to misplace something, I will.
Found other 2 double-ended 7s...in their case...on my desk beside the keyboard, but upside down so it just looked like a plastic "something." Now they're back where they belong, all four. Yeesh.
Long tail was the first caston I ever learned, but I'm a lot more likely to knit on or do that one with the reversed YO-looking-things now.
Circs have totally been my salvation on keeping needles together, whether the work justifies them or not. It's nice to know the Knitpicks set is available locally!
They also carry the KnitPicks acrylic and nickel-plated tips, and the "trial" set of three (one of each type.) I'm considering trying out the acrylic tips just to see if I like them. For variegated yarns whose colors are similar to the Harmony, I think a solid-colored needle would be easier to use, esp. in low-light conditions. (Says the person coping with a mistake from having mistaken where the yarn was in just such a moment.)