Category Archives: friends
In the computer world, the term “thrashing” is used when a computer is swapping information in and out of memory so much that it can’t make progress on the task at hand. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of knitting on a lot of projects but not finishing anything, so it feels like all I’ve been doing is thrashing.
I’m making progress on the Pinkerton Shawl. It’s a good tv-watching knit. (My husband and I finally got around to checking out the PBS series “Sherlock,” and we’re totally hooked. Gotta track down season 1 on DVD now.) Each row is shorter than the last, so (in theory at least, even though it doesn’t feel that way!) the pace is picking up.
I added the other side of the buttonband to the Scalloped Lace Toddler Sweater… and it was too long. I picked up exactly the same number of stitches as I did on the buttonhole side, but it looks longer. Pondering whether I need to frog it and pick up fewer stitches (and if so, should I redo the buttonhole side, which seems fine?), or do I try to block it out? Nothing is ever easy, especially where my knitting is concerned…
I even pulled out my Linen Stitch scarf the other day, which I haven’t touched in months. I had a lovely knitting playdate with a friend (our kids played, she and I sat and gabbed and knit; bliss!) last week. She was working on a lovely linen stitch scarf using multiple strands of lace weight cotton yarn. It’s worked lengthwise, and you swap one strand of yarn out at a time, so it slowly transitions from one color to the next. Inspired by her scarf, I pulled out my own linen stitch scarf. I had about 12g of yarn left, and each round uses about 1g of yarn, so I only had about 10 more rounds to go before I could bind off. But man, these rounds are slow. The ball of yarn doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller, and if it wasn’t for my yarn scale slowly counting down the grams, I’d feel like I was stuck in an endless loop, knitting the same row, over and over and over.
I do feel a strange compulsion to finish something (or several somethings!) right now, so I think a case of Finishitis might be in the works. With any luck, I’ll have at lesat one finished object soon!
This weekend is Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (known around here as just “Sheep and Wool!” in exactly the tone of voice that bold italics implies. Who, me, excited? 🙂
My parents in crime from last year, Carla and Hope, will be joining me again, and I think I’m looking forward to the girl time as much as the yarny goodness. Carla’s coming down tonight, and we’ll meet Robin at the fairgrounds bright and early tomorrow morning.
Since I’m already suffering from SABLE (Stash Aquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) or close to it, I don’t really *need* any yarn. Hahahaha. You know that won’t stop me from buying yarn! This year I’m also going to look at spinning fiber and maybe another spindle. I always love to look at buttons; so many neat glass and pottery buttons that you just can’t find at the local sewing store. And I’d like a size 8 circular needle from Signature Needle Arts. (I’d also love some double-points from them in larger sizes, if the budget allows. I only have their DPNs in sock sizes, but I love them. The pointy tips and the not-so-slick body make for a DPN that is easy to use and won’t slip out of your work-in-progress. Perfect for wrestling with a sleeve attached to a top-down sweater!)
Plus, there will be yummy gyros, men in kilts, loads of adorable sheep and alpacas to pet, and lots and lots of fellow knitters. What’s not to love?!
I hope your weekend is full of yarny goodness, too!
A lovely and talented friend of mine gave me this wonderful set of stitch markers the other day:
Aren’t they neat? I know I will enjoy using them. Not only are they attractive, they’re a knitting tool that will make my projects easier. (I can’t imagine tackling a complicated lace project without stitch markers. Ouch!!)
I’ve been thinking a lot about knitting tools lately. My husband loves to say that you need the right tool for the job, and I think this one of those cliches that became a cliche because it’s so frequently true. When you have the wrong tool (or the right tool in poor condition) a simple or enjoyable task can become tedious or frustrating, and the results may not be what you hoped for. If you’re going to chop vegetables, would you prefer to use a dull, rusted knife with a flimsy blade or a well-balanced knife with a good, sharp edge?
Knitting tools are no different. Good tools can make your knitting easier and more enjoyable, and can help you finish your projects faster and obtain the results you want.
So what tools are in your knitting bag? First off, of course, are your knitting needles. I blogged about my new pair of Signature knitting needles the other day. They have very sharp, slick points, so I can execute even tricky stitches like k3tog or p2tog tbl with ease. The cables are very flexible, and they turn freely where they join the needle, so my stitches won’t become tangled or distorted. These needles are expensive, but they make lace knitting easier and more enjoyable for me, so I think they are well worth the price tag. I also have two sets of Signature double-pointed needles that I use for sock knitting.
I also use and enjoy my Knit Picks nickel-plated needles. They are also very slick, so even bulky sweater yarns glide along them with ease. The interchangeable needles make it easy (and afforable) to always have just the right length of cable, and I have found that I can swap between the circular needles and the double-pointed needles as I work from sweater to sleeve without worrying about changes in gauge.
As you can tell, I prefer metal needles. I started out knitting with wood needles, but my stitches were so tight that I felt like I was fighting to move the yarn along the slightly “grippy” surface wood needles provide. But I know other knitters who refuse to use anything but wood needles; they find metal needles too slick or too cold or too inflexible to use comfortably. Still other knitters prefer needles made of plastic, carbon fiber (the same material used to make Stealth Bombers), or even milk!
So I’m curious… what needles do you use? And why?