So much to do, only two hands to do it

Last week, I kept running into the same problem, which I could call, “but I need.” I wanted to make a pair of fingerless gloves for me, but I was waiting on yarn. I wanted to cast on a pair of mittens for a commission, a laceweight shawl, and a hat, but I was waiting on needles. Virtually everything I was doing or I wanted to do needed something else. So instead I worked other stuff. I did a pattern repeat and a half on the Argyle State Scarf. I picked up the unfinished blanket I rescued when I bought Bettina and worked out where she had been in the pattern, and discovered that she was an even tighter knitter than I was – to slide the stitches on the (nickel-plated!) needles, I had to coax them across a few at a time, manually. Neither of these are very portable, however, and I really wanted something small that I could carry with me.

I also worked on a scarf for Jack, but when I hit the end of the first ball, I realized I had a problem. He had picked out two different yarns in slightly different colorways, both sliding from light gray into brown. The yarn I was working with, Poems Silk by Wisdom Yarns, ended with a decidedly brown color. The center of the ball of the other yarn, which is Universal Yarn’s Classic Shades in the Storm Clouds colorway, was almost white-gray. The outside end, on the other hand, was brown-gray, and would blend beautifully with the other yarn. What I wanted to do was rewind the ball backwards, which I would need a ball winder to do. I came to this realization on Sunday evening, probably ten minutes after TYF closed.

What I was waiting for to solve all my problems at once was an order from Knit Picks. I had ordered the Try It interchangeable needle kit, which gives you a #6 needle in Harmony wood, a #7 needle in nickel-plate, and a #8 needle in acrylic, with a pair of 24″ cables. I also ordered a set of the 40″ cables, because I like Magic Loop a lot. Also coming in my order was a ball winder, a WPI tool, a bag of knitting needle coils to keep my DPNs together, and a bag of point protectors so I could throw projects in my purse without worrying about dropping stitches off the end. Of course, I also ordered yarn for several projects.

Yesterday, my box arrived, and I spent most of the afternoon and evening using my shiny new ball winder. I now have yarn for two different pairs of fingerless gloves for me, plus a couple of pairs of socks and a hat for Jack. I have an abundance of wonderful things to work on, and the needles to do it with.

However, because I’m a semi-professional, I cast on the Celtic Moonrise mittens first. I had a 16″ #6 needle, so I put the 24″ cable on the #6 Harmony wood needle and worked on it on two circulars for a while, which is a technique I’ve never tried before, but interested me. I just gave up on it and switched out for the 40″ cable, because apparently what I get when I try two circular needles are ladders. Lots of ladders. “Ladders” is the knitter term for a gap between the front and back of a round object, because when you pull it apart, that’s what it looks like. I figured working on two circs would avoid the laddering problem, because you could pull it tight, like you can with DPNs, but apparently not. So, back to magic loop. If I can’t get it to work, I’m just going to break down and buy a set of size 6 DPNs and blame the yarn, which is a bamboo-cotton blend, because my recipient is allergic to animal fiber.

Can I complain about this yarn? It seems to have all of the things I hate about cotton and none of the things I like about bamboo: it’s utterly unforgiving of mistakes, splitty, and slippery, which means I not only need a cable needle, but it tends to fall out if I’m not careful. There’s nothing wrong with using a cable needle in general, but considering the number of cables in this pattern, it’s slow going. I think I’m going to have to break down and buy a different cable needle, maybe a curved one.

I cast on the first of a pair of fingerless gloves for me on DPNs. I’m using Knit Picks Palette in the colorway Garnet Heather, which is a fingering weight wool in a beautiful dark red. The pattern I’m using also has cabling, because I hate myself – er – because I really like the way cables look.  I’m starting to understand the lure of plain vanilla socks, because it might be nice to work on a project that didn’t require staring at a pattern or doing anything complicated.  Can anybody recommend a good plain vanilla sock pattern, just out of curiosity?

I’m still planning on casting on a pair of socks and probably a lace shawl pretty soon, too.  A wealth of projects on the needles, I has it.

What’s everyone else working on?



~ by Amber on March 2, 2011.

One Response to “So much to do, only two hands to do it”

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