Sunday, August 20, 2006

It's Not Quite Like Riding a Bicycle

Remember the cursed socks? Well, I finished their replacements tonight. I used Lane Cervinia Forever Jacquard, in a blue, gray, black, and white colorway. I like it a lot more than most self-patterning sock yarns because the colors change more quickly, especially the short bits where the colors are supposed to mimic alternating stitches. Plus, it's slightly cheaper.

I immediately started on a pair of socks for Boo that I'd been dying to get started. I bought a skein of Schaeffer's Anne in a bright pink, red, orange, and purple colorway, just the thing for the discerning toddler. When I say "immediately," of course, what I mean is "immediately after winding 560 yards of fine sock yarn into a ball by hand." (The alcohol had nothing to do with the fact that it took me something like two hours to accomplish this.)

Because the Anne is a bit thinner than the sock yarns I'd been using, I had to go down from the 0's I'd used for Al's socks to a some 00000's. This isn't really a problem, except that the only 00000's I have are two sets of steel double-pointed needles. Again, not a problem, because I've knitted fifty billion pairs of mittens and hat tops on double-points, no big deal. And, yay, I have two sets, so I can still work on both socks at once, which is my preferred method.

Well, okay. So it's been probably six or seven years since I've actually used double-pointed needles, not since I learned about the technique of knitting on two circulars and let out a whoop of joy at the thought of never laddering again. It didn't take me long to invest in a duplicate set of circulars, and I've never looked back. I still carry my double-points around because they're very useful for picking up and fixing, but I haven't actually knitted in the round with them for some time.

So far, I've knitted one (1) round. It didn't take long for it all to come back to me, the needles sticking every which way and flopping around, the winding the yarn around the wrong needles, the dropping the emptied needle under the desk five times. Plus, these are, in case I haven't mentioned, very thin needles. Very thin, 7" long needles, which is an inch longer than the ones I'd normally use, on a project that's 2" shorter around than the average adult sock, which means that there's a lot more extra pointy bits waving around than I'm used to.

Still, one round down, and while it's not quite the whizzing along I can manage on two circulars, the enjoyment of working with double-pointed needles is still there. Plus, I don't have to worry about whipping my needle around and smacking a cat in the face like I do when I change from one circular to the other. There's always a bright side, after all.


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