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Hurry Up and Wait

My life seems to made up of two types of time these days: The majority of it is super busy times when I am juggling multiple things at once, such as when I am trying to cook dinner and teach both kids different subjects simultaneously. Occasionally, I get a little respite where I get to sit somewhere and wait for one of the kids of finish a lesson or sports game or, as I did today, sit and listen to a whole roomful of kids give presentations. These are the times when an easy portable project is super handy.

Yesterday, I cast on a sock. By the end of the younger son’s soccer game last night, it looked like this.

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No, I didn’t knit that whole sock in the back! That one was finished months ago! The blurry cuff in front of the bag was what I worked on last night.

Now, after about two hours of presentations today, it looks like this.

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That’s about two and half more inches. If it looks different to you, it’s probably because I have switched to using two circular needles instead of 4 double pointed. Over the past year or so, I have been slowly making the switch over to this method because I find it easier on my hands. I still find casting on and ribbings easier with double pointed needles, but once I get into the actual patterns, I find that circulars are not as pokey and leave things a bit more flexible.

Anyway, with more soccer games and an all day swim meet in the near future, this sock should be done in no time.

What do you do when you are waiting?

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Going Around and Around

Last week I talked about how I was avoiding double pointed needles. Well, I still am, even though I had success finishing the husband’s socks, I am still wondering if other methods of knitting small circumferences in the round will be better for my hands and perhaps faster.

On this sweater I am experimenting with super short circular needles for the narrowest parts of the sleeves. This needle is only nine inches long!

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It takes a little getting used to because you can really only hold the needles with your finger tips. I think I am really preferring these for sleeves, though, because there is no danger of getting those unsightly ladders. However, they may not be as fast as dp needles because of the fiddly factor.

On these socks, I am using the two circular needle method. It’s especially good for this pattern because it is divided into a front half and a back half. It’s easier to keep track of which half I am working on with this method and the bonus is that the needle set that is not being used can be pressed into service as a cable needle. No more hunting around for a cable needle!

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I have also tried the magic loop method and that works ok, but it still does not leave an evenly textured fabric. Can you see the uneven spiral of stitches that were left behind on this sweater sleeve from the magic loop method?

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Much of this washes out during the blocking stage, but not all the time. However, I do have one or two sweaters with ladders on the sleeves from dp needles that, despite repeated washings, still persist. I don’t notice them on socks as much or things that are ribbed, but they show up on a plain knitted background quite clearly, I think. This is because it is difficult to get the tension right when switching needles. I try to err on the side of tighter rather than looser, but that is difficult to achieve all the time, especially as your needle sizes get bigger.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still happy to use dpn, just not in all circumstances. I will probably use short circulars on sleeves from now on, and the two circulars might become my new way of knitting socks. We’ll have to see how that goes especially around the heel part. Magic loop will probably not make its appearance again unless I can be convinced otherwise. This is one thing I love about knitting. There is always more than one way to do something!