Looping the Loop
So this rollercoaster ride that is my knitting learning curve continues.
On Monday feeling that the Dad sock was going well but was an itsy bit tedious and would benefit from a teensy break while I started something else, I tried to get going on the hat for the one-true-beloved.
I had bought the gorgeous silk/lambswool yarn in San Francisco with this in mind, but I knew it was too thick for the pattern I had found. So I read some of my Christmas books for advice and concluded if I got the right size circular needle I could alter the number of stitches required. Needle duly ordered I thought I would make a test version using some yarn closer to that recommended. I knit a swatch and decided it was close enough, especially as right after I smugly swatched thinking I was oh so virtuous I read a big thing about how getting the gauge right on circular needles is much harder....
So then I cast on 72 stitches, thought mmm how pretty and knit the first row..... anyone spot what is coming next? How could I proceed? I had this one row I could knit back and forth but there was no way on earth this beauty was making it round my 80cm circular.
So scratch head - grab Knitting for Dummies (no the irony was not lost on me) - turn to section on circular knitting - read sentence which says circular needle must be the same size or smaller than the circumference of the knitting - think my, how obvious that is - stare at needle in despair - brief moment of hope, but oh, oh yes the new needle on order is also an 80cm. Suddenly that old sock is looking mighty lovely again!
Next day at work I casually mention my knitting 'experience' to my ace knitter colleague, in an aren't I funny kind of way, thinking to myself 'say you did this too, say I'm not a super dunce' she smiles sympathetically, and with perhaps a touch of 'ah you novices' says "you need the magic loop, there are instructions on the web."
What is this? The rollercoaster car is climbing again, we're out of the slough of despondency, there may be an answer to this which doesn't involve chain buying one circular needle after another.
I'd heard of the magic loop, often referred to in a mildly disparaging way in sock related articles, but always just let that one pass on by as one of those terms to try and understand later - there is after all only so much information one small dunce can take in at a time.
So Tuesday night I log on to the web, I read an article on magic looping, my head hurts, then I find this video tutorial and you know what? I think I get it. I cast on a few stitches- try it out - think what an almighty fiddly nonsense this is - but hey it's January and it will save me £2.70 - and I do have all those bamboo dpns on their way from Hong Kong to feed the sock habit so I'm clearly in breach of the legal number of knitting needles you can buy in a month - and this is in the advanced techniques section on knitting help so that makes up for that super dunce moment, doesn't it? - so I made this ten stitch tube - and now I'm looping the loop on the hat!