Sunday, March 2, 2008

Ring Around The Rosie...

I am super excited. Check it out:

That, my friends, is circular knitting by yours truly. That's right, I am breaking away from the rectangle! I am embracing the circle! I am enjoying the circle, even! I'm pretty freaking proud of myself for this. It's just k2 p2 rib so far, but soon it will (hopefully) be this. Yeah, wish me luck on this one, mkay?

This project so far is a learning experience, not just in circular knitting but also in casting on. I usually use a backwards loop cast-on, which I have learned is basically the redheaded stepchild of the cast-on family. The problem with a backwards loop cast-on is that when you start knitting the first row, you end up with a length of yarn between your needles that gets longer with every stitch you knit, until you end the row and it becomes tail yarn. I will attempt to illustrate (if you are a non-knitter, I guarantee you will not give two shits about this and you may as well skip it):

You start with a slip-knot.

Then you wrap the yarn around your thumb and pick up the loop with the needle, so you end up with this:

Tighten, and you have a stitch. Lather, rinse, repeat.

With me so far? Ok, so when you start knitting, this is what happens:

The knitted stitches are on the right, and the unknitted stitches are on the left. That long strand in the middle, on flat knitting, is not a big deal - you knit the first row, and when you're done you just have a longer tail than what you started with. No problem. But with circular knitting... That doesn't work, cause you're knitting a circle and joining the first stitch with the last stitch. So basically, that annoying length of yarn would be there the whole time you were knitting. I thought pulling on it would get rid of it, but it didn't, so I had to rip everything off my circs and try again.

So I went to Knitting Help, and learned the long-tail cast-on (the thumb method, because the regular method just does not work for me. I end up with a bunch of twisty stitches and the working yarn like four stitches behind where I need it to be. Clearly I am doing something wrong, but there's nobody around to correct me, so thumb method it is.) It works like a charm, the join is really nice - I'd heard horror stories of lumpy joins and was worried, but woohoo, mine looks good! - and I am loving not having to turn the work at every end of row. I even McGuyver'd myself a stitch marker out of a paperclip.

So Crystal is here and apparently she will aid in the Great Cleaning of Nemo's Room, and it looks like I ain't getting out of it. Wish me luck.

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