Thursday, February 16, 2006

Up to my armpits.

Well, not MY armpits. THE armpits. I am attempting to knit my child a sweater. She picked the colour (reminds me of those light purple jelly-beans they sell around easter). Even though I swatched for gauge, this thing is going to be big. Not overly big I don't think, but big enough to wear over other shirts and for a few years to come. Which I guess is a good thing, since making it may just kill me. The "body" is done up to the armpits. Now I am working on the first sleeve using DPN's. What is it with DPN's? I can't get them at Zeller's. Walmart didn't have any. Michael's had TWO sizes to choose from, neither of which were what I needed. I am improvising, but it bothers me that I have to. I've already bought the wrong needles twice (circulars that I did not like and had to return for another brand that aren't ROUGH LIKE SAND PAPER, and straights called for on the OUTSIDE of the ball band pattern when the inside specifies those darned DPN's). It seems that no two knitting projects take the same size of ANYTHING. I have a complete set of crochet hooks. Two in fact, one set in metal and one in bamboo. Easy peasy to buy and find just about anywhere. But knitting needles? Sheesh! Minimum five bucks a pair, and nobody carries ALL sizes. Just a few groupings here and there. Oh, and did I mention - NOBODY CARRIES THE DPNS I NEED?!?!. Ahem. I have been looking at those needle sets, but I noticed that they don't have metric (which many patterns I have access to call for) and don't convert in any way to double pointed, which is my main problem right now. So for now I am too cheap to take the plunge since it won't actually solve my dilemna. It's funny, I am just learning how to knit, I've always crocheted. But there was a pattern I just could not resist so I decided to re-teach myself how to do it (my grandmother tried in vain years ago). It was legwarmers, of all things, for my niece who skates. Crochet does not stretch or drape the same as knitting, and you can get a denser fabric from single knit than single crochet just because of how the stitches lie. Straight knit, with ribbing at the top and bottom but I really wanted to make them. I tried first using Home Spun, but unless you have a death wish I have realized NOT to use Home spun for anything (knit or crochet) - it is devilishly and deceptively hard to work with. Hard to see the stitches, and it sort of bunches up as you go along like a fat caterpillar, you need to constantly smooth the working yard with your hand to keep going. I was told that if I worked in the opposite direction this would not happen, as it has a "nap". When something comes as a center pull skein, I assume it was wound in the correct direction. I do not have a ball winder (I can't even get the correct size DPN's, where in heck's half acre am I gonna get a BALL WINDER?). No way am I re-winding an entire skein of that hellish stuff to use it. What I was trying to get at though, is this knitting stuff is addictive. Even when it causes bad language, sore elbows, and fits of appoplexia when the item is way too large (even when you did a gauge swatch). Even though I don't look graceful and relaxed while I do it. You know how some people look so relaxed, their nimble fingers fly across the needles, inches and inches of knit appear like magic. I look more like a person having a seizure while wrestling yarn out of a skein, with a hunched back and pained expression. Those knit rounds are dragged out kicking and screaming ;). Here it is, a pile of candy coloured yarn in all it's glory. Take my word for it, this will be a sweater: There are two errors. One is a small hole where I did a join in the round, the other is a spot where I think I slipped the stitch rather than knit it. I will fix them both after, using the same yarn and duplicate stitch. I found them too late - no way am I ripping back 10 inches of knitting in the round to fix it! Now I check each row as I finish it. Live and learn, right?


Wanda said...

Ohmygosh - I LOVE your knitting! Knitting is SO much cooler than crochet...which is what I can do. I love the smoothness of the sweater.

Your daughter's striped socks from a few days ago have been haunting me. I have become obsessed with striped socks! I even joined a yahoo group who's whole focus is crocheting socks. Can you believe how specialized?! I am sad my striped socks will not be knit, but crocheted, but that is just the way it is. Gee, I even looked on eBay and etsy and no one sells hand knit socks! Well, I am off to Walmart in hopes that they have baby yarn in some decent non-pastel colors for stripes.

Love your blog!

OklaMoni said...

Dances, you can use either metric or imperial. They are "almost" the same size. I have a knitting gauge. They can sometimes be found at Hobby Lobby, or even at Walmart.

I have so many sets of knitting needles, you would think I would NEVER need to buy any more. But... then a friend of mine turned me towards addi turbo knitting needles. I LOVE those. Got several sizes of them now. :)

I also own boye, and bernat, diana, and inox knitting needles.

If you like smooth needles, see if you can get the addi turbos in Canada.


PS, the really neat yarn for knitting in stripes are on my wishlist for the next person coming from Germany. :)

OklaMoni said...

Dances, cast on one more stitch than the pattern calls for, and then when joining, knit the first and the last stitch together. Makes a pretty round. :)