Monday, April 09, 2007

Stop It or You'll Go Blind

Well, I just could not leave that yarn alone. Lord knows I tried. After yesterday's post, I really did stop... for a while. Then I improvised a reverse swifter by placing one diningroom chair upside down on another...

...and I unwound the lesser of the two balls until there was a half hank. Deciding we both needed a break, I left it to hang, fully intending to leave it be for about 24 hours.

But I could not help myself. I just had to try my hand (or thumb) at creating a center-pull ball. I felt like little Jack Horner with a Christmas plum on my thumb...

... but the technique really did work.

At Women's Weekend, the one lone non-knitter helped the rest of us by yarn wrangling, and during her indoctrination, the mentoring knitter admonished her not to wind the yarn too tight. This tidbit was news to me, so with this yarn I made sure to keep things loosey goosey, and now I have a nice squishy ball.

So far, in my sock-knitting education, I'm discovering that there is no definitive right way to knit a pair of socks. For example, the pattern for the Magic Stripes socks called for size 3 needles, but I had to drop a size to obtain gauge. The Ann Norling sock pattern also called for size 3 needles for fingerling weight yarn, but without even mentioning gauge, the basic sock class instructor instructed us to change that to size 2. My next pair of socks is coming from Sensational Knitted Socks, the author of which recommends a size 1 or 0 for fingerling, to obtain a gauge of 8-1/2 to 10 stitches per inch. Today I dutifully cast on with size 1 needles and knitted a swatch. And I obtained 10 stitches per inch, thank God. These middle aged eyes could barely see the stitches to count them, so there was no way I was going to drop a size. I did drop a few stitches, though, and my "rescue" crochet hook (size 00) looked like a log next to those stitches. If I am going to continue with socks, maybe I should invest in a size 0000 hook.

And so we begin....

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