02 September 2009

magic and denial

Saying that I've gone over to the dark side would be rather inaccurate. It's more like I was lazy. And cheap. I learned to magic loop my knitting. (I guess the dark side would be crochet, but I do plan to learn that eventually and don't really think of it as dark. I just prefer the looking of knitting, mostly. There is that crocheted capelet in Lace Style that I have to make someday. Maybe buying socks at Walmart would be the dark side?)

See, recently, I had a felted teacosy go weird on me (hurray for scrap yarn of undetermined origin that felts at different rates). Then I re-knit that llama hat for my husband. It's all done, except for the lining and earflaps. And this one will fit. I have one sock out of a pair finished. I'm starting the second one today sometime, but I took a break off of it yesterday. Ideally, I'll finish it this weekend so I can wear them next week to the first day of school. Yesterday, after I wove in ends for the llama hat, I cast on for a lace hat made out of handspun. I've gone through all the Blue-Faced Leicester roving I had, washed it, and made it into balls that I can knit from. The hat was a fast knit, but it was on needles that I don't have DPNs for. My sets of needles are limited. I have a circular needle kit that goes from 3.5-10mm (no 7 or 7.5 needles, though, because it's an American kit), and I have DPNs to go with the 3.5, 4, 6, and non-existent 7.5 needles. I was working on 5.5 ones for this hat. I didn't want to go buy more DPNs that evening. I had knitting group, the LYS was closed by that time, and Michael's usually never has the size I want. I settled for looking up a video on Magic Loop, figuring I should learn it anyway. Surprisingly, it works pretty well. And it makes sense. I was confused by it earlier because the only instructions I'd seen were in a book.

Sadly, I got to the decreases on the hat at knitting group, where everyone immediately pointed out that the hat was too big. I was grumpy about this (to my friends, I apologize, you were right, I just hadn't had a great day and having to frog a hat just made me more grumpy, but I shouldn't have been so upset about it). I didn't want to admit I'd messed up. I didn't swatch, because I don't like swatching. I didn't want to frog it and re-knit it, even if it had only been about hour to an hour and a half of knitting. I started the next row, realized that they were right (objectivity is a useful talent), and frogged the poor thing. It was so pretty. I have to take out 3 repeats (at least) to compensate, so it'll be an even faster knit the second time around, and it'll use less yarn.

Since I had half of the pattern with me (the chart for the decreases, but nothing else), and my other option was picking up stitches for the llama hat's lining (important but tedious), I started something new. Mitts. There's enough handspun for the mitts and the hat, and it was a chance to try out Magic Loop. I cast on, did some ribbing, and drew up a quick chart for some simple ribbing with cables. One more repeat and I should be able to make the thumb hole. Magic Looping is pretty easy. I don't know why I was so freaked by it initially. I don't think it'll replace DPNs for me when I knit socks (don't have any circulars that small anyway), but it's going to be useful for hats and mitts. Possibly sweater sleeves as well, when I get to knitting sweaters.

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