7.16.2007

Criss-crossing my life away

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Okay, it’s not that bad, but still. Hours of making the same basket weave stitch row after row with no appreciable change in the size of the unworked ball of yarn make me start feeling like I’ll be working on this scarf forever, not to mention make me begin to question the wisdom of having put off working on it until a mere few months before it needs to be gifted. After almost exclusively knitting the gift scarf for the past few days with a pair of size 10.5 needles, I can’t for the life of me understand why beginning knitters are often handed needles the size of small tree trunks to learn on. I suppose the rationale is that the knitting will grow faster with larger gauge needles but talk about awkwardness in handling the giant sticks! I can’t imagine how someone attempting to master the already slightly complex coordination of motions in making a stitch ever succeeds in doing so while simultaneously trying to balance the large needles (and yet they do somehow since so many knitter started with big needles and thick yarn). Perhaps it’s the way I hold my needles but even after many rows on this scarf, I find myself struggling ever few stitches to keep the needles from a) thwacking me mid-stitch, b) toppling over and falling out of my hand, or c) thwacking me and then falling out of my hand. So instead of flying through the simple stitch pattern, I’m moving along at the poky speed of 3 to 4 minutes per row (it felt so slow that I was compelled to time it), longer if I manage to lose my hold on a needle. Now figuring four rows to an inch and a desired scarf length of at least 80 inches – sigh…

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5 Comments:

Anonymous jessie said...

I have made a LOT of sweaters (Icelandics) on 10.5 needles, but circulars. If the "thwacking" is a problem, it sounds like you are using straights! I tried teaching some 4-h students to knit back and forth on circulars, but that's a concept a lot of people can't get through their heads so we had to switch to straights. I hate straights.

As for size, I can do 10.5 fine, but anything bigger is awkward and makes my hands hurt.

Your annoyances with the needles aren't showing in your fabric. It looks lovely!

3:18 AM  
Blogger hege said...

You say this is a simple stitch pattern? I think that's what looks complicated :) I love the way it looks, though, I think it's so cool. It's coming out perfectly!

7:00 AM  
Anonymous nova said...

Ooh, the stitch detail is so so pretty--switch to 10.5 circulars, it might make the knitting easier.

7:00 PM  
Blogger allisonmariecat said...

Definitely switch to circs. I generally hate big needles, too. Anything over a 7 feels big and awkward to me, but circs help.

Even if the scarf isn't moving, the photo is fantastic.

6:53 AM  
Anonymous le chat qui coud said...

the stich is so beautifull!!!!!!

12:13 PM  

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