Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Living dangerously

I bought myself some bamboo DPNs the other day and they are just heaven to use. The texture is perfect - neither so slippery that the yarn slides off at any opportunity, nor so sticky that knitting is painful.

The only problem is that I live in terror of accidentally snapping and breaking the delicate needles. Especially the 2mm ones which are almost as fine as toothpicks - albeit very long toothpicks.

I'm using the needles to knit up my first pair of 4-ply socks using the gorgeous Trekking yarn. This yarn has to be seen to be believed. It is actually four strands of finely twisted yarn and each strand gradually changes colour, creating an amazing kaleidoscope effect.

I used 3.75mm needles to cast on 64 stitches (as I have failed to learn any of the fancy techniques for doing a loose cast-on), slipped them onto 2.5mm DPNs, knitted 3cm of k2p2 rib, changed to plain stocking stitch and after the sock was 9cm in length changed to the 2mm DPNs. I was quite surprised by the difference 1/2 millimetre makes.

After my abject failure to calculate gauge last socks I decided to live dangerously and just follow the pattern, only substituting needles one size smaller at each point as I seem to be a slightly loose knitter - especially when the needles are so delicate. The ribbing was driving me nuts so I decided to make these a plainer pair of socks - hopefully this will not prove to be a mistake.

This is definitely a home project - there were a few near misses when I was merely a passenger in the car yesterday. I shudder to think what the private school thugs on the train could do to my needles with one careless shove. I'm not comfortable living that dangerously.


Karen said...

A loose-enough cast-on for the top of most socks is just knit-on, rather than cable cast on. Make slip knot on left needle, knit into it, put stitch on left needle, knit into it, put on left needle, knit into it ..... (sometimes called lace cast on), as distinct from a cable cast on, where you put your needle between the first and second stitch on the left needle to make the next stitch. If that's not loose enough, use one size larger needle as well! How do you usually cast on?? Cable, thumb, longtail?? there are far too many ways to cast on, and you probably only need to know 2 or 3 for general use, and have a good technique book for reference if you should REALLY need any others!

ferg said...

Dont worry about the bamboo. They use it for scaffolding for tower blocks and major engineering projects all over Asia. It should survive some sock knitting.
What fabulous wool, the socks look really wonderful. I'm just going to check out your links to "getting rid of the holes at the ankles". Thanks for that.
What is html anyway?
Cheers Gillian