Nov 14, 2013

It's Mitten Weather!

Well, the temperatures have plummeted here in Alabama. And while it might be colder elsewhere - we take advantage of the low temps to pull out the winter clothes! (It might be in the 70's next week!)

As a knitter, I also take advantage of the cooler weather to pull out some worsted weight wool and begin my Christmas mitten knitting.  And to get you started on my personal addiction, I'm giving away my Just Thumbkin pattern throughout the month of November.  You can find it here. Enjoy!

Sep 10, 2013

Easy Peasy Sleevesy!

While knitting yet another Featherweight Cardigan, I realized that I usually stall when I reach the sleeves.  Shouldn't I love to knit sleeves in the round?  No seaming!  No purling!  

As I started to knit the first sleeve of this latest sweater, it hit me.  I hate pushing the stitches onto the needle while knitting in the round using the magic loop method.

I switched to the magic loop method for sleeves years ago after trying many other methods.  I started out with double point needles - I never had the right size set of needles!  Then I tried small circulars - The length of the needles are so short my hands ache after a few rounds.  Magic loop was the way to go.  I enjoy knitting socks this way and isn't a sleeve just a really long sock cuff?

Yes and no.  When I knit socks, I am usually working with fingering weight yarn and US size 1 (2.25mm) needles.  On these needles the cable and the needle itself are essentially the same diameter.  Sweaters, however, are rarely knit on needles that small.  I normally use a US 5 or 6.  The difference in diameters between the cable and needle is much different - so at the end of every half-round I find myself pushing my stitches up onto the larger needle.

Then it hit me!  Wouldn't it be much easier to slide the stitches onto a US 3 or 4 needle? 

Enter my HiyaHiya interchangeable needles!  With interchangeables it's possible to have two different size needles on the same cable...

Now when I knit a sleeve, I use the proper needle to knit onto (right hand needle) and use a needle one or to sizes smaller to knit off of (left hand needle).  My knitting is still to gauge, but I no longer have to push the stitches up over the join.  

One word of caution!  Remember that the stitches will slip off the end of the needle as easily as they slip over the join!

Anyone in the market for some 9-inch circulars?