Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

25 January 2006

Mistakes are More Instructive than None

So far, I've made two mistakes knitting my "Two at Once" socks.

The first was not really a knitting mistake: I didn't divide my yarn into two balls. Usually I knit socks from both ends of a skein, inside and outside, so my socks meet in the middle. But since I had both ends involved in the knitting and both ends returning to the ball, when I found that the yarn was overtwisting as I knitted, there was no way to let that twist spin out. Either I would have had to spin the knitting two opposite ways at one time, pinching it off in the middle, or the ball.

I don't know how a dyed-in-the-wool knitter would deal with this, but I used my weaving equipment. I hung the knitting from the top peg of my warping mill, and wound off both ends of the ball onto the warping mill until I reached the middle. Then I cut the yarn in the middle, and wound one end on my woolwinder, and the other end onto my 4-foot aluminum level. (It was long, straight, lightweight and handy!) Last I wound the yarn off the level into a ball with the yarn winder.

The second mistake was the one you would expect: I crossed the two layers of knitting. Even worse, I didn't cross just one stitch. I somehow switched balls entirely, so I was knitting the inner sock with the outer yarn, and the outer with the inner. I switched them at a needle junction, so I didn't notice my error until I had done a whole round, which is a whole round on both socks. Boo hoo! This would have been much harder to do if I was knitting striped socks like Elaine.

If I had crossed one stitch, my fix would have been simple. You can let that stitch go and work the slack from the extra into the surrounding knitting. I would rather not do that, but it can be done.

But since my yarns were actually crossed, I had to "frog". Rip it, rip it. Which is actually less scary than you would think. First, I prepared myself with two free knitting needles. Then, I pulled out one needle, and frogged the top sock, rrrrrrrrip! I picked those stitches up on one free needle, and then frogged the bottom sock. Rrrrrip! again. And picked up those stitches on the other free needle. Now I had the top sock stitches on the front needle, and the bottom sock stitches on the back needle. I picked them up alternately, "front needle, back needle," onto their original needle. Then I repeated this process until I got back to my error, and put the yarns back in their correct positions. And then I went to bed!

I think I am going to mark the balls somehow, maybe by running two colors of yarn through the middles of the balls!

Double-knitting Yahoo group

This morning our school started after a two-hour delay, so I didn't get enough knitting done yet for a new picture.

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Blogger knittinannie said...

I'm glad to read about the "glitches"..It makes me aware of things to look for..looking forward to knitting with you

3:05 PM  
Blogger Alwen said...

I believe in posting the good and the bad, if not always the ugly! In knitting, mistakes are just lessons. They teach me something. And if they don't, THAT should teach me something!

9:03 PM  

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