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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Knit-Along Part One

How's it going out there, peeps?  Are you having fun on the Relevé socks?  I admit, when I first saw the socks, I thought 'oh boy, this is going to be so hard and I'm going to fail just trying to knit after the cuff ribbing is over.'  I've never knit anything other than straight vanilla socks.  I have been known to get Jiggy Wit It and do 1x1 ribbing all the way down the sock.  Just once, though, with size 1 needles, and I'm never doing it again!  So when I saw cables and lace, I thought I was toast, and I have been so very pleasantly surprised.  This pattern is a delight to knit. 

The Shibui sock yarn I am using, aptly named "wasabi" is also a delight to knit.  I'm having quite a lot of fun here, folks.  After years of only knitting one kind of socks one way, this is a breath of fresh air.  The color and pattern (and this gorgeous weather) are making me feel like spring is right around the corner. 

Wasabi.  Wasssaaaaaabi. 

Here is one helpful tip I'm going to throw out there (just in case you didn't know this...or maybe you do something different, or better, who knows?).  When casting on for a sock, you almost can't cast on too loosely, however, it's lousy when you cast on too tightly.  Lousy like a tight rubber band around your calf, am I right?  Not that did that...before.  What can a knitter do to combat this serious issue?  One tool I use is to cast on holding two double-pointed needles together, like so:

This insures that the stitches are nice and loose for the top of my sock, but not so loose that it will fall down my leg when I wear them.  Once I've cast on enough stitches, I remove the extra needle and reposition the stitches around three DPNs (some people like to use four, I just use three so I can pretend I have a "spare" DPN if and when I lose one). 

 I just want to say, to any people out there who are skittish about using DPNs, please don't freak out.  Seriously.  It may look like knitting trigonometry to you, and it did look like that to me before I tried it, but really this is super old school knitting.  This is what was used before circular needles were invented.  You may have more needles, and they may have two pointy ends rather than one, but you only use TWO at a time, not all of them at a time.  Just like regular knitting.  It's in the wording, I think.  You hear "double pointed needles" and think it sounds much harder than it is.  I felt the same way.  In fact, I was so worried about the concept of intarsia...because it sounds like a communicable disease (!), that when I finally sat down with Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book and a blanket I was working on, I was stunned at how easy it actually was.  It's all in how you perceive it....let go of your fear, young Skywalker, and you too can use the force....

In the meantime, here I am, cruising to the heel. 

And I tried to stretch it out over my hand to fully show off its gorgeousness:

What colors are you using?  What yarns?  Heck, what are you knitting on right now? 

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