Saturday, June 2, 2007

How fetching!

It takes me a certain amount of time to build up a head of steam in order to be ready to start in on a new project. I bought the Lush wool/angora last Saturday and I mulled over it all week. On Friday I stopped by Let's Knit and bought a 29" size 6 bamboo needle, and before dinner I re-typed the pattern to make it easier for me to follow. I fell asleep thinking about starting Fetching.

This morning I was ready. I got up and wound the first purple skein into a ball, using the back of the chair to hold the skein. Then I cast on. The join for circular items is always tricky, and for the first round or two I can't be quite sure that I did it right. But I got it on the first try. 45 stitches cast on and joined and 4 rows of K4 P1 ribbing.

Then came my very first attempt at cable knitting. I've watched Kristen do it, I've watched Christine teach Nancy how to do it. I saw Nancy's results. I felt ready. And it worked! I tried several different cable needles--a thin J-shaped needle, a slightly less thin one with an indentation in the middle, both in aluminum. I even gave a bit of thought to the needle-less cable technique on the net (but it's hard to pick up stitches several stitches over so I gave up).

After the third cable round I decided that I prefer using an ordinary bamboo dpn. Even without the hook or indentation, the bamboo is "sticky" enough to hold the stitches more securely than the aluminum ones, and it's faster and easier to knit off of it as well. I made the third cable row on row 19 instead of 18 by mistake, but who will ever know? As long as I make the same "mistake" on the other hand, it is just a design choice, not a mistake. The 2-stitch cables are so clever and cute.

So I have 21 rows, a wrist's worth, of knitting done, and it is so soft and charming! I am really looking forward to wearing these silly little fingerless gloves. (Why do they seem to be gloves and not mittens? I guess because the rounded end is the essence of mitten-ness to me, and the presence of 5 fingertips seems to indicate gloves.)

Of course, I should have been grading research papers instead of knitting today. I *did* manage to grade a few. Maybe I'll do a few moe tonight. But my enthusiasm for reading these, after reading the rough drafts just last week, is very low. I have to get them done by Monday afternoon, however--because I have a batch of beginning essays coming on Monday and another batch of advanced essays on Tuesday! Yikes!

Nevertheless I am satisfied with my day's work. A new skill and a new smallish project to make me happy. (The Pine Tree scarf is on hold. I've used up the first two skeins, it's about 48" long, and I can't decide whether to make it longer or stop there. So I just set it aside. Perhaps later I'll make a hat to match and then re-visit the scarf.)

Fetching is calling my name!

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