You’ve probably realised by now that I am not a very talented knitter. Crocheting is my thing, it just seems so much easier! To be honest, I am not a particularly talented crocheter either, but I can follow a pattern……to a certain extent.
I had successfully crocheted a pair of socks, and I was pretty chuffed. Actually, I was chuffed with one –the other one was looser that the first, and I ended up wearing them as house slippers, until Mr Platypus got sick of hearing me walk up the hall – step, scherlump, step, scherlump, step, scherlump, while I tried to make sure the loose sock didn’t fall off.
“Ah” I thought “Socks are your thing!”
In my mind, I pictured a family Christmas, with me presenting hand dyed, hand-knitted socks to all my siblings. “Just a little something”, I’d say, as nonchalantly as I could.
In that imaginary family scenario, I conveniently forgot the bit about me not being a very good knitter, and I decided I was going to try knitting a pair of socks, in the round, with double pointed needles.
Someone should have held a danger sign up at this point., but no-one did, so…………
5 needles, 1 ball of sock yarn, a ‘beginner/intermediate’ pattern, and a coffee, and I was set to start.
“Cast on 16 stitches and transfer evenly to 4 needles” read the pattern.
I cast on my stitches and began the task of transferring.
I realised then, that this was no picnic. I don’t know about you, but I only have 2 hands, and I really struggled with this step. Mathematically, 2 hands do not equal 1 ball of yarn and 5 needles, definitely no space for coffee. By the time I had transferred the yarn evenly to 4 needles, I was using my stomach, my inner elbow, and I think at one point, my teeth, to keep everything in order. But, you know- the family Christmas, the “oh it was nothing really”, the chance to share my yarn dyeing in a way my family would finally appreciate…………..
After I’d got them onto 4 needles, I was pretty excited. The stitches were, finally, sitting beautifully in a square. According to the video I had googled, this square would become round as I progressed, and perfection would ensue. A mouthful of (now cold) coffee, and I was ready to continue.
I picked up the fifth needle, and knitted the 4 stitches off the first needle, and then, still using my belly and my inner elbow to hold everything in place, I moved onto the second needle.
You may already know this, but I’ve got a big secret to tell you.
DO NOT TWIST THE NEEDLES WITH THE YARN ON THEM!!
Don’t. Don’t twist the needle, don’t twist the yarn, don’t start on the wrong needle, and don’t start from the wrong END of the needle.
Actually, I happen to think that it’s best if you don’t even breathe while you are using double pointed needles. This is the safest option.
The more I knitted, the tighter and tighter my work got, until eventually, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t get the yarn off the needle to start again because it was so tight. I couldn’t pull my work out, I could only just get one of the needles out of my bent elbow. I cut my yarn off, and threw the whole mess into the bin.
And I have not been tempted to try again.
As for the family Christmas, I figure I’ll just give gift cards.
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