Monday, October 24, 2016

Casting on

This morning I went out and within a block my head was stinging with the cold.  That's how I found out it's finally hat weather! and the only handknit hats I can find in my house are the seriously warm January ones that are too much for right now.  So I should definitely finish the hat I started last spring... but in the meantime, I am thrilled to tell you that I finally managed to make myself cake Jan's sock yarn.

I know, this is pathetic, the sort of thing I used to do while eating an apple between spots of weaving and spinning.  It actually took me two days to pull off, as well - one day for the initial skein-to-cake, the other for the single-to-twin cakes.

And I didn't even cast on!  I had to wait another whole weekend for that.

Oddly, I always think of starting a pair of socks as quite time-consuming, because I cast on both and knit the first round and a quarter every time.  It's the only way I know of to set up the needles such that they don't get all twisty or drop their stitches while in the knitting bag.

But in fact, it was much quicker to cast on and knit the start of a sock than to cake the yarn from the skein.

And all of it feels much better now that's it's in front of me rather than over me, looming and generally making me feel inadequate and lazy.  So I should have just gotten this done a while ago.

It's funny to think of your knitting judging you, isn't it?  But mine does, all the time.

It says things like, You're so good at this, and it's so orderly and comfortable, why are you instead slouched in an armchair poring over cabinet hardware you can't decide on or reading news you can't control?

And I don't honestly know what to say.  Wayson's socks also berate me, for working on my own socks instead of his.  Every week I delay finishing them, the greater the likelihood it will be really cold the day I walk over with a parcel of Sock in my pocket to meet him at his favourite cafe.  Though I do remember making a conscious choice to knit my own socks during a stressful bout of TV viewing recently, because I was pretty sure I would mess up the ribbing on those socks while fixating on the screen.

One thing I do know is that after half an hour or so of knitting, my wrists and hands are tired and I have to stop for a while, and that's new to me. Maybe it's exhaustion or a sign I should restrict myeslf to very peaceful programs, or maybe it's the start of arthritis?  I hope not that, because not being able to knit comfortably would be awful.

Especially with two nice new socks all ready to go.

How about you?  Does your knitting ever give you What For?

Edited to add this video for Dee's No Twist Circular Cast On:

... thanks Laurinda for tipping me off about this!


Darlene said...

Hi Mary. Have you ever tried just using three needles? How about using point protectors to keep the stitches from falling off like I do. That's the only thing that works for me.

Mary Keenan said...

Darlene, I've done three needles but I'm so clumsy about not pulling the sock at the bends, I switched to four. I have longer square needles too that I should probably use for the casting-on stage (if I could find them while everything is all topsy turvy here) but what I definitely do have somewhere is point protectors. They work SO well don't they? And those tubes for storing the needles in your bag, with the sock hanging out below - those help, even though they are mainly for keeping the points from poking through. Of course, all of that is packed up somewhere or other. Once you get some length on your knitting you can pull the stitches closer by wrapping a ponytail holder around the work near the needles, which is very handy too - learned that one from Elizabeth Zimmerman!

Laurinda said...

Hi Mary, I'm late again! I just saw this on Ravelry, & I have no idea how I got there, but this looks like it would help you until your sock is long enough to put a hair tie on it. Such great timing. ..

Mary Keenan said...

Thanks so much for the heads-up Laurinda! Such a neat technique - I've added a link to the video at the bottom of the post in case anybody else needs to too :^)