Saturday, June 09, 2007

Knit Hard Or Die Young

You know, I’ve always considered myself to be a reasonably intelligent person. Granted, I could not pick heads or tails out of DH’s Masters of Electrical Engineering thesis when, as a matter of heart, I sat down to read it. However, apart from advanced engineering and math, I usually catch onto things pretty quickly. I get (most) jokes, know a reasonable list of big words (and love learning more!), and wrote a Masters thesis once. Therefore, I don’t feel I’m too stunned (Newfoundland word for ‘stupid or dense’). However, yesterday morning, four pointy sticks and some string darn near did my head in.

I’ve mentioned before that I want to learn to knit socks in 2007. I have a few gorgeous sock yarns to choose from my in stash (some people would laugh at what little sock yarn it takes for me to call it a ‘stash’ but, I digress) and have found several patterns that I’d love to wear. I have also had enough success with DPNs over the past two weeks to encourage me to attempt to cast on the first of a pair of socks.

That’s when things started to go horribly wrong. See Exhibit A (I’ve re-knit my knitting problem on larger needles in an attempt for you to see it clearly. My camera does not seem to like close up pictures so two of these are fuzzy. Sorry about that.):

That’s one REALLY wide gap.

Exhibit B– Row Two gap:

Exhibit C – Row Three gap:

Understand my frustration? At the risk of breaking yarn, I am tugging really tightly on the yarn when I get to the beginning of the round but, for some reason, this gap is the largest. I have ladders between the other needles too but they aren’t as bad and they don’t worry me as much.

Is a gap this large normal?

Once the tears (I cry when I’m very, very frustrated) dried up and the swearing died down, I did get something done after five – yes that’s FIVE – cast on and joining attempts. Those five attempts included two attempts at knitting up three rows in the round, seeing the gap you see in Exhibit C not disappearing and ripping my progress off the needles a couple of times. However, by hook or by crook I did manage to get this far on my socks.

I won’t tell you how I got the beginning of the row yarn gap to go away. It involves bad knitterly things and I don’t think I’ll ever show my first sock and its cast on edge to any expert knitters.

Unfortunately, I’m now terrified to cast on the second sock (notice she isn’t in the least bit intimidated by turning a heel? Ignorance is bliss! I KNOW I have a problem with joining on DPNs so I’m more worried about that at the moment).

Thank you for allowing me to vent. Stay tuned, knit hard.

PS Great guesses on the sewing project. They are baby bottom change pads awaiting binding. Current status? Still awaiting binding…


Mrs. H said...

That gap has been around for thousands of years, tormenting knitters all over the world. Can you tell I've met it, too? When I first started knitting socks. I've heard that knitting through the back of the stitch when moving to the next needle helps, but I never did get it to work for me. You could also try knitting on 2 circulars. I don't know about other knitters, but I get less laddering that way and no gap.

Kristin said...

I, too, am familiar with that gap. My advice is to just keep knitting and sew it up with some spare yarn when you are finished. (Is that bad?) At some point it will go away, I don't remember how though.
And I don't think you are stunned, almost all of your resources are going to grow a person!!!

Kristin said...

I'm so glad that you are keen! You're tagged.

Renee said...

I remember the gap too. With practice it will go away. In the meantime, try putting a marker where your round begins and then knit one stitch more per needle (am I making sense) and the gap will rotate around a bit and won't be as bad.

Can I give you the best baby changing advice I ever received? When Claire was in the NICU they taught me to unfold and put the clean diaper under the baby before undoing the dirty one. Open the icky one, clean off baby, lift baby slightly, yank icky diaper out....clean one ready to go. It saved my life (and carpet, and outfits) many times.

I'll shut up now.

Alisha said...

I have had the gap before. On some socks no and others yes. Frustrating!!