Thursday, December 31, 2009

Knitting for My Sister

Every time I want to knit something for my sister, the knitting goddess pretty much wets herself laughing. Last year it was the gorgeous Druid Mittens from Brooklyn Tweed. Started them four or five times. The first time was on double points (don't ask me what size) that gave me waaaaaay to loose a fabric. So I went down a size. Fabric was fine but once I got past the wrist disaster set in. Just couldn't keep all those details managed on the dps. Ripped 'em out again and onto two circs. Just fine. But now the gauge was wrong (again). Ripped 'em out again and started over. Made a big fat mistake. Now they sit in the knitting basket waiting to be started over yet again.

Which I swear I will do because they are so gorgeous. They just needed a time out.

Then there's her Hey Teach sweater. It's a damn good thing I really like knitting this because I've knit it about six times already. Sissy is quite tall so the whole thing had to be lengthened and tried on over and over again. Then I had to do math to make the sleeves work. And I actually like math but this was just a pain. It'll be done soon at which point she'll probably hate it.

So this year I decided to go with something simple. She drives back and forth to Vermont a lot so I though an elegant pair of fingerless gloves would be perfect for the car. I have a very pretty pattern from Snowshoe Farm and there was some gorgeous pink wool in my stash so off I went.

This time I think the knitting goddess not only laughed at me but I'm sure she was pointing and laughing. I mean really--this was a pretty simple pattern. Two by two rib, stocking stich--nothing crazy. I've done much more complicated stuff.

But oh the ladders.

So I ripped them out and was just about ready to go spend a boat load of money on four new circular needles (because of course, I have every size but the ones I needed).

And then the knitting goddess smiled and sent me Margaret who taught me a trick to stop them. Now I've tried every trick--pull the stitch really tight, pull the next stitch really tight, twist the stitch then untwist it--but none of them worked. And oddly, I don't get ladders every time I knit on double points. I usually do just fine.

Well over a lovely glass of Chardonnay, Margaret said, just mark the beginning of your round and knit a few extra stitches onto each needle. So if each needle has, say, 11 stitches work those 11, put the free needle down and knit two more onto the needle you were using. Then pick up the free needle and do the same thing on each needle.

GENIUS! It worked like a charm.

Little did I know, the knitting goddess was smiling because she was taking a very short breather from laughing again. I cast on, the wrists were gorgeous and then I forgot to change to the larger needles. Got past the thumb gusset before I realized. So I ripped them out and started again. This time noticed that the gauge was totally wrong (swatches--like some men--lie). Ripped out again, new needles, got gauge and finally ended up with these. I promise they look better on the hands than off.

I love them and I think Sissy does too.

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