I feel like this post should have background music...something like this (which I found on You tube by searching for "dun dun dun"... I kid you not)
Ok, so this is possibly the geekiest post I have ever written. Yes, even geekier than this one about yarn. Or this one about crochet hooks. Possibly even this one where I wrote about my knitting obesession...
I have come through some dark knitting days. In fact, 2 seperate projects have been thrown across the room in the last 48 hours. I was going to give up in frustration, mumbling about never doing anything other than crochet again.
But then enlightenment arrived through the often disregarded social media. It started with moaning on Twitter about twisted cast ons and having to rip out three 204 stitch rounds. Deb from Not Sheep pointed me in the direction of the TECHknitter blog (an amazing resource for knitters) and after searching for a moment I found the top tip that changed my life forever:
Dip your (cheap) circular knitting needles in boiling water to straighten and de-kink your cables.
My local store only sells the cheap kind and my needles always look like this:
Its not a huge issue, but it does make knitting large circular garments a real PITA, because the cast on edge is ALWAYS twisting around the needles. However, after dunking a couple of pairs into the boiling kettle and a pot I was boiling for pasta for dinner boiling water, I now have this:
Beautiful. Its like knitting serenity and a joy to knit with...
But it gets better.
I am a continental knitter (meaning I knit with the yarn in my left hand). I have LONG been a fan of Norweigan purl, which is great for sections where you have alternating knit and purl stitches. For longer periods of purling though, I hold the yarn in the front and generally bring the yarn down quite sharply with my forefinger. This motion is quite finiky and annoying and my tension on purl rows is pretty uneven.
With the prospect of an entire carigan of twisted stockinette looming, I thought I would make a last-ditch effort to find an alternative. Seraching through Ravelry, I found a link to the Russian purl.
While it does leave twisted stitches, its not really a problem in working stockinette - just knit through the back loop, or if your are working in twisted stockinette, knit through the front as normal.
I feel like a whole new world of knitting has opened up...a new day has dawned and I am 2 hats away from a week of knitting! *skips out the door to this song*