I pick designs from this book.
My mother taught me to knit when I was around seven or eight. My grandmother had taught my sister to crochet. My mother could never learn to crochet. I cannot crochet either. I think it's a genetic flaw. When I was around twelve I decided I had it in me to knit my Dad a sweater. Mainly because all of our known relatives were by now draped in scarves I had been crankin' out since learning to knit. My mother took me to the LSY where I picked out a gorgeous shade of forest green, and because I can never do anything simply, I shopped on, finding a shade of medium tan for a snowflake pattern across the top, and down the sleeves, visions of Norway dancing in my head. The sweater turned out great, if you consider one sleeve was about four inches longer than the other... I think I may have been caught up in a particular episode of Ben Casey and forgotten to mark rows, never the less my father, when presented the sweater, rolled up the one mutant sleeve, and wore the thing for the rest of his natural life. Or so it seemed to me. It never wore out so I'm thinkin' now he may have been racing to the closet and yanking it out before my arrival during cold weather visits... I seem to recall my mother teaching this bit of graciousness to my sister and me. It may or may not have emerged from Eleanor Roosevelt's Post-War edition of the BOOK OF COMMON SENSE ETIQUETTE. This of course, was way before the new wave of 'return or re-gifting.'
I began with metal knitting needles back in the day.
When the joints in my fingers became bad in later years I stopped knitting for a long time. Then someone invented bamboo needles which I decided to try, not because they are planet friendly, though they are, but because they give a bit and it didn't cause pain to knit with them. They also have a tendency to warp when held in a death grip.
pay no attention to my kitchen curtain fabric which has yet to be transformed into curtains.
I have been using wooden needles since. Which my great-grandmother would have loved. These came down the family tree from a relative who was a whaling captain on what must have been a particularly boring sail. He carved the needles from rosewood, the tips are carved ivory (No, I don't condone whaling, nor ivory they are simply relics :} ).
One day I was flipping through a knitting magazine searching for inspiration, when I came across an ad for SQUARE knitting needles. Whoa, now that's odd. There would come the time, before Christmas, when I would need to race out to the brand-spanking-new LYS that opened a few miles away. ( http://www.newenglandyarn.com/ ) It's not like I needed anything concrete, I just had to go and have a nice old fashioned look-see. It's a great shop, the woman who owns it even spins some of her own yarn.
Hardcore yarn addict that I am, I had to look at everything, including a yarn that actually includes possum hair. Its from New Zealand, where apparently there is a possum population explosion going on, and some fiber addict figured out possum hair is moisture resistant, so they mix it with wool ( http://murrbrewster.blogspot.com/ take this and run with it!). Well anyway, while perusing the small notions section, I spotted the square needles I had seen advertised.
They they were, all coppery, definitely square, though metal, and calling my name. Well, I couldn't resist and bought a set of DP N's, even if they didn't work out, they are still gorgeous...
In between big stuff, I knit socks to clear my head, it's sort of like an 'eating the melon slice in between courses to clear one's palette' thing I have going, only with knitting. So I thought now would be the time to try out the square needles. Oh, wait for it, here comes my knitting tip.... For Socks...
On top of my 'pattern' as I go along making it up.....
As I cast on, I add needles, so by the time I have the amount of stitches I need, they are already on the needles, and I simply have to knit four stitches from needle # 3, to needle # 1, and I am all set to start whizzing around the sock cuff. It's never a heart-ache being 'careful not to twist' either. And just because some poor soul might have actually searched for knitting tips, and believed this post would be useful... my Knitting Tip for Knitting with DP N's... When traveling from needle to needle, always begin the new needle with a knit stitch, even if you have to
While I was whizzing through the first rows of a roll cuff for slipper socks for my son, I noticed that not only were my fingers not bothered by the metal, but the square needles are easier for my fingers (suffering from occupational traumatic osteoarthritis) to grasp. I might add, the more I keep them moving, the slower it will take my finger joints to weld themselves together due to lack of cartilage. I am afraid of this. I don't think my toes are long enough to hold the needles.
Well these babies are not only a joy to use, they are fast. The first slipper sock is nearly half done in two days, using size 3. Which means they definitely will be done in time for my son to use when he has his surgery on the 15th of this month (by a competent surgeon, phew). This also means using my normal favorite size 0 or 1's, I may be able to complete a few pairs of real socks before Jesus returns.
The news is chock full of roofs collapsing these days, so we see a lot of this...
We woke up to this ... a squall that left two more inches...
And yes, those are cat tracks... When the old gentleman that lived in the strange house across the street passed away, his relatives came, cleared out the house, and shoved the cat outdoors. He/She is mistrustful now of humans so it's taking me a while leaving food out for it, to even get it this close, at night.
So tonight, with the wind doing 50 mph gusts and howling to beat the ban, I sit with the new square needles, whizzing toward toe # 1.