04 October 2006

Grumperina's Meme

Grumperina made this one up.

10 knitterly things you (maybe) didn't know about me

1. I rest the outer edges of my hands on the needles while I knit, so that they almost always end up putting excessive wear on the joins. The joins of my needles are all bent, and many have been ruined. Instead of learning to hold the needles differently, I'm constantly looking for longer needle tips on circs. I can't knit at all with the kind of short circs they make for sleeves that have very short tips - there's nowhere to rest my hand, and they cramp up.

2. But I hate straights (holding up the weight of all that knitting, always losing one, their habit of sticking out at your sides and getting in the way).

3. That trick of running your circ cords under hot water to straighten them out has NEVER worked for me. I've tried hot tap water, I've tried boiling water, I've tried soaking them and pulling on them. I believe it's all a lie. Must Get KnitPicks Circs Soon - clearly!

4. When I've been knitting a lot and then suddenly go for several hours without being able to knit, my fingers twitch involuntarily.

5. I dream about knitting, and yarn. Frequently.

6. My one-by-one ribbing always looks like crap. I've tried Combined Knitting and various other tricks, and while they have improved the look of my 2x2 rib and reverse stockinette, the 1x1 rib is still crapola. The only solution is lots of wear, washing, and blocking.

7. I want to be able to spin really really bad. I bought a learn-to-spin kit and I read my idol Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' spindling book cover to cover. I spent a few evenings trying, and following the instructions. I know everybody's first efforts at spinning look like crap, but I got the same feeling I get when I try crochet - which I've done a number of times over the years - it's just awkward for me. Of all the many crafts I've tried, I can do most of them in a respectable way that could clearly get better if I had more patience. And I took to knitting like a duck to water from moment one. But crochet and, it seems, spindling feels like an alien act to my fingers. They just can't get the hang of it, any more than they ever got the hang of two-handed piano playing (though I can type like a fiend - it's doing a different thing with each hand that really throws me for a loop. So to speak.) I really really hope it's all in my imagination and it won't be true, and I promise I'll try again when some time has passed and my courage has built up again. But I'm also thinking that, someday, I'm just going to have to make Hubbster learn to spin. It may be the only way to keep me supplied in handspun.

8. I don't like the look of entrelac or domino knitting, and probably won't ever try it. It's just not my style, though I like the look on other people who carry it off well, and can see that the process might be fun (except for weaving in ends). I generally don't like heavily geometric patterns. I like basic geometric shapes at least as compared to fussy, bows-and-sequins-and-puffy-parts designs, but not multiple geometric shapes put together, if you know what I mean. I like classical, old-fashioned, or vintage shapes, designs, patterns. As long as we don't get too Victorian, that is. I'd dress like Eunny in a second if I could only knit that well and that fast (but with more reds, of course). And if I could get away with dressing like a character from a Jane Austen novel, I'd be in seventh heaven.

9. I've never managed to eliminate the laddering effect when knitting with DPNs, and I've tried all the recommended tricks. What works for me is knitting on a magic loop or two circs with needles that have a thinner cord than the needle width. I pull the yarn tight at the changeover, around the cord on the previous stitch instead of the needle, and that seems to compensate perfectly for the looseness that creeps in at the change. It shouldn't work, but it does.

10. I've spent a whole lifetime so far hating orange. And Brown. And above all, orange and brown together. My husband….loves orange. The only other "colors" he acknowledges are neutrals. Dark blue and burgundy are okay, but he really prefers earth tones. Or, in my vocabulary, he prefers anything that looks like poop or barf. Okay, the only shade of orange he actually likes is what he calls "monk orange," and I admit that I'm learning to like it quite a bit. I live in an apartment containing two orange wool rugs and an orange leather chair (dating from the days when Hubbster was still an employed lawyer, of course). I'm even plotting a sweater that copies the motif of one of the orange rugs -- really. But the rest bores me to tears. Yet…I find myself frequently knitting in all of these "colors." The things a girl will do for love!


Tarilyn said...

I loved your answers! Especially the one about the so-called "hot water" trick!! It's never worked for me either I also have the same trouble with 1x1 rib, (I have to admit, though, that I love orange and brown, especially together)

Susan said...

Don't give up on spinning. I still have to struggle with the drop spindle but I took to the wheel almost effortlessly. I think that it's because I have two hands free to draft and feed the roving without having to contend with gravity.

I also hold my needles funny and can't use short circs or my hands hurt. I hold the right needle like a pencil which is good for alternating between knit and purl stitches but the join of the cable and the needle sometimes rubs my hand uncomfortably. Wearing a stitcher's glove helps.

Kate A. said...

That's a really good point about wheel-spinning allowing you to use both hands to draft. That might really work for me! My problem with the spindle is just as you describe - I just can get each hand to do what it's supposed to, end up with both doing the wrong thing, and before I know it, the spindle is on the floor, the roving has snapped, the two inches of twisted yarn is both over-twisted and undertwisted at the same time, and I find myself wanting to cry. Or cut off both hands. Or something. I'm very encouraged by your comment, though...now I must find a way to try out a wheel one of these days!

katey said...


To straighten out a circular needle, try using a hair dryer to heat the cord (a little) and then pull it straight.

That hot water thing doesn't work for me either. But I can get the hairdryer to work!