Process over productivity.... or 'The Start of Knitting Geekery?')

Well, I didn't make it back for another post yesterday. I had a realisation whilst working on the "learn-to-knit-Continental-style" top for Little Miss that resulted in it remaining unfinished. Coming back to knit the second raglan sleeve - it is one-piece top-down - it became evident that my knitting now looks significantly different from those first tentative (Continental) stitches on Christmas Eve
The dotted line represents the top of the final row of "older" knitting
Of course I'm delighted that my knitting using this unfamiliar technique has improved so visibly, but on the downside the sleeve looks a bit odd. I'm yet to decide whether to frog back to the old knitting and finish it using slightly bigger needles, or to just get on with it as it is -  after all, it's just a scruffy looking tunic for a 2 year old made from bargain yarn which is itself very uneven and slubby. The jury is still out.

At Christmas my mother mocked me a little, saying that "in her day" she just used to go to the shop, pick a pattern and wool and then knit it and that was it - no blocking, no blogging, no analysing or updating Ravelry.... The following may well provide her with ammunition to start calling me a Knitting Geek.
I loved knitting the Kindle cover last weekend - Judy's Magic Cast On was so straightforward and making the cover using a circular needle, after several recent DPN projects, was a refreshing change. This got me thinking.... maybe this would be an enjoyable way to make some Hexipuffs. Following the pattern, I usually cast on 20 stitches using a long-tail cast on and then split them over 2 DPNS, knitting them with a third. This works well enough, but the cast on and the first row can be a bit fiddly.

Spot the knitter used to a
 long-tail cast on!
I decided to have a try with a circular needle, but I didn't have any 3.25mm tips for my KnitPros. I must say, I love my Knit Pro Symfonie Interchangeable Set - they were the needles I learned to knit on this time last year - and  it's great having so many combinations of tip sizes and cables available to me, but when I made a trial 'puff on my 3.5mm needles  (I'm knitting them a bit smaller than the pattern as when using darker yarn with white filling, the tighter fabric looks nicer) the stitches were sometimes catching on the joins and the cable wasn't quite as fine or flexible as I would have liked. This seemed a good opportunity to try Addi Lace circulars. Initial impressions are very good - they are fine and light, the tips are very pointy, the cable is more flexible and they glide really nicely on the 4ply/sock yarn. 

Unfortunately the combination of the circular needle and continental knitting has resulted in a very untidy ladder on one side of the 'puff. So now I'm having to work out the most effective way to remedy this - using DPNs and pulling the first few stitches really tight, I don't have any such problem. It's like learning to knit them all over again and I'm behind on my 'one a day' at the moment because I keep frogging them.
Edited: Thanks to Pretty Mades who left a comment (below) which completely solved this problem!!!!
Tomorrow I'll be reviewing my project list for the next 6 months, which will include socks - in my New Year post, I committed to make a pair before the end of February. Some smaller Addis (2.5mm) have arrived along with some gorgeous Regia sock yarn and I can't wait to get started on them... once I have this ladder issue sorted! 

Hope to see you back again tomorrow (there will be less geekery, I promise). 
xxxxxx

14 comments

  1. I love Addi's and Regia. Is this your first pair of socks on circulars? I am a toe up two at a time girl. I had ladders like the side of of your puff on my first pair of socks until my woolly wonder brain friend told me to really "snug up" the first two stitches every time (pull the yarn to tighten the gap) it worked a treat although I knit English style. I have great admiration for you learning continental style.
    xxxx

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  2. Hi lovely, it'll be my first pair of socks EVER! :D xxx

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  3. My first Continental Style garment is in the frog pile! I think for a 2 year old scruffy top you can just let it go, it's not like it will be worn very long. I find it much easier knitting in the round using two circulars. I never have a ladder problem with that technique.

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  4. Good luck with the socks, I knitted my first pair just before and over Christmas but on DPN. They were alot easier than I though they would be, but they were chunky so super quick. I look forward to seeing how the circulars work.
    I find I knit really loosely when knitting continental style. x

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  5. I wouldn't frog your continental style knitting, at least you know you are improving and if you say its for a two year old...then I am sure she wont mind :)

    Circular, DPNs....they all look tough to me :O

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  6. I think if you're comfy w/a particular technique, esp. English style, then just use it. You can try out other techniques like that Judy CO one for little ways to tinker about.

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  7. Are you using the Magic Loop technique? If so the loop you've photographed should be crossed over so it's not pulling the stitches apart, if you can't twist it, then maybe you need a longer cable.

    See here what I mean http://merelyasuggestion.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/magic-loop.jpg.

    This picture shows the positioning well too http://www.knitting-and.com/wiki/images/7/7e/Magic_loop_knitting.jpg

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  8. @Pretty Mades - I love you! That is EXACTLY what has been wrong with it *kiss kiss kiss* Thanks!

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  9. Happy to help :)

    The funny thing is, the first time I ever tried magic loop, I did exactly what you've done here and I couldn't understand why everyone was raving about ML. I had no choice but to use it again for a hat because my DPN's weren't long enough and since looking at the technique again I realised I'd done it wrong before and now I'm hooked on magic loop. I find it so much easier than DPN's.

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  10. Well the crazy thing is, I've made several things using ML and never had this problem - everything else turned out just fine! I'm not sure why, must have been more luck that judgement or maybe the KnitPro cables, being that bit thicker just naturally twist themselves up and prevent this... either way I'm glad to have found the problem :D

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  11. Glad to read that your latest hexipuff worked. That's great :D

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  12. Crochet with Raymond7 January 2012 at 22:07

    exciting Sarah! Loving the yarn you have chosen for your first pair of socks, self striping yarn makes the second sock sooooooooo much more bearable!

    I'm buying some addi circular interchangables, a set of them and saw the lace ones and wondered what the difference was with the set of 'normal' ones... maybe it is the lightness and pontedness of them... hmmm... which ones to buy?!
    Have an ace weekend XXX

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  13. I love looking at the difference in stitches from when I began crocheting to now. Makes me feel quite smug!
    I love the colours you've used here

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  14. I vote for just keep going, as you said its for a two year old and in a couple of wears/washes Im sure it will be all a bit wonky anyways :) I made some crochet socks out of regia two winters ago (coming up three) and they are still going strong. its lovely yarn which washes up really well. Jxx

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