Work in Progress

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this little blog and how I keep it hanging on by a thread (heehee)! I find it quite funny how, in the last ten years, there has been a huge swing away from the written word, fixed on a page, independent of algorithms and advertising, to endlessly scrolling square pictures, that say little but still manage to cultivate negative and erosive emotions within us. Recently, I have observed an increasing number of people moving against this, mainly because algorithms now control what we see, and eliminate what we might actually want to see. This is insane, but unsurprising considering how advertising works! Anyway, all the more reason to maintain my own little space here.

I reflected upon why I sort of lost steam with blogging a number of years ago. Whilst there were definitely a number of contributing factors, I realise, in hindsight, how my growing interest in sewing oriented the blog’s focus more towards the finished project, rather than a continuous discussion of process and development. Very often I would complete a project in one or two sessions and therefore, would have little to say about the process. That makes me sad! It’s ALL about the process, and it’s why I love pretty much every textile art there is. So, I want to return to why I started this little blog in the first place: to gabble on about knitting!

Here’s what I’m working on these days. I think my love of colour knitting in mittens has now spread to my feet!

It seems to come over me during the summer months, but I think I would like to try and maintain it through Autumn this year. For one, I typically only need 60-75g of yarn for a pair of socks because my feet are on the small side. Since sock wool usually comes in 100g balls, can you imagine the amount of leftovers that I have accumulated over 15+ years of knitting socks?! I have one large bag of these little balls. I think it is safe to say that I can go to town on the colourwork socks! These ones are great fun.

The pattern is ‘Little Dots Socks’ by Summer Lee. It’s a good pattern! The size range is pretty broad, from quite small to quite large, the chart is easy to memorise and it’s designed to make it very addictive. You don’t do the heel until afterwards, so there’s nothing to interrupt the flow of dots! If you don’t like how the dots are staggered , there’s an extra chart at the end that aligns the dots in columns.

Lest you think my sock posing skills were THAT good! Can we take a minute to talk about the needles? I’m not really what you’d call a tool fanatic. I have used the Knitpro interchangeable set that Lisa and Jacqui gifted me so many years ago (back in the Blackrock shop!), and the Clover bamboo DPNs that I collected as I went. That’s been pretty much it. I did add a few extra circulars that were in sizes smaller than were included in the Knitpro set, and I got the Knitpro DPN set when I had my first Mitten period (no regrets!). In the intervening time, many new tools and needles have come on to the scene, but I never encountered any product that made me consider upgrading… until recently. I have found that knitting small circumferences in the round alters my gauge considerably. So if I was knitting a jumper, I would often need to rip out half a sleeve because my gauge would have changed so much. And I realised that I was opting not to make colourwork socks and mittens (unthinkable, I know!), because for some reason, my tension was more difficult to keep consistent between the needle joins. When I saw the Chiaogoo ‘Shortie’ needles, I was intrigued!

The set is actually two sets of needles, one set is very short (5cm) and the other is a bit longer (8cm). They come with three cables, also quite short (13cm, 15cm, 20cm) and are designed for knitting small circumferences. However, I think you can get longer cables for them and use them for larger circumferences as well. I haven’t gotten that far yet. I won’t lie – the really short tips definitely took getting used to. I found the most comfortable combination, and the most even tension, resulted from using one 5cm tip and one 8cm tip. That’s just my preference. You still need to use DPNs (or magic loop if you’re into that kind of thing) for the heels and toes, but for colourwork, I have to say that I am a convert. I am really curious to try a pair of mittens on them.