Friday, 6 September 2013

RIght as Rainbow KAL - the sleeves

DPNs or Magic Loop?

Kathleen and Rachel are using a different method of knitting in the round to me.  Have a look at the photos Kathleen and Rachel have posted on Ravelry and see what I mean.  They are knitting magic loop I am using my new wooden DPNs.

DPNs are the original way of knitting in the round, once used mainly for stockings and some bigger projects like a fisherman’s sweater, today knitting in the round is used for many other items, including sleeves.  At one time if I knitted with DPNs, however hard I tried to pull the yarn tight, I always got a ladder between needles.  Then I hit upon the idea of knitting on one more stitch from the next needle each time – result? A spiral ladder!

Then someone told me about magic loop.  Magic loop IS magic, you can even knit two socks (or sleeves) at a time with two pairs of circulars (or one very long cable).  And I magiced magic loop at every opportunity (even cardigans, steeking the tube for the front opening.)

But two years ago I was at a knitting retreat and the conversation turned to the DPNs-v- magic loop debate and one DPN loyalist shared a trick with me – don’t pull the first stitch tight, keep your tension even, but pull the second stitch as tight as you can.  And Lo! It works.

That brings me to my decision to knit the Right as Rainbow cardi sleeves with DPNs, and even buy new DPNs.  It was because with my newly learned trick of tightening the second stitch I have a choice –  and because The Pattern Said So! But of course who needs the slightest excuse to buy new knitting hardware?

increases nearly done and measuring nervously

So I cast on the sleeves one at a time on DPNs.  Then halfway up the first sleeve we all received an e mail from Stephanie with a revised pattern.  Rather than read it carefully I (wrongly) assumed that the mods would apply to the stage where the three pieces, body and two sleeves were joined.

As I neared the finished sleeve length (1.5 inches longer than the pattern stated) I panicked.  I thought I would not have enough length left to incorporate all the increases, measured again found I would be OK.  But I worried that those making one of the standard sizes would not.  I rushed to Ravelry to suggest people checked their gauge again and if they had fewer rows to 4” than the pattern gauge required they increased every 4th not 5th row.  I would be OK but others knitting in the lovely S&C Sweater may not.  Then I checked the mods!!!  In it Stephanie advised reducing the increase interval to 4 rows instead of 5 and adding more stitches.  In  the 24mo size , 4 more.  Because of my increased length I just got the required number of increases done!

But – egg on face- I had to go back to the ravelry thread and confess my haste and refer people back to the mods.

first sleeve done and ribbing completed on the second

Having said this while Stephanie says her mods are optional and the original pattern is equally lovely I would suggest if you are knitting in the S&C Sweater, which knits up to a slightly thicker gauge, you do follow the mods.

Meanwhile, I continue to knit on the terrace at the sea-shore and I am being watched as I knit.  The locals are interested – I wonder if they would like to grab and play with the yarn as our own cats do?

watching from high up on the garden wall

It was ever the same, show a little interest in the locals, perhaps throw them the odd tidbit and they stay and invite their friends.

Mama cat, kitten cat and ... a close relative

(Six at the last count)



PS - Do tell how you are getting on - are you knitting the sleeves with DPNs or circulars, are you knitting them both at once?  It would be great to see pictures of your progress too.  Lastly don't forget what you need to do to qualify for one of the brilliant prizes

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I did the same thing you did - assumed the mods started at the join. Tink, tink, tink...