One of the nicest advantages of being a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and self-employed is the freedom to shuffle the “must-dos” around to suit and to get to do things in daylight hours that much of the workforce must either cram into a short evening or else save up for an often packed weekend. And one of those treats is to be able to jump in the car or onto a train and meet up with a friend, relative or partner for lunch!
Helen, a lovely blogger (at http://www.runquiltknitwrite.com), has become a friend to meet up with regularly, and we’ve had some fine jaunts in the year we’ve known each other. As we have a lot of parallels in our lives, there’s always lots to chat about and we enjoy being on the same wavelength – including the fact that we both knit. With another month having gone by and the bright spring weather having dwindled into low temperatures and drizzle, it was about time that we actually got together for some real knitting in among all the chinwagging!
Lang’s Mille Colori yarn is giving me the most delightful fabric for my “Lanesplitter”!
It so happens that there is a Starbucks in a shopping mall at halfway-point between our homes, so cosily ensconced on our respective sofas, surrounded by our paraphernalia, we proceeded to ignore the rest of the world and knit and chat to our heart’s content, well supplied with the necessary beverages and a couple of hours to spare. Actually, Helen did more wool-winding, but that’s all part of the fun – and I got the opportunity to teach her a cast-on technique that I was taught nearly 30 years ago by a girl in our office who took me, pathetic English knitter, under her efficient Swiss knitting wing… (thank you Judith, wherever you are!)
I have never seen this method shown in any book of knitting techniques, yet it is as simple as any other method (perhaps barring the Old Norwegian cast-on – Helen and I agreed, I think, that the effort to make each individual stitch with that is perhaps out of proportion to the desired effect!). It is perfect for any kind of 2/2 ribbing, as each set of 2 stitches is neatly edged as a pair. While the first of the two stitches is cast on in the usual long-tailed manner, the second requires a slightly different technique, with the right-hand needle dipping behind the front strand of yarn coming from the thumb and picking up the thread lying in between the hand and the thumb, before bringing it back up through the usual thumb loop. Interestingly, we discovered that this is a little more difficult for those who knit at a tight tension – it was amusing to see the difference between my loose cast-on and Helen’s! Eventually, it’s easy to get the hang of and does produce a very tidy result…
Only the most observant can probably tell the difference in my not-so-marvellous pictures, but the top one is the 2/2 special cast-on and the bottom pic is a regular long-tail edge. (And yes, those are Knit-Lite needles, battery-operated with lighted tips 😮 Fun fun fun!)
At some point, we did notice that all around us had moved on to munching, so we packed up and headed to the nearest pizzeria… thereby confirming that we are, really, ladies who lunch!!
What kind of double-jointed acrobatic fingers have you got? That sounds like instructions for prestidigitation! I think I know now why I was never able to knit!! Couldn’t even cast on and do that row of knitting into the back of the stitch (after someone else had cast on for me) before getting into garter mode!
Now just when did you take that photo on the sly – was I concentrating so hard that I missed it?
LOL – does it seem like magic, ladies?!
Helen – that was your first try, with my loose stitches followed by your tighter ones, so I think you must have been concentrating harder than I realised! But you got it, so it was worthwhile 😉
Forgot to say – I’m impressed by your flashy needles. So you can knit in the dark? Or they might even light the way as you walk and knit at night. That could even be an incentive for me to try yet again. I feel a haiku coming on!