Knitting: January 2013 Archives
I have been sitting on this blog for quite some time. I really only share it with my closest knitting buddies and I feel that we (you, the reader and I, the blogger) have gotten quite close so I can share. The reason I hardly share this blog is not because I am ashamed to read it. It is not a guilty secret. It is because I love it so, so much and I would cringe and fall into a deep depression should I ever hear anyone disparage it. It is like my baby; I love her so much but don't want anyone to tell me she is ugly (which she is not). But I know you all will love Crazy Aunt Purl.
This blog is a knitting blog the same way lunch with girl friends is about lunch. It is really about chatting and laughing and the eating is a bonus. Crazy Aunt Purl is about Laurie's (the blog mistress) crazy/boring/cat-filled life. I think it is never boring but she might disagree. Laurie is a self described "Thirty-something, displaced Southerner living in Los Angeles with a herd of felines". She is hilarious and an excellent writer. I love escaping with her blog, living vicariously through her adventures whether it be knitting on the bus with all the wonderful humans you can expect on public transportation, LA's wildfires or knitting get togethers. Laurie chronicles her everyday life, dating life and social life in the most entertaining way. I have been a loyal reader since 2007. I never thought I would have a "relationship" with a blog but Crazy Aunt Purl and I are coffee BFFs. Laurie often asks questions so it is easy to feel drawn-in like you are having a conversation (this could also be my wishful thinking). This delusion is furthered by her writing style which is very conversational and filled with giggle-inducing slang. Be forewarned: there is a crazy amount of cute cat pictures on this blog, none of which is unwarranted.
Laurie is also the author of 2 books that combine her life in a fun-filled narrative with knitting patterns. Her second book has over a dozen knitting patterns but it is worth it just for the story alone. If you love knitting, love cats, or love living in Laurie's vibrant world than you will love this blog and her stories. Spoiler alert: one of her cats is out to get her.
Using Double Pointed Knitting Needles (AKA: DPNs) is akin to learning to drive a stick. It is not just steering, gas and brake like knitting and purling. It is multiple needles balanced and held by both hands while knitting and purling. It sounds daunting and it can be very tricky until you learn your way. Each knitter has a slightly different way of holding the needles. Keep practicing if you really want to get it and rest assured that it will come to you just as knitting and purling did once upon a time.
DPNs come in sets of 4-5 needles and are great for small diameter knitting like socks, the tops of hats, sleeves and cording. If you have a set of 4 than your live stitches are on 3 needles and the 4th is your working needle. If your set contains 5 DPNs then you are working your stitches on 4 needles with your 5th as your working needle. As you knit onto your working needle, it becomes a holding needle and the needle you just worked stitches from becomes your working needle. For bigger circular knitting use 5 needles. For smaller diameters use 4 needles.
First, cast on all your stitches onto one needle. It is much easier to cast on to one needle and then transfer those stitches to your other needles than to cast on a few to each needle as you balance the remainder.
See, just letting them hang.
Next, slip the correct number of stitches purlwise onto your second needle. Then cast on the correct number of stitches onto your second and third and fourth(if you have a fourth). Allow the needles with stitches to hang down as you slide your stitches onto the next in line. Then pick up all your needles and orient all your stitches to face the inside holding your DPNs in a small-ish circle.
Hold two needles in your left hand and 1-2 in your right hand as well as your working needle. It helps to keep your stitches at the center of the non-working needle. This helps for balance as well as preventing them from sliding off. As you work each needle, slide your stitches to the center as you prepare for the next needle.
DPNs are also great for other odd knitting jobs so if you want to purchase a set of DPNs to try them out but worry that they may not be for you, fear not you will use them regardless. I am not a DPN lover but I use mine all the time. I avoid using them for small circular knitting but they make great stitch holders, cable needles, row markers and serve as the occasion 3rd needle for 3-needle bind offs.