Monday, February 05, 2007

Uff-da it's cooooold outside!

In case you don't speak Minnesotan and need a translation, see below:


No, your eyes are not deceiving you, it was -11 this weekend at my parents' house in Minneapolis. After a certain point, it could be -44 (oh wait, that was the wind chill factor...) and it doesn't matter, because you're not outside, where just walking 50 steps from your car to the house makes your face hurt and causes you to curse your ancestors for not settling in a much more reasonable place, like Arizona. Instead you are either inside or in a Skyway (listen to the Replacements' song here)


So, I was in Minneapolis for the past four days, with no kids, no students and no darling Resident Marxist Curmudgeon holding tight on to the purse strings....what do you think happened? Yeah, I went here:
What do think happened next? Now I could find all sorts of creative ways to justify what happened. I could bring out a host of excuses like 'yarn diets don't apply on vacation' and 'buying yarn for specific projects is allowed' and of course the old chestnut 'sock yarn doesn't count'. Well, the main reason I'm coming clean is that my brother threatened to out me to everyone if I didn't. So there you have it--I am a bad, bad stash knitter. I bought Koigu.

In actual knitting news I do have something noteworthy to report: I am now a socks on two circulars convert! The dpn drill was suiting me fine enough (or so I thought), but I had been feeling somewhat unenthusiastic about it and generally out of steam. The last time I was in Mpls. I tried the Magic Loop technique and wanted to love it, but it was, alas, merely ok. So at the Yarnery in St. Paul I saw an old family friend Jean (the master Swedish knitter who transformed the Rowan Fred Flintstone garment I made for my dad into a thing of fitted beauty) who took some time out to teach me the method. I then promptly bought the book and have to say that Cat Bordhi's title does not lie: socks
do soar on two circular needles! I did an entire sock in two days of off and on knitting:

And did this on two hour-long plane rides back home:

I am as excited by this technique as I am about color work and stranding, it's like a whole new part of my knitting brain has opened up (again!). The other thrilling discovery is the 'yarn bra' concept that Jean introduced me to. You wrap your wound ball in one of those mesh tubes that florists use for flowers with delicate blooms and the mesh holds the ball together. Unbelievable--am I the last person to know about this?

So now that I am on the two circs bandwagon, I want to know: what is your favorite way to do socks, and why?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have used the teo needle before and it is great. I don't remember exactly how but I will try aain on my new sock yarn. Barb from florida

Susan said...

Hey, it's not just your ancestors that live here in cold MN. Next time you need to go to Borealis Yarns. No Koigu, but lots of Cherry Tree Hill and a whole wall of other sock yarns.

I tried the circular method but didn't like it - I love my dp needles.

Wendy DG said...

I'm a fan of wooden DPNs. I've taken a class on the circulars, and I can see the benefits. I think I'm just a creature of habit. I'm the same way about top down vs toe up. I do it the old fashioned top down way.

aquaknits said...

Brrr! And here I've been complaining, at least it's not THAT cold.

I'm a dpn-er myself, but I do have that book lounging around somewhere. Seems I never have the nerve to give it a try. Your new koigu looks beautiful, whatever the method!

knitting bandit said...

Brrr...only -7 here in Michigan! I am a 2 circ's girl. Started out on DPN's. They're fun. Buthey! I'm a Knitting Bandit--stealing stitches wherever I can...so my knitting goes everywhere with me. I was breaking DPN's left and right. Mostly, I'd tuck 'em in a pocket and then jump in my car. Crack! When I broke my $20 Rosewoods, that was the end for me. The circ's are so much faster and I don't get ladders! Koigu--hard to find here! Hard to buy online--you almost have to see it. Enjoy!

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

toe up on bamboo dpns, both socks at the same time. I love trying them on as I go! Sounds like you got our weather! We had a chinook on the weekend and it was great but last week… brrrrrr.

Karen said...

I have to admit - I like to do socks any way!!! Love DPNs, love 2 circs, love magic loop. I guess as long as I'm making socks, I don't much care which needles I use!!

PS: Don't feel guilty about the Koigu. It really is a necessity!!

Woman who knits said...

Yep it's cold here in Milwaukee too!! Just went above freezing at 2pm!!

I like the socks on circs. I haven't tried it yet, but as soon as I'm comfy with sock knitting I will!!

Lone Knitter said...

Oh wow! That yellow koigu makes for a happy happy sock. Beautiful. I've never tried the two-circ method, but I can imagine it has the benefits of magic loop without the wrist strain--at least the magic loop give ME wrist strains. I like using dpns, but I just might have to try two circs!

K. said...

I have considered trying the magic loop or the 2 circ. methods, but I never do get around to it. I just stick with my dpn's. I do have a new year's resolution about learning 5 new techniques this year. The socks look like springtime to me. Not to gloat, but it is like 50 degrees here in Idaho. 50 degrees ABOVE 0. Next week, who knows.

KnitPastis said...

Oh yeah, that's cold and you already know how cold it is here in PA:) I love with all my heart bamboo dpns for knitting my socks on. I have tried to knit on two circs but love the feel of knitting socks on the bamboo.
PS. No, never heard of that jewelry you mentioned before. Good idea on the olive oil too.

schrodinger said...

Oh man, that's some cold weather! Brrrrrr. That is a pretty sock, good to hear you are trying new methods for your socks. I'm pretty much okay with all three methods, but magic loop is probably the most convenient for me at the moment (who knows how I'll feel next week though :))

Erin said...

I like using the magic cast-on to do toe-up socks on 2 circs... actually, that's the only way I've done socks!

Dove Knits said...

It's cold here in Chicago, too! It was -7 or so this weekend, and you know there's always wind.

Two circs, huh? That's one I haven't tried, because I don't want to buy two sets of circs when I have perfectly usable DPNs!

I am rather appreciating the toe-up method, though. I like forethought heels, but hate short-row heels, and always drop stitches on them. My favorite heels are flap-and-gusset, because they fit my high-arched feet best, and I can do them in my sleep.

amanda cathleen said...

heck its cold here!! Monday the windchill made it feel like it was -21! They cancled school, and we stayed at home. bbrr!

I love my dpns, althought right now I'm knitting my socks on 2 circs. Knitting with 2 circs doesn't flow as smoothly for me. Glad to hear that you found a method that works for you! : )

WonderMike said...

Egad, that's cold, but I'm sure it inspires major destashification. I have never used the magic loop method and it looks a bit tedious. I love working on two circulars, but DPNs in public make people think you're a genius. Love your site.

Prof. Knitwit said...

Wow! It is cold by you!! I hope you're managing to stay indoors where it is nice and warm.

Love the new socks - and I'm so impressed that you finished them up so quickly. I have been doing my socks on dpns and that's been fine - I haven't really had any issues with that. I tried the 2 circs in the beginning when I was afraid of dpns - but found the extra needles and cords to be a little distracting...but maybe I might feel differently if I tried them again.

Michele said...

I love the Yarnery. I am from New Ulm Minnesota. I have been to the Yarnery only once but loved it.

I know what you mean about it being cold. It has been terrible. I haven't been able to go anywhere with the kids. Don't need to get them sick. Know what I mean?

Love your blog!
Michele From Minnesota

gradschoolknitter said...

I actually find 2 circs less cumbersome than dpns... I am not a fan of dpns. I find it really clumsy, but I'm getting better at it, slowly. I'm using dpns to make a hat right now, and it's turning out ok, a little stretched between needles, which always seems to be a problem between dpns and me. I'm probably going to have to use dpns for the sleeves for a sweater too because my fav LYS doesn't have a 12 inch size 9 circ... and the brand she carries doesn't even MAKE them!

Gingersnaps with Tea... said...

I have the same colour koigu! Just realized. I've been afraid to touch it in case it's truly as addictive as I've heard. BTW, if it makes you feel a little bit warmer… the high tomorrow in Calgary is suppose to be -16° C and there is ALWAYS a wind chill.