WIP: “Dashing” fingerless gloves

I took a couple of snaps of my current ‘train project’ (knitting I mainly work on while commuting). This is a pattern called Dashing by Cheryl Niamath. We have friends in New England who have helped us out of jambs many times over the last 20 years, and these are going to them as a small note of thanks. I’ve got another pair (for them) that is currently hibernating for the winter, but these are moving along pretty well. I modified the pattern to add a thumb gusset.

You’ll see that I’m doing these “2 up” or 2-at-a-time on a long circular needle. This is a technique that helps ensure a few things:

  1. Your pair of mittens (or socks, sweater sleeves, whatever) will be the same length. See my earlier post about messing up row counts for an idea of why this is important.
  2. You’ll finish the pair at the same time. Do a search on Second Sock Syndrome to see just how common it is among knitters to finish one of some pair, and to then experience a vast reluctance to begin the mate. Suffice to say, being done beats being half-done any day.
  3. If you run low on yarn, you might be able to stop early… (uniformly early!) rather than having one complete mitten and one mitten that’s ? done.
  4. If your tension changes over the course of several years months weeks days the changes will—again—be uniform across the project as opposed to one mitten or sock being tightly knit and one a sloppy mess.*
  5. You’re really unlikely to lose one mitten before the second one’s complete.

There are drawbacks… I spend a fair amount of time de-tangling the two strands of yarn and organizing the cord of the circular needle. I also feel as if I get more strange looks from fellow travelers on the train. Since many muggles can’t tell crochet from knitting, the sight of someone managing two strings, two needle points, and two mittens at the same time probably makes their heads explode stops them from even trying to guess what I’m doing.

This is the first project I’ve done with my Kollage square needles. The sales pitch talks about the more-uniform stitch results I can expect (uniform stitches aren’t a problem for me, so I can’t evaluate this claim) and they also mention that your gauge might be a bit off; they say that some users have to go up a needle size to get gauge. I wonder if this is why the mitts are a bit on the snug side?

The main quality I wanted to check out was the “no kink, no curl” low-memory cables. My beloved Addi Lace circular needles do tend toward the kinky side of the spectrum. Ahem. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The cable on these Kollage needles is very, very flexible. I kind of like it, except for one thing… when I would normally be pushing the needle down into the next segment to continue my knitting, there is nothing to push against! The Addi needles slide back in the stitches as expected. The super-flexible Kollage cable just folds over and stops. This means that I have to push a bit, pull a bit, push a bit more. Fiddly. At a recent knit night at my LYS, Susan said “it’s like pushing string.” Exactly. I’ll avoid any jokes about LYS owners being “string pushers.” Honestly. I will.

kollage square knitting needles

Overall, I give the needles an A rating. I’d certainly consider buying more. Friends tell me that the Kollage DPNs are particularly wonderful for glove knitting.

The yarn here is something called “Yarn for Sox,” which is very stiff and a bit scratchy. I read several commentaries on Rav that assured me that a few washings will soften this wool up very acceptably. I’m hoping to be done with this project sometime in the first week in January.

*note to self: write a post about the importance of uniformity in knitting… obviously you have thoughts about this issue!

2010 in review

I got this amusing site stats summary from WordPress this morning… it’s a happy thing that I hadn’t been imagining that this site gets lots of traffic. Still… something to surpass in 2011.

===========

The statistics helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2010. That’s about 4 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 7 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 56 posts. There were 6 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb.

The busiest day of the year was December 22nd with 206 views. The most popular post that day was Mostly Chimera.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were turtlegirl76.com, ravelry.com, runningjackknits.blogspot.com, Google Reader, and twitter.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for done by monday afghans, larry lavin, done by monday, “larry lavin”, and jorah lavin.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Mostly Chimera December 2010
2 comments

2

Done Some Monday Afghan June 2008
4 comments

3

R.I.P. Larry Lavin April 2008
5 comments

4

About me and my knitting January 2008
1 comment

5

Stocking Cap July 2009
6 comments