Friday, 19 December 2008

Cabling Without a Needle

Isn't this a terrible picture? I don't know what it is about this red wool, but I can't seem to get a photo of it at all. This is the best of about 50 attempts. I tried it light in front, light behind, light from the side,with a flash,without a flash, near the window, far from the window. I give up. You'll just have to imagine it.

There's two wobbles in the last cable diamond where I dropped a stitch, fudged it for 10 rows, found the dropped stitch, picked it up with a crotchet hook and then had to undo the fudge. I'm not going to redo it.

And what am I doing, dropping stitches? Trying to cable without a needle, that's what. And I can't do it. Lucy Neatby demonstrates the art on her knitting DVD. She says something like: 'Your stitches won't go anywhere. They are not malevolent.' Well, mine are! The second I let them go, they prang about all over the place. 'Quick! Head for the hills! Hey, I know. Let's go to Skegness. Louise'll never notice.'

I need to learn, because it is going to be so much quicker. I must have spent about three hours of this week looking for my cable needle. But I'm not finding it easy. Lucy slips three stitches off the main needle, puts them to the back of the work and they stay there while she knits the next stitches, then goes back and picks them up to complete the twist or cable. I can almost, sometimes do the cable where you put one stitch behind your work, knit three then pick up the one. I have to pull it off the needle, then out, so that it enlarges, then hold it down with a finger so it doesn't head for a seaside resort, then pull it out again, because the loop will be hardly visible, it will have shrunk so much, and then, finally, slip it back on the needle to work with. Three I cannot do. The last stitch always, always, always ladders down at once.

I wonder if the reason I can't cable without a needle is connected to my lack of knitting success in general? Am I somehow not smooth enough? If I'm jerking my knitting around as I work, in both senses of the word, is it getting p**ed off at me? Or to leave the metaphor and descend to the technical, are there uneven points of stress in the fabric? It's something to think about.

The ribwarmer is nearly done - I need to watch Meg Swanson on the DVD showing the short rows at the back neck and then I can attempt the three-needle I-Cord cast off on the shoulders.

I'm practising the Portuguese knitting at odd moments - about 10 minutes a day, perhaps. It's a bit soon to decide how fast a technique it might be.

No comments: