Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Stash and Speed Knitting

I don't know when I'll ever actually need a cone of gold yarn, but it was so cute and so sparkly I couldn't leave it be. The reel of gold sewing thread was inside the cone. The vintage 4-ply is a pretty mushroom pink and it is real wool. 4-ply is a great weight for a centrally heated world, and once I can knit, I expect to buy lots of it for the second good reason that it's cheaper because it lasts longer. For now, though, I'm enjoying Aran weight knitting. Last night I knit another diamond panel for the Aran cable shrug, and a few more inches of the rib warmer. Knitting it up in one piece makes it impossible to photograph - unless I could get some plastic ants to march around the edge to demonstrate which line is going where, it just looks like a blot and tangle. Which of course, it may yet turn out to be.

The Portuguese knitting is going well - on the whole. I can make the movements now, but it looks like a beginner's knitting! It will probably take months to get it smooth. The one thing I'm struggling most with is how to feed the yarn from my right hand up to the knitting pin. I suppose it'll be a combination of tiny movements - a knack that will come with time. Andrea doesn't mention it (which is probably why I'm struggling - she explains everything else). I had a look at the clips on You Tube. Some of them show you how people wrap the yarn around their fingers, but none of them explain what to do to feed the yarn up to the pin. I expect it will come. I will persevere because I like the feel of knitting this way - it is easier to do without looking, great for watching TV, which is when I knit, and it feels more relaxed than Continental.

I then got sucked into watching loads of great little video clips - the world's fastest knitter was one. The first tip she gave was to relax! Then she said knit at the tips of the needles, which I do now, and have noticed made me a little faster, and then it was a case of making tiny movements. Interesting. I also watched a clip of the Yarn Harlot doing Irish Cottage Knitting. A lot of women in Lancashire knit this way - with a long needle tucked under the arm. It doesn't look relaxing to me. I dislike long needles - I don't like the weight of them and I don't like them tapping on my arm (yeah, OK, I probably do something wrong!). The very large movements, which may be better for your hands, take up space, somehow. I think I'll stick with Portuguese.

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