How many times must I make this mistake
before I change my ways?
And how many stitches must I rip out
before I get this right?
"Cast on 300 stitches using size 1 needles
And join, being careful not to twist"!
The problem, my friends, is apparent on my needles,
the problem is there for all to see.
The problem, my friends, is there for all to see.*
*Sung to the tune of Blowing in the Wind
Once again. I cannot believe it! Join being bloody careful not to twist! I KNOW this.
For those who haven't knit in the round, the instructions always say to join, that is, create the circle of stitches, "being careful not to twist." This means that the stitches on the needle should be oriented in the same direction, not twirling around the needle. When you are working with hundreds of small stitches on a long needle, however, this can be a little hard to determine.
Luckily, you have a second chance to fix the problem after your first round: then, and only then, you can twist the cast on to fix any problem. But that's it. If you continue knitting a twisted cast on, the longer your knitting gets the more obvious it is that something is NOT QUITE RIGHT.
See the photo—that twist there? Hint: I'm not making a moebius cowl...
There are only a few things you can do at this point:
- Cut open the knitting and straighten it up (this actually works pretty well if you were planning to steek a cardigan, but otherwise is a pretty clunky solution, leaving a bulky seam).
- Start over.
- Give up entirely and take up jig saw puzzles. Or writing song lyrics.
I chose 2, being a persistent knitter who has had to deal with worse. Besides, I'm totally in love with these glowing pinks..... The Lingonberry Sweater, my newest design.
In other news:
Otherwise I had a great weekend. Friday night was spent at A Verb for Keeping Warm. Kristine is creating a marvelously warm yarn and fabric store in her new shop in Oakland—so many wonderful yarns to choose from, rovings, colorful quilting fabrics, natural dyes: I bought a hank of Swans Island organic merino naturally dyed a deep deep violet (the website is eye candy, by the way—grab a cup of tea and enjoy yourself).
Rachael Herron was giving a reading from her new Cypress Hollow book (How to Knit a Heart Back Home—I linked to Amazon, but Kristine has copies at Verb)—and we also were treated to a surprise reading from Rachael's upcoming book of essays about her knitting life. Oh, it was more than good! I enjoy Rachael's romance novels, but her essay was so touching that all of us (including the men) were teary eyed at the end. This book will be out in September. Afterwards, a few of us sat around the table knitting and chatting—I felt so at home and relaxed in the company of knitters.
On Saturday, John, Gingko and I went to the Oakland Museum of California to see the new Splendors of Faith/Scars of Conquest: Arts of the Missions of Northern New Mexico 1600-1821 exhibit. An amazing display of liturgical art in glowing colors (all, of course, from natural sources), most of which had never been seen outside the mission buildings (the "Northern New Mexico" in the exhibit title refers to the northern area of Mexico, extending into southern California and southern New Mexico). It was especially meaningful to see these treasures during the Christian holy week, which gave emotional context to the art and artifacts.
And on Sunday we had a nice day together, working in the garden and giving the house a nice spring cleaning (I even washed the kitchen fan!!!), ending with a nice dinner to chicken and homegrown salad and strawberry meringues.