You need to click on this and play it as you read - all will become clear as you proceed, I promise:
When Nanny was visiting with us, she bought Mini Diva some yarn, for me to make something out of.
Generally speaking, other project deadlines permitting, this is absolutely not a problem: I do like to knit something for someone when it will be wanted and loved and petted and squeezed and called George. Oops, sorry, got carried away there.
Mini Diva wanted a hat and scarf, seeing as how the weather has turned cold and wintery; so we spent some time cruising the hat patterns at Ravelry - and because nothing is too good for Mini Diva - we even checked out the paid-for patterns. She decided on Raindrops on Roses, which I agreed was a very lovely pattern and would give her the slouchiness she desired.
All straightforward so far, right ?
I persevered through the online and RL hunt for the right size of double-pointed needles: the pattern specifies 4.25mm, and after an exhaustive search, my Twitter Knitter friends told me they did not exist, and that it was a typo in the pattern. Then I had to wait til the shops were open again so I could buy some 4mm ones.
OK, a hitch, but not insurmountable.
Here's the thing: these are double-pointed needles (or DPNs):
They come in packs containing 4 or 5 needles. It's a method of knitting teenytiny circular shapes, you know, as in the crown of a hat maybe. Or perhaps socks - but we will not peer too closely into the scarey darkness under the stairs on that one, we don't like the skittery noises we can hear. Anyway. It might look a bit like this diagram:
It only might look a bit like that diagram if you are one of these:
My temperament is somewhat akin to the Kraken's, true, but I seriously lack it's most useful attributes, ie.
And also these:
After almost weeping with rage and despair at the fleet-fingered DPN doyennes that seem to so carelessly litter You Tube, I decided that Magic Loop would be the technique for me.
In this, you take a circular needle ie. 2 knitting needles joined/connected to each other with a nice bendy plastic cable, and you twizzle it about like a cowboy with a lariat hog-tying a calf so that you can knit small circular things, like, I don't know, maybe the crown of a hat ?
It looks like this:
No, I WISH that's what mine looked like. It didn't even look like this, which is what I was ready to use by this time:
So I totally folded and asked my friend Stephcuddles to teach me how to use either of these techniques. We met for posh coffee (although not at Starbucks, I am boycotting them) at the weekend. She spent loads of time and effort and patience, but this old dog could NOT learn this dagnammit new trick !
Steph knitted the first 10 rounds to get me going..
I know when to walk away. And go off to look cool and regain my self-esteem by being interviewed on stuff I actually know something about - at Andy's blog.