Monday, 19 November 2012

The Gambler

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.

the Tentacles

And also these:

the Suckers

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.


  1.'s so EASY! Really :) What you do NOT need is metal DPNs - they slips and slides all over the shop, bamboo is better :)

  2. I standz and rubs your back in sympathy. Am also slightly heartened that there seems to be something that you are not brilliant. Our friendship, therefore, remains intact.

    I am not anywhere near a Starbucks, but I too am boycotting them INSIDE MY HEAD.

    And stay away from the noises under the stairs......

  3. DPNs and I are not real friends (although we are passing acquaintenances); I like the magic loop. However, I've recently made a gift that required dpns and I just made my own mods and wound up seaming the thing. Thank goodness for Steph!

    And I don't boycott Starbucks, but I definitely don't drink their coffee - the beans are way too overroasted. :)

  4. Well, knitting full stop (like most things) are over my head.

    I will join you in boycotting Starbucks, but as I've never been in there, is it really a boycott?

  5. I had not heard of the Magic Loop--it looks skerry.


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