A Love Knit Up

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Double Points

Have I mentioned that I hate double pointed needles? I think I did (like, two days ago), but I'm currently knitting on double points with a scratchy yarn in a color I hate, so I'm just going to say it again: I hate double pointed needles. (Why am I doing this stupid thing, you might ask? Because I have never done beaded knitting before (I am making a beaded hat), because I accidentally bought some ugly orange beads on eBay and I want to get rid of them, and because I though that if I ruin yarn wiht beads I'd rather it be ugly yarn with ugly beads. And now that I'm halfway done with the damned thing I'm going to finish it.

Part of the motivation comes from a strict rule I have that I may only work on 4 projects at a time. My bedroom is 8ft by 8ft and my suitemates don't like my knitting all over the common room (it is anyway). I cannot afford the space to have unfinished knitting projects around (or, at least, not many). So only four. I currently have two working slots open, but I want to have three. (One is taken up with a wrap for my mother that I only work on during class. One is taken up by the damned hat. There's also the Stripes and Bobbles scarf, but that one doesn't count because only assembly is left, and the only reason I can't do assembly is because I lent Scarf Style to a friend. (I'll assemble at knitting circle, where my friend will be.) So it doesn't count.) But having three slots would be even cooler than having two, and I really only have half of the hat left to do. That's nothing! I can do it, easy. And then I can (a) take the second ball of ugly yarn back to the store (b) buy yarn for the projects I want to do (c) crow in victory. Three slots open is the most I'll ever likely have, since I don't think I'll ever be able to finish everything I'm working on at a time.)

But on to why I hate double points. You have to move the stitches around all the time, and it's ANNOYING. You have to tighten the stitches at the end of each one, so as not to get a ladder. And there's no good way to hold them when there's really only one or two left on the needle. And they slip and slide, and they're diffficult to put down in a way that doesn't stretch the knitting, and they sometimes randomly slip out of the knitting (even though I use wooden needles). I don't understand how anyone could like them, why anyone would want to knit socks, sleeves, or anything else on them, and how come socks appear (by the sheer volume of published patterns) to be the most popular garment to knit. They involve double points! If you want to knit something fast, or small, knit a skinny scarf. Or a dishcloth. Anything reasonable!

Well, you might say, why not just be reasonable and use a circular needle? You really only need to use double points for the top. Well, you see, short circular needles make my hands hurt because they're difficult to grip. And since I already have some version of RSI I don't want my hands hurting any more than necessary. And two circular needles have almost all of the same problems that double points do (except for the slipping out, even metal circulars don't seem to fall out of the knitting), and anyway, to use needles long enough for my hands not to hurt I'd need to use 24" ones or so, and a pair of those would just look ridiculous coming out of a hat. So I use double points, even though I hate them.

On the bright side, there are patterns for hats that are knit flat. (I love flat knitting, even though I hate sewing.) Elsebeth Lavold's are especially cool (everything that she does is especially cool). So I have hope. Not for this hat, though, which is turning out wonderfully (although very orange) even though it's knit on double points. Well, nobody's perfect.


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