Just a guess, but it could be used for darning socks. You insert the ball into the sock (a hand-knit one, preferably ), with the ball against the hole-y part of the sock. This makes it easier to see what you need to darn (what stitches to repair to make the sock not hole-y), without accidentally sewing the wrong part of the sock, or puckering the sock, and disfiguring it. It makes the sock's surface taut while you fix it. I tried to explain that as best as I could. I hope it came out all right!
Just follow the directions. That's what I've done with everything. Read the cable instructions all the way through. Try some cable swatches before you do a full project (from a hat to anything bigger) with cables-that way you won't have any surprises. Just jump right in!
I don't think it's been mentioned, but in Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Miri is a knitter! She has a sizeable stash in her and Zack's place, knits hats and scarves for them both, and works at an LYS! The deleted scenes show her knitting in the LYS...she appears to be struggling with the needles, but the amount of detail (the scarves and hats, yarn in bureau drawers, mention that she sold a lot of yarn to someone) was really nice. Someone involved with that movie is a knitter. I did see this mentioned elsewhere in the Craftster knitting forum, but I just had to put it in this thread!
Thanks for the compliments! Like colorlessblue said, it may help to try a lace pattern on a thicker yarn. Lots of lace patterns work well on sock yarn, too. The FO will be a bit more substantial, and not as feather-light. The texture of the stitches will pop a lot more, too. And remember, if you do choose to knit your project with thicker yarn, change your needle size, and swatch, or you may end up with an undesirably small FO. When it came to seperating my YOs, I would run my fingernail lightly over the stitches to be knit to make sure they were the proper ones. A little experience will make it easier to spot a YO from a knit stitch. YOs are slanted, with a small space underneath them (forming a hole, or eyelet). And very important, a pointier needle will work wonders. If you can't afford Addi Turbos, HiyaHiya makes good, pointy needles, with nice joins. Many LYSs stock them at very good prices. And the Knitpicks options (my next purchase!) are awesome, too, I hear. When knitting lace with thin yarn, pointy tips and very smooth joins are very important, whether using straight needles or circs (my preference).
addicted2knitting- Thanks! All I can think to say it, pick a pattern that will be easy for YOU. I picked the Sea Flower because, once the central motif (the flower) was completed, all you had to do was K, YO, and K2TOG. So for such easy directions, you get a relatively large finished object. Then, I selected the Swallowtail shawl because it was such a popular pattern, and so many of the folks on Ravelry had marked it as 'easy' and finished it within a week or two. My advice is: 1. Read the pattern thoroughly before you begin. 2. By any means necessary, k eep track of progress. Row counters, stitch markers, lifelines (especially when entering doubtful territory), writing things down. Especially when it comes to pattern repeats. 3. Use the recommended needle size and yarn type, if you're just beginning. 4. Remember to have faith in the yarn, the needles, and yourself (sounds cheesy, I know!). When knitting lace, it can be hard to see progress and definition. Which leads me to... 5. It's all in the blocking! Blocking lace is now my most favorite knitting thing! You'll really see your work once you stretch and pin it out!