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Topic: Oh, God!, she cried, Help me! Help me God!  (Read 1371 times)
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rabbithorns
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« on: September 03, 2007 10:19:23 PM »

So if I had a camera, I could show you this incredible mess I just made by trying to learn to knit socks. Okay: so I've got 4 dpns from the thrift store and worsted weight wool/ mohair yarn I scored awhile back from someone very nice. So I fought tooth and nail to keep the cast-on stitches from being twisted (apparently an important aspect of this), but in order to hold all three, I had to do some finger yoga which didn't prevent me from accomplishing an appendectomy on myself, although I did nearly lose my right eye a few times as well because I have old eyes and wear progressives (like trifocals) as it is and can't see well close-up through my glasses. (I have to get CLOSE.)

In the mean time, I've knitted one needle's worth - which sounds like a moment for a resounding cheer, except I was supposed to knit 1 purl 1 (which I forgot to do as I went and certainly don't know how to rip out without starting over completely). And the yarn between the needles is about an inch long as holding the needles became such an acrobatic feat, I think they just all folded up on themselves and I could have eaten Lo Mein at the same time I was knitting....

All this from someone who wanted to knit Continental style in the first place (which requires at least another left hand what with all the extra needles to hold), because I'm a crocheter and can't find enough information about slip stitch crochet socks (pjoning in Sweden and Norway) to crochet a sock that looks and feels like knit fabric, so I'd resigned myself to knitting.

Is there a question here? I don't know, but if there is it would be: will that inch of hanging yarn between the needles tighten up again? And why has it grown to almost 2 inches since I began writing this? Does it have a life of its own over there on the ottoman?

How on earth are those needles supposed to stay still while you're fighting with one of them AND a free agent needle? (So that would be question #2.)

I am prostrating to all you knitters out there who still have both eyes and all your organs. And socks.


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Jillie
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2007 10:32:51 PM »

If the space between the needles is getting bigger, you have probably cast on wrong.  Don't feel bad, I did that a few times when I was just learning!

Try going to knittinghelp.com.  They have great videos that will teach you how to cast on and knit!  It's really helpful.
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007 02:39:17 AM »

Remember that you're only ever working with two needles at once - the others are just holding your stitches ready. I find that using bamboo or caesin is less slippery than using metal and I have less accidents where one falls out onto my lap.

I have found toe-up socks easier to cast on for, but that's probably just me Smiley
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missknittypants
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007 06:32:38 AM »

This website will walk you through socks step by step with pictures.  I haven't made socks with it yet, but it seems very clear and I've heard that people have been successful with it.

http://www.cometosilver.com/socks/SockClass_Intro.htm

Just scroll down to "One Sock on 4 DPN"

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infantkittensyringe
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2007 07:02:47 AM »

What's your preferred CO method? I find a knit cast on really helps prevent "ladders" when working with double points. Also, for you first few rows, pull the yarn firmly, even kinda tightly, when you change from one needle to the next. After awhile, the tension will be established, and you won't have to think about it to much.
You do not need to hang onto the extra needles, only the two you are working on. If the needle/yarn you're working with is slippery, you might need point protectors in the beginning. Just let the needles you are not knitting on hang, with the needle you are knitting on in front. The start of anything circular is a bit tricky, but after awhile, your knitting will win.
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JennBabe
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2007 07:05:58 AM »

Something that might be helpful, is to cast on all of your stitches onto one needle, and then move them onto your other needles.  You should have a smaller gap between needles this way. 

To avoid twisting, I usually make sure that the cast on edge is on the inside of the needles. 
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rabbithorns
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2007 09:32:07 AM »

I'll reply to all your suggestions at once:

I AM using the sock tutorial you suggested (as well as sock101); both are open on my screen at the same time.

Yes, I do think bamboo needles will hold better than metal. Thanks for the suggestion.

I AM casting on to one needle first and then slipping them on the other needles. They didn't have that gap between needles until I began the long medieval swordfight between the 2 needles I was working on.

I have no idea what CO methid I use: I have yarn on my left hand and a needle in my right and I'm picking up the stitches. I have no idea what "ladders" means.

The original tension was very good, but once I split them and untwisted them, the process of holding the needles became a complete nightmare. Because I was holding so many things in my left hand, I couldn't seem to knit Continental and with my right hand having to disengage all the time to wrap the yarn, I kept losing control of all the needles in my left hand because there was no tension in the working needle as I worked the yarn.

There is a solution here, as you all have successfully made socks and controlled the sharp unweildy things that seem to be trying to eviscerate me. The good news is: I went back to developing a crocheted sock that isn't all single crochet (which is like walking on a bunch of macrame knots - argh), and I think I've figured it out. It's an old process called shepherd's knitting but there are virtually no instructions in English - only one book available in Sweden.

I will get bamboo needles though and try again. I love woolens!
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« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2007 10:17:08 AM »

I AM casting on to one needle first and then slipping them on the other needles. .

The original tension was very good, but once I split them and untwisted them, the process of holding the needles became a complete nightmare. Because I was holding so many things in my left hand, I couldn't seem to knit Continental and with my right hand having to disengage all the time to wrap the yarn, I kept losing control of all the needles in my left hand because there was no tension in the working needle as I worked the yarn.

There is a solution here, as you all have successfully made socks and controlled the sharp unweildy things that seem to be trying to eviscerate me.

Before you move the stitches to multiple needles - work an inch or so first working flat on just 2 needles. If it's the top of the sock, do the ribbing on just 2 needles, you'll have a small seam to sew up, but it'll be worth it.

Now, say you have 60 stitches (I have no idea, just work with me, ok?  Cheesy) and you're planning to have stitches on 3 needles and have the 4th needle as the right-hand empty needle. So far so good? Ok.

60 stitches divided by 3 needles is 20.

So, you have the one needle with 60 stitches in the left hand, and an empty needle in the right. Knit (rib, purl, whatever) 20 stitches. Pick up a 2nd empty needle in the right hand and knit (rib, purl, whatever) the next 20 stitches. (Just ignore the first needle dangling there with the 20 stitches.) Pick up the 3rd empty needle in the right hand and knit (rib, purl, whatever) the last 20 stitches. (Ignore the first 2 needles with 20stitches each.)

Now put the knitting down on the table with the 3 needles neatly in a row, with the 'wrong side' of the knitting facing up. Make sure none of the knitting is twisted around the needles. The last needle (the one with the yarn attached) is on the right of the row.

Pick up the needle on the left and the one on the right and bring them together to make a triangle - make sure the knitting is all hanging down. (ignore the middle needle) The 'right side' of the knitting is facing you.

Hold the tips of these 2 needles in the left hand (ignore the middle needle), pick up the empty needle in the right hand and knit.  (if it was a clock, the tips of these 2 needles are at the 6, and you're knitting toward the 7). When you get to the end of the needle, move the empty needle to your right hand, and start knitting the next needle. And on, and on, and on...

HTH!
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missknittypants
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2007 10:32:37 AM »

I AM casting on to one needle first and then slipping them on the other needles. .

The original tension was very good, but once I split them and untwisted them, the process of holding the needles became a complete nightmare. Because I was holding so many things in my left hand, I couldn't seem to knit Continental and with my right hand having to disengage all the time to wrap the yarn, I kept losing control of all the needles in my left hand because there was no tension in the working needle as I worked the yarn.

There is a solution here, as you all have successfully made socks and controlled the sharp unweildy things that seem to be trying to eviscerate me.

Before you move the stitches to multiple needles - work an inch or so first working flat on just 2 needles. If it's the top of the sock, do the ribbing on just 2 needles, you'll have a small seam to sew up, but it'll be worth it.

Now, say you have 60 stitches (I have no idea, just work with me, ok?  Cheesy) and you're planning to have stitches on 3 needles and have the 4th needle as the right-hand empty needle. So far so good? Ok.

60 stitches divided by 3 needles is 20.

So, you have the one needle with 60 stitches in the left hand, and an empty needle in the right. Knit (rib, purl, whatever) 20 stitches. Pick up a 2nd empty needle in the right hand and knit (rib, purl, whatever) the next 20 stitches. (Just ignore the first needle dangling there with the 20 stitches.) Pick up the 3rd empty needle in the right hand and knit (rib, purl, whatever) the last 20 stitches. (Ignore the first 2 needles with 20stitches each.)

Now put the knitting down on the table with the 3 needles neatly in a row, with the 'wrong side' of the knitting facing up. Make sure none of the knitting is twisted around the needles. The last needle (the one with the yarn attached) is on the right of the row.

Pick up the needle on the left and the one on the right and bring them together to make a triangle - make sure the knitting is all hanging down. (ignore the middle needle) The 'right side' of the knitting is facing you.

Hold the tips of these 2 needles in the left hand (ignore the middle needle), pick up the empty needle in the right hand and knit.  (if it was a clock, the tips of these 2 needles are at the 6, and you're knitting toward the 7). When you get to the end of the needle, move the empty needle to your right hand, and start knitting the next needle. And on, and on, and on...

HTH!

That's a great idea!

Ladders are the little jog on your finished piece where the two DPN meet.  If you don't pull the yarn tight when going from one needle to the next for the first few rows, there can be small gaps AKA "ladder" effect.

Be patient, it will pay off.  Maybe let the knitting lie in your lap as you go so you don't feel like you have to "hold" all the needles.  Remember, you are only using two at a time.
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sthomson
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2007 11:19:12 AM »

Maybe let the knitting lie in your lap as you go so you don't feel like you have to "hold" all the needles.  Remember, you are only using two at a time.

The hardest part of using dpns is the first few rounds, before the knitting is strong enough to support the needles in a round shape. But even on those rows, you don't need to hold all the needles at once. Just use two, like you're knitting flat, and let the other two dangle. If you push the stitches on the two "resting" needles to the center of the needles, they should be fine all by themselves.

It sounds like you're using the "backwards loop" cast-on. Yeah, it has that problem, where the cast-on starts to stretch out as you knit with it. You can either use a more structured cast-on, like the long-tail cast-on, or you can just ignore the tail, push the two needles together, knit the stitches, and move on. At the end, you can go back and tighten up the cast-on edge.

I think the poster of this thread had the same problems as you did. Although her pictures don't show up any more, the advice might help you, too.

Here's another one, with pictures. You're not alone!
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