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A Double Knitting Tutorial for People Who Are Super Awesome at Counting or Why I Shouldn’t Knit Late at Night

When converting a pattern to double knitting with two strands of yarn, as I am doing for Hazel, it is important to remember that for every stitch in the pattern, there will be two stitches on the needles. For example, when the pattern says “K1,” you knit one stitch with the front yarn and one stitch with the back yarn. The easiest way that I’ve found to count this is to simply multiply the number of stitches given in the pattern by two and count every stitch.

As a simple example, my latest row started with “K14.” Using the method above, multiply 14 by 2 and know that you must count 28 stitches. When you’re done with these 28 stitches, note that your last stitch is actually a “front” stitch and that this is not correct. Make sure to go back and count the number of stitches in the front color. You will end up with 17. This is not correct. Swear. Check the clock. Is it past midnight? Yes? Then PUT DOWN THE KNITTING! For the love of wool, go to bed. It’s too late to deal with this.

Ignore the previous three sentences.

Count your stitches again. Reassure yourself that your front color is still in front, and that you’re just silly and can’t count. Knit back so that you only have 26 stitches (13 in the front color) on the needles. Swear again. PUT DOWN THE KNITTING! For the love of Addi Turbos, go to bed. It’s the middle of the night.

Ignore the previous three sentences.

Knit the two stitches necessary to make it to the end of that darn “K14.” Continue in pattern until you reach the end of the needle. Decide to write a pointless blog post about your experiences counting things late at night. Then go to bed. Really, it’s much too late for this nonsense.

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Distracted Knitter, Bad Sewer

Seamstress?  Sewist?  Whatever it is, the apartment is nowhere near clean enough to cut fabric in, and my Denver Fabrics order is supposed to show up tomorrow.  It’s going to be so sad to get a big box of wool and not be able to do anything with it.

The thing is, I’ve been spending too much time trying out my new knitting style.  I’m still knitting some on my fuzzy pants every evening, but I’m in love with my new way of holding yarn, so I’ve been knitting and ripping little scrap-yarn swatches over and over.  I know it’s pointless, but it’s addicting.  I’ve started to think that I need a new knitting project for all of that excess energy.  New knitting projects don’t require a clean apartment what with balls of yarn being more compact and portable than large pieces of heavy fabric that needs to be pre-washed, carefully dried, ironed or steamed, laid out, marked, cut, and basted before anything really useful happens.

You may recall that one of my current projects is a pair of mock-cabled pointe shoe covers to use as warm ups at dance.  I had bought some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes for them. When it arrived, it seemed strange that I should have so little yarn for such a big project. I then figured out what went wrong: I scrupulously calculated the necessary yardage based on a rough calculation of the gauge that I’d be using and the surface area of the completed project, but I forgot to account for the fact that I, apparently, have two feet.

(I find myself compelled to mention here that I have a degree in mathematics.  I had several very good and entertaining professors, but one of the most memorable moments was when Professor C. walked into class early and heard someone complaining about how this math course was so much harder than previous ones.  Professor C. responded, “This is not math.  Calculus?  Differential equations?  That was math.  This is mathematics.”  So here I say, I’m pretty good with mathematics.  But with math?  Not so much.)

Now, having realized this serious error in the math, I think I should use my pretty purple wool for something else.  I’m considering a beret and a pair of gloves.  I really like the Ashwyn Beret and Meret for lacy options, and the cables on Nine Dwindling Cables, Laurel, and Brambles are very pretty. Then again, the color would look nice with my Cornflower Cowl so I might do some skinny cables like those. Whatever I do, I’ll either be finding or making a matching glove pattern. I’m bad at making decisions. Feel free to tell me what to do or offer more pattern options.

(Also, am I the only one who feels like a creepy stalker type when I comment on another person’s blog?  It’s like offering unsolicited advice to a stranger on the street, but from even further away, which is somehow worse.  “Oh, hello.  I just reached through the internet to spy on you and comment on your life.  Have a nice day!”  Conversely, I love it when I get comments from random people whom I’ve never met before.  Maybe I’m just too socially awkward for this whole interacting-with-other-people thing.)

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Compulsively Counting Rows

I don’t strictly need to count rows on my fuzzy pants.  The pattern that I put together for them is written in terms of “knit [stitch pattern] for [length],” but I’m just the kind of person who counts things.

I was the kid in the grocery store who had to step on each set of colored tiles an equal number of times with each foot.  I could step on the cracks and color changes, but I had to make sure that my other foot stepped on a similar piece of tiling, too, with each color lining up with the corresponding part of my foot.  I even went so far as to allow myself to walk normally through the store, but I had to even things out before we left, which made for some strange footwork on the way out the door.  I would chant to myself (in my head, of course) the patterns: One left half blue half white, one right blue, two left green, two right white.  I always kept track of everything, even when the list seemed impossibly long.

I also memorize numbers.  Phone numbers, credit card numbers, library card numbers, and the series of temperatures that the weatherman on TV says.  I can’t help it.  I actively tried to lessen this power in college, because it was creepy that I knew my roommate’s and several random friends’ student ID numbers, and now I only remember numbers when I actively try.  I succeeded in turning off the part of my brain that copied down every number encountered without conscious effort on my part.

Unfortunately, this means that I no longer know without conscious effort what row of knitting I’m on.  I’ve actually resorted to writing things down now.  Which is ridiculous because, did I mention? I don’t have to count the rows on this pattern!  Why am I still counting?  Because I’m just the kind of person who counts things.

Obligatory (slow) progress photo:

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