After very many years of knitting practice and many finished projects worn or used by three different generations of family and friends, I've taken on the challenge of learning a couple of new techniques; Magic Loop and Continental knitting.
Josiekitten came to visit yesterday, for a knit, natter and catch-up. Needless to say, cakes were involved and the swap of small balls of sock yarn from our finished socks; to be used on our Sock Yarn Blankies (one day)!
She passed on a couple of new skills that she had learnt from a colour work course at Loop, London. I had tried Magic Loop for sock knitting several years ago and it definitely didn't aid my sock production, so I didn't pursue the skill. However, this time it just seems to have clicked! It feels as though I have been using this method forever, rather than for about one quarter of one sock!
I remember watching someone using the Continental method for a pair of socks several years ago at Knit Nation. She was whizzing along and seemed to be amused and bemused by our comparatively slow progress (I'm NOT a slow knitter!). I have never tried before yesterday.
So, over a cup of coffee (tea for Josiekitten) and cake, we hatched a joint project plan to knit a pair of socks each using the same yarn, Opal Sweet and Spicy3 in colour way 'fruit gums'. We agreed to knit using Magic Loop and the Continental method.
Today, Mr Snoops, Oscar and I set off in the glorious sunshine for a day trip to the beach; Aldeburgh , in Suffolk. Yes, the sun shone all day, we had fish and chips out of the paper and then afternoon tea at Snape Maltings, before heading home via Dunwich. It was beautiful and warm enough to not need coats!
Travelling time served to get that Magic Loop working it's magic. It did! I'm hooked! How can it be that I have not perfected this skill before. It makes so much sense to knit, in effect, on two needles rather than four. It saves time! I've worked hard to avoid ladders at either side and so far, so good. they're not looking TOO bad. I'm thrilled! NO MORE DROPPED DPNS down the side of the car seats! No more needle between the teeth, whilst I 'knit on one' to avoid a ladder. Hooray! Well, at least for my plain stocking stitch Dave pattern socks.
I'm not, as yet, having the same success with the Continental method, but am persevering. Things can get only get better it seems. In fact, they did get slightly better on the journey home, as I adjusted my 'yarn hold' to suit me better. I'll keep practising, but it'll need to speed up very quickly before I can even begin to say that I may be falling in love. There'll need to be some magic! ;-)