Thursday, February 8, 2007

Continental Style

The boredom level associated with knitting the instep of the second of a pair of socks being knit up with fingering weight yarn on size 1 needles (that's a meager 2.25mm, for non-knitters) is comparable to waiting in line at the DMV on a very busy day. You're stuck because you can't get what you want any other way, but you'd really rather being doing anything else. The temptation at this point is to walk away from the desperately boring socks and start a new project, like the sock pattern you just found here . But I didn't give in, as I really want to wear these finished socks before Christmas.

When I sat down yesterday to work on my sock, I could feel that knot of dreaded boredom in my stomach. I hate being bored; I love knitting, thus I really hate being bored doing one of my favorite things. I love to learn new things; I've been curious to find out how much easier/harder Continental Method would be than English Method, thus I decided to teach myself Continental while finishing the sock instep.

My history with new techniques is iffy at best, especially when I wing it without instructions, as I did yesterday. For instance, I was determined to figure out Kitchener Stitch on my own, and I spent several days attempting it without success. But a couple of days ago, I overheard a very good bit of instruction by one of the kind people at Knit Purl on how to knit Continental Method left-handed, and felt I could remember enough to make a go of it. With pitfalls aplenty, such as gauge change, variable tension, and only better knitters than I know what else, this little step could've gone horribly awry.

But it didn't. Two rows later, I had discovered that Continental - if I can master it - will make knitting in the round, especially on double points, about a 100X easier and faster. The boredom monster evaporated and I got to feel really cool because I tried something different and was successful. I've done about thirty rows now in Continental, and my gauge appears to have stayed pretty much the same. Only the end product will tell, but I think I'm safe to finish my sock that way!

Maybe the next time one of my projects becomes a cure for insomnia, I'll take up Entrelac .

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