Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Knitting in Round

A while back, I posted that I was planning to knit a hat.  After a few consultations with some of my knitting helpers and an Amazon purchase of double-sided needles, I started knitting. Now that I'm about halfway through, I wanted to share the lessons I've learned so far.

Before we get started, please keep in mind that this hat is my first attempt at a few things:
1. I'm knitting off of a chart for the first time
2. I'm knitting in the round for the first time
3. I'm knitting a hat for the first time (I've crocheted hats, but never knitted one)

When reading a chart, make sure you read the accompanying instructions.  I know this sounds incredibly obvious, but sometimes there are things written in the directions that affect how you use the chart (i.e. change of needles).

Make sure you read the chart from right to left--the opposite of the direction in which you are currently reading this post. Charts are put together in the direction (most) people knit, and I'm finding it really helpful in visualizing my project as I knit.

Another cool thing about the chart--it's very easy to keep tabs on how many stitches you're supposed to have, and that you've made the right stitch in the right place, too.  I'm really wondering why I haven't used charts before now and what I was so afraid of! 

Which leads me into my next learning curve topic:  When knitting in the round, MAKE SURE YOU DON'T LOSE ANY STITCHES off the ends of your needles.  I don't know if I just have a stick management issue or what, but I just about had a breakdown yesterday when I started my cabling work and lost about 2 stitches off the ends of each needle in the process.  In order to combat this (and the 30 minutes it took me to locate and re-attach each lost stitch), I "MacGuyver'd" it.

I put hair elastics over the stitches at the end of each needle so I can keep them on while working other needles.  It's a bit rudimentary, but I knit a few rows like this last night, and it seems to be working really well.

I've been making myself knit at least one row a night, so I will get this done by mid-January at the latest (40 rows to go!) though I'm thinking I should be able to finish before Christmas for sure.  Pictures will be posted of the final project for sure, so keep an eye out.

Any other knitting tips you'd like to share? 

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