I managed to find some time to play with the KP Harmony DPNs I received on Tuesday. These are my very first Double Point Needles! Can you believe I've been knitting hats and mitts without DPNs???
The first thing I noticed is how pointy these sticks are! I was surprised to find that my previously-never-splitty yarn was actually quite a bit splitty when I knit with these DPNs. I have to be very careful about that. While knitting, I couldn't help but worry about whether I was knitting too "hard" and possibly risking dulling the sharp point. I guess it must not be a problem and I merely have to get used to the feeling of using wood DPNs.
The second thing I noticed is how I needed to change the way I held my knitting. These DPNs are 8 inches long. While I had no problems knitting with the DPN in my right hand, I found that the tail end of that DPN would catch on my right sleeve. This sort of thing had never came up before since I've been knitting with circular needles. Now I have to adjust how I hold the knitting. It also helps a little if I pull my sleeve up.
Starting something small (mitt) in the round using DPNs is a little more fiddly than with circular needles, perhaps it is just a matter of getting used to it. One thing I really love is how much faster the knitting goes on DPNs once the piece gets more established. Yay! Now I think I will have to collect more DPNs in sizes 3.5 mm, 3.75 mm, 4.0 mm, and 5.0 mm. (I'm waiting for the sock size DPNs to arrive; they're on back order until 23 Dec 2008)
I've noticed that I tend to knit tighter using DPNs. I'm sure it is from a fear of stitches falling off.
Yarn: Elann Highland Wool, Jacaranda(?) color, 1 ball + ~1 yard of 2nd ball
Needles: 4.5 mm (US7)
So if you've been following my blog, then you know I've been working with the Four Rib Braid cable pattern lately and using them in mitts. To recap: Pink Four Rib Braid Cable Mitts, inspired by the Four Rib Braid iPod Touch Sock (pattern outline) I made, which was inspired by Cable Bag #3 (pattern outline).
I mentioned some planned improvements to the pink mitts (in this post) and have implemented them in the Purple Four Rib Braid Cable Mitts:
-- Minor tweak for seamless transition from ribbing to cable pattern. (there are 2 photos in this post so you can compare the two)
-- Changed the 2 rounds of ribbing at end of thumb and made it completely stockinette. I think it looks neater this way.
-- I am finally happy with the thumb gusset. Thumb gussets are a challenge for me.
-- Oddly enough, with the thumb gusset the way it is, I am now happy with a 16 stitch thumb.
The wrist section on the left mitt looks "lumpy" only because I have a jade bracelet there. I've worn that bracelet for many many years, and I am not removing it. No, it's not really because I love this bracelet. It's because I know it will be a painful process to remove it. Many many moons ago, my mom thought it would be a good idea for me to try on this bracelet. It was $*@&^#$%! getting the thing on. Many people use some soap to help slide these things on and off. I've kept the bracelet on ever since then and have worn it for such a long time that I don't even notice it is there. So after my mom had me put this bracelet on, she had this brilliant idea that I should try on a 2nd jade bracelet. I was like, NOOOOOOOOO!!!!
They say jade changes color over time. My mom believes this because she had a jade ring that was mostly white with a speck of green on it, which she received from her grandma when she was a kid. Fast forward several decades later, that same jade ring has turned completely green! I can't say whether my jade bracelet has changed over the years. Check back with me in a couple of decades, ok?
For my 3rd pair, I need to make the mitt larger to fit someone with much larger hands. In an earlier post, I mentioned some things I'd try to make a larger mitt. What I ended up doing was casting on 4+ stitches AND working ribbing on the palm side of the mitt (instead of the stockinette palm on the purple and pink mitts). This turned out too loose/large. The photo above shows the mitt fitting on the bottom of a Starbucks Grande size cold beverage cup. Yup, too large. I need to frog this and start over.
Next try will be one of the following, I haven't decided which yet:
1. CO 4+ stitches and stockinette on palm.
2. CO same # of stitches and ribbing on palm.
1 or 2? I'm leaning towards #1, because I knit stockinette much faster than ribbing.
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