Thursday, May 31, 2007
All the way to the toe
As you can see, the experiment sock is almost done. I used the two circular needle technique throughout.
Thoughts. I like the way that it corrals your needles. Unlike dpns, there's very little chance that one of your needles will become wayward and get itself lost. I can see where this would be very useful in those situations (like on an airplane) where a loose needle would be more than an inconvenience.
I like the way that the instep stays on one needle throughout the sock. I can see where this would be very useful in a sock with an intricate pattern that goes all the way down to the toes. There's a definate mental seperation between the 'sole' needle and the 'foot' needle; it's almost impossible to decrease in the wrong place. That HAS happened to me on five dpn - one quadrant of the sock in progress looks much like another on dpns.
At first, I was getting some laddering. Since ladders happen when the yarn has to travel more than a 'stitch' worth between needles and this technique has the yarn going around 180 degrees, that makes sense. Once I figured out that I needed to slip the half I just finished onto the CORD of the needle instead of leaving it on the tips before starting the next needle, things were better. Getting the stitches onto a flexible surface let them fall into about a 90 degree angle, which I find is optimal for reducing ladders. And the smaller diameter of the cord let me snug that last stitch down a bit further than even dpns do - thuse reducing the laddering even more.
About the only thing that I don't like is that I have never found an 'automatic' rhythm with this technique. On dpns, I almost don't have to pay attention to the needle change. I was always fumbling with the floppy ends of the circ trying to get myself set up for the next needle's worth of stitches.
All in all, though, I'm glad I did this little experiment. It's always good to have another string to your bow (so to speak). And understanding this technique will let me use it when and where it's most useful.