Saturday, December 29, 2007

How to knit using a cable needle

Why do people cut corners, when the corner being cut is such a tiny inconvenience?

I spent this morning with my father-in-law, learning to make codfish cakes, because I love them so... He is an excellent cook, and prepares wonderful food from his home (Bermuda), and seems to know everything there is to know about preparing fish, which is not my strong suit. So we had planned our "date" for this morning, during his visit at our place, to teach me how to make the cakes. I call them "cakes", because "codfish balls" doesn't sound very good, does it?

I hesitated to try making them for so long, because I didn't understand the procedure for soaking the dried salted cod. Turns out, it is very easy, and completely worth the time you need to dedicate to it. I just needed a walk-through. They were delicious, and now I know how to make them.

Can you believe... yes, this is another post about the scarf. Bear with me -- I'm obsessing.

I found a million ideas on knitting shortcuts on the web. Ways to avoid using a cable needle (a $1.75 item, by the way)... ways to make things go faster, contraptions...whatever. Why? Knitting, like sewing, is about the PROCESS and the resulting specificity of the product. If you want something fast, just go to the store and buy it, right?

I had to create this post because I had such a hard time finding a clear explanation of how to use a cable needle myself... and the search terms a novice knitter would use weren't taking me there. Besides, I don't know anyone within a reasonable proximity who knits.

See the video below...

Okay, if you can get past the fact that one of these women clearly doesn't have enough clothing on (...?), although she sports a scarf... and they are so giddy that I wonder if a little pharmaceutical help wasn't aministered... this is a clear enough explanation for me.

If you are out there in the blogosphere, Ladies featured in this video, and happen to see this post, just know that you achieved your goal -- your video was both entertaining and informative... but I do wonder what is up with the wardrobe, woman on the left...

It did give me a giggle, though.

Now, on row 14 of my test run, I can see that this pattern will work for me, and it is making sense. This is my test yarn (part of my 6-year-old daughter's supply), so I would have to make an appropriate choice, so the coils will "read" well.

I can see it setting up like a raised ridge that sits on top of the knitted background, and my strands are just at the first intersection, so I can tell that I am reading the instructions correctly. hard to photograph, becuase I can't catch it at the right angle, but it feels good so far...

So, I was thinking... if I were to come up with my own (sewn) version of this scarf, I think I would make winding trails of passimenterie or cording on a cozy sweater knit or velvet fabric. Maybe I'll add that to my list.

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