Ambidexterity. Almost

Oh, good heavens, I am knitting Fair Isle! What’s more, I am knitting Fair Isle two-handed. As in: one colour in each hand.

I need a lie down.

The background can be read here. Having taken it into my head to give this a go, I tried knitting with both colours in one hand. I was hopelessly uncoordinated and just could not get the hang of wiggling the correct digit. I adopted a method that involved dropping each colour and picking up the next… with the MC around my index finger and the CC around my middle finger – but using the index finger to wrap the yarn around the needle. If that doesn’t make sense when you read it, believe me you are correct – it made no sense to  work that way either.

One of the reasons that I have so long delayed the Fair Isle experience is that I told myself I would need to learn to knit Continental first – and hold a colour in each hand. Today turned out to be the day for doing that, and also the day that I discovered that the Continental method actually presents little challenge. The knit stitch is straightforward enough, and I am knitting Stocking Stitch in the round so all is well.  Of course, progress is much slower than for my normal knitting method! However, I am happy enough with the outcome and my tension will improve over the next few days, I am certain. The floats look good enough for a beginner anyway.

I’ve done two 6 round repeats. The first repeat,  done on an Addi fixed circular was a veritable nightmare. Switching to the tamer coils of the KnitPro Symfonie has helped a great deal. The sharper points of the Symfonie tips make the Continental hand much faster and easier too. Unfortunately I am using a dodgy set of tips, with a rough join. These were replaced without question when I bought them a while back but I kept them “just in case”.  At the moment they are the only tips of the correct size that I have, unless I raid the stock… which I may well do as he magic looping is very sticky. The yarn is also hampering progress – it’s oiled mill yarn and it irritates my skin and makes me sneeze. I should have washed it before I started but I wanted to have a go NOW. I’m the impatient sort of knitter.

After two repeats I find that I am faltering – it must be the unfamiliar use of my muscles – my left hand is tiring.

I’ll keep plugging away. I am determined to master this skill. However, it may involve a frogging exercise and the washing of some yarn before I can make real progress.

I should stress that this is only a practice piece. I shall be re-working this scarf in nicer yarn later, when I have more confidence in my stranded tension. I’m thinking alpaca. Light grey and denim blue, perhaps.

In Other News: just received an email to say my fiddle is on its way. It’s coming by courier, so the intended next day service will probably take a week to ten days. Is there any wonder that the Royal Mail is in difficulties when firms behave in such an idiotic manner?

One Comment

  1. February 28, 2012

    I can knit with 1 yarn in each hand but my tension is hideously uneven…
    I put up with it when I did some Double Knitting as it wasn’t so noticeable, but I’ve reverted to both yarns in the same hand for all my other stranded colourwork.

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