Hap-pily knitting along

The Hap is coming along nicely – the border is up to Row 35 of 50. If I had any thoughts of it making an FO post today, I would be keeping them to myself. Not that I am saying that I did. Think that, I mean…

As always with circular needles, my hands  are hurting as I knit this and I require frequent breaks. It has been my intention for a long time to explore the “Continental” style of knitting, to see if this would help. I was planning to actually get my backside into gear on this one soon, as I have plans to knit some Fair Isle – however…

(Please bear with me now, I am going to ramble. It is a deliberate ramble as I want to share some things with you as I travel by this circuitous route.)

Do you know about Franklin Habit and the Panopticon? If you do not, then you should He is one funny man knitter. Like Brooklyn Tweed (Jared Flood), Franklin is also a Photographer and Knitwear Designer. He is also a published cartoonist and writer: It Itches

Franklin shares his blog space with Dolores Van Hoofen, a Romney ewe and Harry Bollasockyarn. Both Harry and Dolores twitter. Each member of this unusual ménage à trois is wickedly funny. I commend The Panopticon to you.

Franklin loves England. He has friends there and enjoys a visit., He came over for Knit Nation, by Aeroplane, then returned to the USA by the scenic route, in time for Sock Summit, on the Queen Mary 2. Franklin of course blogged the trip –

and Harry took  the camcorder –

(or see the videos at You Tube: Harry’s travel trilogy)

Earlier this week I took time out to watch Harry’s videos. They are fun, and the closest that I shall ever get to either Knit Nation or Sock Summit!

Ready for the crux? In one of the videos, probably the first one – I saw somebody knitting in a very unusual manner. She had her yarn attached to her clothes?!?

Investigation and further study has led me to the Portuguese style of knitting.

I joined the Ravelry group last night and I got me some needles and waste yarn and I had a go.

Knit and Purl are both easy to understand and to work. Purl is by far the simplest and fastest (- opening up possibilities for purled garter stitch projects.) I attempted the feat with the yarn around the back of my neck. My tension was looser than it would normally be, but the tension was very even. I then tried running the yarn through a safety pin attached to my sweater. I found that my tension became even looser and was actually less even than when I had the yarn about my neck. Here is what I did…

I am using a needle too large for my yarn, so this is not a fair test of tension.

The green arrow shows where I swapped from neck (bottom of swatch) to safety pin (top of swatch.) Sorry it is a poor photograph.

Using a long straight needle was difficult. I suspect that this method is better suited to short needles/DPNs/circulars. I got into a kerfuffle with the right hand tensioning.

More practice needed!

Tonight I shall have a go with sock needles and the same yarn, to see if things improve.

I also need to try casting on and off using the PK style.

It is worth persisting, I believe. The economy of movement used in making the stitches is surely an indicator that the method would be easier on my sore joints. If I do persist, I need to solve the pinning problem asap. I have been unable to find a source of the pin-on yarn hooks in the UK. I can get one from Andrea

$5 from Andrea Wong Knits

and Lacis sell these too

$7 from Lacis

(hmmm, I could do an order for that alongside the Niebling book that I am lusting after.)

or magnetically attached ones from Stoneybrooke via Andrea

but I am impatient and would like to find one closer to home, and preferably one not likely to attract import charges. If these are Portuguese, then I should be able to source some in the EU? There is an attractive little one in this YouTube video.

Anybody know where I can get one?

I think I shall speak to my neighbour Rosemary and see if she can make one for me. I shall also tell her about Portuguese Knitting as she is not successful with knitting, although she can crochet. It is said that the PK style of knitting suits crocheters better than the English style does. This may be the answer to her tension difficulties.

I still need to investigate Continental Knitting. I had hopes that Craft Club might tackle that this year but I think Craft Club may be moribund.

PS if you take a look at the Lacis page, can you tell me how that cable thimble works? The notion confounds me.

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