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a little help from my friends October 17, 2012

Putting together the studio relocation has been something that is referred to in lots of professions as Hurry Up & Wait. Everything is in place, ready to launch, but there’s a little bit of a gap between now and then…

Even though I’ve had lots of experience with this from ye olde news journalism days (election night? playoffs under the net? the jury’s in!) it’s taken on a more personal twist as my Cabin Days have caught a little cabin fever. There seems to be a prevailing LIMBO effect setting in that needs a tune-up.

One of the best ways I know how to create a distraction? Start A New Project.

But here’s the rub. I’m all packed up and ready to go! (Yay!) But my stuff is in another city, (not even the final destination), waiting for its turn on a truck. (Boo!)

Here in the woods lives whatever could fit into one of those super-sized plastic tubs to go along as WIP & samples.

Of course, once the Little Bad Muse moved in a couple of weeks after moi, it turns out that I didn’t bring the stuff I actually want (or need) to use.

Case in point: I’m making some hat samples for the winter season but can’t find all the ingredients that I need to use (in storage). I actually went in and visited the pile to bring my bike out here but it was evident that the whole thing was like a game of Jinga at this point and should be revered not touched. (Truly – leave it to the professionals — but it was worth it just to see the look on the guys face when I asked!)

So, when it turned out that the 16″ circular needle I was using was so unproductive to speed knitting (tips too long to really knit curves), I dug through my box and found I had a 12″ circular needle.

THIS was even more disappointing. (Sometimes you have to wonder if manufacturers are using their own tools – or testing them with the end-user). No matter how I tried, the tips on these were even more frustrating, even though they had a built-in bend at the cable join.

Why don’t circulars have proportioned tips? Why isn’t it closer to 2″ instead of 4+ inches? The action takes place on the first inch of the needle no matter the length; the rest is just a holding mechanism.

I was so frustrated by the slooooooooow progress I was making, I did something I avoid like the plague.

I fished out the DPN.

And people, I’m in love…

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For some reason, maybe the fact that living in the woods has calmed me down many, many notches, these feel totally normal to me. In the past, there was much poking, fumbling, and mayhem, to the point the poor little WIP might just live under couch for awhile. ;p

Now it’s full speed ahead but I have a question for all you DPN-lovers: HOW do you stack your needles?

In the picture above, the needles are – right point Holding Needle B over left point Holding Needle A.

Then, when I start working the sts on B, I have Working Needle C over A.


So far, no ladders, and it’s pretty darn fast.

Am I missing something here?

I saw the fastest knitter EVER on the #66 bus one day knitting a sock at super-sonic speed and would love to go FASTER!

Wish I could see that sock one more time.

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6 responses to “a little help from my friends October 17, 2012”

  1. Vicki says:

    I love DPNs — prefer straight needles of all types! The end of my working needle always rests over the next, which rests over the next, and that one rests over the next, and sometimes there’s another (if I’m using five needles).

  2. CeltChick says:

    Hmm, I read that whichever needles are in current use should rest facing you. In practice, for me, this means making sure both points of the “holding” needle are unencumbered & in front of the other needles, except for the working needle. I got away from DPNs for sock knitting, but recently used them again for a repair job on a hat made commercially, and have a renewed interest in DPNs for that kind of project. I’ll still be using Magic Loop for my socks! BTW, thanks again for the Stash Out goodies, I’m still debating what project my Jitterbug skeins will become.

  3. Bets says:

    I stack:
    right hand needle – front under left hand needle, end is over previous needle
    left hand needle – front over right hand needle, end is under needle afterwards

    Hope your move is complete soon :)

  4. Beth says:

    That yarn you are knitting is lovely. I am a lover of the DPN. I usually stack the needles the way that you are showing in your picture. Sometimes it feels like there is too much stretch between the knitting needles and the hanging needle, especially when knitting a loose, lacy pattern – then I make sure the unused needle is on top of the needles that are being knit with. I find that it drives me crazy to knit socks with 4DPNs and it drives me crazy to knit hats with 5 DPNs. Isn’t it great that we have options. I’m in Seattle – come on up if you need tools!

  5. Seanna Lea says:

    I stack them that way usually too. It just feels too unnatural to have the needle I’m knitting off of below the needle I just worked.

    I have the 9 inch circulars which do take getting used to, but they make for a nice alternative for dpns for socks. Though I have bamboo dpns, some square dpns and one set of Signature dpns (I won them and they are awesome), so it isn’t like I need to ever use a circular for socks.

  6. OHSue says:

    I have always preferred don. Not sure how to phrase it, but when I finish one needle the next one I will be knitting from is on top and the one that just got finished will be on the bottom. I am self taught so no one ever told me a “right way”, just seemed the needles must have fallen in place that way.
    I know I am much faster on dpn. I have done socks two at a time, one sock on circ and one on dpn. Much faster on dpn but don’t know why. I use Circs for all sweaters and scarves.

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