Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Knitting Tip - cheat with straight needles

Did you know? If you have two sets of the same size in straight knitting needles, you can actually have three projects going! Yes: three of the needles can each hold a project, and the fourth is swapped between the projects as the working needle. Nifty!

Well, ok, not really. While I so “ingeniously” discovered this principle, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s really not the best idea. The main drawback is that, unless you keep all three projects in the same bag, you can’t keep all your supplies with each project. This can be a great inconvenience. How terrible it would be to settle down with a knitting project, only to have to get up and track down the other needle, or to take your knitting somewhere and realize you don’t have both needles with you! (Don't we suffer from this enough already?) If you find yourself using this system on a regular basis, either (1) this is your most frequently-used needle size and you should invest in a third set, or (2) you have a tendency to start too many new projects. Hmm, I wonder which category I fit in?

While it isn’t the best idea on a regular basis, this technique can be a quick fix in a pinch, such as when you find yourself needing to make something for an impending birthday and both of your sets in a given size are already occupied. It’s also a good use for lonely needles that have lost their mate; if you lose or break one of your needles, don’t throw away the loner. First of all, you never know when that lost one will turn up (yeah right). Secondly, when you get a replacement pair you can use the extra needle to host a second project.

One tip: Only do this with needles that are from the same manufacturer. Even though the mm size may be the same, needles may differ slightly from company to company, and your gauge may vary with needles of different styles.


Christie Cottage said...

I have done this before.

I have not knitted now for months when I used to kit every night. Maybe soon!


RoadToGrinnell said...

I know how that goes! Crafts sometimes run in spurts...

I've been caught doing this with my size 6 straights, especially. :P

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