For years I never used double pointed needles or DPNs as most knitters call them. I didn’t even know they existed. I can’t remember when I started using them or what I first knit with them but, once I did I used them as much as possible. The truth is I hate to sew seams. If I can knit something on circulars or DPNs I will do it every time. I love sweaters like a traditional ski sweater where the only sewing is a little bit under the arm. Admittedly DPNs have there problems. The first few rounds are awkward to knit and joining the first round can be tricky. And the worst is if you join the round incorrectly and it twists. If it twists you are screwed and will have to rip it out and start over. As far as I know there is no other fix for a twisted round.
Today I’ve set up short tutorial on how I join DPNs that help prevent twisting and makes joining less awkward. A lot of patterns tell you to cast on all the stitches and distribute them evenly across your 3 or 4 needles. Then somehow you’re supposed to take that crazy chaos and join them all without twisting. It took me awhile but I figured out a better way.
Here’s how I do it. Here is a link to a pdf if you want to print this tutorial.
And that’s it. Good luck and I hope you enjoy using DPNs as much as I do!
On December 31 we had a record low of -28℃ (-18 ℉). The girls would be going back to school in a week and my oldest daughter had been wearing a threadbare pair of fingerless mittens I made for myself. These mittens are perfect for a bus commuter. The flaps keep you fingers warm but allow you access to your fingers for things like grabbing your bus pass. Are they warm? They used to be but the thumbs are so worn out they almost have holes in them. So I grabbed some yarn and DPNs and started making her new ones. I used the pattern World’s Simplest Mittens with my own modifications. The yarn is some left over Paton’s Classic Wool in worsted weight that I doubled for extra thick mitts.
The modifications were to divide the mitt into four fingers (I needed to add a couple of stitches so the fingers weren’t too small). Then I created the flap with rib on one half (to face the inside of the mitten) and stocking stitch on the other half. The flap length starts from the top of the thumb gusset until it was long enough to cover my daughter’s fingers. I used Kitchener stitch to sew the flap on.
It has taken me a long time as a knitter to make modifications to patterns instead of designing a whole new pattern. It saves a lot of headaches and time especially if the project is a simple thing like mittens or a hat. Don’t be afraid to jump in there a try modifying a pattern to create something new.
So for Christmas we decided to adopt a rescue dog. Adopting a dog was a surprise because my husband and I had felt a dog would be too much responsibility. But often in life things change and we changed our minds. We have room in our family for more love but aren’t having anymore children (ya I’m so done) and a dog seemed like a great choice. So Patches, an eight year old beagle mix stray from Kentucky joined our family on December 23 – just in time for Christmas.
Our cat, Boots is still not impressed and is very slowly trying to deal with this new change. He’s pretty pissed that we brought this new furry guy into the house and even left a ‘present’ for Patches on his dog bed one of the first days he was here. He has started to accept things however and I think in time he might even like the dog.
I was a knitting fiend during the Christmas season and I haven’t stopped as the list of things needed/wanted grows. My latest project is a baby blanket for a former co-worker and present client who is due this month. I’ve never had to knit a blanket so close to the wire. I hope to have it done for tomorrow since I’ll see her then.
I just love this pattern – Shadow Cable Baby Blanket and I knit it before. This new one is in Easter Egg Baby Blanket by Bernat.
Happy New Year and Merry Christmas my fellow knitters! I realize I’ve fallen off the grid for two freaking months! I was in a knitting crunch trying to get so many projects done that I didn’t have time to blog. On top of the usual business of the holiday season my family and I got a rescue dog on December 23. Patches is a much loved new addition, well much love by everyone except the cat. Taking him for walks has been challenging for all of us as the temperature here has been -24C (-11F) to -15C (5F) on average and that’s not factoring in the windchill.
I’m happy to say that I was very busy knitting Christmas gifts this year. And everyone who received that showed a true appreciation for them. So I proudly share with you my photos:
Witch Cats Hat from Ravelry – Gift for my aunt.
Cat mittens modified World’s Simplest Mittens and Witch Cat Hat patterns to create matching mittens.
Flash Beer/Coffee Cup Cozy – my own pattern using duplicate stitch to create the lighting bolt. Gift for my brother in law.
Houndstooth Fingerless Mitts – modified World’s Simplest Mittens with houndstooth pattern. Gift for my niece.
Purple and Silver Heart Ornaments. Part of homemade family gifts.
Final family gift packages – homemade hot chocolate mix, two knit heart ornaments and gift tag designed by me as Blue Bug Design.