Skinny Yarn on Skinny Needles

My hands are gonna need a break soon. I’ve gotten a late start on the May/June sweater, the Plain and Simple Pullover. I was waiting until I had a chance to buy new needles. My KP Harmony circular in the right size is the wrong length – I buy the 40″ length for magic loop, so it’s just too long to knit the traditional method and a bit too short for magic loop at this circumference. I had to wait because I’d just spent all my fun money on a little gift for Francisco and it wouldn’t be my turn for fun money again until my next paycheck.

But I got impatient. Then I got stubborn. There was a 16″ circ that was just the right size in the red mystery yarn so I cast on with that – 264 sts on a 16″ needle is a tight squeeze, let me tell you – and bullied my way through the first few rounds. Once there was enough there that I could easily see which was the right way up, I transferred to the KP circ and scrunched like I’ve never scrunched before. It’s a little more fiddly than I like my magic loop to be, but we’re managing. I only need to make it another week before I have some more fun money (and just happen to be near Windsor Button in Boston).

It doesn’t really look like a sweater yet, does it?

In other skinny yarn news, I’ve picked up a long-dormant project – but first, a little backstory.

A few years ago, I started a pair of socks in KP Gloss. I hadn’t made too many fully successful pairs of socks yet and these were purple and had silk in them and I was determined to make them just perfectly. They would be toe-up with a ribbed cuff and I would start the ribbing (perfectly centered) on the instep to show I was good at math and could figure that sort of thing out. I had knit mostly short-row heels up to this point, and had all my standard stitch counts ironed out. But the second heel just seemed mad at me. Determined to see me fail. I got to the last stitch on the heel and dropped it. It laddered down. Way down. So far down I didn’t know how to pick it back up. So, I ripped the heel out and started over. This time I sailed through the heel, no trouble, knit across the instep, and was almost all the way back around when I dropped the exact same stitch. And it laddered down in the exact same way, and I used all the exact same curses I had the first time.

The sock went to the corner to think about what it had done for a while. This was March 2009, Ravelry tells me. I picked the sock back up in July 2009, thinking I was really ready to forgive and try again, but the thing is, when I found it, it had a heel. A fully knit, properly wrapped, nothing dropped, short-row heel and the wee beginnings of a cuff. I swear to you I have no idea how this happened. So, they sort of became my magic socks. I finished them quickly and was so happy when they were done. I mean, look how happy:

I wore them a few times. Then I (accidentally) put them in the washing machine. And the dryer. And then gave them to a 4-year-old I thought they might fit.

Both to fill the empty space they left and because some people never learn, I promptly cast on a new pair of toe-up ribbed socks, this time with a gusset heel. This was January 2010 and I needed something to occupy my hands on a weekend trip when I knew I’d be sitting around a lot. I don’t know why I put them down again, but I saw them in the basket the other day and thought they’d make a good clean-up project (I’ve got a small pile amassing that should be addressed).

Now I just have to knit the second one before another 16 months pass. And keep them away from the laundry room.

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