Thursday, June 18, 2009

Knitting quirks

This week I've mainly been wrestling with swatching, math, and other nasty unavoidables for a new sweater. I also started this, though:

It's the beginnings of a Swallowtail shawl (pdf link)--very popular among the lace knitting community. I decided it was finally time to knit one for myself. It's at about the eighth repeat and almost jumping off the DPNs . . . time to switch to circs. *sigh*

Which leads to my next thought. I was talking to the lovely Aspen yesterday--about knitting, of course. She mentioned using a center-pull ball for her current project as it helped her keep a more even tension. I hadn't ever thought about it before, but once I started, I began to wonder if that's why I prefer working from the outside of the ball. I knit rather oddly--basically Continental, but I throw the yarn rather than picking. As a result, I adjust all the tension with my fingers; the needles are barely involved. I like the amount of "give" you get from winding yarn straight off the ball--center-pull has too much resistance for me.

This preference for balled yarn pulled from the outside has led to trouble in the past. (Notoriously, I once dropped a ball in a lecture--it rolled under the seats all the way to the bottom of the sloped auditorium. My friends pretended they didn't know me as I scrambled to collect it afterwards.) But it's the way I do things, and our conversation about balls (*snicker*) and tension got me thinking.

I have all sorts of odd little quirks. In addition to the way I like my yarn, I hate metal needles and don't like circulars at all--hence the above angst about moving my Swallowtail to its new home.* I'm sure other knitters have their own foibles--what about you? What are your quirks?

*Note: I've never knit with expensive circs like Addis, though. I'm willing to be convinced.


lisaknits said...

You are so funny! For what it is worth, I love both vanilla and chocolate ice cream too! I am a continental knitter and I knit from the outside of balls..something just feels wrong to me about the center pull ball...don't know what..maybe how it resembles an implosion..the whole thing collpses on itself at the end..too existential for me..hows that for quirk??

Nyx said...

I love centre-pull balls, but laceweight yarn (and even light fingering and fingering weights) should always be knit from the outside of such; otherwise, enormous yarn barfs result. ASK ME HOW I KNOW. *sob*

Also, while the Addis are quite nice, the Options are still pointier. Lighter, though, which I know some people don't like.