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Knitting, we hates it.

I am getting so frazzled by my failures in learning to do colour knitting. I've ripped my project back enough times now that the wool is in rather bad shape and will need washing, or simply throwing out.

I am doing the right moves for the two handed technique and I know how to weave. But I just can't get the tension right and stop it looking all lumpy and uneven, and having big stitches loom out all over the place and having the yarn behind showing through in a most unpleasant way.

My latest attempt was a middle way, and the worst so far: I was weaving every fourth or fifth stitch. This didn't help with consistency. And also, as I discovered in one little sentence amongst all the stuff I've started reading now (I'll confess I tend to try stuff on minimal reading and go to the reading when I'm tearing my hair out) - the fact that I was doing weaves on the same stitches on multiple rows did not help with the visibility problem.

But when I wasn't weaving religiously, just twisting the floats, I was getting tangled all over the place. Unfortunately, this pattern has long stretches in one colour. And everyone basically says that You can't do stranded knitting this way, go intarsia but trust me, it's not an intarsia pattern, the patternmaker certainly hasn't done it this way.

I'm not going to rip what I've done back any furhter until/unless I know what I'm doing with the next attempt, I'm starting from scratch. I may end up with two items: one which is stranded and floats twisted, and one which is religiously woven a la philospher's wool company. Pah.

And bloody Elisabeth Zimmerman can go take her personable and chatty style and shove it where the sun don't shine. Long floats not a problem indeed, screw you lady, and the sheep you rode in on.


That was all clear wasn't it? Yes, I am rocking in my chair and banging this keyboard very hard as I type. This is really, really bugging the shit out of me. And no I don't have my fucking period yet.

Am about to buy a pdf

(and I must say, in a briefly not-angry moment, how much I love that we can do this now. Really, it's great. It comes in book form, mailed to your door or purchased in a real shop if you want..but cheaper and immediate as a pdf. Who needs flying cars? The future is here today)

...but anyway, back to the cranky, I'm about to buy a pdf about stranded colour knitting which apparently includes stuff on tension, but it also includes enough other stuff that repeats a whole lot of info I've got elsewhere already(in fact, that appears in every intro to colour knitting) so I'm half expecting only a brief mention of the problem I'm facing and not necessarily anything new. But I am desperate. Soooo desperate. Will do one final check of all my knitting books first.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
I've had a couple of attempts at colour knitting- I don't like it either. My tension is too tight on the floats, icky. What you are trying to do sounds hard to me.

I confess if it were me, I'd put the whole thing aside and knit something else.
Feb. 6th, 2010 07:06 am (UTC)
see, this is when i lived closer to you so i could just pop around and show you how to do it easy peasy. but no, you have to live on the other side of the world. really, it is easy once you figure out the right way for you.

and i agree with you about ms zimmerman. she can take her books and shove them. fortunately she is dead. so i can just go dance on her grave in wisconsin for you.
Feb. 7th, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)
Hey not my fault you insist on living in foreign climes!

so i can just go dance on her grave in wisconsin for you.
With great abandon, please.
Feb. 6th, 2010 09:02 am (UTC)
I find it frustrating enough without colours! I do hope you find a way that suits you.
Feb. 6th, 2010 09:36 am (UTC)
Wow, now I'm positive knitting is not for me, as if I weren't before.

Are you really buying a portable document format?
Feb. 6th, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
I find continental style hard enough by itself; I can't imagine trying to intersperse it with English style with the other hand (I believe that's what you're doing with the two-handed technique, isn't it?) My brain would explode.
Feb. 7th, 2010 12:57 am (UTC)
Some things that might help:

- Are you using plastic bobbins? If not I recommend them because they mean you can have a much shorter thread. When I've used eached bobbin I flick it to the back of the work to minimise the tangling.
- I think the two-handed technique is hard and makes it more difficult to master. I'd recommend that you knit normally until you've got the tension under control. If you hold one colour over your 'flicking' finger and one under it's relatively easy to keep them under control, but some twisting is inevitable.
- Float tension needs to be much looser than you think it does. Try making the float over the top of a finger until you get the hang of it.
- Intarsia sucks and should be avoided if at all possible. (It's entirely doable, but I find it tedious).
I hope some of that helps - it's worth persisting with.
Feb. 7th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)

I'll try sticking to one hand and using bobbins The two handed thing *seems* easier, and the yarns never tangle which is lovely - but obvioualy not actually successful if I can't get the tension right...
Feb. 7th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
Go you! I have not even attempted to attempt color knitting for just taht very list of aggravations; I have enough problem with the very simple stuff I've been doing, and I'm doing fairly well on the cognitive and coordination fronts lately (well, probably better on the former than the latter, gauging by the number of typographical errors I've had to correct in this comment).
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


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