Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Knitting in the (Grrrr)Round

Earlier this year, and just a few months after picking up the knitting habit, my husband and I flew to California. While waiting to board the plane, we spotted two young girls holding what I could only then call a contraption. It consisted of four double-pointed needles crossed tic-tac-toe style, and held together by yarn.

"What are they doing?" a teenage girl sitting nearby asked me (I suppose she thought I knew since I was crocheting at the time.)

"Haven't a clue," I said. "But it reminds me of one of those crafts I made during summer camp."

I later learned the girls were most likely making socks using a process called Knitting in the Round. This intrigued me, since my main knitting goal is to make socks. After practicing various knitting stitches, and because I had a 50% off coupon for Michael's, I purchased my first set of double-pointed needles, and with the thrill of victory, watched one of Lion Brand's how-to videos which they posted on YouTube and began knitting in the round.

And I want to know what the heck those kids were doing to make it look so easy!

Their little setup looked perfect, and with serene faces, they demurely wrapped yarn around the ends and did....something. But the entire contraption never wavered from its tic-tac-toe formation:

That's mine, by the way. But it doesn't look like that while I'm knitting. Instead of forming a square, the needles I'm not working with (which means three of them) are flipping and flying everywhere, including toward my face.

I hopped on YouTube and watched yet another video. The hostess, the owner of, implied that's just the way it is. Oh drat.

At this point, I assume it's just a matter of practice, so as I did when I first began knitting, I plan on Knitting in the Round for a few weeks (outside of working on other projects) to get the hang of it and to figure out how to close the gaps where the needles meet. Another option is to knit with circular needles—using two sets, I learned—but I think it's best to learn both methods since it appears both are still used.

Interested in learning how to Knit in the Round using double-pointed needles? Click on the Lion Brand YouTube channel link above and watch the How to Make Socks: Casting On video. Or (or and, because both helped me) watch Jennifer, the Stitch Diva's video:

If you're interested in learning how to Knit in the Round using the easier circular method where pointy needles don't flip and fly, watch the video below:

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