Last Friday I posted about provisional long tail cast on and my failing (so far) to become proficient at it. Reading everyone’s comments – thank you again to everyone who commented – I recognised more and more that it’s only my stubborn streak, that doesn’t like to be beaten, which makes me still want to master it. This raised the question, Having found (maybe even invented) provisional steeking cast on, why am I wasting my time listening to my stubborn streak?
Of course learning for learnings sake is good for our brains, but success (and evolution) are about doing what works best and letting go what doesn’t. So, as a knitting geek determined to learn unnecessarily complex techniques, I’m a bit of a dinosaur. But am I alone? And furthermore are there knitting geeks out there inventing new unnecessarily complicated techniques just to look clever?
One technique I question the point of is cabling without a cable needle by acrobatically twisting stitches around the needles. To me it’s completely unnecessary. Whatever you do, some stitches hang in the air at some stage, so why not just drop them in the first place and pick them up again? ( Many How to cable without a cable needle tutorials do teach it this way too.)
This isn’t the only alternative either. Here’s my three ways of coping when I can’t lay my hands on a suitable cable needle:
- Use an ordinary knitting needle as a cable needle.
- Drop the stitches to be twisted, to the back or front as necessary. If it’s good ‘sticky’ yarn let them hang, if it’s not, pinch just beneath the stitches, to help stop them running. Knit the stitches on the left hand needle that need to cross over. Slip the dropped stitches back onto the left hand needle and knit them. I sometimes do it this way anyway, because it’s quicker.
- In the circumstance that I have no other needles and happen to be knitting with an extra slippy yarn, or am knitting on a rollercoaster, or in the car when
a madmanLovely Husband is driving, I use a pen or, if a thinner cable needle is required, dismantle the pen, pull out the middle and use that as my cable needle.
All much easier than finger acrobatics.
Is there a craft technique that you find an overly complicated way of doing things?
Further suggestions in comments received of alterative implements to use as cable needles have been:
- Skewers – although I do not recommend these as they are sharp and may cause injury
I also discovered a cuticle stick amongst my collection of cable needles, which is practically a cable needle anyway and a really good at hanging onto your stitches if you have problems with them slipping back off your cable needle. I blogged about this one here.