May 09, 2008
The right tools make all the difference
The right tools make all the difference. Yes? I know I've mentioned this before - in my opinion, knitting needles can make or break a project in an instant. Grabby wood needles with a sticky synthetic yarn? Ugh, I'm ready to give up before I even begin! Fine lace knit with implements closer to chopsticks than knitting needles? Not now, not ever!
Many of the projects in Knitting New Scarves have common traits when it comes to the knitting process. For the most part, the scarves are narrow but spatially complex, which means only a handful of stitches are being manipulated at any given time. So, whether you're doing a rib division or some other finagled maneuver, you need your dpn to stay put and hold those two or three stitches as though its life depended on it... all while you twist and turn your work and juggle the other 4 or 5 needles. Ahem.
I can't say enough good things about Bryspun dpns for this particular task. They are the perfect combination of smooth and grippy - they'll hold two slippery stitches without budging an inch. They are lightweight - so when you've got five of them balanced in mid-air, you don't feel like you're working out muscles you never knew you had. They are very pleasant to grip, bending ever so slightly to the curve of your hand, and the plastic doesn't make any irritating noises as you (don't) click away.
And saving the best for last, the tips are genius.
Clever little tapers to tackle every tricky situation. Clever, indeed.
Interestingly, the pattern for the Linked Rib scarf calls for six dpns. Try as I might, I've never been able to use more than five at any given time. (Which is good, since Bryspun dpns come in sets of five.) And actually, 80% of the time only 3 or 4 needles are being used. But here's what a 5-needle situation looks like, for curiosity's sake:
This is an actual portion of the pattern, not just something I made up (where the ribbing is established, if you're knitting along). Crazy-looking, eh? But only a few stitches later, I'm down to three needles - two holding the stitches, and one working.
Ah! Much simpler to manipulate.