I can’t stand to watch

Icarus continues to drag along.


I’ve working out why it’s making me batty. The yarn is fine enough that I can’t “feel” what I’m knitting, so even thought the pattern is simple right now, I can’t just zoom while I watch TV or read. I have to watch every stitch to make sure that everything goes as planned. I don’t mind this when there is tons of intrigue in the knitting… like with patterned yarn overs and charts, but it turns out that if all I have to do is watch plain columns develop, I can’t stand it. I’m slogging through this. I think I should download a whole bunch of podcasts to listen to while I work. Take the edge off. Maybe drink heavily. I don’t know. It’s got to be almost to the lace part. It’s got to be.

In an email, Patty asked me how to do the crochet-cast off I suggest in the poncho pattern on the sidebar. I tried to send her an email about it but I’m going to be typing forever, when a picture (or fourteen) is worth a thousand words.

Crochet Cast-Off

Advantages: It takes (get this, you’re going to plotz) NO YARN. Yup, no yarn. You can knit and knit until you are totally out of yarn and then cast off. Suck at guessing how much you need to cast off? Ever run out of yarn while casting off? Ever piss yourself off because that silk was not cheap and you could have done another 3 rows because it didn’t take that much to cast off after all? This is for you.

Disadvantages. It’s a very firm bind-off. If you want it a little looser, you can try knitting the last row onto a bigger needle, but you’re still not going to have something elastic. This is not recommended for the tops of toe up socks unless you have a burning curiosity about gangrene of the human foot caused by poor circulation. On the other hand, for a sweater and stuff, it’s totally awesome, and on a scarf, shawl, wrap, or anything you’re going to fringe, it’s very nice.

1. Begin (and this is sort of important) working AWAY from the end of the working yarn if you are on circs, or, if you are on straights, slip all of your stitches to the other needle so that you can begin at the end opposite the working yarn. (Pardon the untidiness of my swatch. I’m under caffeinated. )


2. Slip the first two stitches (purlwise) to the crochet hook.


3. Pull Stitch “a” through stitch “b”, leaving “a” on the hook.


4. Slip another stitch (the next one would be your best bet) to the crochet hook, and pull that one through.


Repeat all the way along (or around, if you’re on a circular) until you get to the last stitch.


5. Pull the working yarn through the last stitch. Congratulate yourself for cleverness.


While we’re being useful, Vicki’s got a great tutorial on another way to fix a miss-crossed cable. (This way needs scissors.)

Happy 4th of July to American readers, I hope it doesn’t rain on your fireworks. Me? It’s Tuesday. I’ll be spinning.