Monday, December 31, 2012

Twisted Germans and Snow Falling Softly

by Kelly

"Snow, it won't be long before we'll all be there with snow
Snow, I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow"
                                                                           - White Christmas

Well, maybe not that last part. I do love snow, but let's not get carried away, here.

Especially the fluffy white kind of snow that looks like spun sugar. When each tiny, delicate flake is visible, it rewards a closer look. Don't slip!

In other news, I'm working on a special project for my aunt-in-law : leg warmers.

I know what you're thinking. Leg warmers, really? Well if bell-bottoms can come back, why not leg warmers?  And anyway, my aunt-in-law only wants them for a practical purpose - her legs get cold, and she wants to keep them warm. I can only hope that she doesn't set a fashion trend.

Of course, if you're going to leg warmers (or socks or mittens, I suppose) you should really master a flexible or stretchy cast on. The one I've run across most seems to be The Twisted German or Old Norwegian cast on, and neither of those names made me think that this was going to be a simple matter, to learn this new trick. And oh, how right I was.

Have I mentioned that I mostly learn new knitting and crochet techniques by watching YouTube videos? Well, this time, even YouTube failed me. Oh, there were plenty of video tutorials - too many, in fact. And most of them were unclear for various reasons - odd camera angles, too close or too far from the action, or maybe they took for granted that you would know instinctively how much yarn to use for the long tail, or how to wind a cat's cradle of yarn around the thumb and fingers of your left hand.

But then I found How to Knit the Twisted German Cast On by newstitchaday, and I finally saw what I was doing wrong - I wasn't tightening the stitch after getting it onto the needle. Success at last:

And yes, I know that's supposed to be on double pointed needles. I find it really fiddly to cast onto DPN's, so I just cast on with a long regular needle and then transfer the stitches.

So for now, onward with the leg warmer project. Let's hope that we don't have to crack out the dangly earrings next. I'm afraid I've gotten rid of all of mine. Although big hair will not be a problem - I can get that look easily enough with just a little humidity.
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