I’ve recently began knitting socks using the Magic Loop method mostly in order to rid myself of the dreaded ladder syndrome. It’s also nifty to learn a different technique and so far, it has been interesting. Strange … but interesting.
As I mentioned in my previous post ‘backwards knitting’ I’m not accustomed to knitting with the right or public side of the fabric showing. By virtue of the Magic Loop method, the right side of the knitting is … well … as it should be. And I find this fascinating, fun and very weird. Okay … this makes me sound like a simpleton. Fascinating? Honestly! But the truth is this: it’s kinda cool to see the stitches appear when and where they ‘normally’ would. So … if this makes me rather ‘geeky’ in a knitterly fashion of course … okay.
However, there are some rather odd bits to this loop method that are slightly ‘problematic’ because of my peccadillo of backwards knitting. The most obvious challenge is picking up the stitches once the heel has been formed and rejoining to the instep. I’m completely used to constructing on the wrong side, not really seeing how the work is ultimately turning out, unless I reverse it to peek. So admittedly, I was bemused and a bit cautious when having to work this bit. Repetition can breed not only ease of technique with excellent results, but comfort as well. And this pulled me right out of my comfort zone.
Of course the most amusing aspect of this entire heel/gusset/instep business really had nothing to do with my backwards knitting issues. Rather, it was purely technical. I haven’t had time to fully research the Magic Loop method yet and so wasn’t entirely sure how best to pick up the stitches, or where exactly to place them. Should I switch to dpns for this aspect of construction? Is there a way to pick up and place them only on the heel needle? Do I slip the instep stitches to a holder and work with that needle? The answer, as far as I can tell, is ‘yes’ to that last question, but I’m not sure it’s the right or complete answer.All I can say for certain is: in the end, I used a combination of all of the above-mentioned in order to pick up and then knit/redistribute the stitches as needed and I what I presumed was ‘should be placement.’
I swear to all things holy sheep and in oath to Goddess Ewe, it was like hand-to-needle combat, involving blood (literally), sweat (not only because it was steamy hot inside), verge of tears (I refused to cry) and more than a few well chosen curses (happily shouted). I was one rumpled heap, but I managed … somehow. And so I continue looping … loop-dee-loop to the sister sock.
But I really DO need to ‘properly’ figure this out.