magical mystery tour

Tonight, I made an advancement in my knitting life.

See, I learned to knit when I was 8 years old. Mom taught me. I played around a lot, never really got super into it, but always considered myself a knitter. In college, a friend organized a club to knit hats to donate to homeless shelters. A bunch of my hallmates were going to participate and learn to knit, and my latent knitting self came forth. But there was no real advancement in my knitting.

Until about 6 years ago. I went to Stitches East for the first time–my friend Osprey, who’s actually some kind of third cousin by marriage, had introduced me to the annual event. And that first year, I took a class. Double knitting. I’ve wowed people with that skill ever since. But that’s not the breakthrough (double knitting is so easy). No, the breakthrough was that while in that class, I saw a woman knitting continental for the first time. I’d heard of the technique, but never seen it in action.

So for the next few months I started to teach myself to knit continental. It was definitely a struggle. It was unnatural. My tension was wonky. But I persevered. This was a major advancement. I got freakishly fast (and I’d been speedy before).

And until recently, I’d not been making many advancements. Sure, I’d done a whole fair isle project, with great success, but that was clearly within reason for me.

Tonight, dear readers, I did the magic loop for the first time.

magic loop

It’s very nice. I’m still getting the swing of moving the cord around, and I haven’t hit on a nice fluid sequence. But I like it. I’d been reading about it for a long time now, and I was just waiting for an opportunity to try it. The USMP sleeve is just such an occasion. (I’m trying out Eunny‘s 82 stitches instead of 92, but I’m considering starting over with 92, just to see how ridiculously big the sleeves feel.)

Another technical breakthrough for me–learned from knittinghelp.com–is the felted join when starting a new ball of the same yarn. Holy crap. How did I not think of this? Why did no one sit me down and tell me about it? My mom clearly doesn’t know about it, but needs to. It is far more magical than magic loop. I think it should be called Magic Join. After I did the first one, my boyfriend teased, “Are you going to go blog about it right now? Are you? Are you?” and I didn’t post about it mostly because I didn’t want to suffer further teasing from him. But I wanted to. Oh, I wanted to so badly. Because this has changed. my life. forever.

3 Responses to magical mystery tour

  1. amylovie says:

    I’ve been wanting to learn the Magic Loop as well. I have the book calling to me on the shelf.

    I think it is amazing how you think you got this knitting stuff down, and low and behold there is something else new and exciting to learn. Very cool.

    Amy

  2. Rachel says:

    I love that feeling of learning something new and useful! I’m impressed that you persevered with knitting continental — that’s one I’ve given up on many a time. And magic loop never felt quite right to me. I love the felted (magic) join, though!

    My big recent advancement is knitting cables without a cable needle. I’ve been congratulating myself for that one pretty much constantly for the past week. So I’m right there with you. :)

  3. Laura says:

    can you believe that I figured out how to do the Magic Loop by looking at a single picture? (the picture on the cover of the magic loop booklet) I kept telling myself that there HAD to be a way to make a small diameter project with one or two circs and I did it after seeing the booklet advertised.

    Anyway–I guess you think learning continental is worth it. I can do it and I do knit with both hands when doing fair isle, but continental purling is awkward for me. Maybe I should give it another try.

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