Sunday, June 17, 2007

Another experiment

I love Cat Bordhi. I love how her mind works; I wish mine worked like hers does. Every now and then I pick up one of her books and I'm amazed all over again at her innovative thinking and analytical way of looking at things.

This week, I picked up, once again, "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles". I must admit that, though I've owned the book for a few years, I've never knitted anything out of it. After having knit a pair of toe-up socks from Interweave Knits (Ann Budd, designer), I decided to look at Cat's book again. This time, I'm trying one of her patterns. Toe up. One sock at a time, thank you.

I've chosen to follow her pattern for the Cable-top (though I'm not sure if I really want to work the cable top). It's a toe-up pattern that introduces Cat's "Turned Toe". It also uses a provisional cast on. That's another story. More on that later.

I've just finished the toe box of this sock and I'm really impressed. I mean, I'm impressed with how she did it. It works. It's neat. My work could use a little finesse, but, as it's the first time doing it, it's acceptable. Now, it's on to the rest of the sock.

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The provisional cast on... In the pattern, she uses the provisional cast on with a contrast yarn of the same weight. As an aside, I have Montse Stanley's book, borrowed from the library, and sat down with it this morning to learn the right way of doing this cast on. I must be honest: I don't like working it on waste yarn. I find it far too 'floppy' and hard to pick up the stitches. Anyway, having said that, I sat there with waste yarn, working yarn, a pair of straight needles, Cat Bordhi's book and Montse Stanley's book all spread out around me. And I started thinking.

Cat's patterns call for two circulars. Circular needles are flexible... like yarn. The provisional cast on puts stitches on your working needle and on the waste yarn (which really just sits there holding the stitches, right?). So, if the waste yarn is just holding the stitches, why couldn't the second circular needle hold those stitches instead? I tried it. It worked! The flexible cable nicely held all my provisional stitches; I went ahead with the first part of the toe on one needle, as per Cat's directions, then dropped that needle, went to the second needle and continued the pattern as written. And no waste yarn to fiddle with!

Gotta love it!


  1. You know, I wouldn't be too envious about how Bordhi's mind works when it's clear yours works pretty durned well too :)

    Brilliant option for a provisional cast-on!

  2. Way to go Ev! I'm still undecided about toe-up socks...just don't seem right! I seem to have the toe figured out just's the heel that sends shivers down my spine! I look forward to seeing the finished sock, you can do it...


  3. That's a stroke of genius!
    Provisional cast on's drive me nuts, but not anymore.