Reports of Success

Dear Readers, I bring you tidings of great joy: adding the thumb totally worked!

It could have been done a little neater, true. And it doesn’t look great here, because I deliberately made this for hands smaller than my own.

Nice, that it stretches enough to fit me, but that’s not the point. I will have to post another picture once Hannah’s tried it on.

Just for a re-cap. It’s two half-lengths of waste yarn knitted into the ends of a flat piece, as shown in the picture here. Arrows added for your convenience! Discoloration and blurriness added by my camera for your inconvenience!

Note in the second photo the transition from seam to stitches. “Seam to stitches.” I like that phrase.

It worked like a charm, and fit like a glove. (groan) I kept the stitches at their new width above the thumb, to make sure the brioche would stretch over the thumb adequately. The end result is a really funny looking glove when there is no hand in it.

 

As a side note, my knitting methods were described to me today as “hobo knitting”. I feel it’s pretty accurate, considering my past methods. Permit some reminiscing.

Before I knew that dpn’s even existed, I was baffled at how to close off a hat. I thought you just had to get smaller and smaller circular needles and eventually thread the piece from one to the next to the next. But eventually, the work gets so small that you need something a little more pliable or flexible.

My solution? Shoelaces! (I’ve got a long history of cannibalizing my own belongings in order to create something new. I didn’t like those shoes anyway.) The plastic tips fell apart fairly quickly, to which I answered: tapestry needles! These would add the rigidity I needed for getting stitches right, and thanks to having an eye, I could sew them to the inside of the shoelace!

Even in hindsight, the innovation excites me. Sorry. I’m getting full of myself. I still remember Marianne’s reaction at Perfect Touch Yarns in Joliet (my LYS at the time) when I told her about it. “How do you get the right gauge?” I didn’t know what difference needle and yarn sizes made at this point. Her flabbergastion only increased when I asked her what a gauge was. And there I was buying $12-a-skein yarns of really great wool, and I had no idea what I was doing with it.

Like most things with knitting, I eventually succumbed to proper technique but only having first attempted to recreate something with no prior knowledge and only a googled picture to prove it could be done. I say attempted, because my results were not what you’d call a success. I’m trying not to give myself undue credit; my old work was crap. Proper technique has yielded some really beautiful things, and early experimentation helped me learn it.

Not to end on a sad note, but my reminiscing made me look up PTYarns to see how everything was going. Turns out, Marianne went on indefinite hiatus last November after being diagnosed with cancer. If you find yourself with a few spare moments, say a quick prayer for a fellow knitter, a great teacher, and one the coolest ladies I had the good fortune of having met. G’night!

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4 comments
  1. rebkatz said:

    You sound like me–want to do something and don’t know how? Not a problem, make something up!

    • Long live innovation! Even if, in my case, it’s more due to laziness, since making things up is more convenient than setting your work down to go look it up.

  2. That is so cool! I’d love to see a picture of that hat. I have a running joke with a friend of mine about knitting a tube and just pulling a drawstring through it to make it into a hat. It probably wouldn’t be great for keeping the rain out, but sometimes fashion works that way, right?

    I’m really interested in your afterthought thumbs – I’ve never seen anyone putting the afterthought thumb on either side of a glove knit on the flat before.

    • My older brother still has the hat somewhere, though he doesn’t really wear it. Since the “needles” aka shoelace was so thin and the yarn so bulky, there’s no stretch to it. It holds its shape really well, though. Basically a bowl made of yarn. If I ever see the thing again, I’ll get a picture for the “old stuff” page.

      Also, you should try the thumb thing, it’s great! I plan to make use of it more in the future, so maybe I’ll make a more detailed post on the process next time.

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