This is a knitting post, promise :). And I know! How long has it been since I wrote about what was once my obsessive passion? Let's just say that same damned bike accident changed even my near addiction to something I could do when sufficiently not hurting...aaaauuuummmm, moving on...
I've posted before...years ago maybe? About my ability to make water-proof socks? Or "stand-on-their-own" non-felted socks even? I have this thing about knitting something utilitarian/non-lacy on super small needles (US1s and 2s), the tighter the stitches (without actually stretching out the yarn...it's a VERY thin line I cross) the more durable/strong/scary the fabric. It works, especially for plain socks.
Not so much for scarves, or lace though.
So for larger-drapey items I use a slightly bigger needle size than called for, you know, a US3 vs US2, or maybe US4, depending. My US7's get lots of use in lieu of US6's (I'm not actually sure if I own a 6...). As well as constant vigilance that I am not gripping the yarn in a death hold. If knitting is relaxing, I should not see white knuckles, right? Right.
Then something wonderful happens after that. Maybe it's because I feel like I'm knitting with pencils? I dunno, but it's magical. If something calls for a US8? I can use an 8. A US9 you say? No worries, 9 it is.
And that's where the magic ends. I have a "Goldilocks Shawl Kit" that I won a while back now sitting and stewing, and maybe losing 1+/- of it's 540 yards in my trying to knit using the called-for 6 mm/US10 needles. I just can't do it! The yarn is too thin, the needle to fat, increasing as the directions called for was near impossible so I did my own, and it looked so bad, especially with the start and restart and restart again and this time try one larger? Okay maybe one smaller....that I seriously had to cut my losses. Mohair/silk? Does not play well if you've had to start again a few times.
So it's in time out. And I'm back to carting my mom's mom's day socks (yes for 2012 at the rate I'm going) and not knitting on them...They are panda-something-or other, and I think that's the problem...I think I need to give those a break and just pull out something more woolly and more forgiving...and maybe willing to become waterproof.