Unyielding Circular Needles

A friend taught me to knit during my junior year of college. A couple of months later, I had the awesome opportunity to take a college class on knitting. It was taught by two of my college professors (an Historian and a Psychologist) as part of my Liberal Arts college’s January Interim term.

For four hours, five days a week, and for a whole month, we went to class and learned all about the history of knitting, how to cast on, knit, purl (which I learned I had been doing incorrectly prior to this), cable, felt, you name it. We tried out different types of needles, including bamboo, acrylic, circular, straight, and double-pointed needles (DPNs).

One of our homework assignments was to straighten out our circular needles to get the kinks out of the plastic cable that connects the two needle tips.

Living on a college campus, I didn’t have access to a stove, so I tried being creative. First I tried to boil water in a crockpot, which didn’t work. I then tried to microwave my needles. This also didn’t work, and it had the added benefit of melting the glue that held the cable to the bamboo tip, so when I tried to pull the cable straight, it came clean out of the needle tip. I tried to put it back, but the glue cooled too fast. Logically, I put them back into the microwave to melt the glue again.

Eventually I managed to convince one of the Residence Directors to let me boil water in his apartment while he played Guitar Hero.

Last weekend, I found myself growing annoyed with my circular knitting needle cables going in all the wrong directions as I tried to knit a pair of socks using the magic loop method. Back to the stove I went!

If you need to straighten some of the curves out of your circular knitting needles, try this:

  1. Boil a pot of water deep enough for your needles to not be too curled when you dip them in. I used a medium-sized sauce pan.
  2. Have a hand towel ready.
  3. Hold the needles by the tips, and dip the plastic cable into the boiling water until about an inch of cable is left out of the water. You don’t want to melt any adhesive! (Also, wear a pot holder so you don’t burn your hands on the steam. Tip from a chemist: the water can only reach 212 °F, but the steam can get hotter!)
  4. Keep the cable in the water for 30-60 seconds.
  5. Pull the cable out of the water, then, holding one needle in one hand, use the other hand to wrap the cable with the hand towel near the top needle, and slide the towel down the cable to the end. This straightens the cable out.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 as necessary.

I was able to remove most of the curls from my cables. Because I’ve left these in projects for long periods of time, I’ve got a couple of actual kinks in the cables that I wasn’t able to remove, but they will be untangled enough to lessen my frustration for a while!

Eat.Sleep.Knit: My Local Yarn Shop

wp-1483638763885.jpgAs my husband and I searched for homes in the Atlanta area last year, we checked Google Maps for the commute time to and from work. Pretty normal, right? Well, I took it one step further with an additional consideration: how far was the home from my favorite yarn shop? As it turned out, the answer was “not far” for our new home.

Of course, Eat.Sleep.Knit has an awesome website with amazingly color-accurate photos of the yarn (great work, Jess!), and I have been an ESK customer since well before I moved to Atlanta, so I’m sure I would have been OK shopping online. There’s just no feeling like being able to hold the yarn in my hands, choose just the right skeins, and hang out and chat with all of the ESK kitties and my fellow knit-nighters. I’m glad everything worked out so well!

On New Year’s Eve, as my husband and I waited to watch the crystal ball fall in New York City, I was wondering what the new year would bring for the Eat.Sleep.Knit Yarnathon. As has become custom, I was not disappointed when the 2017 Yarnathon was unveiled!

I’m a new member of the Taffy Giraffes, and I couldn’t be more excited! ESK has an incredible marketing team, and of course I want to buy more yarn, but the Yarnathon is so much more than that! I get to participate in knit-alongs, earn badges, reach new milestones, test my knitting skills, and share my love of yarn and knitting with a wonderful community of people.

I’ve also learned that my favorite yarn dyer, madelinetosh, is dying exclusive colorways for ESK this year! You’d better believe I will be hitting ctrl+R until I can order mine! *squee*

If you are living or shopping in the Atlanta area, I highly recommend stopping by Eat.Sleep.Knit’s storefront, and if you aren’t, be sure to check out their awesome selection of indie and hand-dyed yarns!

Technicolor Mom: Living Life Without a Pattern – 2016

The year two thousand sixteen brought a myriad of new experiences to myself and my husband (Technicool Dad). From learning we would become parents to growing out of our mid-rise apartment in Midtown and purchasing a home to getting to play a new World of Warcraft Expansion and to meeting our new daughter, 2016 brought so many happy changes to our lives that we felt like we were in a whirlwind some of the time. During the course of 2016, the world changed around us as we ourselves changed and grew, and we made it through the whole time without a pattern or an instruction manual.

Our little girl is nearly four months old now, and we are so thankful to have been blessed with her. Every day we see her making new connections, learning new things, and growing and growing. This morning I introduced one of her Christmas gifts, a toy snail that plays music and lights up whenever it is moved. Within five minutes, she was hitting it to make it light up and sing. Over the course of the last several weeks, I watched her find her hands and gain some hand-eye coordination, and now she is beginning to discover her feet. She has even learned that if she cries in a certain way, mommy will pick her up just because she wants to be held. Every moment of her life has been an amazing miracle to me.

When I was preparing for maternity leave, I hoped to knit a ton and play a bit of Legion while my baby slept. (New moms, am I right?) As it turns out, there was time for none of that, and that’s even with two and sometimes three pairs of hands. It’s ok, of course — as I have settled into mommyhood, I have learned to knit while feeding the baby or while holding her as she sleeps or while sitting with her at her playmat, and phone games have taken the place of PC gaming for now.

In the new year, two thousand seventeen, I hope to continue my knitting, enjoying my family, playing games with my husband and daughter, and writing my own pattern to life. Join me this year as I learn, grow, write, and knit!