History & a Podcast

Well, it was a good weekend. Lots accomplished. Thanks to Steve for finishing up the new podcast - and the music isn't even too cheesy for the Pod Purl this episode!!!! However, he didn't put as much music. Perhaps because it's already an hour long? You gotta love Steve.

I have chosen an Olympic sport. I know you're all excited. I am!! A couple of weeks ago on the Quiet Life I found this reference from War & Peace.

"Anna Makarovna has finished her stocking," said Countess Marya... They meant
two stockings, which, by a secret known only to her, Anna Makarovna used to knit on her needles simultaneously. When the pair was finished, she always made a solemn ceremony of pulling one stocking out of the other in the presence of the
children." - War and Peace, 1869, Leo Tolstoy

It got me VERY interested. I had already been looking at doing the two socks on the circs thing - but truthfully, I am a fan of dpn's. SO, this seemed like just the thing for me. I searched and searched but couldn't find anything - until Saturday night. Yesterday I did some tests and IT WORKS!!!!!! I seriously can't wait to actually follow the pattern. It is from a 1918 Needlecraft (magazine?). I'd love to find the original magazine, but so far none of the issues on Ebay are the RIGHT issue. Anyhow, it is a blast. For those of you who are interested - here is what you do if you want to try a little test. This is a straight piece test. I did it just to see if I "got it."

  1. I used worsted weight (2 balls) and #10 dpn's - straights are fine, though.

  2. I cast on alternating between the two balls of yarn. One strand is in the front and one is in the back. It is important if you do this not to twist the two balls of yarn - they must remain separate for it to work. (I cast on 10 from each ball - 20 total - one at a time from each)

  3. I turned my work. I noted which thread went with the "front" stitches" and which went with the "back" stitches. This is important. I used the front yarn to purl the front stitches and alternated with the back yarn knitting the back or lower stitches. This is obvious when you are doing it. Again, I made sure not to let the yarns cross. Also, I am a continental knitter, so I held the front yarn in my left hand and the back thread in my right hand - purling with my left and knitting with my right. There's a great video at KnittingHelp.com about doing fair isle knitting with two hands and that skill helped greatly with this. You are basically continental purling with your left hand and english knitting with your right. If you are an English knitter I would recommend holding the purl yarn in your right hand (as per the written instructions). For me, it was easier to purl with my left.

  4. I turned my work at the end of the row - making sure to get the strands sorted out - front and back. I kept this up for several rows - and it is SO cool cause you actually start getting two pieces of knitted fabric!!

  5. The moment of truth - pulling out the needles (I haven't cast off yet - that's the next test). Sure enough - pulling the needles out carefully I now have two separate pieces. It's magic I tell you!!!!

I will not let myself start these socks until the Olympics start, I will not let myself start these socks until....

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