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Old 12-09-2004, 02:10 AM   #2
Marnie
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Re: continental woes: tense and frustrated
Originally Posted by caviar
Problem 1: Tension. I have trouble keeping tension in the string in my left hand. So far wrapping twice around the index finger works better than once around pinkie and once around index, but any other suggestions are welcome. As I work, I find that my stitches get tighter and tighter--too tight to get the right needle in without splitting the thread! This slows me down. Even if I can keep it under control in garter or stockinette, it gets really hairy in seed stitch. This leads to...
I prefer two wraps around the index and no wraps around the pinky. I do thread the yern around my pinky, though, so the yarn goes over my pinky, between the ring and pinky, then around my index once or twice depending on the yarn. I then use my pinky and ring finger to apply additional tension as needed. Another thing to do to help control the tension is to make sure you are really pulling your working needle out before letting the old stitch drop off the left needle. Making the new stitch a little longer should help give you the needed tension.

Originally Posted by caviar
Problem 2: Needles. I LOVE bamboo needles. I HATE metal needles. I always seem to manage to slide half the work off the end of the needles when I'm using metal. Besides, I am kind of clumsy and tend to poke myself. But because of my tension issues, I need the sharp points and reduced friction of aluminum. Any speed and accuracy pointers from bamboo diehards to help me cope? Any pointers from metal heads on how to keep the work from slipping off the ends?
There's more to life than Susan Bates metal needles and bamboo. There are a world of manufacturers and needle materials. I highly recommend Denise interchangables for a little friction with good sharp points, but you might find you like another brand.

Originally Posted by caviar
Problem 3: Purling. This happens ocassional when I knit, but more often when I purl: Once I've wrapped the yarn around the right needle and I'm pulling it through, it tends to slip off the tip or split. Any common errors I might be making?
This can be a problem when knitting continental. I think it will resolve itself as your tension starts to get more even.
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