Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

The Big Knit May 8, 2013

Filed under: Double-layer knitting,General Musings,Pattern highlight — happystitches @ 11:11
Blanket in progress

Blanket in progress

Much as I love teaching, the trans-continental travel involved in my teaching trips is very disruptive to the creative process as well as the book-finishing process. I’m now mid-way through an intensive period of travel, from California to the UK and points in between.

My future new book offering, A Little Book of BIG Holes for Hand-knitters, is so near completion! However, since I just can’t work on it while on the road, I planned that the book would be back on Lynda Gemmell (of Cabin Fever)’s desk during this period, so that she could work her layout and formatting magic whilst I was away.

Of course, for long periods of travel one needs something to knit! Preferably something that wouldn’t require endless notes or immediate writing, because, once this period is over, I’ve got to get back into and finish the book. This is not as easy as it sounds: A book is years of effort and work, all expended with no income whatsoever until it is released. It takes self-motivation and stubborn tenacity. For some reason, I would rather just keep knitting…

As you may have detected, I adore double knitting, absolutely love it. I’ve been experimenting lately with a perfect circular tubular cast-on for double knitting: It is so beautiful and elegant. I’ve also been wanting to make a basket with pockets up the sides for storing needles and crochet hooks, these pockets to be created with differing stitch numbers between the layers. The basket began on a 10 hr road trip, which I hardly noticed as I was so absorbed in the initial stages. (When our van was being checked over by customs on reentering Canada, the border agent did comment drily that I must really love knitting! It rather resembled a surreal spider web of yarn within our vehicle.)

DK Basket version

DK Basket version

I worked a basket and was pleased with the result, but I just wasn’t ready to finish knitting. So I started another double knit circular object, but this time with the resolve to go big or bust! I’m up to over a 1000 sts per round and LOVING it. Once the cast-on and the first few fiddly rounds are over, it’s plain sailing. Of course I’m having all sorts of ideas for more exotic designs and I may well start another one very soon, but it’s so much fun to have something HUGE and entertaining on the needles to grab and go.

Although I do admit it is beginning to be a rather large piece of carry-on for the airplane tomorrow! I wonder if this is the excuse I need to start a new project? Have any of you carried really big knitting on a plane? I’d love to hear!IMG_2734

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13 Responses to “The Big Knit”

  1. Zeeknits Says:

    I use a diaper bag, a great looking one with lots of exterior and interior pockets, to travel with my knitting. Exterior pockets used for personal items and interior pockets for knitting items. Lots of room for large project inside and bag fits under seat on plane. No need to carry purse.

    But I would hesitate to knit large complex project on plane. Takes up lots of lap room and unless you are in window seat, all the distraction of letting others out to the loo. But if you have managed to upgrade to business – go for it. Those little cells on AC are terrific for this.

    • No upgrade, but my neighbour was my husband, he’s used to having to climb over yarn! I do admit the four circs were getting a little porcipine-esque!

  2. Knitting tends to be lightweight but bulky, as you know. It’s a matter of having the appropriate container into which the work can be squished, and arranging the yarns you’ll need into those that need proximity to your hands and those that will be used later. When in doubt about security, I like Bryspun needles which can be bent to demonstrate their benign nature.

  3. Louise Says:

    The blanket is looking good. I’m looking forward to seeing how much it grows while you are away!

  4. This is getting a bit cumbersome, I’ve four long circs in it currently and have to have a small needle to help me resolve the double increases into DK format.

  5. Sheila Says:

    I absolutely love the basket too, any chance it could become a pattern?

  6. Diane Garrett Says:

    I DO hope you’ll write the pattern for the double knit bowl!

  7. Linda Says:

    I love the DK basket and hope that a pattern is somewhere on the horizon or closer!!

  8. Love the DK basket, and the blanket is beautiful. The largest knitting I’ve taken on planes were baby blankets and shawls. I use a backpack for a knitting bag when I travel. I installed a large grommet in the right side of the bag, thread the yarn through it, and under my right arm. I drape whatever I’m knitting over my left shoulder if I need my hands free. I tuck the tail of whatever I’m knitting in my belt so the weight of it isn’t hanging from the needles. I love to freak people out by knitting while I walk through the airport!


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