This is Going to Take Forever

This poncho is going to take forever. As in: possibly to be finished by 2050. Although things are progressing with more gusto now that I finally settled on the final number of stitches to cast on.

First there was a wee bit of 120 stitches. Too many? Frog.

Then there was a second go using 90 stitches. Too narrow? Frog.

Now there are 100. Perfect? Time will tell.

Apparently swatching will only get you so far.

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Next time I won’t be so passive after casually entering my LYS and announcing that I need 1,000 yards (914 m) of grey yarn, “DK or Worsted,” and happily shrug when I am instead offered 1,000 yards of Sport.

It’s not all the same. Not at all.

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This particular stitch pattern requires a bit of cabling two out of every eight rows. This means I knit three rows all happy and dreamy. Knit knit knit. Purl purl purl. Blood pressure down. Bliss. Then I hit my row of holding stitches in back (or front, as the case may be.) Teeth tight. Blood pressure up. The aging process is accelerated.

I just broke down and bought my first ever cable needle*. The one with the notch in the middle. It’s arriving on Friday. I am trying to decide what gift to shower the UPS man with. Fresh squeezed ice cold lemonade, maybe. Or cookies?

I’ve been making due with my usual method of slipping a couple of stitches onto a double pointed needle. This was after You Tubing various methods purporting to teach one how to cable without a cable needle. But try as I might to squeeze here and twist there, I can’t figure it out. I am hopeless. My fingers only offer up so much coordination.

Usually the double pointed needle works well enough, but everything seems so extra slippery this go-around. So I am upping my game: a cable needle with a notch. I figure it’s my best hope. I am sick of picking up stitches that try to run away from me as if I am the Wicked Witch of the West.

(Insert cackle laugh.)

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In other fronts, I FINALLY started a Ravelry group for This Knitted Life. Please join! As a first matter of business, I am seeking volunteers to test knit my newly-named Linto Creek Cowl (otherwise known as the Yak-Tacular success). I lacked modeled photos when I wrote my original blog post but have added a couple pics to the Ravelry forum so potential test knitters can inspect how it wears on a human. That always helps. If you are interested in the test knit, you can also just shoot me an email. (My contact information is at the top of this page.)

I am joining Ginny’s Yarn Along and thinking she must be having that baby girl awfully soon now. I am still outstanding on my baby shower gift! Eep! The good news is that I know what I am going to make. On the reading front, I have picked All the Bright Places* by Jennifer Niven back up after being distracted by some wait-list library books with tight check out windows.

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24 Comments

  • Reply bonnyknits June 1, 2016 at 6:10 am

    I hope the cable needle improves your process. That’s exactly why I don’t cable: it just adds a layer of stress to a hobby I do for relaxation! Too bad cables look so amazing!

  • Reply pumpkin sunrise June 1, 2016 at 6:30 am

    I could test knit depending on your time frame :)I predict you will HAVE that poncho done by fall. Just saying 🙂 You are a super speedy knitter. Let me know if you want me to test knit through email or through ravelry. I’m off to join your group 🙂

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life June 1, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Oh my goodness! Thank you Karen. Deadline is July 31, so two whole months. If that works for you, I will find your email or find you on Ravelry and ship off the pattern and details ASAP! Mwah!

  • Reply Alina June 1, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Cable poncho in grey color – sounds like a dream to me!! Yarn looks so soft and beautiful! It might be time consuming, but it will be so worth it at the end!

  • Reply Caro | NATURKINDER June 1, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Wow, that sounds exhausting. I know these projects, like chewing gum, as well. But yours looks wonderful. Surely worth it! 🙂

  • Reply woolythymes June 1, 2016 at 6:59 am

    of course, i’m totally loving the colour!!! great choice….that alone should keep you motivated to finish. (You really NEED to learn to cable without a cable needle….it’ll cut at least a week off the finished project!)

  • Reply Sarah June 1, 2016 at 7:34 am

    I have cabled with and without a cable needle and greatly prefer the cable needle!! I have the “j” shaped kind and it’s perfect for me. It just ticks back out of the way and let’s me go about my business!
    I’m also late on getting my baby gift in the mail! I have tried at least twice to get to the post office and been thwarted so it’s in my car waiting for the next chance I get to go to town- today probably!

  • Reply Amanda Dymacek June 1, 2016 at 8:01 am

    You crack me up. Yes, knowing how many stitches to cast on really does help a project gain traction! And I’m in the ravelry group now, too!

  • Reply Zoe - floral and feather June 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    It’s looking so beautiful already! The colour is going to look gorgeous as a poncho!

  • Reply Stefanie June 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Entertaining post that I hope was a catharsis for you. I don’t blame you one bit for these frustrations. I think that’s why I’m not a big shawl knitter because of the size and so many stitches.

  • Reply itsallaboutpurple June 1, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    it’s beautiful, really beautiful, i love the neutral color of the yarn. i’m not really on ravelry, i think i am but i don’t “do” anything there. once i tried to buy a pattern, it was a disaster…..so my knitting teacher bought it for me!! i don’t think i am qualified to test patterns!!!

  • Reply Cathie J June 1, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    It may take a very long time but the poncho is absolutely gorgeous.

  • Reply Sue in San Diego June 1, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Just found your blog through Pinterest and wanted to add that having used cable needles with the bump like yours and the J shaped one, I prefer the J shaped needle because the bumpy one tends to get in my way, especially with DPNs. Also, sometimes the held stitches turn a bit and with the 2 lengths of the arms you always know which went on the needle first.

  • Reply Lucy Bowen June 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    I do like a cable needle, never tried a j shape, so must look that up! Your poncho looks great now your away.

  • Reply Casey June 2, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    gosh, the stitch you’re doing is really lovely! I can understand how it feels like it would take forever!

    I’m thinking about reading All the Bright Places right now, it’s one of the books I got through the library this week.

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life June 2, 2016 at 7:45 pm

      I couldn’t put it down last night. I got really into it. Let me know what you think.

      • Reply Casey June 6, 2016 at 1:04 pm

        I read it over the weekend, I couldn’t put it down either! I really related to some of the feelings the characters had, I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. It made me cry!

  • Reply zeta (kalianapodi.wordpress.com) June 3, 2016 at 12:15 am

    Cables can be very fussy sometimes.
    I’m a very tight knitter and when I try to knit a cable without a cable needle, I see my stitches moving two rows down. Grrrr!
    I use a DPN in the same size so I slip the stitches, hold them back or front and then knit them of the DPN.
    Mo matter the trouble, your poncho will be amazing when finished! 😉

    • Reply Rachel June 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      I use DPN as a cable too!! 🙂

  • Reply Hannah Fisher June 5, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    As a knitter who is also a college student with a low budget for supplies, I’ve been know to cable with pretty much anything available. DPNs usually fall out on me, so I’ve used crochet hooks before, but once in a desperate moment i used a bobby pin to hold my stitches and it worked amazingly well! Obviously would depend on the number of stitches and weight of yarn.

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