The Rocky Coast Cardigan

Over the weekend we really started to see some scary high summer temps, so naturally I cast on a cardigan.

I’ve been an admirer of Alana Dakos (of Never Not Knitting) and Hannah Fettig (of Knitbot) for some time now. Basically anything Hannah Fettig has ever done, I want to knit. I’ve purchased patterns from both women, and one of my sisters is even getting a Hannah Fettig accessory from for Christmas.

The pair of them collaborated to bring us Coastal Knits. I’m actually having buyer’s remorse because I foolishly bought the Rocky Coast Cardigan pdf by itself rather than taking the time to really decide whether I wanted the whole book or not. Turns out I do.

Based on the comments and reviews on Ravelry, I decided to knit a size bigger than I actually require. I’d rather have it too big than too small. It’s a top-down sweater knit in one piece, meaning I won’t have to do any seaming at the sides. I started it on Saturday and after a few silly mistakes (read: not properly reading the instructions), I divided for the sleeves two nights ago and now it’s really cruising.

By now I’m sure my love of cables is totally obvious. I can tell this is going to turn out just beautifully. I love the ecru I chose (in Loyal 10ply). Matt was with me when I picked it out, and he agreed that it would look great on my coloring and be totally versatile.

I also blocked my sisters’ Christmas presents over the weekend. Now I just need to finish and block Mom’s gift. And also knit up everything for my upcoming craft fair appearance. Yikes!

When I finish Rocky Coast, I’m eager to get started on Alana’s new Sprig sweater design. She released the pattern early, and it will appear in her upcoming book. She’s generously allowed people to purchase it now, and then later get the book at the full price minus the cost of this pattern if they chose to buy it in advance. I’m definitely buying the whole book this time. Not making that mistake again!

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A handy cable cheat

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have recently become obsessed with the Never Not Knitting podcast by Alana Dakos. When I first searched for knitting podcasts in the itunes store, her latest episode was the first thing I listened to.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been catching up on her older episodes (she’s done over 70) and it’s been amazing getting to know her and hearing her reviews about so much great yarn and patterns. One thing she mentions more than once is how much she hates using cable needles, and I’m sure a lot of you knitters out there can relate.

They’re so small and easily slip out and get lost in the couch or in Alana’s case, between the front seats of the car. I certainly sympathize, but I cannot say I’ve ever had this experience.

When I finally launch my shop and reveal the headbands I’ve been working on, you will all see that I simply LOVE knitting cables. I find them so visually interesting, and I’ve been hooked ever since I first learned to knit them.

I pointed out in my recent Trial and Error post that after a five year hiatus, I initially started knitting again because of all the beautiful things I saw on Etsy. Rather than pay for a set of lovely handmade boot cuffs, I figured that even with my dormant beginner skills, I could probably make them myself.

When I first hit my local Spotlight, the Australian chain craft warehouse, I stocked up on every skein that caught my eye and several sets of needles. All of my old yarn and needles are probably still buried in the closet of my old room at my parents’ house in Minnesota, so it was time to invest in new tools and a new stash. The one thing I forgot to get was a cable needle. Sigh.

But never fear, this is how I came up with this handy cable cheat that I would love to share with all of you. When I started to work with cables in my headbands, I didn’t have a cable needle, so instead I used my thin and seemingly useless circular needle as a substitute.

Circular needle to the rescue!

Circular needle to the rescue!

There are several reasons why this is an amazing cheat. First is that you can slip the stitches all the way onto the rounded plastic bit and LET GO. Yes that’s right, if you need to you can completely let go of the project and leave it right where you are!

Slip stitches to the circular needle

Slip stitches onto the circular needle

The second great thing about this method, is that rather than transferring the stitches back to your straight needle, you can simply push them around to the other side and knit directly off the circular needle.

Knitting from the circular needle

Knitting from the circular needle

Lastly, and probably most obvious, circular needles are much harder to lose to the hungry couch monster (although on occasion it can still happen — ravenous little bugger).

So give this cheat a go and let me know what you think. Is it easier or harder than using a standard cable needle? This little method works great for me, and I certainly don’t see myself wasting money on a cable needle anytime soon.