Today while I was at work I got a call from Va. She was at AC Moore, a craft store. I had mentioned that I needed to buy some circular needles so I could knit some socks or maybe a sock hat, and she remembered that. She wanted to know what size I wanted. “Six,” I told her, “and I need two pairs.” So she bought me two number six circular knitting needles.

For those of you who do not know, and I would have numbered myself among you one month ago, a circular knitting needle is a needle with two points with a flexible center between those two points. They are used for knitting “in the round”, meaning, that’s how tubes are knitted. Seamless tubes can be used for making sweaters, socks, mittens, etc.

When we were at Leadership Training last weekend, Melissa showed me how to use two pairs of circular needles to knit things that are too small to fit on the loop of one pair. I thought it was pretty cool, but I had a hard time grokking it. So tonight I figured I’d give it a shot. But I made the mistake of attempting two new things at the same time. The first is using a pair of circular needles (or even one for that matter). The second is that I tried to knit a ribbed pattern. It did not go well. At all. I think both aspects are giving me fits.

When I “join the circle”, I tighten the yarn up as much as I can, nearly to the point of connecting the yarn up to a come-along and cinching it up. But once I have knitted a couple of stitches beyond the join, I look back and see an inch or more of loose yarn between the two. Methinks it is probably drawing the extra yarn from the far side of the join. It would take upwards of two tons of force to draw it from the near side.

The other problem is that I’m just making a mess when I try to rib. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to pull the working yarn to the front or to the back, and if it moves from front to back (or back to front), if it goes over the top of the needles or underneath. So I end up with a mess on my hands.

So I back off and got the straight needles out. I decided I would try knitting some ribs in the flat to eliminate that complication. It was still a mess. Clearly, I am going to require some hands-on instruction here.

When you’ve got it down, knitting is a great task for thinking about other stuff. But tonight all I could think about was that I was clearly doing it wrong. But as long as I keep at it, it will eventually become the mindless task I want it to be.