Meet Twisty Turns by Norah Gaughan. This looks simple enough, but deceivingly so because excessive repetition of ribbing throws me into temporary insanity. To keep me interested, I'm making this entirely continental style, which is a challenge at first when it comes time to purl, but now I'm knitting faster than I've ever knit before.
In under three hours I now have 72 rows, so only 540 more to go. Yes, I see that my stitch definition isn't as smooth as my right-handed babies, but this is why we block.
Germans make the best needles, so it's fitting that they know how to knit at record speed too. The difference is in the time it takes to throw, because you must first insert the tip into the stitch, then let go of the right needle for a split second to wrap, then reach for the needle again to make the stitch. On the other hand, with the yarn on the left finger, it's already in the perfect position for picking as soon as the tip is inserted in the stitch. Check out knittinghelp.com, and she'll convince you if I don't.
When Twisty gets the best of me, I turn to my second pair of Kool-Aid socks to challenge my synapses. Though it's probably been done before, I invented up my own toe-up cast-on. After I tweak some improvements with the second sock, I will post my findings.
After having great luck with wrapped short row heels, I tried the catch method too. They look less tidy to me but at least they're holeless. I almost tried the Japanese method too, but I anything that forces me to put down my needles to grab a marker drives me bonkers. Wrapping a stitch, then knitting the wrap on the return feels more natural, since I never have to let go of my needles - something that's very difficult for me to do these days.
I also learned that 1x1 ribbing sucks if you don't go down a needle size or two, so my size 0 Addi's will come to the rescue tomorrow. Yes, those free loops on the socks are the aftermath of 480 frogged stitches. Ugh.
I made my garter stitch teaching aid scarf in under an hour, which is even more convincing for the continental conversion. After I show the class how to bind-off (albeit Susannah who already worked ahead) I'll teach them how to pick, and the leftie in my class should especially appreciate this. Our next project will be a hat - a great lesson for purling, decreasing, and sewing. After that, I'll need another project for increasing and maybe some stitch pattern work. That's about all I can fit into a five week class, but I know I'll be seeing these ladies for more help at my shop, because they've already been in to buy more yarn. They are clearly showing early signs of yarn addiction.