I read an interesting article in The Sunday Times about learning a new skill – from the online version (well, at least as much as I can grab without subscribing to it )
How long does it take to master a new skill? Apparently, the answer is 10,000 hours. That terrifying number was first suggested in 1993 by Anders Ericsson, a professor at the University of Colorado. He had totted up the number of hours a range of children had practised the violin. Anything up to 4,000 hours and, well, meh. Anything over 10,000 and hello, maestro.
But 10,000 hours is eight hours a day, every day, for more than three years. So that’s out. Instead, we’ve adopted the strategy put forward in Josh Kaufman’s book The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast. …
I have surely spent at least 20 hours watching videos, reading tutorials and mentally trying to conceptualize the Magic Loop sock knitting technique over the last 10 years . As you will have seen, the current pair is on three DPNs with the fourth as a working needle. I prefer the super short ones (which my MIL couldn’t believe) but the longer ones are totally like I heard Lucy Neatby (sock knitting teacher) describe as “wrestling porcupines.” I have some 8″ ones that I can’t use hardly at all. 4, 5 or 6″ at most is what I prefer. I have a set of 5″ needles that is missing one (or perhaps two, as I only have three of them) and I got a matching set of 6″ ones so cheap from Tiger, when I got the yarn, that I’ve just used one of them to complete the set. Every time I work the longer needle loose I know I’ve done another row….small victories…
Hummm. I may actually have two longer ones there … no matter. Back to the point. When MIL was here and we were chatting about knitting, we both expressed an interest in the two-at-a-time Magic Loop technique. It took me a few days to make the first sock of my set, and possibly 4 YEARS before the second one was finished (and only because MIL finally grafted the second toe for me) – do I have the worst ever case of second-sock-syndrome? Hopefully not as the 2nd one is on the needles as you can see.
Sorry, still drifting off point. The point is that we both agreed that it looked interesting but we had both attempted it before (I tried to knit my first pair of socks that way but gave up and did them with DPNs) and couldn’t wrap our heads around it. After reading the article I was inspired to try AGAIN. To focus my attention and crack it once and for all. And I did. Here is where I am as of today.
These are thick worsted weight socks from a free pattern that I like because it has built-in lines to remind you to take note of your numbers as you knit and is designed for the Magic Loop.
Luckily with all the tidying and organizing, I had virtually all my knitting stuff in one place (well, except those pesky missing needles) so I had my row counters and markers. With the Magic loop, you are always moving the cable around so I wasn’t sure where it would work so I just tied it to my tail from the cast on. It flopping around is another reminder – when I have it on the left, I’ve finished a row. My other option was this ancient freebie from Simply Knitting – never going to happen. It would be just like me to walk out of the house wearing it still.
Oh, and those little markers at the bottom? Aren’t they cute? I was considering how to convert all the DPN needle patterns to magic loop ones, when the pattern will say move 16 stitches from needle 2 and 16 stitches from needle 3 to another needle or something like that. I didn’t have anything marked 1, 2, and 3 but I did have a ton of these little beads in my scrapbooking stash
AND I had a ton of these little triangle jump rings – the oval ones are OK but getting the beads on to some of the round jump rings is hard.
and pairing them up I can use them to mark on my magic loop knitting where the needles are. I just have to annotate 1 as A, etc.
I found this short video very helpful for “getting” the Magic Loop technique. Once I get this pair done, and the second sock from the DPN pair done, and get a much longer circular needle, I may try the two-at-a-time version. Now I’ve done the process for one sock, I think I can see how it will work for two.
And then it’s toe-up sock and the fleegle heel…
…can you tell it’s been a LONG time since I blogged properly? The words, they JUST KEEP COMING.