While blogging week definitely got me back into the swing of posting on a regular basis, it didn't necessarily give me more hours in the day. Funny how that works. I'm still doing a lot of knitting, but doing things like taking pictures and posting them on the internet just seems to take time I don't always have. Anyway, given the fact that I have a couple free hours on this fine Thursday morning, I thought I'd update you on my new best friend, the strickfingerhut.
In a previous post when I mentioned that I was trying to work my stranded knitting with both colors held in my left hand (as opposed to one color in each) Carolyn reminded me of something she had mentioned to me once before: strickfingerhut. Does it sound mysterious? Like some horrifying newfangled torture device? I wasn't so sure, but as it turns out it only costs $3, so I ordered one. It arrived; I immediately busted it out of the box and got to work. I took some pictures to show you the process I went through here, and what I eventually ended up doing.
This is how I would work stranded knitting until now - with one color in each hand. The one in my left hand is the dominant color. (Curious about yarn dominance? Think it sounds kind of sexy? There's a great explanation over here at nonaknits.) This method worked great for me for a long time, but what with all the right hand action it's kind of slow. I'm much more fast with the yarn in my left hand.
When I first broke out the strickfingerhut this is what I tried to do. I wanted to run the strands over the back of my finger, just as I would for regular old continental knitting. Maybe this works for some people, but it didn't for me. I couldn't for the life of me get the white (non-dominant) yarn wrapped through that little metal loop in such a way that it wasn't constantly popping out. I was also trying to wrap the yarns around two different fingers (my pinky and ring fingers, respectively) and the differential feed* issue meant I had to keep stopping and tugging on one strand or the other. (*Differential feed: I noticed this phenomenon while experimenting with the strickfingerhut. You use more of the yarn you're knitting with - as opposed to the one making a strand behind the work - and it's hard to control the tension on two strands independently in the same hand. Then I encountered the phrase differential feed, along with a great explanation here.)
Since this initial method was exceedingly awkward and frustrating, I started googling around about strickfingerhuts. Not surprisingly, not a whole lot comes up. But I did discover that the ever-informative Grumperina posted about this very matter back in 2006. Her solution of the ring with band aids is completely fabulous (Kathy, do you still do this?).
With a little more googling I discovered something that I would have realized much earlier, had I not thrown my strickfingerhut packaging away in a frenzy to get the thing on my hand. There's another way to use the thing, which has been working much better for me:
That is to position the strickfingerhut so the loops are on the bottom of my finger and the strands kind of dangle from it. I keep tension under control by gripping both strands in the palm of my hand. For whatever reason the differential feed issue doesn't bother me as much this way, although I'm not sure why that is the case. And just for the sake of being thorough, I even took a video of me in action with the strickfingerhut.
I couldn't handle the weird silence of the video so I found some creative commons licensed music go to over it. This is part of a track called Milan, by Grapes, which I found here.
At any rate, I hope this post is helpful for those of you who had expressed strickfingerhut curiosity. After all my fiddling around I've finally found a method that works for me, so I think I'll stick with it. (Although I'm going to have to be VERY careful to not leave the strickfingerhut out unattended because it's pretty much the ideal cat toy.) That said, everyone knits differently and that is perfectly okay, so it may or may not be comfortable for everyone.
ETA: Why yes I did paint my nails just for this post. I like to call that color "balls to the wall pink," for obvious reasons. It is fabulously bright.