I started knitting another scarf at the weekend, intended to be a gentle introduction to knitting cables. I picked 'Double Cable Scarf' from One Skein since it has 3x3 cables at each end of the scarf, with a length of ribbing in between.
However, the pattern suffers from the not uncommon modern tendency to make scarfs skinny and not overly long, so as usual I intended to add both width and length. I started out on Saturday by casting on an additional 12 stitches to give me a third cable but after knitting up six inches or so (struggling with my cables the whole way) I decided it was still too narrow.
Sunday saw me start again, this time with another 12 stitches added (that's 52 stitches, rather than the recommended 28) and four cables. A couple of days on and I've finally cleared the cable section and I'm happily knitting a 2x2 rib with some slipped stitches at each end.
My verdict so far? Cabling isn't difficult, but it is fiddly. Keeping an even tension is also a bit hit and miss, at least for me on my first real attempt at this. I also need to keep my eye on the stitch pattern as my cables had a tendancy to wander off across the piece to some unshared route that wasn't written in front of me. No idea why... I swear my fingers seem to knit independently of my brain sometimes.
It is pretty and effective though, particularly in this colour and this yarn (one of Mercia Wools DK Superwash Wool range) which is well behaved, easy to knit with and shows up the pattern beautifully.
I'll motor on through the rest of the ribbing now and then cable in the other direction to finish the other end. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it by then, because I've promised to show my mother how to knit cables when I see her next month.
And talking about fiddly, last night I learnt how to knit in the round on DPNs with a view to learning how to knit socks. This tiny picture (the best I could do, it was dark and my camera wouldn't co-operate) shows a little, iddy biddy cuff, knit with four needles. The biggest problem was working around the needles which seem to go out of their way to be in the way. This little cuff is just 30 stitches knitted to about an inch long and took me a whole two hours to knit!
Although incredibly fiddly, it was fun and I think I'm going to have to have a go at a whole sock sometime soon.