needle ball of yarn

I put off the purchase for a long time and finally gave in to temptation and bought myself a set of Lykke Interchangeable needles last year. Yes they were expensive and yes I do have all these size needles in some configuration or another but the set itself is particularly useful in ways I had not expected. Aside from the obvious, all sizes in one spot to do your swatching when ever the mood hits, there are other uses for them. Today let’s talk about how to use the cables as stitch holders.

When making something is anyone else ever tempted to try it on or check out how it might look all flattened out? I know I do, it’s part of my process as a designer to make sure the drape works as well as I had imagined in a swatch, the sizing is correct and the finished garment does not create unexpected or unwanted results. I used to take the work off the needle and weave it stitch by stitch onto a piece of scrap yarn, tie it off and proceed to check out my work in process. For smaller items, I’d use a stitch holder or three. Neither solution was as accurate as I had hoped, the yarn always seemed to bind up or the stitch holders weighted down the fabric too much.

Then along came my set of needles. There were little stoppers for making longer “straight” needles out of a single needle and cable, extension joints so multiple cables could be joined together for a longer cable, and so many needles from which to choose. I thought why not use the extension joints to string a few cables together instead of using a lifeline to try on a garment? It worked, so well in fact that since April of 2020 I have not used a lifeline to hold my work while I try it on. I do this instead:

Replace one needle with a stopper at one end of the circularl, sometimes I skip this step

Remove the needle from the other end of the circular needle.

Use an extension joint to add one or more cables to the working cable of the circular needle.

Place a stopper on the end of the cable.

Arrange the stitches so they lay flat.

Measure, try on, check the hand, and satisfy my curiosity of my work in process.

Return the needles to the ends and continue working.

So much easier than messing about with stitch holders and lifelines.


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