1. You can find the Sheep Run pattern at Ravelry, which is where I stumbled upon it while browsing any and all patterns that involve sheep shortly after our flock entered my life last fall. My apologies for not including that info yesterday! Typically I've started to leave out the links until my Finished Object post on each project...mostly because my blogging time has become very limited. I'm glad you all enjoyed the pattern so much, and I hope some of you decide to knit some sheepy socks as well!
2. A quick perusal of my Ravelry queue shows more than a few colorwork socks in line. I'm going to have fun making some decisions! Even better, colorwork sucks up more yarn so that I'll have more leftovers for my blanket.....
3. I thought I would take a moment to expand upon how I hold my yarns in colorwork. As I said yesterday, until now I've always picked up the yarn, knit the stitches, dropped it and picked up the next yarn, and so on through the row. As you might imagine, this is a slow process. It did, however, allow me to learn to get a nice, even gauge with pretty floats in the back.
Again, I've always held the yarn in my right hand, tensioning it by weaving it over the index and ring fingers and under my middle and little fingers. When I knit my middle and index finger tend to squeeze together lightly to further stabilize the yarn.
What I'm doing now is that I tension both yarns as usual, but only place the working yarn over my index finger. The other yarn hangs loose to the back. When it's time to switch colors I bend the index finger, lower my middle finger, and then when the yarn drops off of my index finger I do a little scoop to pick up the other yarn. (Are all of you non-knitters thoroughly bored now?) It's a little bit faster and is helping me to adjust to the idea of holding both yarns at once. As of now I'm pleased with it as an intermediary step, but there are better techniques out there that I would like to learn.
In the past, I have tried to hold one color over my index finger and one over my middle finger...but that doesn't work because of the way I tension the yarn. Inevitably the yarn that goes over my middle finger isn't tensioned at all and goes all wonky. Also, my ring finger feels strangely untethered and starts to feel tight. Ideally, this would be my perfect solution, so I will be trying to figure out a better way to do this.
One fix is to hold both yarns continuously over the index finger and just shift a bit so that you use whichever you need without having to drop them....but this fix has eluded me. When I try it the yarns end up so close together that it's near impossible for me to separate out one from the other. There are gadgets to help facilitate this project, but I think they are silly and most likely am not going to waste my time on this technique.
The other fix is to hold one yarn in each hand. I'm not at all so good at holding the yarn in my left hand, though, and when you add DPN's into the equation my attempts have been largely bungled by not-so-unexplainable clumsiness. Ahem.
I would like to point out that the one thing working against me in all three cases is that I have 20ish years of knitting experience, and my hands long, long ago found positions that were comfortable and easy for them. I don't honestly remember the last time I had to think about what my hands were doing when knitting a project!
However, none of that means anything. The beauty of all of this is that there is a chance to change, old habits can be readjusted, new tricks can be learned and I intend to have found my perfect fix by the end of the summer!
I will definitely keep you updated.
Thanks to Kelley and Shelda for the conversation topics!