6 Tips for Knitting in the Dark

6 Tips for Knitting in the Dark

Knitting in the dark is not a weird or rare as you might think.  Knitters can be creatures of efficiency and sitting in the dark watching a movie or a concert, or riding home in the passenger seat while you literally do nothing else with your body but age is maddening.

If you are a restless person (like me) or a crafter who likes a challenge (like me), then knitting in the dark is absolutely something you should try.

Choose a simple project for knitting in the dark

Tip #1: Easy Does It

Set yourself up for success by choosing a simple project.  I know you’re the master of colorwork and cables, but this is stockinette-in-the-round time.  Been thinking about making a sweater but cringe at the thought of all that plain knitting?  This is the perfect marriage of entertainment and industry.  My favorite in-the-dark knitting is the leg or foot of a simple sock.

Practice knitting in the dark at home

Tip #2: Practice at Home

Practice at home with the lights on and try not to look while you watch a movie.  Feel the stitches in your hands and really get to know what your stitches feel like when they right and when they are wrong.  Your hands can tell you A LOT.

Then take it up a notch by watching a subtitled movie or turning off the lights.  See how well you do at not looking, at noticing with your hands if there are any mistakes, at enjoying the movie.

Choose your needles wisely (not these!)

sub: Tip #3: Choose Needles Wisely

Leave your long, clicky, shiny aluminum needles at home.  And absolutely no light up needles if you’re at an event — those things are really bright!  Consider using circular needles instead of straights or double pointed needles.  I’m old school and like my DPNs, but I’ve had to put down a project more than once for the remainder of a show because I dropped a needle.

Roll with the mistakes -- you can recover

Tip #4: Roll with the Problems

I hope you’re comfortable fixing your knitting because you will drop stitches occasionally, or mix up your knits and purls if you’ve ignored tip #1 and are doing ribbing.  I’ve made all of these mistakes.  Sometimes it possible to fix them by feel; sometimes you’re only 15 minutes into the movie and you nip out to the hallway to get back on track.  Sometimes you don’t notice until the show is over and the lights come on; sometimes you just tuck the misbehaving wool into your bag and put your head on your neighbor’s shoulder.

I get so much knitting done in the dark that the mistakes are a negligible issue.

Tip #5: Don’t Overdo It

You probably don’t knit for two hours straight on the regular, so put your project down if your hands start to ache.  I like to take breaks and hold hands with my husband.  Awww!  By the way, this is also a great way to warm up your hands if they’re cold.

Knitting in the car, in the dark!

Tip #6: Know the Venue

Whenever you knit in public, it’s important to consider the venue and other attendees.  In recent months, I’ve knit in the dark during a movie (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), a small folk music concert (dropped a needle right after intermission), and in the car while my husband drove us home from holiday gatherings.  All of these were fairly casual.

At a more formal setting, like going to a theatrical production, I bring my knitting and I might knit before the show starts and during intermission, but not during the show.  A friend told me she doesn’t knit in the car because it’s distracting to her husband.  Tragic!  But these are important considerations.

Do you like to knit in the dark?  Have any funny stories?  Share in the comments!

 

How to Make and Insert Thrums

A flock of finished thrums

Thrums might sound like something that’s hard to make, but they’re not.  You do need to be a secure knitter who has the dexterity down for knitting in general.  If you’ve knit a hat in the round, you can absolutely handle any project that uses thrums.

Hey Knitters! Here's How to Make and Insert Thrums

There are different ways to make thrums.  Go look it up!  This is the way I like to do it.  In my opinion, this technique makes thrums that won’t easily come undone or lose fibers, and — when done right — is not too bulky.

Picture Tutorial on How to Make Thrums

Combed top makes fantastic thrums
1. Fluff out one end of the combed top

 

Pull out a small piece of combed top to make a thrum
2. Pull out a slender piece of combed top to begin shaping your thrum
At first the combed top will be too thick for a thrum
3. That piece of combed top will be too thick to make a thrum
Strip down the combed top to get a small piece for making a thrum
4. Strip down the combed top one or more times to get a thinner piece for making a thrum. Go thinner than you think — all that fluff adds up inside your project.
This wispy piece of combed top is see-through, especially at the ends
5. This wispy piece of combed top is see-through, especially at the ends
Pull the thrum at either end so that is is evenly see through from top to bottom
6. Gently pull the thrum from either end until it is evenly see through from top to bottom
Fold up the ends of the thrum to meet in the middle
7. Fold up the ends of the thrum to meet in the middle
Pinch the thrum in the middle and rub with your fingers to felt it into a bow shape
8. Pinch the thrum in the middle and rub with your fingers to felt it into a bow shape
This is what a finished thrum looks like!
9. This is what a finished thrum looks like!

Picture Tutorial on How to Insert Thrums

To add thrum to project, insert right needle into row below
10. To add a thrum to your project, insert the right needle into the row below
Wrap thrum instead of yarn over right needle, in the back
11. Wrap thrum instead of yarn over right needle, in the back
Pull thrum through stitch in the row below
12. Pull thrum through stitch in the row below
Insert right needle into stitch above where thrum was inserted
13. Insert right needle into stitch above where thrum was inserted
Stitch is knit! Next you will jump thrum over this stitch.
14. Stitch is knit! Next you will jump thrum over this stitch
After you jump thrum over stitch on the left, it is seated tidily into its new home
15. After you jump thrum over stitch on the left, it is seated tidily into its new home. Gently tug it in the back if you think it needs to be evened up.
Ta da! That's a thrum done
16. Ta da! That’s a thrum done

So sally forth and make some mittens!  Check out my Warm Paws pattern on Ravelry.  Thrummed mittens make an impressive gift without being impressively difficult to make.

Or maybe you’re an overachiever like me and want to take to the next level.  Thrums are also great inside hats and slippers!  If those ideas make your heart go pitter patter, be the boss and figure it out.

Get thee gone and knit!