Monday, 18 January 2016

In the dark

Most of my knitting is done in the evening, settled on the sofa in front on the telly hopefully watching a good drama and lately I've noticed that I can't actually see what I'm doing.  
I position myself under one of these mother and child floor lamps that has an uplighter and an adjustable spot but generally only the uplighter is on to create a nicer ambiance in the room. I only switch on the spot for more technical operations, if the pattern goes wrong, a dropped stitch or to pick up stitches at the heel.

But knitting these London Man socks, a free download from Filcolana, which aren't really that tricky just 4 cables of 2 stitches each with a pleasing line of cable continuing down the heel flap, I have made so many mistakes.  I had to take back about 20 rows when I'd completely missed out some of the cables, I do look at my work regularly to make sure it's right but I didn't spot that error until it was daylight. 
Then I got totally confused picking up and adjusting the stitches for the heel on the second sock. Generally I don't follow a pattern that closely, I understand the geometry of a sock now and while this pattern uses 5 needles and explains how to arrange the stitches on them, I like to use just 4 with all the foot front on one needle and the sides of the heel on 2 others (plus a needle to work with makes 4) .  I also decided to continue the rib down the front rather than just abandon it which worked fine for the first sock.
For some reason I got the pattern placement of the rib on top of the foot for the second sock different to the first and had to juggle my work to make it acceptable.
I don't know what the answer is, a brighter light in the lounge would be far too clinical, I don't want to get stronger glasses, in winter knitting with only light coloured yarn might help or knitting just plain socks that I can practically do with my eyes shut.  I could get a head torch but that would be distracting for Mr FF I'm sure. Does anyone else have this problem I wonder, any advice will be considered but not necessarily taken.


  1. I preach understanding the mechanics of a sock, and always counted on that understanding to bail me out of any problem. I, too, have trouble with winter lighting, especially under the circumstances you describe, and my solution is to use lighter colored yarn. In utter desperation, though, I may put my recorded book in my ears and move to another room where I have installed enough light to illuminate what I always thought my fingers knew.

  2. This is why I look forward to spring!!! I have invested in a little clip light I found in Lidl which I seem to use in winter AND I try not to use dark colours.

  3. Lol....oh no!!!! I remember when I used to be able to knit in the dark.....and then comes the need for the good old lamp. lol. And your idea about the head came into my thoughts too when I first needed light to help me. We addict knitters will come up with any idea to keep knitting. lol I just have a little lamp that comes over the shoulder, and angle it to my shoulder. It doesn't annoy hubby, so all is good. Knitting rules baby!!
    Cheers, Anita.

  4. Oh, I know what you mean, though I don't knit anything as tricky as a sock. (I also knit or crochet in the evening but wear different glasses for telly watching and crafting which presents an additional dilemma - what to blur.) I'm thinking of training Boo to shine a torch over my shoulder.

  5. Mr JK doesn't like the main lights being on in the lounge, so I sit by the lamp which gives me enough light most of the time. It does depend what colour yarn I'm using though and I need reading glasses now!

  6. I have a lamp like yours, and generally just the upper light suffices. But I also have a work light - I have sent you an email with a link to a similar light.