Since I have quite a bit of yarn (Bernat Baby Coordinates) left over from my daughter's scarf, I decided to knit a newborn cap for our 2nd child (due March 13th). I cast on 56 stitches onto my size 6 needles and began some 2x2 ribbing. I finished two rows and quit. What I had produced looked like it had been hacked by a blind woodsman...it was gnarly, bumpy, and uneven. So, I ripped it all out and put it away, resolving to start again another day.
This morning, I woke very early from "knitting dreams." I am an IT professional and often have "coding dreams" when I am trying to work out a problem or facing a new project. So, it wasn't too surprising to me for knitting to make that jump, too. Anyway, as I was downloading some files to work on for work, I surfed over to LionBrand.com to peruse their "how-to" section. That's when my first "EUREKA" moment of the morning happened. I had been doing K2P2 on the RS, and then K2P2 on the WS. When I read the instructions, I believe I figured out the issue - I should have reversed it and done K2P2(RS) and P2K2(WS). (Even now, I had to go back to the page to make sure I've got it right.) Instead of 2x2 ribbing, I believe I was doing 2x2 seed stitch.
The uneveness was due to the CO not being uniform...that will be easy to correct.
The 2nd "EUREKA" moment happened in the shower. I had seen a pattern for a baby afghan that was flat knit on a large circular needle. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how you could possibly do flat knitting on a circular needle without ending up with a tube. Then, in a flash, I got it. As I CO on a flat needle, the slip-knot moves steadily to my right. So, if I was casting onto a circular needle, that slipknot would move closer and closer to the lefthand needle and would, therefore, be the first stitch that I knit when knitting in the round. However, in straight needle knitting, the slip-knot is the LAST stitch to be worked on that first row. So, if I were to turn the circular needle so that the slipknot was the first stitch on the RIGHT needle, I wouldn't join and would be able to flip the work back and forth to simulate one honkin' huge set of straight needles.
I think I will get it...eventually. But, before I jump into this hat thing, I think I need to get out my junky yarn and do a stitch swatch...say CO 16 stitches on Size 10 and then work garter for 6 rows, then stockinette for 6, then garter for 6, then reverse stockinette for 6, then garter, then 1x1 ribbing, then garter, then 2x2 ribbing, then garter, etc... That way, I could make sure I'm doing the stitches correctly.
So, two EUREKA moments have really energized me - too bad I'm sitting at work now! I can practically feel my fingers itching to knit!!! =)