We’ve made a Nuvem for the store before (see our last Nuvem), and I thought it would be a good travel project for my holiday in California. After I wound up the skein I looked down and thought: “Oh crud, what have I done?! That is a dump-truck sized ball of skinny yarn, how am I ever going to get through it?” Well, I’m happy to report that my moment of project panic abated once I started knitting, I got used to working with the skinny yarn fairly quickly, and it was a good travel project. I’m not a laceweight kind of person, but the Wollmeise Lace has a lot of body to it and is easy to hold on to and work with. The colour is beautiful too, I choose a saturated teal blue (Neptun).
Nuvem is a fairly simple project, there are just a few obstacles to getting it set up. The first is the cast-on, which is unusual, but not hard once you watch a video or follow a tutorial (which are included in the pattern, so not to worry, no hack needed). The second is the needle situation. The project is worked from the center out, but it’s knit in an oval, so you need to use TWO circular needles to do this. It’s the “two circulars at the same time” technique, which some people use instead of the magic loop technique. Don’t worry, it isn’t scary, when you use this method you only need to work with one needle at a time, the second is just hangin’ out, on hold. Normally people use the two circulars method to knit things with a small circumference, like a sock or a hat, and it’s easy to distinguish the two needles from each other. With a larger project like the Nuvem, it’s a bit harder to see what you are doing.
Normally people use the two circulars method to knit things with a small circumference, like a sock or a hat, and it’s easy to distinguish the two needles from each other. With a larger project like the Nuvem, it’s a bit harder to see what you are doing, and which needle is which. The pattern suggests you use two different types of needles (ie. one wood, one metal), but I don’t love this solution because I find that my tension is different on different types of needles. Additionally, you can’t take the exact size of you needles for granted, the manufacturing of each company is different. My solution was to use two sets of the same needle (Addi Click interchangeable bamboo – always great for flying) and I colour coded the needle tips. How does one colour code Knitting needle tips? Our method has to be bright, customizable, easy to see, sturdy, resilient, and also removable – I used Nail Polish.
Life Hack: I keep a cheap collection of bright, distinct colours of nail polish around the house and/or office. Mine came from the dollar store and cost $3. They don’t have to be good polishes, you’ll never use them on your nails, and you don’t have to take special care of them, but they are extremely useful for labeling and organizing things. I am especially fond of colour coding my keys with them, and you can also write on white polish.It’s removable with nail polish remover, which can also be obtained cheaply at the dollar store or drug store.
Painting Your Needles
- Paint your needles FIRST. Do not cast on until after you paint.
- Use bright colours that are easy for you to distinguish from each other. I used Pink & Orange, but you might be better with a higher contrast like Green & Red, or Blue & Orange.
- I painted on the METAL portion of the needles, not the wood (you won’t be able to remove polish from the wood without ruining the finish on the needles). If you don’t have a metal portion on your needles you can paint the plastic cord.
- Paint on BOTH sides of the needles for maximum visibility.
- Make sure your paint is dry before starting to cast on. Tap it and check t make sure there is no paint on your finger. If there is, wait longer.
Ta-Da! The pink goes with the pink, and the orange goes with the orange. I have to say I’m extremely pleased with this hack; I was constantly looking to reorient myself (especially when taking my project out of the bag) and finding the other end of the needle was using was a SNAP!