Moebius SurpriseAugust 8, 2006
Who else saw Knitty Gritty yesterday? Who else was amazed? Did you see this?
I know, I can hear you yelping from here. That show? It's normally pablum for new knitters who feel an irresistible need to knit with acrylic fun fur. I always Tivo it, though, and this is what I do: I bring it up, I cringe at the project, then I see who the knitster girls (or boys) are, since they're sometimes bloggers (but does Vickie ever mention that? No), and then I fast forward to the designer featured, just in case it's someone I LURVE so much that I'm willing to watch her pontificate upon the knitted air-conditioner cozy. (I'm going to get found someday by someone searching for that.)
Yesterday, however, the project was lovely, as I must admit, every once in a while it is. A Moebius cowl, done in Fleece Artist sportweight cashmere. Simple, pretty lace.
The designer was Cat Bordhi. No, I know. And you're right. But I think even with her eccentricities, she's a genius. Not a genius like Einstein or Zimmerman, but more like your crazy uncle who bought all those boat motors and then built an ice castle out of them, somehow. She freaks me out, but man, does her brain work in an unconventional way.
Now, Moebius knitting has always seemed vaguely interesting to me, in an oh-that's-neat-but-eh kind of way. So you cast on stitches, and then do what you normally do accidentally, twist them when you join them in a circle. I guess it always seemed like a make-lemonade kind of project. Oh, shit! Well, that's okay, I'll just make a Moebius.
But not this method. Has this been around? Has she/anyone been doing this for a long time and I've been in the dark? She casts on twice around a double-looped long needle, and then knits continually, from the CENTER of the scarf, so there's NO CAST ON EDGE (brilliant) and the one twist is just organically there. And it's only a half-twist! When you screw up in casting-on, you get the whole twist, so there are actually two twists in your knitting, but this is only one, a true Moebius.
I watched the whole show, people. Fascinated. Something entirely new to me in knitting. I went for a bagel later, and found myself right next to a knitting store. So I went in, and heard people discussing the show, which had only aired two or three hours before. The clerk said she'd already sold yarn and long needles to four or five people who had rushed to the store. It's like that, really.
So catch a repeat, if you can. The written instructions are here, but you can't use them sans episode yet, since they haven't even finished writing up Cat's unusual cast-on.
Me, I'm using handspun cashmere, which only increases my delight in this surprising technique. I'm off today, and I have no plans other than sitting my ass on this couch and knitting.