Posts tagged ‘needles’

February 16, 2014

I think I’m in love

(If you now have an Eddie Money song on endless repeat in your head, you’re welcome!) (And I was going to post this on Friday for Valentine’s Day, but life happened.)

Some time ago, the lovely NEPatty (Ravelry name) lent me a pair of ChiaGoo Twist Red Lace tips and a few cables to go with them (two of the Red Lace, and one of the Spin), to help me in my quest for the Best Interchangable Needles EVAR. I liked them so much . . . I still haven’t sent them back to her. In fact, it’s been so long that she suggested they’ve acclimated to the atmosphere in my house, and I should just keep them. I am going to send them back to her, though. Especially since I finally succumbed to temptation and bought myself a complete set, sizes 2 to 15. “Love” might be a strong word for how I feel about them, but then again, maybe not.

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August 11, 2012

Water, water every where, Nor any drop to drink

I should really read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” someday. I use that line often enough.

I keep thinking of things I want to write about, but then the baby runs out of the room, or the washing machine needs to be emptied, or a mote of dust floats by and catches my . . . where was I?

A long, long time ago (I can still remember how the music used to make me smile) (see what I mean? I just can’t keep my mind on one thing), I wrote something about interchangeable needles, and wondering about people’s opinions of the different sets out there. I’ve had an opportunity to try a few for myself now, and compare them.

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June 24, 2009

Why isn’t everything in the world exactly the way I like it?

Things would be so much easier if it was.

I have several pairs of INOX circular needles. Most of mine are nickel-plated, but I also have a couple plain aluminum, and one . . . nylon? I like them. They are nice needles, especially the nickel-plates. The cables are smooth and flexible, and the joins are pretty smooth, too. The problem I have discovered just lately is that in the larger sizes (I think the problem starts at size 8, for me at least), the points are too blunt. For the most part, this isn’t a problem for me. I’m not a speed knitter, although I’m not pokey, either (ha!). But I tried doing a cable cast-on for the Two Summer Sundress, and it was a bitch-and-a-half to get the yarn pulled through because the tip of the needle is really wide. I thought about switching to my interchangables, but they might have given a different gauge because they’re just aluminum (not that this stops me from using them as the second set of circs if I’m doing something in the round with one set of nickel-plated, I just like to complain and if you haven’t figured this out about me yet, you’ve obviously never encountered me before), and I didn’t want to have to do another gauge swatch. I finally managed it, but the cast-on edge is maybe a little looser than I would have liked.

I really like the way cabled cast-on looks, though.

I don’t have anywhere near a “complete” set of needles (as if there could ever be such a thing), but I’m wondering what sort I should get next time I buy needles. I know I like Addi Turbos, although I seem to have lost the few sets I had of those. I have one set of KnitPicks circs, which I haven’t really used because it turns out I’m knitting kind of loose again, even with wrapping the yarn around my pinky (I’m thinking of doing something like the woman in the remake of The Ladykillers, where she wraps it around each of her fingers, but I don’t know if I’ll like that), and I had to go up three sizes to get the right gauge for that project (and I think I could honestly have gone up another, but maybe some of it’s the yarn and not my knitting). I have one set of bamboo DPNs that I got to make the Shawl from Niflheim (which, Spricey, is still not blocked), and those are really nice to work with. My interchangable set is a Boye Needlemaster. I have several Susan Bates circs, too.

So, if anyone has any favorite needles they’d like to recommend — interchangables, straights, circs, DPNs, those really long ones they stick in their belts in the Shetlands, whatever — feel free to let me know!

March 13, 2009

Getting there.

Three inches of ribbing — even twisted ribbing — can be pretty boring. But at least I did it. The second legwarmer is finished. I tried it on and it fits nicely. I didn’t have to add on the third ball of yarn until I was a couple of rounds into the ribbing.

I got back to work on the first legwarmer . . . and I’m starting to wonder if dpns are better for this pattern. Or maybe it’s just that I’m never satisfied. Hopefully I’ll be finished with it this weekend. Now that I’ve got one done, maybe that will be the inspiration I need to just get this one done, so I can finally wear them!

In related news, I lost one of my dpns again. This time I know it’s in the car. I got stopped at the train tracks yesterday, and decided I could get a few more stitches cast off. I pulled the legwarmer out of my bag, completely forgetting that I had already cast off one whole needle, and then stuck the needle back into the legwarmer to keep it handy. Of course, it fell out, and is somewhere underneath one of the seats, I think. At least this time I won’t feel compelled to go shine a flashlight all over the gas station parking lot.

February 16, 2009

Needle Nirvana?!?

I almost forgot! I saw in the latest Interweave Knits (I think) that Addi Turbo is making an interchangable set, Addi Turbo Click!!! Have some more exclamation points!!! It’s all Turbos, but the little blurb said they’ll add needle and cable sizes eventually, so maybe they’ll add the Naturas, too! Oooh!!! Oooooh!!!

It sounded, from the blurb, like the connections might be similar to those on Denise needles. It said you don’t need tools to change needles, which is nice. (I have a slight overtightening problem, so a couple of the points on my aluminum interchangables have slightly flanged connecting ends. Not enough to cause a problem while knitting, but I still wince when I think how bad it could have been.) I’ve only ever heard one bad thing about the Denise set. Of course, it’s a bit of a doozy. I’m pretty sure it was Spricey who said she was making something and using her Denise needles, and one of the needles came off in the middle of a row. At least my overtightened screw-on points aren’t likely to come off (until I’ve overtightened them so often that they don’t screw on at all).

But, if Addi does add (heh) the Naturas line to their interchangable set . . . I might have to start saving pennies. A lot of pennies.

February 13, 2009

If it was a snake it woulda bit me

So I got to work this morning and started looking through my purse for my flashlight so I could shine it around the garage floor to hopefully find the missing needle. I didn’t find my flashlight. I think I’d had a Maglite, and I never have great luck with those, so when I switched purses most recently, I probably left it in the “old” one. (The purse I’m using now is probably a good ten years older than the one I had been using.)

Instead, I found my missing needle. I have absolutely no idea how it got in there, particularly in the place where I found it. I think the car fairies (fairy? I don’t know, it’s a compact car, maybe there’s only room for one) took pity on me, and gave it back without my even asking.

In case you did not know this, when you lose something in the house, like your car keys, or your wedding ring, or whatever, if you really look and you still can’t find it, you can say, “House fairies, please help me find my [whatever you’ve lost],” and then you’re likely to find it. Often in a very strange place, like your car keys in the freezer, or your lucky underwear in the medicine chest. I am completely serious about this. And I am not saying that the house fairies were at fault in the original loss! Not at all! Really!

So, I can get back to the legwarmers. I don’t know how much I’ll work on them over the weekend, because I won’t be doing a lot of knitting and walking, which means I’ll be better able to work on the Shorty.

Speaking of which, I finished the back last night and had my good spouse help me “try it on.” I was a little concerned that I might need to do another four rows, or eight, but it seems okay. I’ve started on the right front now. I’m still on my second ball of yarn (although not for much longer), which makes me think I might have only needed to get three. If it seems like I have plenty, I might try to add short sleeves to it. Someone on Ravelry (yeahyeahyeah?) did one with long sleeves which is absolutely gorgeous (it’s on my favorites), so I know it looks good with long sleeves. I just want caps, pretty much, and I think that should look all right, too. We’ll just have to see what happens.

Just a reminder for myself: “preview post” is your friend, and you know this, and you keep ignoring her anyway. Stop doing that.

February 12, 2009

A needle in a haystack

I’ve hit a bit of a snag.

I’ve got about one and a half repeats of the front cable (Hauser model? I can’t remember) for the legwarmer done, but one of my DPNs has gone AWOL. Better call in the FBI, maybe put out an APB.

I know I had it when I left the office. I was knitting while walking down the stairs, and I stood outside the car to finish the last couple stitches on one needle. I think I had it in the car, because I’m pretty sure I was at a stoplight where I had enough time to knit. The only time I got out of the car between work and home was at the gas station. I walked down there and asked if anyone had brought it inside, and then looked in the lot by where my car had been parked. I’ve looked in the car, and on our driveway. Tomorrow I’ll look in the parking garage at work.

I have three options, assuming it’s lost for good. One, I can switch to knitting on four DPNs, which I’d rather not do, especially since I’ve already had trouble with ladders. Two, I can switch to using two circulars, one nickelplated, one nylon. Again, I’d rather not do that, since the two needles are different enough I worry what it would do to my gauge. Three, I can switch to using two circulars, one nickelplated, one aluminum, which would mean either waiting until I’m done with the body of the Shetland Shorty or setting it aside until I’m done with the legwarmers.

A fourth option is I can find out if my mom has a size 3 circular she’d let me use, but I’ll have to wait until I visit her on Sunday. For right now, I’m going to work on the Shetland Shorty. I’m almost finished with the back. The front shouldn’t take as long, and then I think it switches to the smaller needles.

I have rearranged the stitches on the DPNs. I was getting ladders within the front cable because three stitches of that pattern were on one needle, the other nine on the next. Now I have ten stitches on the first needle, nineteen on the second, fourteen on the third, and fifteen on the fourth. That keeps both cable patterns on one needle, with an extra stitch before them. Hopefully that will take care of that problem. I haven’t gotten far enough that I’m willing to say whether the backwards wrapping is solving the ladder problem, but it seems to be.

I’m still having problems dropping stitches because the needles just slide right out. If I ever make these again, and want to use DPNs, I’ll get a wooden set.

February 7, 2009

A short update

I have gotten through the front shaping on the Shetland Shorty, with very little in the way of hiccoughs. I have a tendency to drop the second YO from the YO2, and not notice. Then when I get there on the next row, I have to recreate it. I’ve done it enough times now that I don’t really have to think about it.

I had a major screwup. I was doing the second set of shaping rows, and I’d almost finished one row at night, and when I picked it up in the morning, I wasn’t sure where I was. I looked back at the beginning of the row and figured out where I should be from that, but I didn’t remember getting that far. I counted rows, and it seemed to match up. So I did the next row based on where I thought I was, and then figured out I was wrong. Rather than undo two rows of knitting, I just dropped the stitches at the ends, where the problem was, and reknit them. Of course, the problem was that there should have been a YO and there wasn’t, so it was a little tight, but it seems okay.

I like doing Bird’s Eye Lace. I can’t remember if the necklace from Thing One’s Hallowe’en costume was the same lace pattern, or if it was just similar. It had the same sort of thing, though, with a double yarn over where you knit the first stitch and purl the second, and the rhythm of the needles when doing those stitches is just . . . fun.

I started getting a little bored at the beginning of this. The lace pattern is really only a four stitch/four row repeat, and while it’s fun, it’s easy. The only time I had to check the pattern was at the ends of the rows during the shaping. I managed to get myself excited about it again by thinking more about getting to wear it than just knitting it. I know this is something I’ve gone through before. It’s more than just getting close to finishing something and being impatient to get to wear it. It’s learning the pattern, memorizing it, and deciding I don’t need to do it anymore. Because I know it, it’s no longer interesting. I don’t know why I do this, when I can’t count the number of times I’ve read the original printing of The Stand by Stephen King (I do not like the updated version as much, some of those bits should have remained left out), or Jhereg by Stephen Brust. I think I’ve been infected with the idea that knitting is supposed to be fun and exciting. I don’t have any problem with it being fun and exciting, but I like that it can be something well-known and comforting, too. Just the rhythm of the needles moving through the stitches, the feel of the yarn sliding through my fingers, these make it a worthwhile effort.

Of course the funny looks I get on the stairs at work when I’m knitting away while walking are a good thing, too.

December 18, 2008

I got it!


Now I have to hurry up and finish Thing Two’s socks so I can start working on something else!

I wanted to bring the box up to my office so I could open it up and look at everything, but it was too big to fit in my knitting bag (dimension-wise, that is), so I opened it up in the parking garage and stuffed everything into my bag. I could have carried the box — it isn’t that big — but then I wouldn’t have been able to knit while walking up the stairs. Yes, new yarn is fun and exciting, but let’s keep our priorities straight here. I didn’t really look at it until I got it upstairs in decent lighting. It’s all lovely, and I really can’t wait.

I am going to do the Travelling Stitch Legwarmers from Knit So Fine with KnitPicks Gloss. I was going to make the legwarmers anyway, but then KnitPicks put them in one of their catalogs, suggesting Gloss as a substitute yarn, and I decided I’d try them out that way. I got nickel plated DPNs to knit them. I don’t have any problem using DPNs. That’s how I learned to do circular knitting in the first place. I do find that I really, really like using two circs, though. I think I get less of that stretched stitch problem between needles. I’ll see what I think about the DPNs. I can always switch if I decide two circs would be better.

I think the legwarmers will be the first of my three projects that I’ll make. They’re the most practical given the weather we’ve been having.

Now I have to go update Ravelry. New yarn, new needles, make my three projects use the yarn from my stash . . . and then I have to log out and do some work. No surfing around in there today! Really!

Yeah, I think I’ve gotten over my knitting ennui.

October 22, 2007


I got my Ravelry invite last week. I’m on there as, of course, sosoclever.

I started entering stuff over the weekend. Having a register of all the needles I have seems like a handy thing. My problem is what do I do about the interchangeable set I have? Enter each and every one? And how? I have 12″, 14″, 16″, and 21″ cables. If I add 4″ for the points (which are longer than 2″ each), that gives me 16″, 18″, 20″, 25″. 25″? I already had to put my 12″ straight needles on the 10″ line. (No, I don’t expect them to accommodate every possible needle, that’s why they have the comments section.) I’d like to be able to just say I have this set, which includes needle sizes 2 through 15 (I think), with these length cables, but there’s no place to put anything like that.

As long as I’m on the subject of interchangeable sets, if anyone happens to read this and has an opinion on Denise needles, or the KnitPicks set, or any others, please let me know what it is. My biggest problem with interchangeable sets is that I’m an over-tightener. A couple of my needle tips have this little flange at the ends now because I screw them in too tightly. If there is a set out there that fits together some other way (I think Densie does?), I’d really like to try them.