Monday, January 29, 2007

River John Swing Needles and Confusion/Change

I'm not sure of anything right now. I'm especially not sure of my Fleece Artist Celtic Vest that I got from Colorsong. At first, I wasn't sure of the color - Moss. It's pretty lime-ish to me. The yarn itself, Scotian Silk (try to say that 3 times fast after 2 martinis) is 35% silk and 65% wool and is lovely, albeit thick compared to all the lace and socks I've been working on lately. When you work mostly with fingering and lace weight yarns and switch to a bulkier yarn it does have the tendency to feel like you are knitting with the Gorton Fisherman's fishing nets. Then I wasn't sure of the gauge. The directions say gauge grows quite a bit after being blocked. Now I'm not sure if the Rib Stitch pattern is correct, because I can't get the hang of the "swing".

I've got my balls (of yarn) nicely positioned, like Thing One and Thing Two. I knit with Yarn 1 and I knit1 purl1 with Thing, I mean Yarn 2. The directions say I don't turn my work at the end of every row. OK, got that, but I do turn my work at the end of every other row because both yarns are together at that point.

And I find I really have to give it a tug at the beginning of each row because that yarn sitting there resting can get quite loose. So I'm also not sure about these new needles - River John Swing Needles. I got them from Tidalbrookyarns on ebay, great service and very helpful. They're a very light and a pretty birch with a very faint wax to them, very almost unfinished - a big change from my Crystal Palace Bamboo which almost feel laquered.
Lola - chew your toys, not my River John Swing Balls...

Lola The Dog loves the removable balls at the ends of the sticks. They were slipping to the floor rather easily until I took the advice of the manufacturer and tied strings to them to make the holes tighter. Now Lola is jumping up to snatch the balls from the ends of the sticks, a more challenging game for her by far. So this has not been the relaxing knit I hoped for - yet.

I feel I've entered a new realm in knitting - Embrace Change is my Mantra...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

What Kind Of Knitter Are You?

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.
Take this quiz!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Storm Water Scarf Squeeky

Disclaimer: This is a subjective review. It is in no way meant to disparage or endorse the product or the creator/company associated with the product. The sole intent is to share information about the practical characteristics of the product that may not be found at any other information source/website.

Dh gave me the Storm Water Scarf pattern with a lovely skein of Hand Maiden Sea Silk from Colorsong Yarn. I really enjoyed my last lace projects, so I dove right into this one on Christmas Night. My joyous knitting came to a screeching halt when I realized that my needles, size 4 Addi Naturas that had served me so well in my Razor Cami project were not the best choice for this particular project. They stuck too much for the Sea Silk, and the points, although pretty pointy, were not pointy enough to grab the k2togs. What to do? I thought about sanding down the points but decided to buy another set of needles while I was in Knit Away in Brooklyn, which was the very next day. I picked myself up a lovely pair of Crystal Palace #4 circs. I wanted to use circs on this project because I imagined doing this while at various doctor appointments, lacrosse games, and in general, waiting in the car for kids to emerge from wherever. The CPs did not work as I planned, however. The joins caught the Sea Silk and didn't want to let go without a fight. I happened to be around Knit Away again a few days later (I know, weird considering I'm 45 minutes away) and picked up a beautiful pair of Susanne circs in a size #4. All I've ever read was that these needles were primo. Well, they might be for some things but not for me when it comes to lace. The points were too blunt and the wood, while feeling light and luxurious was still too sticky for the Sea Silk. Why didn't I check first before plopping down $18 + tax? It was stapled shut so you couldn't see the points. AARG! Now I was on a mission. A woman possessed. I sanded down my Addi Naturas and thought I would achieve knitting nirvana. Still, the wood was too sticky and the joins too grabby. I kept looking at my measly few rounds of my pattern worried that it was destined for the UFO pile. I traveled to Knit in Greenvale a week later and bought my first set of Addi Turbos. I now know what everyone is talking about when they gush over those shiny silver Addis. They are the smoothest needles I've ever used. The joins are not like joins - just part of the needle. But the glare - I felt like I needed sunglasses! And the Sea Silk was too slippery on the metal. I kept feeling like I was about to fall off a cliff. And now I was feeling like Goldilocks, trying to find the needles that fit just right. So I consulted the vast wisdom of the internet, and read that some people love Bryspun Flex needles. I ordered a pair on Ebay and received them today. The project has been smooth sailing ever since. The points are long and delicious, sorting out the YOs and lifting them no matter how tightly wound. The joins, while not Addi Turbo joins, are doing their job and mostly staying out of the way. I feel more confident with no frogging since I switched. I must admit after using glamorous woods and super slick metals with wonderful cables, these white plastic things did feel a little like they came from the box with all my old childhood crafty things - the spool knitter, the cross-stitch with the Girl Scout Trefoil on it, but somehow they are superior to me for this particular project. The only thing? They're squeeky. Not squeeky like an old door squeeky, but kind of like a new pair of sneakers squeeky. So I am getting over the sensory aspect of this project - and I think I will actually finish this.

Now I have FIVE pairs of size 4 needles.

This scarf just got expensive...

Oh, by the way, I photographed the scarf positioned precariously on the notice that just came home from Prince Js school today informing us that another student in hi class has whooping cough...