Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lots of needle options

My KnitPicks Options needle set arrived today! As soon as I got it organized, I put together the size 15 needles with a cable to make a 32" circular, and picked up the poor, neglected Absorba. It has been on hiatus since the connector broke on the Denise needle I was using. I was able to add another section to the bath mat. I think one section a day is going to be a good pace -- the exaggerated hand motions required to knit with 3 strands of double-worsted yarn make it hard to work more than one section without resting.

As I mentioned earlier, I ordered pretty much the whole kit & caboodle in the KnitPicks Options. In addition to the set, I ordered the 3 larger sizes of needle tips (13, 15, 17) and the 3 longer cables (40", 47", 60"), and one package each of the plastic pockets that go in the binder.
I discovered that the needles fit nicely in the triple pocket sleeves, one pair of tips per section. The 12 different needle sizes used exactly 4 pages. I used a permanent marker to write the size in US and mm on each section of the sleeve. I also put the needle size ID tag for each size in with the needle tips of that size (they're a separate item, but seemed like a good idea). I then put each size of cable into a single pocket sleeve, marked with the length. Ran out of single pockets, so I put the smallest cables into a double pocket sleeve. I'm not sure what I'll use the other 3 double pocket pages for (the one that came with the set, plus the 2 extras I ordered). I might see about storing the smaller sized circulars (0 - 3, available separately) into those sleeves.

I like the needles -- this is such an awesome way to have every size & length of circular needle you could possibly need (except the sock sizes, because they're too little to screw onto the connectors). They do make a clicking noise. I very rarely click when I knit, and the rhythm of stitches on Absorba is so slow, it's not all that noticeable.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It continues

The insanity, that is.
I spent some time yesterday looking for whatever helpful hints I could find about making Absorba (the bath mat) on the Mason Dixon KAL blog. One comment contained a warning that the knitter had broken the connector on her Denise needle while picking up stitches to start a new section. I happen to be using Denise needles, as well, so when I was picking up stitches this morning, I thought, "I can't figure out how she applied so much pressure that she broke the connector," and blithely continued what I was doing. Then I pushed the needle along through the picked up stitches in order to place the next stitch on it, and *SNAP* the connector broke. I know Denise has replacement parts, so I went to their website. Then I started thinking about getting extra cords and needles, and thought I might rather have the KnitPicks set. So I, uh, just went for the whole thing -- the Options set plus the 3 larger needle sizes, plus the 3 longer cable lengths, plus some extra pockets for the needle case. If I ever think I need to purchase another needle after this, someone may need to find me a padded cell. And I still need to replace the Denise cable I broke ($2.50, with free shipping).

I worked on my black socks today while listening to a podcast for almost an hour. Knowing I can usually do 20 rows on a sock in an hour, I was surprised at my lack of progress. I didn't count, but it didn't look like more than 10 rows. I didn't think I'd gotten that distracted looking up other things on the computer during the podcast. All of a sudden, it occurred to me... (scroll down & look at yesterday's picture & see if you can guess)
... I did 10 rows each on 2 socks! 10 x 2 = 20! Whatta genius.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

(Temporary) Insanity

At least I hope it's temporary. I have way too many projects going. I want to be project monogamous, but still I persist in starting new ones.

Last night, I started Absorba from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I ordered the 3 cones of Peaches & Creme double worsted weight direct from Elmore-Pisgah online. Colors are eggshell, ecru, and earthtone ombre. Using size 15 Denise needles. Large needles and bulky yarn requires exaggerated hand movements, which make knitting seem very slow. I have done the center square and the first 2 1/2 of the 10 logs. This will be a lovely thick bath mat.
This is, um, the felted moebius swirl bag from Knitty Gritty, before felting. I've been married to this man for almost 25 years. Sometimes it's best just to go with the flow.
Here's the bag after felting, considerably smaller. The yarn is Araucania Atacama 100% alpaca from I used less than one 50g/100m skein. I like the moebius twist in the handle. I'm thinking a larger bag would be nice. This little one was just a few hours worth of knitting, started & finished yesterday.
Snowflake eyelet socks using a yummy angora/merino blend. Pattern and yarn from Susan's Spinning Bunny. This was the January sock kit from her sock club, and I just started it a few days ago.
My 2nd pair of Big Black Socks for Socks for Soldiers, this time in KnitPicks Essential, on US1 needles. My 1st pair used a heavier yarn & fewer stitches, so the socks were quite thick.
The Stonington Shawl from Shawls and Scarves: The Best of Knitter's Magazine. I started this before I went to Italy, but it wouldn't have been very good traveling knitting because of the cone. The nifty cone twirly thing came from Bo Peep's Wool shop, which does not appear to be selling yarn or anything other than patterns now.
I'm expecting to produce incremental progress on all of these, so it may be awhile before we see anything finished.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Home Again

I have actually been home since Sunday, but busy catching up on reading email & other people's blogs. And then there was the little glitch in getting the pictures off the xD card and onto the computer, but I got that sorted out.
Projects completed while I was away:
The Fleece Artist socks for my daughter, the Princess. Color: Rose; Pattern: Central Air from BlueMoonFiberArts.

Baby Cable Rib socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. Color: Tuscany

I also made a scarf from the Fleece Artist cashmere that had 1st tried to be a Moebius cowl. I'm not too sure about this scarf, either, although it is very soft, warm, and lightweight. Here it is, keeping me warm on a recent chilly morning.

So, where was I? Well, I was here:

And here:

And, well -- this one's a dead give away. I kept it because it's so bad... the person who took it couldn't see the screen on the camera because it was so bright outside, so it's kinda funny.