Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Care Package!

In spite of everything, I did manage to get one good photo at the Celtic Festival of my sister and daughter. I think that's Holly's Cristmas present camera Lynn's looking at.

Yesterday, the care package from Knit Picks arrived. If I had known what my financial situation this month would be, I never would have sent for it.

I have to say, though, that it really made me happier to get it.

Let me tell you about what I got!

First, there's a size one (2.5 mm), nickel-plated, 40 inch circular needle. You can see it in the photo with a partially-knit sock on it. I have one of these in a 47 inch length from Addi (one of their lace needles). I loved the Addi lace needles because I liked their points, which were copied from the old Baleen needles. They make regular needles feel big and clumsy to knit with. Until I tried the needles from Knit Picks. They make the Addi lace needles seem big and clumsy. I can do the K2 togs, and the SSKs so much more easily and quickly on the new needles! Knit Picks recommends a 32 inch circular needle for socks because their needles are so flexible. I think that 32 inches would be short enough to make extra work for me. But the 40 inch needles  eliminated enough extra length that they are no longer catching on things and making problems, while still being long enough to use them easily. In short, I love them! And, I like the nickel finish so much better than the ugly plastic-coated brass, and the purple connector is also nicer than the red ones on the Addis. And they're only $5 as opposed to close to the $20 mark.

While we're on the subject of needles, there is one of their Options circular needles curled around the sock-in-progress in the photo. It's made of size eight tips with a 24 inch connector. And now that I have them, I'm thinking about all the projects that the Options needles will make easier.

I've been thinking about getting a set of Options needles for a while. I have a set of Denise needles, though, and although there are some wonderful things I like about them, there are also some things I'm really not happy with.

I like that they've never been banned from aircraft. You can take your knitting on a plane with relative confidence. If knitting circularly, you can put the size needle you need for knitting on your right-hand side, and use a size smaller on the left so that it's easier to advance the stitches onto that needle. Every once in a while (actually, often), there is a project that just doesn't want to slide up onto the left-hand needle. Well, now you can fix that! Then again, you can go further and make condo needles out of the components. Condo needles have a big needle tip on one end, and a smaller one on the other tip. They're used when knitting back-and-forth to make interesting effects with certain stitch patterns. And Denise needles have the sharp points that I like so much. Sharp points make decreases, lace and cables so much easier to do.

But Denise needle tips are short! There is not enough in your hand to control them easily. You don't notice it at first, except for a bit of awkwardness, but your hands tell you about it later.

I have put off buying the Options needles because I was afraid they'd be too short. But they're not! Knit Picks, in it's wisdom, made them 4.5 inches long instead of 4 inches. That doesn't sound like much, but it makes all the difference. When you add the connection, the whole needle tip is 5 inches long, precisely.

And the Options tips are sharp, just the way I like them.

In a couple of days, when I feel better, I'll be going through everything I own to try to find unneeded possessions to sell on Craig's List. With any luck, maybe I can raise enough to offset the money the IRS took out of this month's income, my sudden medical costs, and maybe even enough to get a set of Options needles!

I live in hope.

Now that we've covered the left side of the photo, let's move to the middle, where you see a ball of Telemark sport-weight wool in Royal Heather. See how light it looks in their photo? See how dark it looks in my photo? I was hoping that it would actually be a little lighter than it appeared on screen. It was actually darker. I made a pretty shawl in a lavender yarn, which went to a friend, and I liked it so much that I wanted to duplicate it, only in wool rather than the acrylic it was in. So I'm reassessing things.

When I was born, my mom had a name picked out for me. But when I arrived, she decided that I didn't look like that should be my name, so she named me Johann. Well, this yarn is like that. It looked like a pretty lavender shawl in the photo (to me), but now that it's arrived, it looks like a vest for me. So, now I have to design a vest. I have lots of ideas, but some of the cables and things I'd like to do wouldn't show up well in this color. But maybe a general texture would work well.

More thinking is needed.

On the right-hand side of the photo, we have the Risata yarn in Marionberry. It's very pretty, but it's much darker than I expected, too. Comparable to a navy color in blue, but purple.

I hadn't decided what pattern I wanted to use for this, but I was leaning toward the horcrux socks. This shade is dark enough that I don't feel that the horcrux socks would be shown to their best advantage. So, I'm still thinking about what pattern to use. Suggestions are welcome. Lace might be nice. Or not.

Photography stuff real soon, now.

Have a great Tuesday!

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