Yarn Store and Needle Review

Friday, July 27, 2007

So I had ordered my KA (Kinki Amibari) needles Saturday morning from Spirit Work Knitting and Designs with priority shipping. I didn't get them until yesterday but it seems to be a USPS issue and not Spirit Work's because they shipped them out within a couple of hours of my order! Wow! When I did receive the package, I was pleasantly surprised...

They included a promotional tape measure AND a card hand-addressed and signed thanking me for my order. Wow! I'll definitely be ordering from them again. I ended up going with them because they were the only online store that would ship out the needles with priority, two-day shipping and I'm glad I did.

The needles themselves are fantastic! They're definitely more slippery than Clover's which was hard to get used to but they seem very solid and less likely to bend so easily. Also the cord on these suckers is the best I've used! Immediately out of the package it uncoils to almost completely straight. NOT like Clover's forever curly frustrating cord. The only downside so far is the join, which my YOs have caught on quite a bit. I'm not sure if it's the join's fault entirely though as I have been knitting quite tightly; maybe if I was knitting at a normal gauge they would slide over more easily. Overall though I would highly recommend KA bamboo circulars for any project where you need a needle smaller than US 3 and prefer bamboo.

On the knitting front, I've begun Clue 3 of the Mystery Stole and it's going pretty quickly. I hope to finish it tonight or tomorrow and get started on Clue 4 on Sunday. I also finished my sister's socks which just BARELY don't match on the toes. Bummer. I'll have pics up next week for sure. I have so much of that Opal left that I might be able to squeeze another whole pair of socks out of it! Each sock takes one repeat of the stripes so I'll figure it out later to see for sure.

Have a great weekend!

Lace Knitting

Saturday, July 21, 2007

So lace knitting is kind of stressful. Eventually I sort of got in a groove but it's been a little nerve wracking. I did finish Clue 1 today though.

Maybe I should back up a little. I got my yarn on Thursday. After work I went out and bought three different colors of seed beads then went home and knit my swatch. My first attempt on US3s was not a success. Much too loose. So I had to go down to US2. The only needles I have in a US2 are DPNs so I ended up ordering some KA bamboo needles this morning online - they were the only company I could find that had bamboo circulars in such a small size. Here is the swatch then, with the smaller needles (DPNs, priority shipping is fast but not that fast).

Here also is my sister's first sock. The second of which is less than an inch from turning the heel.

I hope she likes them. They're a little brighter than I was expecting. You know what's exciting though? The second sock seems to match perfectly to this sock. Shhh, don't say it outloud or you might jinx me.

Have a great weekend!

Yarn, yarn bo barn, banana fana fo farm...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

So another "local" yarn store is going out of business in my area. It's a bummer, of course, but we did pull up our bootstraps and make it to the sale this week. Everything was 25% off storewide and I ended up getting pretty much all my Christmas Socks yarn in one fell swoop.

For my dad's Christmas socks.

For my someday-to-be brother-in-law's.

Possible contrast for heels and toes for both men's socks. The skeins are only 175 yards and, since I've never made men's socks and am not sure how much it'll take, the brown is my safeguard. Plus, I like brown.

For my grandma's Christmas socks. She's the one lucky person that gets Christmas socks every single year because she's been buying a package of socks for all of the kids and grandkids every year since before I was born. She deserves mucho handknit socks. However, I realized that I was blinded by the beauty of the Claudia Handpaints and didn't realize they're handwash only. I really prefer not to give people handwash only socks. Hmm. My grandma had also requested a variegated pink for her socks and while this beautiful yarn looks overall pink to me, my fellow shoppers and friends didn't think so. We'll see if it gets called to another project instead.

The long ride down to the store, an hour each way, gave me plenty of knitting time since my friend Jenna drove and last night I finished my sister's first Christmas sock. Look at me go this year! I tried to take a picture but there just isn't enough sun in this office yet so I'll have to take and post one another day.

I'm still (im)patiently waiting for our (Jenna and I went in together) Knitpicks order to show up so I can get started on my Mystery Stole. I've been keeping a close eye on everyone's progress through Ravelry and reading the forum so I know some knitter's are having a lot of frustrations with the lace and I'm anxious to get started so I can catch up. Kurt will be gone camping this weekend so it would be a perfect time to start. Cross your fingers for me that it shows up today or tomorrow!

Leftover FO

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I had intended to make ankle socks but Kurt wanted me to make the cuff longer so I just added more of the Regia. They aren't the most aesthetically pleasing, I guess, but the kid got what he wanted and that's all that really matters. :) He says they're soooo comfy!

Name: "Leftovers Socks"
Pattern: Toe-up with figure eight toe and the heel flap from Knitty's Widdershins pattern. (Thanks again for the tip, Jenna!)
Yarn: Leftover Regia Wool Cotton and Knitpicks Essential in Navy.
Needles: US2
Notes: I did 56 stitches, increased to 74 with the gusset and heel stitches and then decreased back down to 56 for the cuff. I used the Widdershin's pattern from Knitty as a guide for the toe-up heel turning and flap after my own attempts failed.

I began casting on for my sister's Christmas socks this morning at an appointment but I actually got in super quick so I'll have to finish tonight. I'm waiting patiently for Fitted Knits to arrive. I knit up a swatch for the Puff Sleeved Feminine Cardigan in stockinette and then looked up the gauge and realized the swatch should be in the pattern stitch. Darn!

I also got sucked into the fun that is the Mystery Stole #3 project. I ordered some Alpaca Cloud from Knitpicks on Sunday and it looks like it shipped yesterday. The first two clues are out and I'm anxious to begin! I still need to find beads once the yarn arrives and do a swatch. I think this project is going to be so fun!

That's all for now. Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Kurt's Leftovers socks are coming along nicely. The Knitpicks Essential is going fast though so I'm thinking they'll end up being ankle socks, which Kurt is okay with but I guess he'd prefer regular socks. I actually started the first one top-down and got three inches into the ribbing before thinking "Whoa, this yarn is going fast, maybe I should have started these toe-up..." So I started the second one with the other yarn.

I'm at the point where I'm wrapping my mind around turning the heel and doing a heel flap backwards, you know, toe-up style. I've googled and gotten inspiration from a few other patterns and it's really starting to make sense to me. I started turning it on my lunch break so I think I'll get the flap done tonight while I watch some more Battlestar Gallactica. I watched the pilot the other day and am easily hooked. Me + Sci Fi drama = happiness.

This morning I ordered the yarn for my sister's Christmas socks. I'm excited. I'm not sure why Little Knits has the minimum $25 order deal but I really didn't need much prompting to also order some Wool in the Woods Twin Twist. Anyone used this? It looks so squishy and the colors are beautiful! Since I get such cold feet in the winter, I thought I'd try it out for some slightly thicker socks.

I also ordered a sock pattern. The Walking Away socks to be exact.

My Fourth was really fun and I think Kurt really enjoyed himself too. He's a big lover of firecrackers and while he didn't quite get his fill, I think he's happy knowing that he still has a couple of boxes of little ones to do at Grandpa's farm this summer.

Barefeet Are Now Bearfeet

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Finished my socks!

Name: "Bearfoot Socks," my basic top-down sock. 12 rows of 2x2 rib and then stockinette with a french heel.
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Indian Corn colorway
Needles: US2
Notes: I ended up taking the toe out of the first one done and adding an extra decrease and knit row to get them to fit right. I guess I had thought my feet were just a tiny bit smaller. I like my socks about 10% smaller than the actual measurement so they're nice and snug, these are now perfect.

I also ordered Fitted Knits from a used seller on Amazon yesterday. I called every bookstore and checked every store that carries crafts in town and none of them had the book on hand. They could have ordered it in but their prices were really high, of course. I try to shop locally but I'm also on a budget and oftentimes the internet wins in that category.

So I'll be swatching for the Puff-Sleeved Feminine Cardigan this week and also ordering yarn for my sister's Christmas socks. I looked around on Ravelry and messaged a few people to find out about their mods to the cardigan. I got replies right away and am now set to make it the way I want it. I know I'm beating a dead horse here but Ravelry is So Cool.

Have a great Fourth!