Needles, Needles, Needles

I’m working a lot knitting socks. Trying some new patterns and trying different needles, too.

Knitter's Pride Dreamz DPN

Knitter’s Pride Dreamz DPN

I have a set of new Knitter’s Pride “dreamz” 6-inch double pointed needles in US1 (2.25mm) needles and they’re going to help me knit up some wonderful socks using  Susan B. Anderson’s “How I Make My Socks” pattern and Patons Kroy Socks in Spring Leaf Stripes colorway (that I’ve had in my stash for a few months.) I am really liking these needles. They are smooth but not slippery. The tips are pointy enough but I’d like to have a little more tip … they are almost rounded off at the tip rather than pointy and pointy is better when you’re using fine yarns. At this price point, however, they are very reasonable and they are nice to work with.

Signature Needle Arts DPN

Signature Needle Arts DPN

My other socks are on my Signature Needle Arts 6-inch US1 DPNs. (One of which I seem to have lost already. I am hoping that I left it at the office on Friday and that I will find it when I return tomorrow. You’ll understand why one would worry about the loss of one needle when you are told that I paid $48 for a set of four needles. Thus, one needle is valued at $12 which, by the way, is more than a set of 5 Dreamz needles.) The yarn that I am using is Gale’s Art Wonder Sock in the Graffiti colorway. I love this yarn’s color and it was one that I fell in love with and went to buy immediately after casting my eyes upon it. That doesn’t happen often. The Signature needles, while pricey, are worth every cent. I love the stiletto points and the yarn slips easily over them without slipping off them. I’d say that these are my favorites and I will collect more as my pocketbook allows.

I’ve had many (many!) sets of needles over the course of my knitting career. From the “cheap-o” needles that you can buy on sale at the big box craft stores to my pricey Signatures. I bought my first boxed set of needles at a half-price going out of business sale in Cincinnati, Ohio. I thought spending $50 for a set of Denise Interchangeable Needles was a huge expense. And I loved the needles. Until I discovered Addis! Addi cords were so much more flexible and they’ve been through several iterations since my first circular needles. One summer I bought a set of HIya Hiya needles (around $70- $80?) and I fell in love again. The transition between the needles and cords were much smoother than the Denise needles and the single circs that I bought here and there. No matter what brand of bamboo circular needle I seemed to buy, the transitions were often rough.

And then one  year I took some classes with Annie Modesitt and discovered Signatures. I’ve often asked for them for my birthday and Christmas and mother’s day, too. I tend to buy 40″ circulars because I can use them in magic loop in so many applications. I have one pair of straights and one pair of their DPNs. They are all magnificent and the tips are nice and pointy.

Limited Edition Knitter's Pride Dreamz (well worn!)

Limited Edition Knitter’s Pride Dreamz (well worn!)

I was gifted one more lovely set of needles a couple of Christmases ago. They are a limited edition set of Knitter’s Pride Dreams interchangeable circular needles. They have been so well used for so often (and taken with me when I travel or teach) that the box is starting to show some wear. I love the needles. The cords are nice and flexible and the transitions are mostly smooth. I have a couple of needles that are not as smooth as others. But, over all, this set is a decent price point and they are pretty colors and they are great to knit with.

Needles, like friends, are a personal choice. We all have our favorites or besties. None are “bad”, some are better for different projects. Have you ever travelled with a friend who you can only take in small doses or one who snores? It makes travel a challenge! Needles are the same! When you have the wrong needles, your project will be a challenge. I like to use bamboo with “slippery” yarn (like mohair). I use circulars for almost everything these days but I still like to knit socks on DPNs, too.

Variety is the spice of life, right?

Gone knitting.

WIP(s) Queen Bee Style

I have a few projects on the needles. It’s just the way I roll … some days I don’t feel like thinking about knitting and so I need some “mindless” knitting. And some days I want to challenge myself and for those days I need something on the needles to stretch my brain. Some projects have to be portable. Some need a bag of their own (and I have a good collection!)

I am working on a Dr. Who scarf that I hope to have finished in February … it’s quite boring as knitting goes. Garter stitch all the way. I’m weaving in the ends as I go so I don’t have to do that later. I started out thinking I was smarter than the average bear and decided to add one row to each color/stripe so there would be no “wrong” side. I didn’t like it so I have stopped that. Hope it’ll be loved even though I didn’t frog the whole thing from the point where I changed my mind. The colors are not exact but I decided to use Paton’s Classic Wool which I could get in my knitting bag in a day … lots of yarn and it requires a bag of it’s own! 😉

Dr. Who Scarf WIP#1

Dr. Who Scarf WIP#1

I have a Valentine’s day project that I’ve started. Some left-over red cotton and my beautiful new red Signature needles and that’s all it took to get me going. Needles were a wonderful Christmas gift from my number one son! Dish cloths are perfectly portable! I love to pitch a project in my plastic zip-locks for my purse! (alliteration!)

Valentine's WIP#2

Valentine’s WIP#2

Plugging along on my Downton Abbey Mystery KAL with Jimmy Beans Wool. I love the yarn that I chose (Malabrigo Silky Merino #856 Azules) as an alternate to the Lorna’s Laces which would have been here way too late to begin the KAL. I also love the color way. We know that final project will be a shawl and that’s all … that’s why it’s called a “Mystery” KAL (knit-a-long). I still have one week of work to do to catch up before tomorrow’s episode. Check out the JBW blog … it will be a written pattern at the end of it all. This is a pay attention pattern. Except for the garter stitch sections, I have to concentrate – not to be knitted while chatting!

Downton Abbey KAL WIP#3

Downton Abbey KAL WIP#3

I’ve got the big (boring, stockinette stitch) panels done for my “Just So Bag” tote. I just have the lace “ends” left to finish. I must confess, that I have frogged these ends more than once because I didn’t keep track of where I stopped. Not a wise choice when you’re knitting a lace pattern. Even when the lace is being knitted in a heavier weight yarn (Lambs Pride Worsted in charcoal grey). I have a wonderful collection of Interweave Knits magazines that I can’t bear to part with … so it was a free pattern for me. This pattern needs to be knitted in my atelier. No talking. No TV. Lots of counting. Since my super quiet time is somewhat limited, I haven’t even cast on this project (again) yet.

WIP #4 Lace Panels (two) not on the needles yet!

WIP #4 Lace Panels (two) not on the needles yet!

My sister-in-law and brother sent me a wonderful Zauberball (Color1564, 100g) sock yarn ball for Christmas and I love knitting socks. I am on a mission (sort of) to knit a whole drawer full of socks and this pair will add to it, I’m sure. They’re super portable which is what I love about knitting socks. I had thought to do a cuff-down pair but I think I’ll do two-at-a-time from the toe up just for kicks! That means I have to split the ball (or I’ll have a mess!) I’ll let you know what I decide.

Zauberball Socks WIP #5

Zauberball Socks WIP #5

Last, but not least, I have some odds and ends of worsted weight yarns that I have been knitting into tiny trees (with wine cork “trunks”). Patterns are Pint Sized Pines by Julie Tarsha. This is a free download on Ravelry … mine aren’t as colorful (yet) but I do love them! Just so happens that I have saved a few corks … this is a great quick knitting project and they’re so cute. Plan is to add some beads, etc. to some of the trees making them look like Christmas Trees.

Tiny Trees WIP #6

Tiny Trees WIP #6

There you have it! All of my WIPs and my reason (excuse?) for having so many on the needles at one time. I have enough yarn for three sweaters in my stash that I want to start next … and I’m trying to hold off from casting on until I have finished at least the February deadline projects. Must get going!

Gone knitting!