Friday On The Needles

It’s been a long and busy week. I started the Morrigan shawl on Sunday and I’m about 3/5ths done already. I love love love these easy patterns that look so intricate! Even though I’ve been super tired this week and have had to take naps and go to bed early several times, I still managed to get quite a bit knitted up.

It helps that I made the effort to go to Wednesday night’s Inskein Asylum, a knitting meet-up at my LYS, Inskein Yarns. Of course, there were a few distractions when I first walked in the door, like the long shelf with tons of gorgeous yarn all 40% off. I managed to keep myself under control, just barely. I met more knitters and had a blast. Conversations always start with, “What are you working on?” and go on to, “And then he took off his clothes…” Knitters are quite passionate, with yarn or without!

Tonight is another knitting meetup at another LYS, Yarnivore. It will be my first one there, but I’m sure a few of the people that I met last Saturday will be at this group too. I’m just hoping for comfy chairs. My tailbone can’t handle another evening of uncomfortable chair pressure; I’m still recovering from last weekend.

This week, I’ve mainly worked on Morrigan while the Quilt and Cable throw is in time-out. I went to pick it up on Sunday evening and discovered that I made a terrible cabling error that was super obvious, so I had to frog it back six rows. SIX! I wanted to cry. That’s well over 2000 stitches. I finally got that done yesterday afternoon, so it’s ready for me to pick it up again in a few days.

My main problem with these two patterns is that I’m working both of them on 7 needles. Although my Chiaogoo interchangeables came with three small cables, I only have one pair of each needle size. Fortunately, my needle set came with end stoppers so it’s not that hard to switch them out. The other problem is that I only have a 14″, 22″, and 30″ cable. The Quilt and Cable throw is 5.5 feet long, which barely squinches onto my 30″ cable. Back when the set came out, that was the longest available, but after a quick check on Amazon, I found they now carry 37″ and 50″ cables! FIFTY inches! I double checked on eBay and found them for a few bucks cheaper, so I ordered it in both the large and small diameters as well as a second set of end stoppers. Having that extra length will make my life so much easier, especially when working up a large shawl or a side to side scarf. Ever since I got them, I’ve used my interchangeables for everything. I’m so used to the flexibility and the small needle length, it makes my straights seem bulky and uncoordinated.

Last night was a little splurgy after I received an email from KnitPicks about their yarn sale. OMG! Who can resist cashmere for less than $5 a skein? I bought some alpaca, Peruvian Highland, and merino (regular and some superwash), as well as a set of Caspian cable needles. I tried using regular cable needles but they are too small and slick; I tended to drop stitches when the needle slipped out. The Caspian cable needles come in three sizes and they have ridges to keep stitches from dropping. Genius!

Of course, now the question is what to work on next? I’ve been furiously adding patterns to my Rav queue, and I ordered this year’s Knit Scene Accessories issue because it features a beautiful hat and cowl set by SusannaIC, the Eva Marie. I also plan to pick up Dee O’Keefe’s Lace Triangle Collection ebook. All four of the shawls in the collection are breathtaking and I can’t wait to get started on them. Meanwhile, work continues on Morrigan. I’ve finished the third repeat, so technically I only have one more repeat to go, but I want mine a bit longer so I may add another one or two repeats. We’ll see how much yarn I have at the time.

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My son graciously modeled for me. You can see my life lines in white. I may be insane but I’m not crazy! I’m not using stitch markers, but I always use life lines.

Have a great weekend and remember, “Knit through everything!”

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Santa Baby

I know I’m a few days late, but in my defense, I’ve been sick pretty much since Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day was no exception. While I rallied enough to get all the wrapping finished up, on Christmas Eve I ended up crashing at around 3:30pm. When I woke up three hours later, I found a spotless house, including the bathroom, and the kitchen floors. It was a perfect Christmas surprise, and I was able to throw myself into the baking frenzy of pies for the next day.

On Christmas morning, I had the best time watching my kids, my son’s girlfriend, and my husband open presents, particularly my husband. The only things he had asked for were a pizza cutter, a knife sharpener, and some snapware bowls. Instead of the knife sharpener, I bought him a set of Ginzu knives, which he was amazed at how sharp they are. However, as he opened lame present after lame present (pajamas, flannel shirts, kitchenware), I kept having to hide my smile as I waited for the right moment to give him his “real” present.

For ages, he’s been waffling about getting a tablet of some kind, so I did my research and decided on the Google Nexus. A few days before Christmas, he said that if he were going to get a tablet, it would be a Nexus. I laughed and said, “Whatever,” as if he would ever buy one. So while I had been a little worried about whether or not he would like it or just complain about the expense, I stopped worrying. Sure enough, when he opened the tiny little box, he was so happy. He loves it and spends much more time in his chair or in the bed, reading all sorts of things. Yesterday, all he read about was dinosaurs.

I highly suspected I was going to get the ChiaoGoo needles, but as I opened my presents, it wasn’t in any of the boxes. I did get a kindle (great for pattern pdfs!) and a fantabulous craft tote with lots of safe, non-velcro compartments. Finally, I was down to my last box and I was NOT disappointed! There in all of its black and white floral glory was the ChiaoGoo needle carry case.

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Because he got me the complete set, I have from size 2 up to size 15. It came with six cables (two of each length, with one for the large set and one for the small set), cable connectors, stitch markers, tightening keys, a gauge/ruler, end caps, and of course, the case. I was too exhausted to play with it that day, but the next day, I switched from my Velocity fixed cable over to the ChiaoGoo and OMG! Let me say again, I was NOT disappointed!

Having lace tips is worth its weight in stainless steel. I love the “click/swish, click/swish” sound they make because I can stitch so much faster. The cashmere silk lace scarf that I’d had to give up on because it refused to cooperate with my Boye needles? I’m now on row 15, and I doubled the width (I like wider scarves). It took me about 45 minutes total to get that far which is waaaaaay faster for me.

I love the stitch markers, too. They are so cute! All the different sizes makes it easy to use the smallest one so it isn’t difficult to knit over. Having a set of end stoppers makes it easy to have multiple projects going at once (because what knitter/crocheter doesn’t??), so I had to give a go at the Kuura shawl with my ICE merino and I had a ball (LOL!) because even the few rows that I worked up were so simple and I can tell it is going to be a gorgeous piece.

I cannot say enough good things about these needles. The key makes the joins super tight, so it’s highly unlikely they will unscrew on their own. Combining the cables was such a huge help for my ever expanding Afternoon Tea shawl. I’m flying through those rows, too, so I should have that done by the end of the next week. The joins are super smooth, too.

Although Amazon hiked up the price $26 from $129 to $155, my husband said there was no way he could *not* get them for me, even though he waited too long. Never underestimate the truly fantastic gift that a good set of needles make. While my other needle purchases sort of propped open the door, these needles have thrown it wide open to the world of knitting possibilities.

I highly recommend getting the complete set, and I also intend to get more cables, connectors, and end stoppers. The combinations are endless, and one could easily make a cabled afghan of any size with a few of the 30″ cables put together. I feel like there is nothing I can’t tackle now!