All I Want For Christmas Is…

One thing about learning a new hobby: it often requires a whole new set of toys. When I learned to crochet, I got subscriptions to several magazines, downloaded patterns, bought hooks, stitch markers, yarn, yarn, more yarn, and oh, some yarn. Knitting is nowhere near that cheap.

Sure, I could get just a single set of straight needles and make flat hats and scarves in worsted weight yarns until I die of boredom. But if I want to make shawls, blankets, hats, sweaters, or socks, I need stuff. Lots of stuff. 14 inch straights, circular needles of various lengths and sizes,  cable needles (although for the moment, I’m faking it with a third straight), yarn, yarn, some yarn, and oh, more yarn! I’ve discovered that yarn that is nearly impossible to use in crochet, because the stitches get lost, is easy to use in knitting, because the stitches are right there on the needle. Hello mohair, boucle, and novelty yarns!

Every year, my parents, nieces and nephew, and my family all draw names after Thanksgiving dinner. It’s easier to get gifts for one person, and they get a cooler present than if I had to get seven of them. This year, my mom got me, Aubrey got my mom, I got my dad, and my dad got Aubrey. How funny is that?? Because my mom is going to be gone for Christmas and I’ll be gone for all of January and most of February, we decided to get together on the 15th for brunch.

My mom is difficult to buy for, but Aubrey is a whiz shopper. She hit up Etsy and found the most beautiful thing…I’ll show pictures after next Sunday when we open our presents. My dad is equally difficult, as he has everything he could ever need. I searched through Etsy and while I found some really awesome stuff, it all comes from Israel and wouldn’t be here in time. Because I wasted so much time looking at various indie websites, I ran out of shipping time. Thank goodness for Amazon and Prime. Two days guaranteed! I found a beautiful wool/viscose Irish Ivy Hat; I’ve seen my dad wear one so I know he’ll like it. I’m frantically working on a cabled scarf to go with the hat. With only six days to go, it may be a very short scarf. I’m using the Lion Brand Reversible Cable Scarf Level 5. I’m not sure why it’s considered level 5, because it’s really easy, as long as I don’t lose track of when to knit and when to purl.

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Mom finds me equally difficult to buy for, although I think I’m pretty easy. Obviously, knitting stuff is at the top of my list. But she wanted to make sure she got me exactly what I wanted, so while we were on the phone, we shopped on KnitPicks.com together. I picked out a set of Caspian DPNs, some needle coils, point protectors, cable needles, and two skeins of Shimmer yarn in Shallows colorway. That’s going to be a lace shawl for sure! I can’t wait for the DPNs so I can make my first pair of knitted socks.

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Of course, I’m still hoping for the set of ChiaoGoo interchangeables from my husband. Hint…hint!

 

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It’s Been HOW Long??

Wow, I didn’t realize it’s been close to a year since I last posted. It’s almost Thanksgiving! Of course, that means I’m frantically working on various projects for Christmas gifts (that won’t get done and will end up being frogged in January…just keepin’ it real).

I recently learned how to knit back at the beginning of October which has opened up a world of new patterns, stitches, and wouldn’t you know it, tools. While I long ago decided on my favorite crochet hooks (Susan Bates Luxite Plastic), I’ve yet to find a good set of needles. So far, I’ve tried Lion Brand (meh), Susan Bates (love the tips…these are my favorite inexpensive straights), Boye (no. Just no.), ChiaoGoo Bamboo fixed circulars (the regular ones with the clear wires…good, but I don’t like the bamboo), Susan Bates Velocity fixed circulars (ok, but the wire is too stiff), and finally, ChiaoGoo Stainless Steel fixed circular with the red wire.

O.M.G, the red wire ChiaoGoo is HEAVENLY! Straight out of the package, the wire is soft, flexible, and nearly straight! The join is smooth and sleek, meaning there’s nothing to snag the yarn. I love the curved join, because it keeps the fabric moving smoothly down onto the wire instead of my having to stop and shove it down (a problem with the Bamboo). I’m in love! I’d already set my heart on the ChiaoGoo Red Twist interchangeables, but I wanted to try the wire before I committed.

Unfortunately, I’m still torn. Have you SEEN the KnitPicks Caspian needles? They are gorgeous!! I’m considering ordering their trial set of two interchangeables (size 6 Caspian wood and size 7 nickle plated), which also comes with two cable lengths (24″ and 40″) and four end caps, as well as the tightening tool which looks like a twirled t-pin. The Caspian needles are so pretty, and the wires are a beautiful matching teal color.

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Do any of my dear readers have any of the KnitPicks needles? If so, are you happy with them? Tell me about it!