Monthly Archives: October 2012

What Can You Accomplish in a Day?

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Over the course of about twelve hours I cast on and completed the tam for my sister.  It knit up quick and cam out really well.  Another bright spot was finding out that I can totally rock a tam.  Now I’ve got to knit one for myself.  But that’s a project for another day.  Tonight I will keep working on my Vortex Spiral Afghan.  Back to the lacework!

New Skill Aquired: Kitchener Stitch

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I was finally finishing up my niece’s Norwegian Snowflake Scarf, a colorwork piece knit in the round from both ends, the joined in the middle.  It needed to be grafted using the kitchener stitch.  May I just say: super easy.  The only thing you need to focus on is pulling your yarn tight.  Really, do the world a favor and keep it tight.  If you are looking for a how-to, I used this YouTube video from the Knit Witch and found it to be incredibly helpful.

Norwegian Snowflake Scarf

Overall, I am very happy with the scarf.  It was my first attempt at colorwork, which meant that I had to learn to knit with my right hand.  Once I got the hang of that, however, it knit right up!

A Few of My Favorite Things…

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I’ll admit it… I love gadgets.  I love random tools and specialized pieces of equipment.  One of my favorite pastimes is walking through the notions, knitting, and quilting aisles at JoAnn’s to see if I can find anything new to try.  But I must say, of the very many tools I have bought and inherited, the one thing I could never never ever live without is my set of addiclick lace interchangeable knitting needles.  I bought my set at Alfred Knitting Studio three years ago and I cannot imagine my life without them.

I did try a set of Denise needles first, I had seen them on display at the same yarn shop the first time I went in, in 2008, and was amazed at the idea.  At the time, I was only just getting back into knitting and could not imagine spending the $100 to buy them.  Every time I saw a set of interchangeables, I told myself “You already have all the needles you need” or “You never knit on circular needles anyways” or “Bamboo is so much nicer to knit on.”  Especially after I bought a set of bamboo DPN’s in every size, I thought I was done.  Up to this point I usually knit on straight or double pointed needles.  I was usually knitting scarves and hats.  But all of that was about to change.

When I started knitting sweaters, I realized something I should have already known: I HATE DOING FINISHING WORK!  How many dresses did I need to sew where the seams weren’t trimmed, the hook and eye’s weren’t installed, and the final ironing wasn’t done before I realized this simple fact.  The same holds for knitting.  After all that love and care I put into crafting the sweater, I just want to put the damned thing on and wear it.  It only took me a bit to discover the joys of top down sweaters knit in the round.

Now I was in need of new needles.  But not just one or two, I would need to buy 3 in each size just to make a basic sweater.  After doing this once and borrowing needles from friends on occasion, I decided to do it.  I was going to treat myself to the most expensive and indulgent thing I could: tools for my hobby.  Keep in mind: I was in college.  I was living on my own, buying textbooks and groceries and gas and everything on a lifeguard’s budget.  I made all of my money over the summer, then worked about 6 hours a week while taking 28 credit hours of classes to make all of my spending money.  This was not a decision to be made lightly.

So in 2010, when I was looking to buy a set of interchangeable needles.  I was perusing the internet, trying to get the best deal I could, and I came across the Denises.  They had good reviews and they came in rainbow!  I was very excited, but when I got them, they weren’t quick, they weren’t easy to change, and they just were not working for me.  Because the cables were so thick, when they were linked I couldn’t even get my knitting across the connector.  I had to set them back.

So I kept looking.  The problem was that I had done a lot of knitting on 20″ and 24″ cable needles, which you just couldn’t get from most interchangeable companies.  But then I found them:  the addiclick lace.  A set of needles that go all the way down to 16″ without trouble.  But then I discovered the scariest problem yet:  you couldn’t get them on the internet.  They were only distributed through local yarn shops (so good for them!  Yay!), but most local yarn shops weren’t online.  And Alfred, NY is not exactly a booming metropolis where you can get whatever product you want.  But I decided to give it a try.  I went down to the Knitting Studio and asked if they had a set.  They did!

Since then I haven’t touched a set of straight needles.  I hate how heavy they feel and the way they distribute the weight out past my wrists.  I almost never touch my DPN’s.  Aside from knitting a hat I never need them.  I am ALL ABOUT THE ADDICLICKS!  I have added to my set, buying a second set of cables for the lace set because I tend to work four or five projects at a time, a set of long cables for eternity scarves and afghans, and a set of US10.5 tips for a few special projects.

I can’t say enough good about these needles.  They are fast, they are easily adjustable, they are great for travelling, it’s so simple to change needles, they’re great for trying to determine gauge, they’re small and easy to store, they make it so easy to switch between projects, they are a knitter’s best friend.  These needles are, by far, the best purchase I have ever made.  Every semi-serious knitter should get a set, it will hook you for life.  The addiclick lace Interchangeable Needle set is, hands down, my most favorite tool in the world.

Christmas is Coming

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I have a relatively large family, which can make the holidays a overwhelming– both emotionally and financially.  To help with the second, if not the first, all of the adults in the family pick only one person to buy for with a $20 spending cap.  We usually find out well in advance who our yearly […]