Sunday, March 31, 2013

Knit Red!

With the Stray Cat shawl all wrapped up, and the yarn still packed, I turned my attention to my other WIPs.
I have two sweaters, Dave's Hero socks, the Cranberry Bonnet, a new shawl design, and a scrappy afghan on the go.

I did a little work on the Hero socks, but as I gave Dave the Business Casual socks just last week, I'm not overly motivated to work on more socks for him.

Instead, I turned my attention to the Cranberry Bonnet. If you remember, I started this hat back at the end of January, with a skein of Skinny Bugga I purloined from Mom's stash. I started it thinking, "A hat won't take that long, it will be off the needles in no time!"

And... here we are two months later.... Now it's true part of the the delay was due to other, more pressing knitting commitments.But another part was my tools. The hat is knit on 2.0mm needles. With 224 stitches to a round at its widest point, it was too much for dpns - that meant a round needle with magic loop.

I just figured out magic loop a few months ago (when I was working on Bumble) and I find it quite useful. I have found however, that it's only really helpful when you have the right kind of needle - one with a nice flexible cord.

My only 2.0 mm was a Crystal Palace bamboo needle. The cord wasn't bad, but the ends are fairly blunt (being bamboo and all) and the join is not all that smooth, slowing the knitting progress immensely. ( I hate snag!) I needed a better needle!

A while back, Mom and I invested in a couple of sizes of Chiaogoo's Red Lace circular needles.

Normally, I prefer a wooden (I do love my knit picks dpns) or bamboo needle (very helpful when knitting with silk - my fave fibre!), but I have to admit, I've fallen in love with my Chiaogoos! The cord is awesome (it's a a flexible, multistrand, nylon-coated, steel cable - if you're a jewelry maker, it's similar to tigertail wire) - wonderfully flexible and nigh un-kinkable - you never have to steam these cords straight!

The join is smooth... and the tips... soooo pointy. If you do a lot of lace knitting, you know how handy this is.

Anyway, when I was up at Mom's yesterday, I checked to see if she had a 2.0 mm in her set - and she did! There's no lace in this hat, but the pointy tips make working those tiny stitches so much easier. This hat is just flying now.

If you haven't tried Chiagoos, I do recommend them. (No I'm not being paid or anything, I really do love these needles). We got our from Grandma's Handknitting on Etsy. Keep your eye out, because they frequently have sales.


Anonymous said...

I love my ChiaGoo needles. I only have a few in my stash, but they are really nice. I also like my HiyaHiya Sharps. That's what I'm using for my blanket, but I do have a fear that they might break. The blanket is getting pretty heavy at this point.

When is moving day?

Araignee said...

Uh oh, now you know I just have to have some too....

Minding My Own Stitches said...

I like the idea of circs that don't need steaming and don't curl. Maybe it's time for me to try newer better circular needles?!

Rachelle said...

I love my Chiao Goo's, enough that I bought the small set of interchangeables. My fingers don't split with them like they do with Knitpro and no risk of the coating coming off as they're stainless steel.

Samantha said...

Yay for the hat! You're going to have to lesson me in Magic Loop. I've never really paid much attention to it.

I use the KnitPicks circs. No issues with steaming/curling with those either.

Nancy Kay said...

Hadn't heard of ChiaoGoos needles, but I will be on the lookout now. They sound fabulous!

RobinH said...

I'll join the chorus of Chiagoo love. I have them in several small sizes- I'm using them for the Wasabi hat, in fact.