Thursday, January 18, 2007

Random bits

I'm going to make this quick because I've been experiencing technical difficulties all evening. Seems to be an issue with Google. I apologize for randomness and lack of links in advance.

After a long hard day of work and Pilates on Tuesday, I came home to a package from my Secret Pal! 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Merino DK in the most gorgeous color, a box of Mini Milano Pepperidge Farm Cookies (that's an empty box - I already ate them all, oink), a Fig Candle that smells divine, a great CD made just for me, and Rowan's Vintage Style (lots of great, classic patterns). Thanks Kirby! You've been a great Pal to me!

Look how well the Debbie Bliss yarn goes with the Jo Sharp DK wool leftover from my Fair Isle Pullover! I'm thinking that I'd like to make a striped something with it.
The back of my Central Park hoodie is finished, and I've started the left front, which looks alarmingly small. I have to remind myself that there is going to be a button band, but I suspect that I am going to be blocking this puppy like crazy when I'm done! Here's a close-up of the bind off at the neck. I used a tip learned from Elsebeth Lavold: I bound off in a contrasting yarn rather than putting the stitches on a holder; it makes for much easier blocking. I also decided not to do the last cables just before the shoulder because on the right side (your view) the cable row was the bind-off row, and it would look funny to cross on the left only. It does mean that I won't have any cables before the shoulder on the front either, as I'll be knitting the same number of rows. I really love this sweater and am seriously considering making another!

Beckie asked me how I liked my Boye Needlemaster set. Like many of you, I am very picky about my needles. I have yet to find one brand of needle that I like to use for all yarns. Addi Turbos will usually be my first choice, but I don't find them pointy enough for some projects that require double decreases or cabling without a cable needle. The best feature in Boye's favor is the packaging. I am a sucker for nifty packages and I love the compact way these needles are packaged. I can tuck in scissors, cable needles and a number of other doo dads and zip it all up in one pouch. I also love the bright colors, and that they are very sharp. The two drawbacks are that the shortest cable is not short enough for some projects (I'll still use 16 inch circulars) and the needles themselves are not as slippery as the Addi's. I tend to describe them as "sticky" but it's really a matter of drag. The yarn doesn't slide easily as I knit stitches from one needle to the other. This seems to be more of a problem with yarns that have no give (like tweeds). The needles do become more slippery as they "warm up". If I were a relatively new knitter, and I wanted a lot of bang for my buck, I would buy this set. That said, I could never have too many knitting needles, and have been known to try 3 different brands before settling on the ones that feel right for a particular yarn or stitch. It's really a matter of personal preference.

Well, I'm off to my Mum's for the weekend and have already packed my knitting for the weekend: puppy sweater take 2. Since the last one didn't fit, I decided that the wisest course of action would be to knit it while I have him around to try it on. If I finish, and if it fits, I'll be sure to take photos. I hear there's snow in the forecast, so he'll need it! I'm hoping to find yarn for Ariann. Maybe I'll come across that Ella Rae again...

Happy knitting! Have a great weekend!

BTW: Sorry about the comment verification. I got spammed.

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