Friday, February 09, 2007


My wish for shorter dpns has finally been granted by Clover! After I broke that Clover Takumi needle a few weeks ago, I thought I had fixed it ok but it split again, darn it. T-Man says he’s going to glue it and it disappeared into the basement wood studio never to be seen again by mortals. So I used this as an excuse (heh!) to buy another 2 sets of my favourite 2 mm size bamboos. However this time I found the new little 5” ones and they actually had 2 sets in the store! These will be wonderful for smaller socks (like mine) and especially for glove fingers. If you’ve ever tried to knit dinky little glove fingers with 7” needles you will appreciate that shorter is better. Unfortunately the 4” ones that I’ve seen for this purpose are really too short for anything else and so don’t justify their expense, at least to me. The 5” ones are a good compromise length. I’m knitting the MIL’s birthday socks off onto them right now and there’s no danger of the stitches falling off the ends. I held them up to my Brittanys and they were only a smidge longer. I already broke several of the wood 2 mm and 2.25 mm Brittany needles so I wasn’t very happy with them, at least in the smallest sizes that I use. Bamboo is much more durable. As long as you don’t pinch it in a metal box lid, that is! The points were starting to give out on my old double set of Clover Takumis anyway. I’ll still use them though at least until they really get bad. Then we’ll see how long I can go without buying yet another set of 7” bamboo needles. Does the old one look slightly used to you?

Note to Clover: You don’t need to press the size etc. into the needle so hard! It becomes a rough spot that catches and a potential weak spot in the needle. The sizes on the Addi Naturas are much less punched-in and you can still read them but not feel them so much. Other than that, these 5-inchers are perfect. Wonder how long they’ll take to develop the usual curve?

Now that I’ve got the needles and the yarn (some 3-ply spindle-spun Corriedale that started out to be socks and then got frogged and dye-painted), I’ve found the pattern. It’s Marnie MacLean’s Lake Park Gloves and she has written up a wonderful comprehensive pattern. Again. I loved her Hooray for Me fingerless gloves and get compliments whenever I wear them. The Lake Parks are also like the HFM’s in that they are fingerless. But I need gloves with fingers in them so I’ll just knit that last little bit at the top of the fingers. Once you are that close to the tips it’s just a bit more work to finish them off particularly when fingers are as short as mine are. This project is currently on hold for awhile though until I’ve finished a few more pressing items. I’ll probably end up knitting them in July or something when I actually need them Right Now!

While I was at my LYS yesterday I also got some more yarn for yet another one of my Sister Shawls. I mean, I can’t make a shawl for 2 of my sisters and forget the third one, who’s birthday was last Sunday. Of course my baby sis still doesn’t have her shawl yet even though it’s finished because nobody has gone to Mexico recently and she hasn’t come up. Maybe this summer when of course she won’t actually need her shawl. (I see a theme!) I can’t mail it to her. Mail doesn’t seem to get to its destination when it comes from “America” — which includes Canada. I mean, there might be something good in the envelope/package that a poor Mexican could use much better than the gringo it was meant for. So we wait for whoever is coming or going next to bring or take whatever needs to get passed on and do it in person. Meanwhile, the original sister in question (yes, I might have too many sisters to keep track of easily, ok?) the one with the recent birthday (as opposed to the other two who were born in December along with our brother) is shawlless and it only occurred to me yesterday in the yarn shop. So I got a couple of the usual yarns in colours that hopefully go together. Don’t have time to knit it right now even though it only takes about a day and a half. Then I have the option of mailing it (she lives in Haida Gwaii, aka Queen Charlotte Islands where mail does actually get to its recipient, most of the time) or waiting until she and her family come for my daughter’s wedding in April. That takes the pressure off the deadline, which may or may not be a good thing. Deadlines get things finished.

I also bought some more wool for my upcoming Dye Day. I do have trouble controlling myself in that store once I start purchasing! I looked at the ball winder, which I desperately need since my old one is self-destructing, but I didn’t buy it then. I bought it today instead! I’ve been debating on this awhile — all because of a flimsy plastic handle. My old one (made by Brother which no longer exists although Lacis shows one suspiciously identical on their website) has a metal handle but I gave my daughter one of the new ones (ubiquitous, made by Royal) and she managed to break it. Do note however that it might have helped if it wasn’t on the floor and she hadn’t stepped on it. Just could be that was a contributing factor? Anyhow, now that I’ve got it home and compared the two side-by-side, I notice some things that I actually like better on the new one: a larger ball capacity and a better clamp. Now as long as I can avoid breaking the handle, we’ll be set for another 30 years. Sure.

In my own defense, I just had go back to the store today anyway because I managed to forget The One Thing I really went there for yesterday, felting needles. And I need them for tomorrow’s Spectrum meeting where we’ll be felting for jewelry. Oughta be fun, hey?


Kat said...

Congrats on finding the new dpns! I know what it's like to be in love with a tool and not be able to find a decent replacement.

Ooo, the new ball winder looks nice! Thanks so much for the comparison--I've got one of the old red ones, although the white knob that turns on the end of the handle is broken off. Doesn't seem to slow me down though. :-)

My red one is more than 30 years old, and still seems to be going strong. I definitely like that the newer ones have more room for making larger cakes, so I'm going to have to think about getting a new one. Dang, maybe I shouldn't thank you for posting that. LOL!!

Susan said...

While I'm not a knitter, I acquired a new tool for finishing my weaving projects the same time you were expanding your collection too.
I bought a new 2007 model Rowenta iron! Pressing new handwovens will be so much easier now ( and all that other ironing too... which I know you avoid!)

my hubby never asked me the price for which I am eternally grateful

:) Susan

Aleira said...

Ahem, I never stepped on it. I *did* however leave it out for roommates to break.