Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Before This, There's That

It rained all day yesterday so the ground is finally good and saturated. I won’t have to water for at least a couple more days, depending on whether or not the sun comes out. Meanwhile it’s only 17 degrees (62 F) in here and I’m wearing socks, a long-sleeved turtleneck t-shirt and a fleece jacket. There’s no turning up the heat because the furnace is turned off for the summer. The turtleneck comes in handy though for keeping the dust from going down my neck as I clean out the attic. Yesterday I pulled out everything from the Spinning Stash space and today I hope to do the same to the other half where the Fabric and Paper Stash is. That one is a bit more problematical because the insulation came down in several places, pulling the stapled-up plastic sheeting with it. Also a couple of piles of things fell over joining in a messy heap in the middle of the one spot where I didn’t have any extra plastic. Sheesh. There’s also the fact that I can’t put anything back until I can capture T-Man and get his help with the staple gun. See this post’s title for the dilemma I’m caught in. At least the temperature is conducive to crawling around in the attic wearing my haz-mat gear. I bet I just look terribly glamorous in black pants and turtleneck, baseball cap, vinyl gloves and a dust mask. Good thing there’s no paparazzi here to snap my photo for People magazine, huh?

I forgot to tell you about the lovely needle gauge I got from Debra’s Garden. She finally came up with metric sizing so I got a metallic red one:

This pic is bigger than life-size — they are only 1.5” tall by 1.25” wide so fit easily wherever you like or use as a zipper pull or necklace. A bit pricey at US$16 plus postage but the holes are very accurate and the numbering is deeply incised and won’t wear off. Doesn’t include 2.25 or 2.75 mm sizes though which was a little disappointing though it does have 3.25, 3.5 and 3.75 mm. However, Debra is great to deal with and packages your purchase up in a matching little silky bag. And her many different stitch markers have been giving me ideas. (Which reminds me — I’ve misplaced my first and so far only crochet stitch marker. Hope it turns up somewhere when I get all this mess cleared up out of my study and studio rooms.)

So this means I now have a total of 4 needle gauges, each one sporting a different number of holes and sizes:

My oldest green gauge is in both French and English and measures Canadian and metric sizes from 2mm to 10. I’ve had this one forever and it’s the only one with both 7 and 7.5mm but it doesn’t have 3.5mm, just 3.25 and 3.75. I got the next one several years ago, a Goose Pond brass sheep that goes all the way from 1.25 (yes I do have needles that small!) to 10mm. It’s missing the 2.5 out of the 2’s and the 3mm out of the 3’s (though it has all the others), no 4mm (4.25 instead) and no 7’s. More recently still I got the Turbo Needlegauge which works great with Addi needles because that was what it was made for. It goes down to 1.5mm and has all of the 3’s but only 2.5 in the 2’s. It does have 7 but not 7.5mm. I’ve already listed what my newest Debra’s Garden one has and doesn’t have. Together they pretty much cover my needle collection. Close enough for me anyhow.

I find the sizing thing totally fascinating but maybe that’s because I’ve used so many different types of knitting needles over the years. They vary a lot even if they say they’re the same size. No wonder you are admonished to use the same brand of needles for instance if you’re switching from circs to dpns. But even that ploy might not be totally foolproof. Throw in the fact that I knit tighter on metal needles than on wood or plastic, even if they’re the exact same measured size. Recently I’ve restricted my needle use to circulars and dpns and haven’t used single points for years. My favourites are Addi lace circs in brass and bamboo dpns (Clover and Crystal Palace) with good old Denise plastic modulars coming in whenever nothing else will work. I should actually get rid of all my old Aero “twin pins” and sets of only 4 dpns, particularly the metal ones because they are heavy. I only use metal dpns in sizes smaller than 2.25mm. I also mostly prefer dpns in 5” or 6” lengths except for the larger sizes which are functional in the 7” length so I can use them for hats or sleeves. However, I kind of like keeping all my “vintage” needles even if I never use them. It’s almost too bad I didn’t keep their packaging as well. They look much more intriguing in a super-ancient paper or splitting plastic envelope, perhaps at least to collectors.

In knitting news, I’m finally at the toe decreases on the A-Maizing Socks. Yay! This project has been kind of a chore so I decided to get it off the needles asap so I could feel more free to start another project. I bought a second skein of Louet Euroflax fine/sport weight in Gypsy Bronze so I will have enough to do the Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery. I want to do it 3 repeats wide and long enough to wrap around my neck several times. Will. Finish. Socks. First.

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