Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Monday, October 20, 2008

Needle Review

Ah, summertime has vanished into autumn. Time to get going on some winter projects.

But first, a little needle review. Most of the comparisons I've seen between KnitPicks needles and those of other manufacturers seem to concentrate on the shape of the tip or the smoothness of the join. But, when I ordered a couple of sets to try out, I found one of the major differences to get used to was the difference in where the needle started increasing in size.

Here's a pic of an Addi needle and a KnitPicks Options. Both are size 6.
See the difference? The Options needle rapidly increases whereas the Addi is much thinner near the join. I happen to grasp the needle with my little finger and this difference makes the Options more tiring to knit with for an extended length of time.

Here are size 8 needles in KnitPicks Options, Harmony, Addi regular and Lace. I was surprised to see the difference between the Addi Turbo and the Lace version. The Turbo shown is years old so it is possible that the new ones are shaped more like the Lace needle.
The Harmony needles are very nice to use, I knit Keegan's Wallaby with the size 8. The Addi Lace, even with the coating on them (why did they do that!), is nice to knit with, though, the price seems outrageously expensive, even for a knitting needle collector like me. Though, I remember when Turbo's cost $5.95 and that seemed like alot, so maybe it's worth investing in them now.

My few sets of KnitPicks interchangeables needed a case, and I found this in the box set aside to sell. It's a accessory case from Ashland Sky that I received for a door prize at some knitting retreat or other.
I cut off the top flap of plastic to make it smaller. And, now it folds up into a nice small package.
In spinning news, I finished a couple of skeins. This first one is some slightly underplied laceweight spun from Jean Womack's batts. The fiber is Angora bunny/Cormo/Silk (60/20/20) and is a lovely blue/purple.
The spinning of it was awful, however. I suspect the Cormo was the culprit because the batts were riddled with neps which caused endless frustration. The skein is in timeout until the memory of the unpleasantness fades.

Almost the same color is this skein of Wensleydale--Elektra dyed by Lisa. Spinning this was the total opposite of the bunny blend. Wensleydale almost spins itself.
Currently on the Joy, is another of Lisa's fibers. This is SW Merino that she dyed up in Violet's Pink Ribbon for me.
Since I'm planning on Navajo plying it, the singles are very fine--73 WPI.

And, next up on the needles is a handspun cardi that's been years in the making. The fiber is all dyed by Lisa with matching buttons by Sheila. The swatching for most of it was completed early this summer, I've just been waiting to finish spinning the Elektra to finish swatching the colorwork.
Let the knitting begin!


At 6:16 PM, Blogger handknitter said...

I have a spare KnitPicks Options case (the see through plastic one that retails for $19.99) up for grabs if your collection ever outgrows your current case. Just let me know!

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Kerry said...

All the purply yarn is beautiful! And I can't wait to see what you have planned for your Wennsleydale!

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Melanie said...

Your spinning is just perfection. You certainly got a great match for your yarn colours with the glass buttons. I'm really looking forward to seeing the sweater you'll knit with all this lovely handspun.

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous CarolineF said...

Wow, that blue laceweight is lovely even if you are mad at it right now! I just finished spinning one of Jean's batts that was angora/silk/merino - I didn't know she had cormo too! Her colors are beautiful.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger A Fiber Frolic said...

All those perfectly spun fibers invite you to just reach out and touch them. Love the colors of the sweater.



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