Thursday, October 10, 2013

Knitting for a baby

A little something for a family member who's about to give birth. I thought a pumpkin hat would be totally appropriate for an October babe.

knitted baby hat pumpkin

I knit this in an evening. That's the fun of knitting items for babies; nearly instant gratification! Today's errand will be getting this down to the post office. Sad to say but I've been known to knit baby gifts and by the time I get around to handing them off, the child is entering kindergarten.

The current item on the needles is Trigere by Linda Wilgus, a design I fell in love with in Twist Collective's spring/summer 2013 issue:


(Apologies for the crap photo and messy livingroom!) I described the yarn to a friend as "Elvis's leisure suit." DROPS Cotton Viscose is very shiny, especially in white -- it looks pink in the photo above -- yet despite it being a cotton/rayon yarn, it's surprisingly enjoyable to knit. There's a bit of give, unlike pure cotton yarn, which kills my hands. And it's a little splitty, but nothing that drives me nuts. I have loved knitting this sweater. It's a perfect combination of mindless knitting for the tv with some lace panels up the side to keep me interested. All that's left to do now are the sleeves and blocking. It's knit in the round so no seaming required. :)

I'm still not sure about the shiny white Elvis leisure suit look of the T so this may be taking a dip in the dye pot before being wrapped up for the spring. A cheerful tangerine perhaps?


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A package from China

I've been waiting for this package for a couple weeks ... all the way from China:

Package from China

I like how they describe my order on the customs form--"lampwork glass" will arouse no suspicion with my husband. ;-)

Inside, this:

Knitting needles from China

Twenty-six knitting needles, for which I paid a grand total of $14.75, including postage. Also included are 26 tapestry needles and needle gauges. The gauges are in Chinese, but no problem--I can convert.

Normally I avoid buying anything from China, but this? This I couldn't pass up. In September I was listening to one of my favorite knitting podcasts, the Knitting Pipeline, and the host Paula Emons-Fuessle was talking about these fantastic circular needles she found on eBay. She ordered them because she needed an inexpensive needle to use for teaching. She kept her high hopes in check when she ordered, but when she gave them a try she was pleasantly surprised by the quality: smooth joins, flexible cords, and sharp points. Another plus was that they had sizes like US 000, which is a hard size to find in circular needles. But what really intrigued me, beyond the price and quality, was that she said they were similar, almost identical in feel and performance, to Chiaogoo circular needles, which are my very favorite needles. I pay anywhere from $7.50 to $9.00 per Chiaogoo needle, so the thought of getting a set of needles for roughly the same price ... I couldn't resist.

You'll note that I received 26 needles. That's because I ordered two sets of 13 needles. I ordered 16" lengths because my KnitPicks interchangeables don't work so well in this length and I prefer knitting in the round with two circular needles as opposed to DPNs.

I ordered them on September 25 and they arrived today, October 7, which is very swift. They were well-packaged, and when I examined them, I, too, thought they felt very much like Chiaogoo "Red Lace" needles, although without the red cords. Proof is in the pudding, so over the next couple days I'll give them a test run and report back.

If you're impatient like I am, the eBay seller is Cherrysky90. If you order, let me know what you think of them.