That knitting break was short lived.
A few months ago Omama brought back some sock yarn from Austria. Another beautiful skein from lana grossa. To my dismay the outer strands of the yarn had been cut by something so I kept having to break the yarn and start over again, but the results are oddly beautiful. I love how the blue color change happened between the 1x1 rib on the cuff and the stockinette leg. I'm hoping that I remember how I did this when I start the second sock.
About that knitting break. I thought it would be much longer, but a funny thing happened this weekend. The family and I went to a gaming convention. Yes I am a crafting and a gaming nerd, though it has been many moons since I last rolled any dice in an RPG. That changed Sunday night when I got the chance to game with some of my favorite people, the very same people who taught me how to play RPG's in the first place. Once I started getting into my character this strange urge came over me to start knitting. It shouldn't be so surprising. Back in the days when I had a regular game night I would frequently knit.
So, note to self: when in a knitting rut start playing Dungeons and Dragons (or Pathfinder).
That said, I'm still working on that epic cross stitch. Pictures of that eventually.
What are you up to?
For the first time in many years I don't have an active knitting project. I started a pair of socks, but ruined the caston edge and haven't touched it since. Something strange has happened. I dug out some old cross stitch.
I know. Right?
Crazy. Even I can't believe it, but I've had this old cool Miribilia cross stitch from all the way back in 1999. I don't know what's possessed me. But even as I type this it's kind of kicking me back into knitting. Maybe I'll dig out another UFO to finish. There's a cardigan that needs a sleeve. For now tho, there's a fairy that needs a pair of cross stitched wings.
What are you up to?
Once again it's time to review a set of interchangeable knitting needles. It's been a while, but Knitter's Pride recently came out with the Marblz set and we were curious how it stands up to other sets. Knitters Pride produces full sets of interchangeable knitting needles at an affordable price point in the $60 to $100 range. From bamboo to carbon fiber Knitters Pride has used just about every type of material available for knitting needles and now they're out with the new acrylic Marblz that we are reviewing today.
The Marblz are a new set of interchangeable knitting needle tips with transluscent multicolored points that resembled, you guessed it- marbles. They are acrylic, much like the Trendz, which we've reviewed before, but they seem just a little bit different from the Trendz needles because the Marblz seem harder and less likely to bend as you knit with them. They are still more flexible than wood or metal needle points, which might be a quality that some knitters enjoy, but for me was not optimal knitting.
We went right back to our traditional test subject: the flower washcloth made from Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille. It's one of my favorite projects to knit and I've made many over my eleven years of knitting so I know how the yarn behaves and I know how it can get caught on sloppy needle-cable joins. I also know how some of the increases and decreases in this pattern put pressure on the yarn, the needles and your wrists so the flower washcloth pattern shows how these needles perform under duress. Plus, we've used this same washcloth to test out most of the other interchangeable knitting needle sets so it makes it easier for us to compare what it's like to knit with each set of needles.
Casting on with the Marblz was easy and yet the cast on for the flower washcloth can be rather tight and hard to do with certain knitting needles. It's a cable cast on with a size six needle, which means that the stitches can be quite small, and the cotton chenille is a fuzzy yarn so it can be difficult for some needles with blunter tips to insert into knit stitches smoothly, but the Marblz needles have pointy tips that glided right through each stitch. You might think that the cable join would snag on the yarn, but it didn't at all.
There was only one annoying part of the Knitters Pride Marblz. The needles have a tendency to vibrate when knitted in a tight fashion. The needles rub up against the yarn, making a sort of squeaky sound and shake the needles and then your wrists, which isn't very comfortable. That said, this doesn't happen all the time and was mainly an issue when knitting the first row of a cast on and when increasing or decreasing. Also keep in mind that the vibrating aspect of these needles might be less likely to happen the higher up you go in needle size. It also might happen less when using more tradition wool or acrylic yarns. Despite this minor flaw, I still find the needles a special set of interchangeable knitting needles to give as a gift, especially for a teenage knitter.
The cool thing is that if you already have a set of knitters pride needles, you can buy individual interchangeable knitting needle tips to add to your collection, which is important because the overall set is rather expensive at $110. That said, the set is considered a deluxe gift set with a special box, but these are still acrylic needles, which can be purchased much less expensively either with the Trendz or the Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles Set. Plus, this set only comes with 9 sets of knitting needle tips. On the other hand, these needles are of much better quality than the Trendz and feature thinner cables than the Denise Needles, so they are worth the extra cost -especially since this set comes with 4 cables, a needle gauge and a special pen made from the Symphonie Dreamz wood. If you look at the set as a whole, it does make a great gift for a knitter.
The Marblz Interchangeable Knitting needles work well and are a huge improvement on the Trendz acrylic needles. They are bright and colorful and a departure from metal or wood needles. The cable joins are smooth and rarely catch on yarn. The needle tips are pointy without being too sharp and pick up stitches easily. They are the high end acrylic interchangeable knitting needles. The price point seems a bit high, but when you consider the other special features of the gift set it seems like a bargain when compared to the more expensive interchangeable knitting needle sets.
The other consideration in these needles is understanding whether you prefer a slightly flexible needle vs a completely rigid knitting needle. If having a slight bent in your needle as your knitting would be off-putting then you might want to try Knitter's Pride's metal or wood or even bamboo needles. Otherwise, the Marblz Interchangeable Knitting Needles Set is a beautiful knitting gift for beginning knitters and especially teenagers, and the young at heart.
The Chevron Baby Blanket is finished. All ends are woven in. The blanket decorating my bedroom's comfy chair. I'm having some serious second thoughts about giving it away. It looks so good brightening that dark corner of my bedroom. I'm wondering if I have enough time to make another one to give away.
The picture at left are the final two colors. I think I had two more rows left at the point, just about to bind off. That was last Sunday. I had all the ends woven in by the time that Downton Abbey finished.
Nice way to finish out January. Makes room for another project: reviewing the Knitters Pride Marblez interchangeable knitting needles. Stay tuned for that later in the week.
What are you knitting these days?
The Chevron blanket continues, somehow in between community meetings and op ed writing and kindergartin researching. 2015 is busy. For years I've been trying to use this platform to talk about knitting and how it can better your life and it can for a time, but then you have to move on to other things. Completely unexpectedly community activism has caught my heart. Pretty soon I'm going to be one of those people regularly attending city hall meetings, knitting in the back row.
Political Knitters. We need more of those these days.