Recently in Knitting Needles Category

Precious Little Things

Not much of my knitting is very photogenic at the moment, but I do have a few lovely little things to share.

In November, Julie and I went to Vogue Knitting Live when it came to Chicago.  We didn't go to any classes. Instead we went looking through the vendor section to see what interesting things we might turn up.  One of those interesting things turned out to be handcrafted hexagonal needles.  

I am always interested in "new" knitting needle technology and I'm a sucker for handmade things, especially when they come from my home state of Michigan. Indian Lake Artisans makes handcrafted hexagonal knitting needles (it's a lot easier to see that hexagon shaping on their website... these needles were just too tiny to get a good picture of that).  I took them for a spin and really enjoyed the feel and liked how the hexagon provided a bit of extra grip.    Even better, they will make them out of a variety of hardwoods, all sourced from Michigan.  I don't truly "need" any more knitting needles, but I do enjoy adding special sets into my collection when I find them.  I love black walnut and I placed an order with them for US 3 (3.25 mm) needles -- it's so hard to find hand crafted lace weight needles in small sizes!  They arrived this week (along with a handwritten explanation for why it had taken a little while for them to get to me) and they are beautiful.  They are smooth and the joins are almost undetectable when you run your fingers over them. The size of the needle is branded into one of the points, so I'll always be able to tell what size they are (they also can be sized with a conventional needle sizer).  The cable will have to be warmed and relaxed, but that is fine by me.  

I have a lace weight cowl pattern all ready to test them out on.  So as soon as I finish up another project I'm working on these needle will get a work out.  I will probably invest in a US 4 and US 5 soon as well.

The next set of acquisitions occurred after I realized all of my little stitch markers were sitting in ongoing projects (note to self: time to get knitting...). So I headed on over to Etsy and treated myself to a few new sets.  Etsy is one of my favorite places to find stitch markers since there are so many vendors and so many different markers to be found.

The markers on the top left are from Exchanging Fire.  They are markers with "mood ring" inserts -- now I will always be able to tell what mood my knitting is in!

The markers on the top right are from The Twice Sheared Sheep.  They are amethyst beads with a "moebius" ring that will fit needles up to a US 4 -- perfect for the fingering weight projects.  Amethyst is my birthstone (and I love me some purple anyway) and with my birthday coming up, I thought they would be a nice little treat.

The bottom markers are from Strawberry Lane.  Ms. Z and I both love butterflies, so these were hard to resist (clearly I didn't!).  I may have to start a project with these soon, if only to prevent them from flying off to some place in my daughter's room....

I consider pretty knitting tools, like nice workout wear, motivation to knit and create.  While the standard jump rings work well, I love the little treat I get that comes from knitting along and encountering a special marker or running my fingers over beautifully made needles.  

What are your favorite knitting tool treats? 

Pretty Wooden Things

I passed my second 4th decade birthday uneventfully, but happily.  A small collection of thoughtful and lovely things joined my life.  Most supported my continuing love affairs with making coffee and making cookies.  There were a few things that I thought merited special comment on my blog.

The beautiful little bowls you see were hand-turned by my dad.  The inner one is walnut, the outer is cherry.  He created the dark edge on the cherry bowl with a burning technique.  Both have a beeswax finish, so they could easily be used for food, but I've decided to use them on my dresser where I will see them more often and where I will be able to touch them every day when I take off my jewelry.  One thing that is hard to convey in a picture is how smooth these bowls are.  Almost soft.  I hope I was able to capture some of their radiant quality in my picture.  The walnut bowl in particular has a deep, luminous glow.

The needles come from from a set of Darn Pretty 6" double points in the "Winter Sky" color pattern and were a gift from my beautiful little girl who is all about having socks knit for her.  These needles are as a much a joy to look at as they are to knit with.  In honor of the giver, I have cast on the first pair of socks employing a set of them for her.  She's quite enthusiastic about the potential for new socks and has been almost ecstatic when I've asked her to take off her sock so we can size them as we go.  Knitting with these needles has started to build in me an unholy desire to get  set of their interchangeable circulars.  Dyak Craft needles are hand turned and feel to me like the perfect spiritual complement to a beautiful hand made garment

Other than that, it is all good, but very busy.  Between a busy three year old and a job with an aggressive time table, I haven't been able to take as much advantage of the knitting mojo I have as I would like.  But I have managed to build my elliptical time back into my routine, so it's all good after I accept the reality of the limitations of a 24 hour day and the need for a reasonable amount of sleep.  


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