Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Magic Loop

So I decided to compare my addi lace and sock rockets points to see if there is a difference and yes, there is. Here they are as proof. The tip of the sock rocket (top, US 2/2.75mm) is a little shorter than the lace (US 2/3.00mm). I held them against my 2.75mm lace points as well...same difference. Shorter point equals duller point...just a fact of life. You can also really see how much bigger the 3.00mm is, so don't go by the US number when purchasing addi needles.

Besides the fact that the rocket point isn't as sharp, it is also a little slipperier, which does affect my tension ever so slightly. The brass finish on the lace needles is just a tad slower (more so when they are tarnished) and sometimes this really works to my advantage. Brass has an odor that nickel does not and it is more noticeable when the finish is tarnished. I polish mine with a tiny drop of Wenol and they stay shiny for a long time. Isn't it amazing how many differences there are between the two? So many details go into personal preference.

Lately I've been talking to all my knitter friends about their preferences for knitting in the round. It seems that they either love or hate magic loop, so I'm going to offer my tips for successful magic loop knitting. It's all in the curve of the needles. When you change sides, you need to pull your right needle towards you, then let it curve back around to face the left hand needle. This puts more curve into the back needle, which enables you to pull the stitches at the seque snug enough to avoid ladders. This is how the loops should look. I love magic loop because I can knit with a puppy in my lap and not disturb her with extra points or dangling needles. The needles stay put when I'm not knitting and I can work more stitches before changing needles, which is especially great when working an intricate stitch pattern. It also doesn't matter if there are more stitches on one needle than the other either...so you can increase for a thumb and not have to transfer stitches.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

I Love the Yarn Bus

You know how it is. No matter how many needles you have, there is always one you don't have when you really need it. So the fact that I didn't have a 2.75mm 32 inch addi lace circular for a particular magic loop project last Wednesday really didn't come as a great surprise. Getting one in a hurry, though, that can be flummoxing when you live a minimum of 60 miles from a yarn store that stocks addi lace needles. But look! A few new options have appeared here in our tiny Sewanee. Our amazing little mercantile Mooney's has recently started carrying a wide variety of lovely needles, addi lace included! So I headed over and found a US 2 only to find that it was a 3.00mm. Rats. For some reason Addi labels both 2.75mm and 3.00mm as US 2. I think of the 3.00mm as 2.5, really. So it pays to read the fine print. That said, I bought a very nice Knitter's Pride 2.75 and trotted home happy.

But after knitting a few rounds with the KP, I found that it really was slower than the Addi Lace, especially in the changeover from one side to the other. Ok, call me picky, but I am picky and it wasn't exactly what I wanted. And of course we all like our gratification instant, no? Option #2 was just on the horizon. Nashvill'es Haus of Yarn's Yarn Bus has just initiated a regular schedule of Sewanee stops by coming to Mooney's on the first Saturday of every month. My luck!!! I rav messaged YB's pilot Meg (knitknotes23) and asked if she could bring my desired needles from Haus. Saturday I stepped onto the beautiful bus, a vehicle brimming with colorful yarns and top flight tools and notions and there were two lovely packages of Addi Lace 32" 3.00mm. Ha!!! We both had to laugh, cuz it's the kind of thing that happens to the best of us. But on the wall of the bus hung a 32" 2.75mm addi turbo"Sock Rockets" circ. The Sock Rockets are addi's newest needle, a circ with points like the lace but with the nickel finish of the turbo. I've been dying to try them so I was very happy indeed. I'm knitting with them now and couldn't be happier. Thanks, Meg! And in the time I spent in the cozy bus, I saw that several people had had a similar idea in that they had requested special items from Haus as well. Two other knitters left with their special purchases in the short time I was there. I see a trend happening here, especially when Haus carries such a beautiful collection of handpaints...Tosh, Sweet Georgia, Malabrigo, Shi Bui, Koigu to name a few. And Mooney's is carrying more yarns too. Lots of pretty solids. No excuse not to knit on the mountain.

Stay tuned for more on the difference between sock rockets and lace needles, plus tips on magic loop technique.