Friday, February 04, 2005

mismatch socks and thank you cards and ramblings

All right, my only knitting output in January 2005 was this:

Two socks? That's sad. And they're not even a matching pair because one sock is a toe-up short row heel and the other is a cuff-down standard rounded heel. Who knows when I'll get around to knitting their mates, maybe in a month or two or five.

Anyway, in January I needed a break after the mad shawl knitting of October - December 2004 but now I'm now ready to try something new. My first thought was a Starmore sweater but there's the issue of yarn...

I've stocked up on ideas thanks to the library. Three weeks ago I brought home Mostly Mittens, Folk Mittens, and Starmore's Aran Knitting. They've been sitting on the floor next to my comfy chair but they're due back Tuesday so I better figure out what I want to make before someone slaps a hold on the book I need to renew.

Mostly Mittens has an unfortunate title but I like the book better than Folk Mittens, it has beautiful (though somewhat repetitive) patterns based on designs of the Komi people in Russia. I've seen a lot of lovely traditional Folk Mittens type mittens in blogs but the Komi designs are different enough so they manage to look fresh and intriguing.

Comments Ketchup

Stephanie asked: The question I now have is with all those variations on Cast-ons, I've yet to see much in the way of bindoffs - is there really just the one method?? (I ask because I have issues with bound off edges that aren't real stretchy)

I've compiled a list of stretchy bind-offs here. Some work better than others but I didn't take notes so all I remember about the experiment is that my favorite is Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn cast-off.

Kathen wrote an excellent review of her KnitMaster set in the comment section of my last post. Thank you so much!

It's very interesting to hear about the metal bits that are supposed to be on the KnitMaster cables. The needles twist into the cables and they stick quite securely with a seamless join so it didn't seem like anything was missing. Hmmm. The rubber cable itself is gripping the needle and it's a tight fit, which is what made me wonder if the cables ever split at this pressure point. Maybe my kit was an early version and the metal bits were added later or they might have been yanked out by the previous owner. These sets pop up on ebay so I should email sellers and ask them about any metal pieces.

Kathen asked: Is that Needlemaster Kit yours? How does it work? I always thought it would be way better than the Knitmaster, but I am only presuming this 'cause it cost over twice as much!

You can buy a Boye NeedleMaster at AC Moore or Michael's using one of their 40/50% off coupons, usually found in the Sunday paper ads. Their regular price is $70.00 so with a coupon you get a great deal. So, is the NeedleMaster worth buying to have as a second interchangeable set? Probably not, especially if you've never found the KnitMaster lacking. I suspect the NeedleMaster would be a lot more popular if the needles weren't aluminum.

Maybe this will help, I wrote the following a couple weeks ago and posted it in a knitting forum (someone asked for my opinion since I have both sets).

pro: lightweight resin material, you can do the magic loop (buy a 40" cord, sold separately), lifetime warranty

con: if you're a tight knitter then the size 5 might not work that great due to the thickness of the cord (sts have to be shoved along and then over the join), only has sizes 5-15, not everyone likes the plastic/resin material, parts do break sometimes (and the lifetime warranty will only last as long as the family-owned company remains in business).

BOYE NeedleMaster:
pro: sizes 2-15, spare parts can be bought in some craft stores, thin cord so there's no problem with sts sliding along it

con: some complain that the needles unscrew from the cords but I have never had this problem, the metal needles are heavy especially in the larger sizes, the cords are rather stiff which is fine for regular knitting but it doesn't lend itself to magic looping, not everyone likes the aluminum material.

If I had an unlimited amount of money I'd buy Addi Turbo circs in every size, every length. They are my favorite needles, neither interchangeable set comes close.

I can't recall my parents ever making me write a thank you note which is baffling if you ask me. At some point in my teenage years it seemed like the obvious thing to do, so I started sending out thank you cards after my birthday. This is where I falter and likely offend Miss Manners: I thank people for my Christmas and birthday gifts in the same note. Well, they're only 13 days apart, there has to be one perk to having a birthday so close to 12/25. This year I managed to drop them in the mail so they'd be delivered before the end of January. My Dad (of all people) actually sent an email asking "How did you do that?" I was tickled that he asked.

Why Dad, it was the magic of embossing powder! And colored pencils on black paper, always a nice effect.


Stephanie said...

OMG. Those cards are gorgeous!
Thanks so much also for the lovely link on stretchy bindoffs :D I appreciate it!

grumperina said...

I don't know what you're talking about, those socks match - I'd wear similarly-colored, similarly-sized socks as a pair, no problem :). So what if one's toe-up short row, and the other is cuff-down standard? They look great next to each other :).