Monday, July 17, 2006

Sad today.

Suss is closed.

That's not why I'm sad, though. I've never actually been there, since i have the best lys ever within spitting distance.

No, I'm sad because I read about the Suss sale with 50-70% yarns. So. Monday is my big work day. The Squid is in school and I'm not at the store. So I get a lot of knitting and design work done on Mondays. However, 70% off yarn is not to be missed. So I interrupted my precious day of alone-time, and went out to catch a bus to Suss. It's really within walking distance, but it'd 102 degrees today. And in New York that means stifling, smelly, sticky, and gross. So I waited for the bus, sniffing in fumes on the sidewalk while the bus arrived 17 minutes late.

I enjoyed my 6 minute air conditioned ride, got of, got smacked in the face with heat and bus exhaust, walked 2 blocks, and Suss is closed. Not closing, but closed. Yesterday, to be exact.

Now, I did call. I got a message saying it was closing, blah blah blah, big sale, blah blah, come on down, blah blah. So I did. And they closed yesterday.

So i walked 2 blocks, waited 23 minutes for another bus which had broken air conditioning, and am finally home. Just in time to whine, pound a glass of water, and go pick up the squid at school. and spend another 2 bucks to take her home on the bus. I'm going to walk there, but I cannot handle the usual piggy-back ride home today. Heat index is 112. and I don't even have cheap new luxury yarns to soothe me.


Sunday, July 16, 2006


Phew. I have got to find a better way to make a mane that this crochet malarkey. Or perhaps I should just actually LEARN how to crochet. This was a nightmare, poking a hook through the knitted head, then crocheting loops with loopy boucle. There must be a better way.

On the other hand, crochet made a delightful(and very secure) tail.

I've been working on some patterns. It's a different deal to try to write for other people to understand. My patterns for myself generally look like: co 42 lt do neck 4 spots inc 3r 9x arms co 3 e inc 4 spots e 5th 10x p bo.

Why can't i just publish that, huh?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Long time, no post

Wow. it's been a mighty long time. The Squid was on a school vacation so my typing time has been rather limited. Let's see.

I saw Liz, remember her? My friend from a billion years ago in highschool who it turns out was doing the Green Gable knitalong at the same time I was? Anyway, it was pretty amazing. Like i was 15 again, but not. It was easy and fun and I'd like to do it again, soon.

Then what happened? oh, yeah, I took the squid swimming.

I'm pretty sure she enjoyed herself, despite the fact that her legs were clamped so tightly around my waist that it took a couple of days for me to be able to breathe properly. She clung on for dear life and giggled maniacally. A good time was had by all.

Then what?

Oh, I knitted some stuff. Most notably, I knitted this hat.

This is a hat for Matt, a teenaged nephew of a friend of mine. He's got leukemia and is going through some pretty nasty chemo at the moment. I designed the hat to give good coverage, but not be binding. I also didn't want it to look like the poor kid was wearing a winter hat in the middle of July. I used Plymouth's Royal Bamboo, and it's so crazy soft. I'm hoping it doesn't irritate his head.

So what's that white stuff?

Get this. His favorite song is "Help", by the Beatles. Yeah, seriously. Go ahead. Sing a few bars to yourself. Mmm hmm. That, my friends, is the favorite song of a teenager with cancer.

Anyway, his aunt wanted something kind of different, something that was "him," something special. So I did a kind of quirky rusticky tribally version of the "Help!" album cover. One thing I will say. That bamboo is about 40,000 strands of slipperiness. Not fun embroidery floss. Next time I'll know better.

So I made a little patch on the inside of the hat, to cover up all the loose ends from the embroidery. Matt's aunt wanted me to put a special message on the inside of his hat for him. So I did just as she asked.

Go, Matt! We're all pulling for you.

Friday, July 07, 2006

hey, Liz

your left your pancakes in my fridge. I ate them.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Knit Picks vs. Addi - Head to Head

Let's start here, shall we? Here you see a Knit Picks Options 5.5/US 9 needle on the left, and an Addi Turbo 5.5/US 9 needle on the right. It's hard to show just how much pointier the KP needle is. It's a notable difference, as the cracked calluses on my fingers will attest.

Side by side (Addi on top, KP on the bottom). Though the KP needle is pointier, both needles measure 1.5cm from the very tip to the end of the slope. I'm not expressing that very well. From the pointy bit to the regular roundy bit it measures 1.5cm. Both times.

This is the extremely smooth join on the interchangeable KP needles. You can also see the "keyhole". That key is going to be the bane of my existence, but it works. I'm hoping they come up with something more convenient (and less easily lost) very soon.

This is the cross-section of the cable I cut open. Nothing much to see, but I thought I'd put it here anyway. It's purple. All the way through.

Now for the stuff that I found most interesting.

When the Addi gets a kink in the cable, it's a bend with a twist.

With the KP needle, I had to really pinch it hard to get a significant bend in it. But there's no twist, just bend. And the bend I made in it this afternoon is already gone. So I don't think these are permanent creases. But even if they are, you can buy new cables for less than $5 instead of having to buy the whole shebang.

Most painful for me is when that kink happens right at the join. The Addi gets a sharp little edge there when you bend it hard right at the join. This edge snags yarn. Ask me how I know.

Though I can see the separation in this photo, it doesn't feel as rough to the touch. I coudn't snag even my snaggiest boucle yarn on this edge.

And now, check this out.

That, my friends, is one seriously flexible cable. I noticed today while I was knitting flat using the KP circs that it's almost too flexible. When I let go of one side of the Addis when knitting flat, in order to turn the work, the needle I release just sort of stays there, hovering in midair until I reach for it again. The Knit Picks needle cable isn't stiff so it doesn't just hover in space; it drops and dangles. And I have to fumble for it. Over and over and over and over. I'm sure I looked crazy as a loon (Happy Canada Day!) dropping and bumbling for my needle over and over while standing at the bus stop.

The bottom line is, I'm not throwing the Addis out the window. But I see no reason at all why I'd need to buy more of them. At this point, I feel that whenever I find myself in need of needles, I'll buy the Knit Picks. Of course I reserve the right to change my mind. After all, it's only been one day.

Options, Options...

The only needle I currently use is Addi Turbo. I've tried bamboo, birch, rosewood and Bryspun. I love the way Addis knit. I love the way they feel. It's all I use. I use the circulars for magic looping small circumferences, I use them for knitting flat. I use them for everything.

So I got some Knit Picks "Options" interchangeable needles, because I thought interchangeables would be an interesting thing to own, although I already have Addis in pretty much every size and length. But still. New stuff. Gotta Try. So I bought one set of tips and one set of cables (they come 2 to a pack, which I find odd).

The Needles

The same finish as Addis. The same weight as Addis. In my hands they feel just like Addis. Except. The point. They have a very sharp point. Divinely sharp.

The Join

Well done. Slick, smooth, nary a bump or pokey bit. The use of the key is something that I think would keep me from loving popping needles on and off but I guess it's not something I'd be doing multiple times an hour anyway. One of the cables had a roughish edge where the key goes in, and I called KP right up and they said they'd pop another set in the mail to me, and told me to keep the ones I have. Which means I'll have 3 good ones. And one to disect. Photos to follow forthwith.

The Cable

It's purple. That's kind of fun. They don't have a wire inside, like the Addis do. That's kind of nice. So when your three year old takes a 40" needle and weaves it through a skein of yarn so tightly that you have to cut the yarn to get the needles out and says "look, mamma. I made you a sweater" you don't end up with kinks in your cables. Not that That's ever happened. but I guess it could.

It's solid, not a tube, and it is possible to bend the cable permanently, but I haven't been able to really make a huge fold in it. I'll have to ask my daughter for some help. One big thing, though, is that I can't get that fold to be right up at the metal join, so you can't create a rough edge that way.

The cables are very flexible. The most flexible I've ever felt. More flexible than Bryspun. I wonder how it would feel to have the weight of an XL top-down sweater hanging off of them, but I don't see why it should be any different than the stiffer Addi cables.

The Service

Replacement cable aside, you can't beat the Addi lifetime guarantee. It's nice to pop into my yarn store and hand them my well-loved needles with the finish worn off to the brass and walk out with a brand new pair at no charge, with no hassle.

On the other hand, with the Knit Picks price, it's not devastating to have to buy new ones. And truth be told, I've only cashed in 3 Addis. If I'd had the KP needles from the start, even if i'd had to replace every single set of tips, it would still be less costly than the Addis.

The Verdict

I'm going to reserve judgement until I knit something substantial on them. But so far, I'm impressed.