November 2006 Archives

Glutton for Postcards

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I have a thing for postcards. A bigger thing than most people have, unless they have two large shoe boxes full of postcards in their closet. Those are just the ones I've purchased myself.

My friends kindly add to my collection with a postcard here and there. Here's Robin's most recent postcard from New Zealand.

{ Torrent Bay, Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson, New Zealand.
From: Robin, Sent: 11/9/2006, Received: 11/15/2006 }


She managed to write in very tiny and legible text on the back. Amazing.


Note, my friends also add to my yarn collection (and give me books, too). Not to be greedy, but my friends rock!

Don't Make me Laugh

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The always interesting and luxuriously printed Anthropologie catalog arrived in my mail box today. While flipping through the pages, I came across this cute hat with long ear flaps.


Rapunzel Snow Cap with ear flaps as long as scarves. Wool, Mohair, Nylon. Hand Wash. One Size. Scarlet. USA... $298

For me, knitting is a hobby (expensive hobby) and causes me to spend more than I "save". But $298 for a wool, mohair, and nylon hat? Not even hand knit (they'd say so). I take it back in this case, knitting it yourself is cheaper1. I stared at the hat for a second wondering if they'd misplaced a decimal point. Wool. Mohair. Nylon. Bulky-ish yarn that would make the hat a weekend knit (if not faster).

The $398 Crochet Boots also makes me laugh. Reminds me of the knitted boots.

There are times when silly pricing makes me smile and rummage in my yarn stash.

1 Try a top down hat pattern, then place the ear segments on stitch holders, bind off the brim, and continue knitting the flaps until they're an appropriate length. For a closer replica, knit the hat then pick stitches up about 1 inch above the brim for flaps. Knit flaps in a braided cable stitch (you could even make it a reversible cable).

Icky Sticks

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Would someone give me the "You sure, crazy woman?" look next time I buy birch needles? They make me feel like I'm knitting away with twigs. With the bark still on them.

Given enough budget and a sense of adventure, most knitters will find the needles they prefer. Some swear by Addi Turbo Circulars while others like Clover Bamboo Circulars. There's Lantern Moon and good old 14 inch metal straights your grandma taught you to knit with. The great thing is, we can agree to disagree, and knit with our favorites. There's no shortage of inventive needle materials like glass, flexible plastic, or even hand forged metal. Then just choose your length and how sharp you want the points to be.

Me? I'm for cold and slippery metal. Even if I have to deviate from my preferred double points (6 inches long, please) to magic loop, which I find inefficient (all that cord pulling). But after a few hours of extremely disgruntled knitting on my Brittany Birch #5 7.5 inch double points, it finally dawned on me that I really don't like knitting with birch needles. Change the tools, even with a less preferred knitting method, and I'm much happier1. No more clingy icky sticks.


Here's a Christmas stocking (oversized sock from Knitting on the Road) after the needle swap. Whew. So. Much. Better. Take the time and investment to try out different needles. These birch needles will go in the mail to a friend who might like them, or one of her assorted pets can use it as a chew toy2.

1 I don't have metal #5's in my needle stash, yet. I forgot to get them when I popped into the other LYS for #4 and #6 6" needles to replace some lost needles. After a half year of searching, I'm willing to say the others have disappeared.

2 Yes. That is sarcasm.