Tag Archive | circular needles

Sha-ZAM!

With empty needles, I happily poked through my stash to see what I should knit next, and four pretty little skeins jumped out at me. The first was a skein of Malabrigo Rios, an aberration because I’ve been knitting so much with fingering weight yarn. I had an urge to make a cowl, one of my favorite things to knit. I love to knit on circular needles, I love the feel of merino wool in my hands, and I love to play with different patterns. And best of all, I love having so many cowls to wear when it’s cold.

This skein is the color Aniversario. I’ve bought this colorway before but it’s one where there’s huge variations in colors. I made a Hitchhiker Beyond in this color, but it has a lot of blue/indigo. This skein is mostly red. I chose a fun, free one-skein cowl pattern called Sha-ZAM! and it’s going very quickly.

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I’d forgotten how much I love Malabrigo. It’s so soft, with that yummy squish factor. I definitely need to make my next sweater in Malabrigo!

Two weeks from today, we leave to take the girl to college in Colorado. (EEK!) I’m freaking out a little, but I’m also super excited for her. And I can’t wait to visit my mountains again. Anyway, before she leaves, I decided we needed some family time, so I declared today a Family Fun Day and we all took the day off work. We’ll visit the Jazz Museum, have some lunch, go to a fantastic big vintage record store, and who knows what else. Maybe a movie? I won’t get much knitting done, but that’s all right. Knitting can wait.

Addi FlexiFlips: First Attempt

I was super excited to find the Addi FlexiFlips on my road trip. I love knitting socks, and I prefer to use three 5″ DPNs, with a fourth as a working needle. I’ve tried 9″ circs and the tips are just too tiny to be comfortable to hold. I haven’t tried magic loop yet because it looks fiddly and weird and I resist trying strange new things. So these seemed like a great combination of DPNs and circs. As soon as I finished my current sock WIP, I grabbed the FlexiFlips and some sock yarn, and cast on.

Or rather, I tried to cast on. I got the needles on the first needle just fine. Then I split them evenly onto two needles. But then I couldn’t figure out how to join them like I would on DPNs. I fiddled for a little while before turning to the experts on YouTube. I found lots of videos on how to knit with them, but they all showed socks with several rows already started. I couldn’t find any that showed how to cast on and join in the round with these particular needles. But I’m not a quitter, so I knit the first row, slid two completed stitches to the next needle, and joined in the round that way. It was awkward, but I think it worked.

Once I got going, I realized it was going to take a bit to get used to them and to figure out how I wanted the needle not in use to behave. It took several rounds before I decided I liked to bunch the stitches onto the cable portion and bend the back needle so it was kind of out of the way. After that I was off and running!

One of the interesting features of these needles is that that have different tips. On each needle, one tip is more pointy and one is more blunt. That’s very versatile for different preferences…except it means I have to pause and make sure I’ve got the pointy tip each time I switch needles.

So far, these make for slower knitting than my DPNs. I can’t tell for sure yet, but I think my gauge will be a bit looser than with my DPNs, and I’ve got to be more careful about laddering, though I think that’s more about the learning curve and getting comfortable with the needles than with the needle design itself. I do like the metal, and it makes me want some Signature DPNs even more. And I like how they fit neatly in a project bag with no worries of stitches falling off! All in all, I wanted to love them, but I don’t. However, I like them enough that I’ll keep going with them through at least one sock and see if I’m comfortable with them after that.

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Have you tried the FlexiFlips yet? What did you think?