Life With Yarn

Broken needles

Posted on: November 8, 2013

On the needles

I’m still working on Aniron, although I’m definitely nearing the end. It’s a lovely pattern and the Louisa Harding’s Grace is knitting up really nicely – so soft and smooth, I’m very much looking forward to wearing it in the coming weeks.

This week, I also cast on the Austin Hoodie cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio which is a Christmas present for one my sisters. I’m working this is in Yarn Undyed 75% Merino, 25% silk 4ply yarn. This is something I picked up from ebay a couple of months ago with this project in mind. My sister wanted a cream/natural coloured cardigan although there should be at least a skein of this left in my stash afterwards which I shall dye up at some point. It’s a nice yarn, smooth and easy to work with. I’m not massively far into it, still in the seemingly endless stocking stitch section. However, I had to take a break from it for a couple of days because of a needle breaking.

That’s all I’ve been working on this week – 2 large projects which has meant I definitely feel the need for a small project to be cast on soon.


Off the needles

I cast on and finished a manly cowl for my husband for the cold mornings. I frogged the black one I cast on last week because working with black yarn in not great lighting is quite tricky plus I had a feeling that it would take quite a while. So instead I used the leftover bulky yarn from the Owls sweater I made last month and whipped up a stocking stitch cowl with ribbed edges in a couple of days. I’m quite happy with this – stash busting and also happy husband has to be a win-win.


It just fell in my bag!

I really should stay away from the Posh Yarn update each week, but the colours are just so, so gorgeous that it’s hard to. I have managed to refrain from looking at it until Monday morning so if there’s anything I like left, then it was destined to be mine, clearly (plus the free postage on Monday definitely helps). This way also ensures a slight brightening to Monday mornings – and Wednesdays when it arrives at my house. So this Monday, I bought this:


This is Olivia Lace in the colourway ‘A breath of wind like a gentle sigh’ and it is (of course) destined to be a laceweight cardigan at some point. If I actually manage to knit everything I’ve bought into everything I’ve planned, then I’m going to be spending a lot of time in laceweight cardigans next spring and summer.

I also picked up a copy of Knitscene Winter 2013 from WHSmiths this week. I don’t tend to buy a lot of knitting magazines and when I do, they are generally American ones. I rarely find anything really appealing in many magazines but especially UK ones. I’d much rather spend ages browsing patterns on Ravelry and seeing how other people have made it so I can get ideas for yarn, colours, modifications, et cetera. I picked up this particular issue because of the interview with Ruth Garcia Alcantud, the feature on tubular cast-ons and the number of sweater and cardigan patterns they have. I haven’t had much chance to do more than flick through yet though so nothing has been added to the (never-ending) queue yet.

The final bit of shopping I did this week was for new needles. As I said, my needle broke whilst working on the Austin Hoodie – the cable came away from the needle on my Knit Pro Symphonie circular which was very disappointing because I have really liked using this needle. When I started knitting again, I didn’t have lots of money or any real knowledge of anything (this was before I discovered Ravelry) and so I bought a cheap selection of bamboo circular needles on Ebay from China. I think I got 15 different sizes but I’ve probably used 6 or 7 at most. Until I knit Owls which calls for a 6.5mm needle, 5mm was the largest needle size I’d ever used. I tend to use the smaller needles for socks and laceweight items. These have lasted remarkably well considering their cheapness. But my now more experienced eyes and fingers can definitely tell the difference between them and the branded needles I’ve since used. 

So when my Knit Pro broke, I began contemplating interchangeable needles and spent a good couple of hours browsing the many different options. But the problem I came up against with pretty much every set was the sizes – most starter sets (pretty much all I can afford right now) include needles towards the larger end of my scale so if I bought one of these sets, I’d also need to buy extra needles to make it worthwhile and few of them go down as small as I use. So I decided that the best thing to do for now was to buy a new fixed circular and I used the opportunity to try something different. In the end I bought a Chiagoo Red and a HiyaHiya Sharp, both from Meadow Yarn who I would highly recommend for their speedy delivery and excellent service.

I admit I was slightly hesitant to buy either of these because I’ve used bamboo and wood for so long and much prefer them. I find the needle tips stickier so the yarn doesn’t go sliding off – very useful when you work with yarns containing silk for example, or you have to keep putting the knitting down to attend to small children. Both new needles are stainless steel but also well recommended, particularly the HiyaHiyas so I took this as a chance to do a bit of market research.

So far I’ve only used the HiyaHiyas and my fears of slippy needles, losing stitches and just generally working with steel needles anyway have been very unfounded. The join is smooth so the work just glides over it and the needle tips are not as slippy as feared – no dropped stitches yet! I also seemed to have picked up speed this week although whether that’s the needles or the desire to get through the stocking stitch section of this cardigan I don’t know.

I shall be trying the Chiagoo needle in the next week when I finish off my Aniron so I’m hoping they will be another good experience. 


1 Response to "Broken needles"

A manly cowl? We need pictures!

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