Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Stash

I know...I know.  I missed last week's report but, trust me, this week will be more interesting.  I've been on holiday for a couple of weeks.  Driven almost 3000 kilometers and seen lots of good stuff.  We also visited with family and did a lot of eating - and knitting.

I'm stretching the definition of 'stash' ever so slightly today.  This beautiful organic cotton yarn was gifted to me from another knitter's stash.  It was destined for afghan squares but my dil and I couldn't let that happen.  So, I swapped a bag of acrylic worsted for a bag full of cotton.  There was only one pattern choice for me and it was this one by Lois Young.  The bag of yarn went in the car and I knit while we visited.  Actually, the first stop was so hot I just wanted to sit in the air-conditioned house.  What else to do but knit and talk?  I love how it turned out but it's still too warm here to actually wear it long enough for a photo shoot.

One of the cities we visited was Spokane.  There, we adventured on to a bus - hotel parking spaces were too precious to give up - and trekked off to Paradise Fibers.  Hundreds and hundreds of square feet of yarn before my eyes.  And in touching distance.  Truly paradise.  This is the first of the products made from yarn bought there.  Just a pair of socks, right?  And plain, too.  But, wait....

They had two whole walls covered in needle choices.  I had always wanted to try the Kollage square needles so I bought a set of sock needles in my favorite size.  The blue sock is being knit on these needles.  But, I needed to do a controlled experiment to see if any of the maker's claims were true.

The results are in!  One of the claims is more even stitches:  I'm not convinced about that, are you?  The fabric is firmer but the stitches look the same.  The bamboo needles create a softer and very slightly looser stitch.  Maybe that's what they mean?  Every time I look at the square needles, I think: masculine.  The needle itself looks like an Allen key to me with  very aggressive points and sharp 90 degree angles.  Strangely, the angles are not uncomfortable at all.   I can tell that I don't knit as fast with these needles as I can with the bamboo.  And the bamboo is just warmer and softer to me.  Another claim is that they are less stressful on the hands than round needles.  Well!  For me, knitting is least stressful thing I can do with my hands.  However, I don't have arthritis or stiffness issues in my fingers so I'm not the best judge.  

My last item on the needles for this week is a hand towel.  I'm using this pattern and more yarn from the big bag of cotton.  This is a brighter avocado color and a heavier weight.  I've had this pattern in my favorites for a long time.  I must have known that something appropriate would drift by.

So, now, I'm home and the holidays are over.  My plan is to get the travel photos up in the coming week.  And, I hope, to show up more often on blogger.  Not a resolution...just a plan. 


Mimi said...

Ha ha "not a resolution,just a plan"!!
The organic cotton sweater is absolutely gorgeous! love it!
never heard of square needles before, and I don't like the sound of them, I'll stick with my round ones!
Look forward to the photos and account of your trip. (even though I've posted nothing of my 2 trips!)

Angie said...

Strange square needles!! Love the cotton...

Empty Nester said...

Ok, I might have flown through the pictures searching for the vacation photos! You're such a tease. LOL Can't wait to see the pix of your travels and to read all about it!


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