December 4, 2007

Times two

It's very rare that I knit a pattern twice and even rarer to knit a pattern twice in a few weeks. But the Christmas knitting makes us do unusual things. Having finished the second Basic Cable hat, I have started a second Utopia.

What can I say? A good cabled hat pattern is a good cabled hat pattern. With 20 days to go (and less, really, as these need mailing) I'm not feeling like it's time to innovate.

The three phases of coffee socks aren't Christmas knitting in the deadline sense, but they are distracting. I can't say enough about this yarn. It is so subtle and soft and lovely. The surprise?

Those are bamboo needles and I don't have to fly anywhere for weeks. I was very happy with the High Altitude socks, and I took some time to think about what makes the difference between a satisfactory project and a really great one. Obviously the end result is big, but for me, the process has a lot to do with it too. In the case of the HA socks, needle choice was dictated by the travel. I stumbled onto the Kertzer brand, which are a marked improvement on the Clover bamboos I've tried in the past, but I still considered them a stand in for my preferred aluminium double points.

The more I worked with them, the more I warmed to them. I'm lucky not to bothered much by hand pain but I did find I like how light the Kertzers are, and though I suspect that I knit a little more slowly on them, I can knit for longer. That's the process part. I was more surprised by the product bit. My knitting, straight off the needles, was much more even, especially in ribbing. I initially attributed this to the elastic content in the Megaboots stretch that I used for the HA socks. A little swatching and experimentation, however, suggests that a stickier needle plays a part as well. Who knew?

So given the slick nature of the Somoko and all the ribbing I decided to stay with the bamboo DPNs. So far, so good. I've even been eyeballing a set of those Harmony wood DPNs from Knit Picks, having heard that they too are nice and smooth. I'm not the only one, apparently, since at the moment I'm on the waiting list to be emailed when they start taking orders (back ordered) again. It's great to see businesses serving knitters doing so well, so I won't complain.

I'm curious though, what are your favourite DPNs and why? Leave a comment.

1 comment:

sarah said...

I have no favourite DPNs
Circs all the way :-)
Addis, usually. They're cheaper in the UK.

I made the same discovery about bamboo needles, though. An author whose name I can't recall suggested those who knit too tightly with metal try bamboo. Knitting socks on 2.25mm Crystal Palace bamboo is a more relaxing experience: I think the featherlight needles feel fragile in my hands, so I hold them more loosely. Speaking as someone whose metal sock needles bend under the strain of my knitting.

Nice hats, nice socks. Sadly there's no hope my gift knitting will make it to Canada before the 25th!