Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

Product Review: ChiaoGoo US Size 1.5 (2.5mm) 40″ Circular Needles December 28, 2014

Filed under: Needles,Reviews,Socks — knittykeen @ 1:19 pm
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I received a set of ChiaoGoo US Size 1.5 (2.5mm) 40″ circular needles this for Christmas from my oldest.  I had heard good things about these needles — the joins were good, the cable nice and best of all they were pointy.  When I opened the needles, my first thought was how was I going to get all those kinks out of the cable.  Unlike most needles, the cable on ChiaoGoo needles is a wire mesh cord covered in nylon and I couldn’t see that untangling in a pot of boiling water like I use for my regular needles.  I needn’t have worried, as soon as the were out of the package the cable uncoiled straight as can be.  It reminds me of the old Addi gold cables which you could also use right out of the package.

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The second thing I noticed was the bend at the end of each needle.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it, but where the bend is makes the needle fit perfectly and comfortably in my hand.  I also thought the bend was going to be a problem with sliding stitches onto the needle using magic loop.  I’m a tight knitter and I always spend a bit easing those last couple of tight stitches over the join onto the needle.  No such problem with the ChiaoGoo.  The joins are so smooth that the stitches just glide past with no struggle.  Some of this has to do with the yarn I’m using which doesn’t have a lot of stretch so I’ll reserve judgement until I use a stretchy yarn, but I have a feeling I’ll get the same results.  Again, the joins are a throwback to the old Addi gold cabled needles with their near invisible joins.

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Perhaps the best of all is that they are pointy!  I’ve been working on Pomatomus all morning and the twisted stitches haven’t given me a problem at all since the point just glides effortlessly through the back loop and I don’t have to do that thing where I stick the left needle in front of the right needle through the back loop then twist the needles around each other to get the left hand needle behind the right hand needle.  I’ve performed this maneuver so many times with my Knit Picks’ needles that doing twisted rib was a major pain.  The true test will come with a M1R of which there aren’t any in this particular sock so it’ll have to wait.

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This is my Knit Picks US size 1.5 (2.5mm) needle after knitting a pair of socks.  It was quite literally a pain to use.  I knit very tightly and the bend shortened the amount of usable needle to half the length which cause a great deal of thumb pain while I was knitting.  I was looking over the Knit Picks page and all it says is that they are nickle plated, but I don’t know over what.  The ChiaoGoo needles are stainless steel so we’ll see what happens to the needle after I’ve been using it for a while.  I expect a slight curvature, but I’ll be very disappointed if this happens with them.

Half a repeat into my first Pomatomus sock I’m very happy with the performance of these needles.  I have no pain in my hands using them, ktbl’s are a breeze, and the cable is nice and straight with no kinks.  I’ll revisit this once I’m done the socks and see how they’ve held up.

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Long Time No See March 12, 2014

It has indeed been a while since I’ve posted anything.  I have actually been knitting, but not nearly as much as I’d like to be.  I have two shawls waiting to be blocked, another one on the needles, a sock that I’ve barely started and as soon as I get my replacement size 6 needle, I’m going to be casting on for Color Affection.

The first shawl that is waiting to be blocked is an original design called Flirty.  My husband got me a beautiful skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Coquette for Christmas.  I had made a little shawlette out of some Noro Silk Garden Sock (surprisingly in the colorway that comes up when you click the link) years ago.  I played yardage chicken with it and finished it with only six inches to spare.  I always intended to do something with it but I never actually wrote down a pattern.  When I opened my Christmas present I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.

tosh merino light cocquette

Flirty is a wide but short shawl with a ruffled edge, just long enough to tie at your throat to keep your neck warm.  I’m planning on getting some blocking done in the beginning of next week so I’ll post pics then.

The second shawl I’ve been working on is Follow Your Arrow Mystery Knit-a-long.  A Mystery knit-a-long is one where you get individual “clues” or pieces of the pattern and you have no idea how the pattern is actually going to turn out.  My knitting board was doing it as a knit-a-long so I decided to jump in.  I was worried about making gauge for some reason so I knit it on US Size 5 (4.25mm) needles instead of the recommended US Size 6 (4.5mm) needles.  I went to my LYS and found the most wonderful color of Tosh Merino Light, Whiskey Barrel.  Here’s an in progress shot.

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I actually ordered blocking wires which just came this week to block this one since I really want it to come out looking right.

The third shawl which is currently on the needles is the Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-long.  Well, it was The Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-long.  I was getting ready to link the project page on Ravelry and the first thing I noticed is that the price was only $3.00 and I was a bit miffed because I paid $7.00 since the knit-a-long had already started when I jumped in.  There’s a lengthy explanation and I don’t know if my original pattern is any good any more.  I’m going to have to do some digging on the Ravelry forums to find out what is going on.  I bought the new pattern, but I don’t know if I want to do it any more.  This is incredibly annoying.  Here’s the in-progress shot (and this week’s WIP Wednesday) from the original pattern.  I’m going to have to do a lot of thinking about this*(see update below).

Desolation of Smaug Clue 1

The yarn is Tosh Merino Light in the Envy colorway — my birthday present from my husband.  He’s done a great job picking out yarn colors for me this year.  Interesting story about the yarn.  I told him I wanted sock yarn for my birthday.  He went to one of the LYS’s in the area and asked the clerk to show him some sock yarn.  The clerk went on to tell him that sock yarn wasn’t really for socks and steered him towards the Tosh Merino Light.  Now, I love Tosh Merino Light, but sock yarn it isn’t.  Who ever this person was she has no business working in a yarn store.  I’ve told him to go to the other LYS from now on since their staff seems more knowledgeable.

There’s the sock, but that’s really waiting room and bus knitting so it’ll get done when it gets done.  The next big thing on the agenda is Color Affection.

Color Affection Shawl

In these colors…

Tosh Merino Light Color Affection Colors

This is my, “I quit smoking for a month.” (it’s now two!) present to myself.  I love the colors and as soon as I get my replacement needle for Knit Picks, I’m going to cast on.  It’s all done in garter stitch so it’s perfect for doing at night when the kids are in bed and I’m watching TV with my husband.

That’s about it for now.  I should have two finished objects the beginning of next week so keep an eye out for the next post.  TTFN!

UPDATE:  It turns out there are TWO Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-longs.  Here’s the link to the one I’m doing — The Desolation of Smaug.  So now I own both patterns and I don’t have to frog again.

 

Sweaters and Socks March 3, 2013

And fluffy mail too (which is for socks).  I succumbed to KnitPicks sock yarn sale and bought way too much yarn, but it’ll keep me in socks for some time to come.

sock yarn

The first three are Stroll Tonal in Canopy, Kindling, and Wine Tasting.  The Kindling I am planning to use for Salted Caramels from the Knitter’s Book of Socks.  I don’t have plans for the other two skeins although I may try Veil of Rosebuds in the Wine Tasting.  A friend of mine is sure it will be stretchy enough to fit my feet so I’ll have to wait and see.  I also got 4 balls of Felicic Self Striping in Cochineal to make myself a pair of stockings.  I’m hoping I can get them done in enough time to wear them this spring while it’s still on the chilly side, but if not there’s always next fall/winter.

I also got two 40″ fixed circulars in a US Size 2.5 (3.0mm) and US Size 3 (3.25mm).  I’m using the 2.5s on my current project and I’m only seeing a slight difference between it and my Addi size 2.5.  The cable is a bit more flexible on the KnitPicks needle and the stitches slide a bit better (but that’s because it’s not worn like my Addi needles).  While there is a definite difference between the Addi size 1.5 and the KnitPicks Size 1.5, the 2.5s are much closer.  I’ve heard tell that Addi has come out with dedicated sock needles.  I’m going to try and pick up a set when I go to New York City next week to I can test them out.

Oh, and did I mention I’m going to New York City?  I’ve had the trip planned for almost a year as a birthday present to myself.  My husband will be tagging along while we got to different yarn shops in Manhattan.  Our first stop will be Knitty City for hopefully a sweater’s worth of Tosh Merino Light.  Then we’ll hit The Yarn Company, swing down to Korea Town for lunch and walk over to School Products Yarn to see if I can score a cone of their Provence Lace Merino for another sweater and maybe a shawl too.  After School Products, we’re headed down to the Village to hit a few shops and Purl Soho.  Hopefully the husband won’t be too bored by the end of the day, but he has his e-reader and will just find a corner to read a book while I shop.

Onto WIPs!

Green Sweater

Here’s my sweater.  I picked up a 16″ US Size 9 (5.5mm) HiyaHiya needles to use for the sleeves.  I know I could have done the whole thing using magic loop, but I tend to pull the end stitches a little too tightly and I don’t want a line of tight stitches running down the whole length of the sleeve.  I started decreasing the body stitches and am almost at the end of my third ball of yarn.  I think I’m going to do the sleeves 3/4 length because I’m really afraid I’m going to run out of yarn on this one.  I don’t think that I will, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.  The reason why I don’t have at least one sleeve done is because I’ve been working on a sock.

Swirly Sock

Swirly Sock

This is the Rick sock pattern by Cookie A from Sock Innovation.  I wanted to do something different from a standard lace sock and this yarn is too colorful to really do any of the patterns I liked from The Knitter’s Bock of Socks so after much debate, I chose Rick.  The yarn is Manos Alegria and I’m really liking the way it’s knitting up.  The yarn has a great feel to it and a nice sheen.  I’ll definitely be using it again.  I altered the pattern by adding another repeat to bring the total stitch count up to 72.  I’ve found several other people who have done that on Ravelry in the project pages so I have some guidance on how to do the heel and the instep.  I’ve just finished the leg and am getting ready to start the heel flap.  Depending on my mood, I should have this finished by the end of the week or my sweater may have sleeves.

 

Foreign Concepts January 5, 2013

I’ve heard of Norwegian purling before but never went any further to investigate it.  I found a YouTube video tutorial for it on one of my knitting groups and since I was doing some 1×1 ribbing I decided I would give it a shot.  I’m sure it’s because I’m new at it, but I’m not seeing any time difference over bringing the yarn forward.  It also may have been the yarn I was using (Noro Kureyon Sock), but my Norwegian purls seemed looser than my regular purls.  Again, it could totally be the yarn, Kureyon Sock is by no means smooth and it was from a frogged project so it was a bit wavy to begin with.  I’m going to wait and try it with some worsted weight yarn and see how it goes, until then the jury is still out.

My No Purl Monkey socks are moving along nicely.  I’m into the instep on the first one and I’m loving the way the Colinette Jitterbug is working up.  The yarn is nice and springy and the colors are fantastic.  Here’s a picture of it before I finished picking up the heel flap stitches.

WIP No Purl Monkey socks

I haven’t made much progress on the socks because I’ve been cheating on it with the Sock Yarn Slouch Hat.

Sock Yarn Slouch Hat

 

I’m using some Noro Kureyon Sock that I’ve had in my stash for ages and doesn’t match anything I own, but I like the colors and I need a hat in the worst way.  I’ve made a few changes to the pattern.  I’m using a size 3 (3.25mm) needle because that’s the smallest 16″ circular that I own.  I changed the cast on to 150sts to accommodate my gigantic head and changed the increase to 50sts so I got a nice even number.  I have about two more inches to go before I start doing decreases.  If I can keep up the pace, I should be able to be done with it by Monday or so at the latest.

 

 

 

Needles December 26, 2012

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I made my first call to Knitpicks customer service today for my bent and cracked needle.  You can definitely see the bend in the needle, but I couldn’t get a shot of the hairline crack.  The customer service representative I spoke to sounded a little dubious that the needle had bent and cracked in regular use but they are going to send me a replacement needle.  I’m hoping I can loosen my grip a bit so this doesn’t happen again but my Addi needles all have similar bends in them so I’m not too hopeful.

I love the pointy tips on the Knitpicks needles, so much nicer for increasing and lace work than the blunter Addi needle tips.  I dread doing the thumb gussets on the Joe Schmoe Fingerless Mitts because a M1L is doable, but a M1R is a massive PITA with a blunt tip needle and there are ten of those suckers.  I have a 36″ size 1.5 Addi lace needle but it’s too grippy and I don’t like the way the brass smells when I’m using it.

As long as I’m griping about Addis, I will also add that I hate their new cables.  The nicest thing about Addi needles was the gold cable.  Now they all seem to have monofilament cables and they just aren’t as supple as the old gold cables, another thing the Knitpicks needle has going for it.  For sock yarn, I have two hanks of Colinette Jitterbug, a hank of Madeline Tosh and one of Malabrigo in my stash to be used.  I’ll be using my Addi size 2.5’s for all but the Malabrigo, so I don’t have to worry about the Knitpicks needles for a bit.  I want to replace my 40″ Addi sock needles with Knitpicks needles but I’ll have to wait and see how this second needle holds up before I make a decision.