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
Tags: , , ,

51GuM-LaG9L._SL1000_

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.

DSCF2875

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.

DSCF2878

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.

DSCF2880

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.

Advertisements
 

The best laid plans December 27, 2013

I was so ready to get my snowman pattern together to publish it at long last but it was not meant to be this year.  A mix of life, school and illness saw to that and by the time I was ready it really was too late to do it for this season.  I’m thinking of doing a Christmas in July thing this year and publishing it then but we’ll see.  Regardless, it’ll be ready to go up by the beginning of November next year for sure.

My needles haven’t been completely idle this season even though I didn’t get as much knitting done as I’d have liked to.  Here’s what did happen.

Dunloe Hat

Dunloe Hat 1 Dunloe Hat 2

This is a very nifty pattern designed by one of the ladies on my Facebook knitting group.  Dunloe is a slouch hat knit with fingering weight yarn.  I’ve had this skein of Dream in Color Smooshy from Hidden River Yarns in my stash since last winter, thinking I’d knit myself some socks from it when I decided I needed a new hat and used it for Dunloe instead.  It’s hard to see in my pictures, but there’s a six-stranded braid that grows out of the ribbing at the brim.  I haven’t blocked it yet to make the cables stand out more because it’s huge on my ginormous head already.  I followed the advice of the ladies on my board and used the regular size, but doing the body of the hat on US Size 3 (3.25mm) needles instead of the US Size 2 (2.75mm) needles called for in the pattern.  It’s more than roomy enough to accommodate my hair clip, which is nice and the brim is snug enough that it isn’t going anywhere unlike my Noro Slouch Hat that I made last year that always feels like it’s going to fall off.  It was a fun knit, easy to do without a cable needle, and took me a week to make.

Swallow Tail Shawl

Swallow Tail Shawl

 

I knit this the summer when my youngest was about 6 months old in between nursing sessions five years ago.  I’d always intended to give it to my mom but this year I actually dug it out and got it blocked so I could give it to her for Christmas.  It was a major miracle that the moths hadn’t gotten to it, the worst that happened was the yarn yellowed a bit.  It’s the Swallow Tail Shawl done in some merino/alpaca/silk blend lace weight for which I’ve long since lost the ball band for.  I remember it being a fun knit and it gave me my first taste of Estonian lace with the lily of the valley pattern at the bottom of the shawl.  It’s also reminded me that I need to get blocking wires if I’m going to be doing any more lace knitting (which I hope I shall since I have a whole cone of lace weight from my trip to NYC).

Aviatrix Hat

Aviatrix Hat

 

This is the Aviatrix Hat knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Plaid Blanket in the 3-6 month size.  It was an incredibly easy knit, only taking me two days to finish which probably would have only been one it I worked on it more.  I really like the pattern and the way the yarn looks in it.  I didn’t do a gauge swatch but winged it with US size 6 (4.0mm) and US Size 7 (4.5mm) needles.  This yarn grows a lot when it’s blocked and I definitely hit gauge after I blocked it.

Snowman Ornament

Snowman Ornament

 

This was the only one I actually got finished this year because I just ran out of steam once OI realized the pattern wasn’t going to be published this year.  I actually knit the hat and scarf Christmas morning, because it isn’t Christmas unless you are still knitting an hour before you are supposed to be somewhere.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday.  I have to weave in the ends of the Oaklet Shawl this weekend so I can add that to my list of 2013 knitting before the year ends.  All in all it wasn’t a bad year.  I have definitely been more productive in the past, but considering what I’ve been dealing with I’m happy I got done what I did.

 

 

Pocket Frogs September 15, 2013

Pocket Frog

I’ve been sitting on this pattern for going on seven years now and have yet to get it into shape so I can publish it.  It was one of the first things I ever designed.  If I can pull it off, I’ll be publishing it this fall and offering kits to make it up in my Etsy shop.  Here’s what I got for the frogs for my pattern pictures.

Pocket Frog Yarn

Clockwise from the top, I have Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Bittersweet, Manos del Uruguay Wool Cassica Multis in Cornucopia, Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Plaid Blanket and, Malabrigo Rastita in Archangel.  For fingering weight I plan to do up a set of rainbow ones with left over yarn from the sooper seekrit project.

Speaking of sooper seekrit projects, I’m about to put the finishing touches on it this afternoon.  In the interim, I started a second sooper seekrit project.  Here’s the swatch.

DSCF2693You can see the final product on my Facebook page.  The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Terra.  I’m not entirely sold on the yarn.  It has absolutely no give which was a bit of a pain.  I’m using some Tosh Merino Light in a shawl but that’s using a fine yarn on bigger needles so stretch really isn’t a factor.  I bought it because it was the perfect color, but I may choose differently the next time I need a DK weight yarn.  There are still two more parts of the project that I want to get done this week, it just depends on the kids and my school schedule.

To break the tedium of the sooper seekrit project, I joined a knit along on one of my knitting boards and started the Oaklet Shawl.  I’m using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Vanilla Bean (which I love) on US Size 6 (4.0mm) needles.  I’m kind of meh on the pattern — I usually like my shawls to be more lacy, but it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time.  Besides, all of that stockinette really shows off the colors in the Vanilla Bean.

Oaklet ShawlI’m ordered most of this yarn from Eat.Sleep.Knit with the $50.00 store credit I won when I ordered that sweater’s worth of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Golden Hickory.  Some of their prices are a little bit more than my LYS but their stock is good and shipping is super fast.

Look for pics of the sooper seekrit project next Sunday.  Happy knitting!

 

 

Fluffy Mail March 15, 2013

I finally found someplace where I could order the Tosh Merino Light in the color I really wanted for a sweater, Eat.Sleep.Knit.  It was more expensive than other places I’ve seen Tosh Merino Light listed, $21.00 a skein to the $19.00 my LYS Loop charges, but it’s so hard to find any Madelinetosh in quantity that I just went with it.  My order got here super fast too, just three days turn around.

Tosh Merino Light, Golden Hickory

 

It’s the Golden Hickory colorway (the same as the Pashmina that I got at Knitty City) and I love it.  I’m planning another top-down raglan with a boat neck, 3/4 sleeves, and tunic length.  Of course I have to finish the green sweater before I cast-on for another big project, so I’m hoping to get those sleeves done this weekend.

As if yarn wasn’t good enough, I got a little “Yarn Lotto” card with my order and I won a $50 store credit!  So who knows, there may be another Tosh sweater in my future.  They also sent two mini skeins which I can use on my sock yarn blanket.

In other news, the socks I’m making from the Great Adirondack Yarn Co Caribou are coming along nicely.  I’m just about finished the gusset so I should have the first sock finished by the end of the weekend.  I’ve also decided I’m going to frog the Rick sock.  I’m just not happy with the way it’s turning out and the unevenness of my yarn overs.  I’ll have to so some searching to find another good pattern to use with the Manos Alegria yarn.

 

New York, New York, what a wonderful town March 10, 2013

My long awaited yarn crawl of New York happened yesterday and here’s the woolly goodness I brought home with me.

First stop was Knitty City.  They had an incredible selection of yarns from ultra high end blends all the way down to Sugar ‘n Cream cotton.  The staff was super nice and they even had a “man” chair for my husband to sit and read in while I shopped.  I found 5 skeins of Tosh Merino Light in Stephen Loves Tosh for a sweater but I was unsure of the color (it was mostly golden yellow with a bit of purple).  I decided I would wait on it and check out the other store in the area, The Yarn Company, to see what they had.

We walked over to the Yarn Company but they weren’t open yet so we hung out at Starbucks for a coffee and a morning bun.  I talked to my mom while we were there and we both agreed that I couldn’t pull off yellow so sweater yarn from Knitty City was off the table.  After we were finished, we walked over to The Yarn Company.  I have to stay I wasn’t super impressed with the selection.  It was mostly high-end yarns.  They did have some Three Irish Girls and the Verdant Gryphon as well as some other exclusive yarns, but nothing really called out to me.  The store itself was very neat and organized, not like the barely controlled chaos of Knitty City.  I did end up making a purchase, some Great Adirondack Yarn Co Caribou superwash merino in Black Magic II which is a sport weight in 50g hanks.  It was much more than I would usually pay for sock yarn, but I really liked the colorway.

Great Adirondack superwash merino

We walked back over to Knitty City and there I grabbed a hank of Madelinetosh Pashmina in Golden Hickory (the colorway I really want to use for my sweater) and a bag of Koigu KPPPM mini skeins for my sock yarn blanket.

Knitty City Yarn

We hit the Lego store for the kids (and my husband) and then had Korean for lunch.  Our next stop was School Products Yarn.  Now if you’ve ever been, the store is not much to look at.  They carry a lot of imported yarns and some unusual fibers ( I still have a ball of baby camel from my last visit three years ago that I have yet to do something with).  I was hoping to score a cone of their Provence Lace Merino like I did three years ago, but they didn’t have any.  I did buy a cone of the Lace Merino in a very pretty blue.  The cone is a pound and a half so that works out to be 5,100 yards of yarn for $39.00.  It’s definitely worth a stop to see what they have on hand.

Lace Merino Cone

We did a bit more shopping and then ended up at Purl Soho.  It was nice, reminded me a little bit of one of my local LYSs, Loop.  They had a decent selection of yarns and in quantity as well, They were all arranged in the front of the store so you had to use a ladder to reach the upper cubbies.  There was also fabric and sewing notions in the back of the store.  I had some hope of finding my Tosh Merino Light, but they only had semisolids.  It was fairly crowded when we got there so I just didn’t have the patience to try and find their sock yarns.  If I’m in the neighborhood again, I’ll probably pop in for a quick visit but I don’t think I’ll go down there just to stop at their store.

There are a lot of places that I just didn’t get the chance to visit or were closed.  Seriously, who’s closed on a Saturday?  I’m hoping to attend Vogue Knitting Live next January which should keep me busy enough that I won’t have time to visit any place else.  All in all, I’m pretty pleased with my haul but a little bummed that I couldn’t get my sweater yarn.  I already have plans to do Citron with my Lace Merino but I’m already dreading all that purling.  I’ll have to look through my queue on Ravelry to find something to do with the rest of it, maybe something Estonian, I have a love affair with nupps.  Even after that, I should still have enough for another shawl, if not two so we’ll have to see.

 

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.