20 March 2007

Circular Needle Sets

A while ago I bought a Boye Needlemaster circular needle set on eBay, mostly because I'd always wanted one and the price wasn't bad. I liked it well enough, although I thought the cables were a little stiff, and I used it quite a bit. It's a lot easier to stuff a circular needle and a ball of yarn into your purse. Safer, too, because you're not quite as likely to impale yourself. It's also harder to lose one needle.

Then I got Cat Bordhi's A Treasury of Magical Knitting and fell in love with Moebius scarves. Finally, circular knitting for my circular needles. They take a sixty-in. needle, which I could manage with the Boye by using couplers. Only the couplers put a funny kink in the cable and the cables were stiff.

Cat recommended the Denise circular needle set with extra-long cables. I bought that set, plus extra cables and size 17 and 19 tips, and I really like it a lot better than I like the Boye. Except for one minor factor, that is. The Denise tips are plastic and the Boye tips are metal. There are times when metal is a whole lot better than plastic, mostly with "sticky" yarn like wool.

Then I read some recommendations for the Knitpicks Options circular needle set. Well, I already had a pretty good investment in circular needles, with these two sets and the various non-set circulars I've accumulated over the years, so I didn't order the Options set. Instead, I ordered the long cables and a set of size 13 tips. Neither is included in the basic set. I really like them. The cable is tiny and very flexible and very slippery. The points are slippery and very pointed, which I like for a lot of yarns.

So I suppose it's pretty easy to figure out what I did next. Yes, I'm waiting for my Options circular needle set to be delivered. According to The Knitpicks tracking system, they got to my local post office at 1321 today, well after my letter carrier left. This means they'll show up tomorrow at my door, probably at around 1030. Of course, the needle set's not all that's in the package. There are a couple of books and a pattern or two and a project bag, too.

Once I get the books and patterns there'll be a yarn order. Fortunately, their yarn prices are really very reasonable. However, I'm really trying to use up a significant portion of my stash, which won't happen if I keep buying yarn. I've done pretty well on my resolution to use it up, but I have to admit I caved in and bought a skein of Great Adirondack Waterfall in Bahama Mama. I worry that I won't have the will power to let this yarn go when I get it knitted up.

I also picked up some Noni felted bag patterns last week. I have a feeling I'm going to get really fond of Cascade 220, another reasonably priced yarn. I'm thinking of making the "Cat In The Hat" bag for my goddaughter. I have very little wool in my stash and a lot of what there is is superwash, because it's sock yarn. Not that I knit socks, mind you, but because hand-painted sock yarn makes beautiful scarves and isn't wildly extravagant in price. One skein is enough for a good-sized scarf, too.


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