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Monday, June 11, 2012

Winter Wonderland, Spinning and Interchangeable Needle Sets..

A winter wonderland:

A big surprise, it's very early for us to have snow. The temperature got down to -10 on Wednesday night and we awoke Thursday morning to find all of the windows were iced up on the inside. The electricity was off for nearly 2 days so we could only heat the lounge with the log burner. It's still hanging around out there and is still extremely cold. We had damage to a lot of the trees and shrubs in the garden.

So I stayed indoors and got things done. I spun these 2 bobbins of Romney mainly by candlelight:

Approx 800 mtrs on each bobbin, I plied 2 strands together to give me 400 mtrs on each skein. It's a much deeper & richer brown than I can capture with the camera. I just have about another 1.5 kg to spin.

Now onto knitting needles ~ I've tried lots of different brands, I now mainly knit on circular needles and use DPN's for socks. I love my Addi turbo circs and I have a few of the Addi lace circs. Here's a summary of the interchangeable sets I have tried and loved or hated:

Denise Interchangeable Knitting needle set: 
I loved this set solely based on the wide range of needle sizes you get with it. Love soon turned to hate, after a few months of usage the connectors were starting to unfasten themselves on a regular basis, usually when I had a large amount of stitches on the needles. Sadly it had to go, and was replaced by.....

Knit Picks Harmony Interchangeable needle set:
I was drawn to these because they are wood, I love the warmth and slickness of them and the colours. Loved the pointy-ness of the tips. Love that I could connect the cables together to get the size I needed.
Hate that I have to get out a needle gauge every time as the sizes aren't printed on the tips. Hate that I have had a lot of cords come apart at the metal screw connector, usually while holding many stitches. Hate that the last few spare cords I have received don't seem to be threaded properly at the screw part and the tips won't fit on = unusable. The tips break easily, I have broken 2 pairs already. So I looked for something different and was drawn to .........

HiyaHiya interchangeable small needle set (steel):
I ordered these from the U.S.A. last week and they arrived in record time. I admit I bought them because they were a steal, US$65 but I had a 40% discount coupon so paid $39 plus $10 shipping. I wasn't exactly sure what would arrive as there was only one pic on the site to go by and you didn't get a choice of colour either. Here's what was in the box~

The case was the one I was really hoping for.
It seems good quality and very well made. The fabric is brocade.

When you open it up there is a band of fabric attached a the side with velcro which keeps the needle tips covered and protected. This is the small tip set and contains 7 pairs of tips in sizes 2.75 - 5mm. There's a useful zippered compartment on the top flap.
On the back of the case is a zippered pocket which stores the cables. These are 16, 24, 32 and 40 inch in length. You get a pack of 2 grippers for tightening the connections.
It seems like a nice set and the connectors swivel so no more tangled and kinked cables hopefully. The downside for me is that they are steel and I prefer wood. I haven't had time to try them out yet, this last week has been spent either spinning, shoveling snow and ice or trying to keep warm. I shall let you know how I get on with them.

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