Saturday, January 16, 2010
Small Circulars, Yarn Guide & Baby Loom
I've posted the 9-inch circular needles for sale now on the website, The Irresistible Ewe. I kept hearing about 9-inch circulars at SAFF this year. Everyone kept saying how wonderful they were for knitting in the round for socks. I have now knitted down to the heel in a sock using the Wisdom Los Angeles sock yarn. I'm planning to take a break from html-ing this afternoon to pull up Cat Bordhi's youtube videos again to make it through turning the heel. I'll probably need either another pair of circulars to hold the instep stitches or a dpn, but once the heel is turned, I can go back to the 9-inch needles again. If you haven't tried this size circular, I would greatly recommend them. The needle part itself if very short, maybe an inch or so long, but that doesn't hinder the knitting flow. They're reinforced by stainless steel posts which give a smooth transition around the needles. I think they would also be wonderful for knitting small items such as doll heads or bodies or very small doll hats which would previously required only dpns to knit.
My other newly found item is also from Clover. When I was deciding which accessories to include in the store, I found an item called a Yarn Guide. It's a plastic device which slips around a finger and has a flat area on top with small bumps for the yarn being used to slide through. A cover comes down and snaps into place to hold up to three strands of yarn separate while you knit. These are designed for projects such as intarsia knitting. I think they would be helpful for anyone doing Continental-style knitting. I also have that on the horizon as something to learn. I've tried this and just can't seem to get the hang of keeping the yarn going with my left pointer finger. The yarn continually slides off and I feel like a complete spaz. The thread guide should eliminate this problem since the yarn can't really slip off. I have my mother testing the product now, so I'll post her feedback after she's had time to work with this.
I did find another use for the Yarn Guide, however. I mentioned in my podcast recently that I've found a vendor for some flexible knitting looms. I've been trying to get a sample of a baby's hat knitted before my grand opening (I'll write about that in a minute) using Classic Worsted Tapestry in Baby Shades. I've found that if I knit on the loom from right to left and place the yarn through the Yarn Guide on my left pointer finger, I can control the flow and speed much better. I alternate holding my middle finger against the Yarn Guide to pull the yarn taut after a stitch and then releasing the middle finger to let the yarn slide through when I need extra yarn. I'll post a video later to demonstrate. I was automatically addicted to this device when loom knitting. Now, I can't imagine loom knitting without it.