The Knitter’s Handshake

You all know what I’m talking about, right? That moment when you spot someone wearing a handknit? And maybe she sees yours? You make eye contact and smile, and invariably someone ends up whipping off a shawl to show it off, or asking to feel the yarn. You share pattern and yarn information, maybe talk about your favorite designers. When you go on your merry way, you have a new warm feeling in your soul. Well, this happened to me a couple of days ago at a Starbucks. I was wearing my Miller’s Daughter and she was wearing a lovely tonal blue asymmetrical shawl (she couldn’t remember what pattern it was). We admired each others’ work and chatted for a minute about the beauty of mixing garter stripes and lace.

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My Miller’s Daughter

I find interactions like these to be truly lovely. It helps me feel connected to the knitting world and its own special culture. I also love getting inspiration from other people’s projects. It’s one thing to see pictures of things on ravelry, but seeing real handknits in the “wild” is something else entirely. That was one of the best things I took away from Rhinebeck last month: seeing so many beautiful handknits, and so many people wearing them with pride.

So, speaking of Rhinebeck…it was amazing! The weather was beautiful, the house we rented was awesome, the leaves were perfect, and the yarn! So much yarn! I actually didn’t buy a single thing. There were too many options to choose from! I did love getting the chance to see and feel beautiful yarns that I’ve only come across online. As you might imagine, there were tons of gradients and gradient mini skein packs, as well as speckled yarns galore. There were also a number of sellers who had lovely breed-specific wools (beyond the great but ubiquitous merino). I liked seeing the different wools and looking at all the knitted samples on display. It’s all food for thought that I’ve filed away for the next time I need to buy some yarn, ha ha.

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Beautiful weather at Rhinebeck!

On Saturday evening of Rhinebeck weekend, my mom and I went to an open studio event at Jill Draper Makes Stuff. It was packed! Stephen West was there doing a book signing as well as Ann and Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting. And, of course, tons of beautiful yarns in breathtaking colors. We considered not going as we were both very tired from a long day of yarn gazing and toddler wrangling, but we decided to push through. I’m so glad we did!

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The kidlet taking a break after looking at lots (and lots) of yarn.

A major highlight of that weekend was meeting up in person with some wonderful friends on ravelry. I got to meet Carol (cehermanator) of knit equals joy, as well as her friends Jen (jenb69) and Meg (stamura). They were just as lovely in person as they are online. I am so glad I got to see them!

Things have been quite busy lately, but I am managing to squeeze in some knitting time. I’m working on knocking out a bunch of commissions currently and am looking forward to having time to do some of my own knitting soon. I have two of three Christmas stockings nearly done:

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And I’m about to bind off a purple alpaca Easy Folded Poncho:

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I recently finished sewing together two sweaters, and I have a third that I’m starting on today. All are finishing jobs I picked up at my LYS.

I have so much more I could share, but I’ll save it for another post. In the meantime, my blog was mentioned on the ravelry front page yesterday! Thanks to FogKnits for letting me know. I will leave you with some more photos from our weekend in Rhinebeck. These were all taken by the wifey and are copyright Callandra S. Cook.

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Lunch on the deck!

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Taking a walk with Baby Jade

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The 30 Day Knitting Challenge – Day 15

Day 15: What was your least favorite pattern and why?

You know, I’m just not going to answer this question, and here’s why: Even though I have high expectations for patterns, and there are plenty of patterns I’ve used and don’t care for, I don’t see the point in singling any of them out here. I try to put honest but constructive feedback about patterns in my project notes on ravelry. I don’t want to highlight a pattern here sheerly to give it a poor review.

So…what should we talk about?

With all this 30 day challenging happening, it’s been a bit since I’ve given a little update on where I am, what I’m working on, and what’s coming up next. Now seems like a good time to remedy that! The name of the game lately for me is finishing. I technically have 11 WIPs, according to my ravelry project page, and I intend to whittle that number down as much as I can. With Miller’s Daughter and the Giant Blue Rectangle off the needles, I don’t currently have a big project going. While I’m trying to decide what the Next Big Thing will be, I’m going to tie up some loose ends*.

Some of this finishing is stuff for other people, mostly fellow clientele of my LYS. I just did a set of shoulder seams and I have two sweaters waiting to be blocked and seamed. Today I re-blocked the Giant Blue Rectangle. I blocked it a couple of weeks ago but wanted to touch up the edges now that I have a good set of blocking wires. It’s now drying in my mil’s basement. I’ll sew it up in a day or two and send it on its merry way! I have three hats floating around that need blocking and a baby cardigan that needs the ends woven in, so I’ll work on those in the meantime. I have two skirts for my daughter that are done except for putting in elastic so, if I’m feeling really ambitious, I might finish those up. Somewhere in all this I need to find two buttons and sew them on the knight’s hat. I’m also going to frog one of the WIPs that’s been hanging around for a while and just not coming together. If (when) I get all of that done, I’ll be down to three WIPs. That’s totally manageable, right?

I finished the knight set diaper cover the other day. Here’s a sneak peek:

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Oh yeah, I also have to repair a crochet blanket and knit a sword.

So. What should I cast on next?

Happy knitting! I’ll leave you with a gratuitous cat photo. Here’s Kitten Man looking especially fetching:

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Image copyright Callandra S. Cook

*See what I did there?

The 30 Day Knitting Challenge is the creation of Meggiewes who blogs at Knitting in Wonderland.

FO Spotlight: The Miller’s Daughter

I am thrilled to have this new piece to show off! Just as soon as it gets significantly below 90F here…so, in a few months, ha ha. Anyway, I managed not only to finish this by the end of the Melanie Berg Any Shawl KAL (today), I also managed to weave in all the ends AND block it. It’s 100% done. That’s a pretty big deal, for me, as there’s typically quite a delay for those last couple of steps.

The rundown

Pattern: The Miller’s Daughter by Melanie Berg. I was lucky enough to receive this pattern for free as a prize for participating in Melanie’s weekly chat topic. For the second time*, one of my posts was chosen by random number generator and I was able to choose a free pattern.

Yarn: Three very different choices. The stripes are in The Fibre Company Road to China Lace in Sapphire (from Jimmy Beans’s Wool Watcher) and Cherry Tree Hill Yarn Superlace Ragg in Ocean (from a DBNY grab bag). The contrast stripes and lace panels are in madelinetosh tosh lace in Edison Bulb (from Jimmy Bean’s, on sale). The first is a blend of alpaca, silk, cashmere and camel. The second is merino, wool, polyester and acrylic. The third is 100% merino. They are all lace weight. I used a total of 1,229 yards.

Size made: One size. I didn’t measure it but the short edges each are at least 6′ long, after blocking.

Needles: US4s. I used my new Addi Clicks.

Techniques used: Nothing special except lifelines.

Modifications: The only thing I changed was the color progression. The pattern calls for the lace panels to be done in all in one of the stripe colors except the final one, which is done in the other stripe color. I wanted more pop so I used the accent color for all the lace panels. Otherwise, I knit it as written.

Difficulty: Easy, as long as you don’t lose count in the lace sections!

Ravelled: here.

The Pretty

And just so you get a sense of how big it is:

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While blocking.

Each of those blue tiles are 2′ square. Speaking of blocking, this is the first time I’ve used my new blocking swag! My mom was kind enough to get me this set of mats (I have nine total) and blocking wires. The wires are this set from Inspinknity on etsy. They are awesome! I especially didn’t realize how nice it is to be able to neatly and evenly block curved edges. The wires worked really well and I’m looking forward to using them for many years to come. At some point, I might add a set of the extra long wires to my collection, seeing as I tend to size my shawls “giant”!

*This was the first time.

NTSH*

Well, maybe a couple of things. I’m allllllmost done my big blue rectangle** and I’m 24 rows of lace away from binding off my Miller’s Daughter.

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God, I love this shawl.

I’ve decided to use this last day of May to start swatching for a toddler hat and diaper cover combo. His mom wanted a knight’s helmet hat, so I found a cute on on ravelry: Sir Knight Helmet by Martina Gardner.

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Image copyright MAGKnits. Via ravelry.

I haven’t decided on a diaper cover pattern yet, but I think something basic will work.

While you’re waiting for me to block, finish and swatch and bring you more news of my knitting exploits, here are a few more patterns that have recently caught my eye. First up is Om Shawl by Andrea Mowry. It’s a super cool looking, versatile shawl and the worsted weight version of Yoga Shawl. Both are giant and can be worn as a poncho, wrap, huge scarf/cowl, or just used as a blanket. I like the way Om Shawl uses color and I like that the geometric motif is interesting but not overpowering. Both patterns are 25% off until June 5.

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Image copyright Andrea Mowry. Via ravelry.

Next up is Halle by megi burci. This one’s much smaller and isn’t my usual style, but it caught my eye anyway. There’s something about the way the color pooling and the wavy lace border interact that I think is compelling.

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Image copyright Vivian Aubrey. Via ravelry.

Lastly, I thought this was a cute little set: Udakua. A thing for summer by Anne B Hanssen. It’s a dress and pants set with cute stripes. I imagine the pattern would be pretty versatile, so you could make the pants into soakers, make the dress a shirt, etc. Also, it’s free until June 5!

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Image copyright Anne B Hanssen Design AB. Via ravelry.

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Image copyright Anne B Hanssen Design AB. Via ravelry.

That’s all the knitting news I have for today. Happy knitting!

 

*Nothing to see here.

**It’s official. I’m renaming my ravelry project as soon as I’m done this post.

Down the Ravelry Rabbit Hole

I’ve been getting tons done on my two main projects right now. My MO is to work on my giant blue rectangle aka Easy Folded Poncho early in the day. Then, once I’ve knocked out a significant chunk, I’ll reward myself by working on my Miller’s Daughter. That way, I make good progress on both of them and I don’t get too overwhelmingly bored.

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It’s getting giant-er!

I don’t have an updated MD pic because…well, it all kind of looks the same now. It’s bunched up on the needles in typical giant shawl fashion, so it’s tricky to see the shape or any change in size. However, as I might have mentioned before, I am madly and thoroughly in love with this thing. Unfortunately, the weather turned around today and it looks like we’re solidly in pre-summer mode here*. I just want to scrunch it up and wear it forever, but I would probably melt or catch fire or something.

On to the rabbit hole. Despite the fact that I’m “booked” several projects out, I keep getting lost in pattern searching on ravelry. There’s so much out there and I just want to knit it all! I keep adding favorites and adding things to my queue. I’m up to 16 items on my queue, which is kind of crazy for me. I don’t tend to queue things unless I’m 90% sure I’m going to make them. I use favorites to earmark things I’m interested in but might never get around to, or things I might want to look at later for inspiration. In particular, I’ve been bitten by the shawl bug pretty badly. Part of it might be the Melanie Berg KAL that I’m doing right now, but several of her shawls are really calling to me.

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Photo copyright Melanie Berg. Via ravelry.

Meet Rheinlust. I didn’t realize how interesting this shawl was until I saw a bunch of close up pics on the KAL thread. The wave motif is worked horizontally and is made with twisted stitches. That gives each little wave a very crisp and three dimensional look and adds lovely definition. I think it looks best in a tonal, midnight blue shade. This one is going to have to wait until I’ve whittled down my stash quite a bit. It takes about 950 yards of fingering and I don’t have any solids with that yardage currently.

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Photo copyright Melanie Berg. Via ravelry.

Another Mairlynd shawl that has tempted me is On the Spice Market. This one has a main color and six contrast colors. I’ve seen some really lovely color combinations on this one. Amazingly, I have enough stash yarn to do this one–all in Koigu KPM–so this one might find its way to my needles sometime soon! My MC would be this greyish lavender:

I have several choices on the contrast colors, so I’ll see what looks good together next time I dig them all out.

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Photo copyright Melanie Berg. Via ravelry.

The last Melanie Berg shawl I’m going to talk about today is The Love of Spiders. Just look at it. Really, need I say more? It’s got gorgeous texture, shape, contrast and structure. I love it!

What are your favorite shawl patterns? Have you knit any of the ones above? What pattern bug has got to you lately? I’d love to know!

Happy knitting!

*I’d say spring, but it’s too humid for that shit, yo.

Really, Who Doesn’t Need More Yarn?

I got started on the Easy Folded Poncho today. Part of me (well, most of me) can’t believe that a pattern that tells you how to knit a giant rectangle costs $5. If you’re thinking of making one, here’s a spoiler: It’s a giant rectangle.

At least it really is easy and the yarn I’m working with is nice enough. It’s a light blue shade of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, a worsted weight yarn that’s half alpaca and half wool. It’s soft, warm, and has just enough of a halo to it. It seems to be going fairly quickly so far!

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The white yarn is a provisional cast on.

This project has got me wondering what I should do with the random greeny mustard skein of the same yarn I have floating around in my stash:

Berroco calls this color “fennel”?

Maybe it’s the color, but I’m wondering if it would do well for a Mesh Lace Slouchy Hat by Jamie Sande:

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Copyright Jamie Sande. Photo via ravelry.

Coincidence??? I don’t think so! The pattern is written for a DK weight and the yarn is worsted, but the pattern gauge seems like it would work okay. The pattern is free, by the way! I think I’ll add it to my queue.

So, I’m being good and only working on commission projects and test knits. Well, mostly. I did knock out the last five rows of the next to last lace section on my Miller’s Daughter, but other than that I’ve been very focused! I do want to finish the shawl before the end of Melanie Berg’s KAL because, well, have you seen those prizes?? I made lots of progress on my Twinberry test knit. Now I’m just cruising through the stockinette part of the body, so it’s a good project to have for waiting rooms and traffic jams. I’m loving how it’s turning out so far!

So, I think we can all agree that I have enough yarn for the foreseeable future. Between my Goodwill finds, bargain hunting and freecycle hauls, I have more yarn than I can store…much less knit! However, the wifey got me a gift certificate to my LYS for Mother’s Day and I just couldn’t let it go to waste. I debated for several days over what to get and eventually settled on three skeins of lusciously soft and beautifully dyed Queen of Hearts, a new base from Frabjous Fibers a la Wonderland Yarns. Each skein is 410 squooshy yards of fingering weight 80/10/10 merino, cashmere and nylon. I selected the semisolid colors Sleeping Gryphon, Tea Tray and Off With Her Red. I guess one could use it for socks, but I’d consider that a tad sacrilegious. What it really wants to be is a shawl. For me. It was a present, after all!

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I’m not working with the best lighting right now, but the colors are actually pretty accurate.

But which shawl? In between bouts of virtuous obligation knitting, I’ve been going down the rabbit hole that is pattern searching on ravelry. Right now I’m kind of leaning toward Ashburn by Melanie Berg, but I’m not decided. Got any suggestions for a good, three color, fingering weight shawl? I’m all ears!

Happy knitting!

Honeymoon’s Over

For the past couple of days, I’ve had the luxury of lots of knitting time. As I’ve been stressed out about a variety of things (read: job), I took Paula’s sage advice and worked on things that made me happy. I made some serious progress on my Miller’s Daughter:

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I might have mentioned this before, but I am completely smitten with these colors and how they work together. I wasn’t sure initially about including the lighter blue (Cherry Tree Hill Superlace Ragg), but now? I’m completely sold. One ply of it is grey, which adds interesting texture to the mix. Occasionally, the color edges toward green, which mirrors the Edison Bulb well. As for the darker blue shade (The Fibre Company Road to China Lace), what’s not to love about an alpaca, silk, camel and cashmere blend? Well? Bueller? Yeah, that’s right–nothing. That just leaves the Edison Bulb (madelinetosh tosh lace), and for that, you either love it or you hate it. As for me, you guessed it! I love it.

I love how the texture of lace weight yarn worked on US4 needles is light and airy while still being delightfully squooshy. The shawl is just begging me to scrunch it up around my neck and wear the bejeesus out of it. I can’t wait.

If you are working a Miller’s Daughter, or any other Melanie Berg shawl, you might consider joining her 2nd Annual Any Shawl KAL. There’s still plenty of time left to finish one up by June 12, and there are several really lovely prizes to be had. Check out the thread on ravelry here.

Other projects I worked on this week include one that I will discuss tomorrow and another test knit for Taiga Hilliard. This one is called Twinberry and it’s a raglan tunic-style pullover. It can have either short or long sleeves and the length is adjustable (well, this is knitting…everything’s adjustable). There’s not a ton of it to see yet, but I’ve got a start on it:

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I’m using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece for this as I’ve found it’s a good yarn for kids clothes. It has good stitch definition, great colors, and should wear well. My only quibble with it is that it’s not machine washable or dryable, although I’ve a mind to give it a try sometime and see how it goes. It’s 80% cotton and 20% merino, so it shouldn’t felt. I suspect the worst that could happen is it might shrink some and the color might run. I’ve actually used the same yarn on three other kids test knits already! I got several more skeins of it from my giant freecycle yarn score, so I’ve got lots to work with.

I’m glad I had some time to work on these projects, as tomorrow I’m heading into crunch time. I have two commission jobs to work on, and I’m officially getting started on them tomorrow. The first is a knight’s helmet hat with matching diaper cover (and knitted sword!) for a one year old’s birthday party. I’m planning on using this Sir Knight Helmet pattern by Martina Gardner:

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Photo copyright MAGKnits. Obtained from ravelry.

I will also be making this Easy Folded Poncho by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas:

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Photo copyright Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. Obtained from ravelry.

I got the yarn for this, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, yesterday and I’m getting the pattern tomorrow. Both projects should be reasonably fun and go quickly, but it will be nice to get back to knitting for me and mine afterward.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a juicy post full of socks and socky plans. Until then, happy knitting!

What To Do

I’m at something of a loss for what to do with myself today. I’m on tenterhooks* while waiting to hear about my (maybe) new job, and there’s nothing more I can do on that front at the moment. I can either worry or just let go…and I’m choosing the latter. But in order to keep the worry from creeping back in, I need to do something with myself. 

Well, why not knit? Yeah, I have been. And I’ll keep at it. The question is what? Here are a few of the options in tossing around:

-Do the finishing for any number of UFFOs** I have lying around. I have three hats that need blocked, a skirt that needs ends woven in and elastic sewed, and another skirt that needs elastic sewed. 

-Start any of four (really?? Four??) overdue test knits. In my defense, I’ve been whittling that number down quickly. Not in my defense, I’ve been leaving the larger projects for last. Unrelated to my defense, I need to rethink my yarn choices for a couple of them as I don’t see my original selections working out all that well. That might be causing some of the delay. 

-Start my next pair of socks for me. I have yarn and a pattern picked out (although it just now dawns on me the yarn is probably in storage, so can’t get it for a few days). It’s not Thursday, so I won’t give you any more details on that front.

-Start a pair of socks for my daughter. I have yarn and pattern picked for these, too. And they’re not in storage so I have no excuse!

-Start a commission hat and diaper cover set. 

-Start a repair job that I’ve been neglecting. 

-Work on my Miller’s Daughter shawl. 

I owe you an update on said shawl. I blogged a while back about my daring repair on one of the lace panels, but never reported back on how that turned out. Well, I messed with the tension on the repaired panel a bunch. I didn’t get it perfect, but I got far enough with it to determine that I think it’s going to be just fine. So I carried on with the stripes and now am ready to start another lace section. 

So, how to choose? Do I fulfill some of my obligation crafting (that my mother, quite rightly, reminded me I brought on myself)? Or do I work on something that will help me feel better in the moment? Well, I worked on the shawl for a bit this am. I’m out of the house for the afternoon now, so my choices are limited to what I brought with me: shawl and kid socks.

But you guys, I really need to do my knitting job stuff. I’ve got another commission piece (kind of a biggie) coming in this week and it would be nice to clear my plate a little more before that. I never really meant to get into knitting for hire because of the time it takes away from knitting for pleasure, but I will say I enjoy it and learn something valuable from each project (even if it’s as basic as charging fairly for my time and skills). I just don’t like getting behind on stuff and then feeling like I need to catch up. 

If you’ve made it this far through my musings, I think that warrants some pictures! 

Not perfect, but it’s pretty durn close!


How’d that get in there? It’s not Thursday!


But since it’s there, that’s the yarn I’m planning making my daughter’s socks out of. It’s closer to sport weight than fingering weight, so they should go really quickly. 

And, here’s some of the wildlife that’s been spotted around my place lately:


Our goldfinches are back! The former next door neighbors had a cat that kept the songbird population pretty much non-existent, but they’ve moved away and we have birds again!


Here we have the elusive tunnel cats!

Happy knitting–whatever project(s) you choose!

*Did you know that word has fiber-related origins? I didn’t. It’s essentially about blocking
**Unfinished finished objects. Come on, we all have them! The fun part is done and the last few bits are just…work!

Knitting Karma Loves Me: A Product Review

I have good news to share, and with it, a product review*. Knitting karma graced me with its presence once again! I recently won a free set of Addi Clicks, just by luck of the draw. When Skacel notified me that I’d won, I almost didn’t believe it. It started to seem real when I saw my name on the next Skacel email newsletter. It really seemed real when I got them in the mail!

If you’re not familiar with Addi needles, here’s the basic rundown. Their fixed circulars come in several styles, some of which have different labeling in different areas of the world. The standard is the Turbo, which is lightning fast due to the coated nickel finish. Turbo tips have a more or less typical taper and are slightly rounded. Then, there’s Addi Turbo Lace circs. These are made of brass, which is a little grippier than the nickel, and have a more tapered tip with a sharper point. Addi Rockets, or Sock Rockets, combine the best of the first two styles (in my humble opinion) as they have the long, sharp tip paired with the slick coated nickel. These have been my go-to circulars for a while now. They’re super speedy, the join is smooth, the cables are flexible and don’t kink easily. That makes them good for magic loop, lace, large projects, and just about anything and everything else. Addi also makes bamboo circs and maybe others, but I haven’t tried any of them.

Addi also makes interchangeable circular needle sets called Clicks. The different styles available mostly coincide with the fixed circ styles, with one exception. The lace tip Clicks are coated nickel, not grippy brass. So, they’re really more like the Rockets. Lace tips come in short and long lengths. Since Rockets are my favorites, and since I have big hands and despise short needles, I opted for the Long Lace Tip Clicks.

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As you can see, they come in a sleek pink case. Inside, there’s eight sets of tips in US sizes 4-11, a cable connector and an Addi heart pin.

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The US4s aren’t pictured as they’re in use!

The connector can be used to link two cables together to get a really long one. Or, you can take the tips off a WIP and hook both ends of the cable to the connector and use it like a stitch holder. That would be handy if you needed those tips for another project or another part of the same WIP.

On the back of the case, there’s a zipper pocket that holds three cables and a needle gauge.

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Again, one cable is not pictured as it’s in use.

I put them to work right away on my Miller’s Daughter shawl. Initially, they took a little getting used to. There’s a spring loaded mechanism that connects the tip to the cable and apparently sometimes they need to be broken in a little. At first, I couldn’t get one of the US4 tips to lock securely in place, and it popped off a couple of times while I was knitting. I ended up fiddling with it for a while, mostly just connecting and disconnecting it, until I was able to get the lock to fully engage. After that, it was smooth sailing!

This set has a really cool lifeline feature. Each cable has a sort of slot near each end that you can thread a lifeline through. It’s kind of like the eye of a needle except that it closes up when you’re not actively manipulating it. You just put the end of the lifeline through the slot, then knit the next row. As the knitting slides off the working needle onto the cable, the lifeline is pulled through all the stitches. After finishing that row, slide all the stitches onto the cable to ensure they’re all captured, then remove the end of the lifeline from the slot. Easy peasy! It came in handy to have this feature as the Miller’s Daughter has several lace panels of increasing widths, so lifelines are something of a necessity.

My one quibble with the Clicks is that the join isn’t as smooth as it is on Addi’s fixed circs. I tend to be a snug knitter, so it can be a little trying when sliding stitches off the cable and onto the needle to be worked. It gets easier after a bit, but I imagine a very tight knitter would have trouble.

The tips are great. They’re super long and pointy, which I like. I find that makes it easier to work stitches more quickly and accurately. I love them!

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Overall, I’m very happy with my new toys! They’re great for shawl knitting and larger projects, especially. Since I chose the long tips, they won’t work well with smaller diameter projects like hats or baby dresses, but that doesn’t bother me. I’m not getting rid of any of my fixed Addis anytime soon, so I should always have the right tools for any job. I think that, eventually, I will purchase more tips in smaller sizes so I can do magic loop socks and the like.

Many, many thanks to Skacel for their generous giveaway! I expect to get many years of use out of this set. They’re serving me well already!

Happy, speedy knitting!

*Disclaimer: Nothing to disclose! I received the Clicks free with no expectation of any review, favorable or otherwise.

MDSW 2016

My plans to go to MDSW on Saturday got a smidge derailed. I overdid it a bit on Friday, had some serious pain issues, and ended up in bed all day Saturday. Thankfully, I was feeling better Sunday morning and my mom’s flight home didn’t leave until late afternoon. So, we loaded up the toddler and a bunch of snacks and headed off to the “Maryland Sheep and Wolf Vestibul”, as my daughter calls it*.

Lots of things went really, really well. We got there early. There were no lines, no crowds, no waits. I recently got a temporary disabled parking placard so we were able to park just a few feet from the gate. The crowds didn’t start to hit until 10 or 11, so there was plenty of time for the kidlet to run around and amuse herself without getting in anyone’s hair.

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She got about a million compliments on her dress, and I overheard approximately 15 billion whispered comments on how cute she was. I even saw someone snapping a picture of her. She picked dandelion and grass bouquets while my mom and I looked at beautiful yarn. Couldn’t have been much better.

I got to fondle so much lovely yarn. Highlights include the Neighborhood Fiber Co booth, Verdant Gryphon, Miss Babs, and many, many more. I met some of Orange Smoothie’s shawls “in person” at the Miss Babs booth! I touched qiviut for the first time at the Bijou Basin Ranch shop. We saw sheep, rabbits, sheep, alpaca, sheep, and more sheep. One of the shopkeepers brought a one day old baby lamb that had been rejected by her mother. I could have died from the cuteness!

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Squee!!!

I got some lovely free samples of wool wash from Kookaburra that I can’t wait to try out. We saw spinners spinning, sheep being sheared, and many many knitters wearing their lovely handknits. I was hoping to finish my Miller’s Daughter shawl but I didn’t even come close. I wore my Merinda instead (and got lots of lovely comments).

It was actually a little chilly as there was a decent wind. As it happens, the only sweater I had with me for the kidlet was also a handknit. She was really representing my work, and looking super cute while doing it!

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I didn’t realize until after we left that I didn’t take any pictures of the festival…just my kid! Whoops! I guess I’ll just have to go back next year!

*She was very concerned about the wolves initially. We had to have some discussion about that before she’d agree to go. Understandably, I think.