Sunday, September 12, 2010

Climbing Jasmine Socks

This is the second pattern in Renee Leverington's (aka Goddess Knits) Decadently Dark Socks Club.  I took a break from lace knitting to finish up the first sock.

Part of the reason I haven't been working on the socks is the difficulty finding the right knitting needles for the project.  I don't like working with double points and there aren't many sources for small circular needles.  Hiya Hiya makes 9 inch circulars in small sizes, and Addi Turbo makes 12 inch circulars.  For the other pair of Decadently Dark Socks I used the 9 inch circulars for the cuff, and then 2 12 inch circulars for the rest of the sock.  That worked pretty well, except that the points of the needles aren't very pointy and it was tricky sometimes forming some of the lace stitches, tricky enough to reduce the knitting pleasure.  I knew that I could get Addi Turbo Lace needles and get a pointier tip, but the other critical factor is the length of the needle shaft.  I don't like using the longer needles on socks, it just makes things awkward.  Enter the KnitPicks 16 inch circular needles.

The KnitPicks needles are all pointier than your average knitting needle.  Pointy enough to use on lace.  And their 16 inch circular needles have a shorter shaft than the Addi's.  I still wish that they carried the shorter lengths, (I did write them and suggest that they carry 9 and 12 inch lengths in their circular needles).  In the meantime, I have stocked up on the 16 inch circulars in the small sizes that I need for the sock projects that I have waiting in the wings.

From top to bottom:  16 inch KnitPicks, 12 inch Addi, 9 inch Hiya Hiya (the vertical tip is the other end of the KnitPicks needle).  The grid forming the background is 1 inch x 1 inch.  As you can see, the Hiya Hiya has a very short needle shaft, only 2 inches, but this is a 9 inch circular, so you can't have a very long needle shaft.  The Addi Turbo needle shaft is about 3 inches, but it is bent, which I actually like.  It gives you a little more needle shaft to work with, while still allowing you to form a small circle.  In this case, 12 inches.  The KnitPicks needle shaft is a little over 3 inches, which works well with the 16 inch overall length.  One of the things that I have found with most 16 inch circular needles is that the shaft is too long for you to actually form a circle, you end up with more of a tear drop shape.  It is a little hard to tell in the photo, but the KnitPicks needle has the pointiest tip.

While I was setting up the links for this post I noticed that Addi does make the 16 inch circular in a lace point, and it also makes an 8 inch circular in the regular point, but the latter do not come in a wide range of sizes, or if they do, Yarn Market does not stock them.  I may have to add some more needles to my stash...

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