Every now and then, I come across extraordinary inspiration. The last time it happened was a few weeks ago on Ravelry. There’s this knitter from New Zealand who makes the most beautiful knitwear. I particularly like the way she picks and combines colors. Check out her projects on Ravelry. (You need to be logged in to see them.) I particularly like the colors in her Stripe study shawl and the stunning grey in her “Rikke” hat.
These all work very well for Magic Loop. I had the cable/needle join slide a little apart on a pair of Addis, but if you’re a little careful that shouldn’t happen. (The folks at Addi also replaced them for me completely hassle-free.)
The Signature needles are beautiful, and so are the Karbonz.
With Signature needles, you get to choose the length – 4, 5, or 6 inches. 6-inch needles are nice if you have big hands. They are also colour-coded. I think all needles should be 🙂 The cable on these is the most flexible I’ve come across.
Nice to know: Knitter’s Pride and Knitpicks are the same brand, as marketed in the US and in Europe, respectively.
Fun fact: HiyaHiya needles come in ridiculously small sizes – here’s an order of 0.7 and 1.2 mm 32-inch needles, as well as a 9-inch circular needle which are allegedly becoming popular for knitting e.g. mittens and socks in the round. It is also supposed to be a good helper needle for making cables, which is why I got it.
My favourite knitting technique is Magic Loop! If you have anything at all against DPNs (double pointed needles), I recommend trying it. Ladders between the needles? Needles sliding out? History. Yet the best part is that with one circular needle each size, I can knit almost anything. I’m no supplies minimalist I’m afraid, but at least I don’t have to haul 2 kg of needles with me on travels to make sure I’m covered.
I demonstrated Magic Loop to my mother-in-law last fall, and she was intrigued. Her circular needles are all rather short and with stiff cables so I got her a 40-inch Signature Needle Arts circular for christmas.
She had the technique down in no time at all, and next time I saw her she had finished a pair of mittens and told me she was a bit sad that she didn’t have suitable needles in more sizes. I’m very impressed, actually. I’m not sure , if I were her age, that I’d take so easily to a new technique, or even want to try..! It will be my goal to be as open-minded as her.
I learned how to knit as a child, and rediscovered knitting a few years ago. My favourite thing is learning new techniques. There are so many ways to do things! Below, I’ve listed some techniques that I’ve tried. Most of them I would not have discovered if it hadn’t been for the Internet. I shudder to think about never knowing Magic Loop.
Judy’s magic cast-on
Tubular cast-on and bind-off
Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off
Finding a new, useful technique makes me happy the same way that mastering an instrument or drawing a nice sketch does. Which is pretty major. Next post, I’ll explain why I like Magic Loop.