Sunday, September 26, 2010

ock seeks knitterly advice

I'm embarrassed by my UFO list right now. So embarrassed I don't even want to make it into a real typed-out list, even though I know it's still out there. Waiting.

So...hey look at my new scarf!

Schaefer Scarf

Schaefer Yarn Anne (the solid brown skein - merino, mohair and nylon) and Audrey (the rainbow skein - merino and SILK!), going to be a linen stitch scarf but seriously, I could just wear the bare skeins around my neck all winter and probably be happy. My mom bought me this yarn when she and my grandma were visiting Ithaca last weekend. My mom is a nice mom. The woman who rang us up at the yarn store asked to borrow her.

Because I have no shame, I cast on all 400 stitches last Sunday (the scarf is knit lengthwise) and took this as my travel/comfort project on a trip to a conference this week while lovely Isabella languished on my dresser (along with the second cascadia sock, 3 other unstarted RSC kits, my stained glass scarf, what am I doing I said I wasn't making a real list! la la la can't hear you!)...but I've only managed a row and a half, because my needles, well, they suck. For this project. This is where I need your help, because I had this exact problem on a previous project with these exact needles and I need to escape the cycle of disappointment.

The needles: ChiaGoo bamboo circs, size 7, 24 inch length.
The yarns: for both projects, lovely sticky wool-and-other-animal-fiber blends, fine-ish gauge, 3-ply. Prone to splitting, at least with these %&*! needles.
The problems: myriad. The tips on these needles are way too blunt. The joins frankly suck and I have to yank at the (beautiful, delicate) yarn to get from cord to needle. Because the going is so difficult I end up holding the work in a death grip and making the (did I mention beautiful, delicate) yarn all sweaty and knitting tighter than necessary.
The question: Is there another brand of wood or bamboo circular needle that won't cause these problems? I'd also be willing to go with a plastic needle, but I really don't want to use metal. I'm looking for pointy tips and smooth joins. I've heard good things about the KnitPicks Harmony needles, but I actually don't like the fact that they're colorful. Yeah, I know. I'm like the knitting Grinch or something, but I feel that brightly colored needles would distract from my communion with the yarn.

tl;dr; here's a kitty picture.

Schaefer Scarf


Lori said...

I get what you mean about disliking the colors of the Harmony needles. I use them (despite my own dislike) but the joins are not all that great, especially for fine yarn. The only other wooden ones I've ever used are the Clover bamboos, and they're nice enough. Crappy needles can take all the joy out of a knitting project! I'll be watching what the other commenters suggest.

photoknitdog said...

I'm not a fan of the Harmony needles at all... I've had at least 5 break on me and good customer service or not, just replacing them does NOT make up for the fact that the needle just broke on me mid-project! Argh.

As far as good wood/bamboo needles, I don't knit with them anymore (metal convert) but when I did, I loved Lantern Moon needles. In particular the ebony ones are my favorites, but Rosewood is very nice too. They aren't too cheap though!

Btw, love the pictures of your "scarf"! :D

Sarah {The Student Knitter} said...

I love your scarf! I would LOVE a link to that rainbow yarn! My mom's been asking for a rainbow pride scarf and I just can't find the right mix of the rainbow for something I like! But I LIKE this one! :)

Kate said...

@Sarah, I actually don't know where to buy Schaefer yarn online, but their website has some link and some other colorways too!

Ann said...

Lovely yarn! Alas, I can't help you with your needle issue as I'm very fond of shiny metal ones. Even with those, there are often issues with the joins--I just bought some Addi's to escape the issue with another needle.