Sunday, 22 April 2007
I'm loving these new tiny Brittany birch needles which came from Daphne at the Knittery and which cost $12. They felt odd at first, but I'm used to them now. I have some old steel dpns about 7" long in a 2.75 mm size and my husband cut down some casein dpns, also the same size to about 7". They were 11" to start with, far too long for me to use comfortably with socks and I can't see me doing much else with that size which needed longer needles. If I was doing a shawl etc or something lacy, I'd probably be using a circular with less chance of losing any stitches in a lacy pattern when I put it aside. They flex slightly, so are good for my hands and fingers.
I haven't checked the size against my needle gauge. I see from some knitting groups from the USA that their sizes don't always match up against ours. 2.5 mm is not a common size down here. It's more usually 2.25 mm or 2.75mm. 2.25 mm makes a good, firm sock fabric which wears well, but takes ages to knit, particularly if there is no pattern on the instep to break the boredom of the foot. Lately I have often done the cuff/leg of the sock on 2.75 mm and then switched to the smaller size for the heel and foot. It can be seen if I take a photo of the sock before it's worn, but really, it makes little difference to the appearance of the sock on the foot, while it does make a difference to the wear.
I've never used any reinforcing on either heel or toe and I often use pure merino wool in socks, especially for me and occasionally also use machine wash pure wool. I rinse them out by hand, although that's not the question here. I've had no problems ever with holes or thin patches and my socks get a lot of wear. #1 grandson ran around the yard wearing a pair of Lionbrand Magic Stripes socks I had made. Not good, especially considering the tussle he had with his dog which grabbed the sock. Socks came off second best, but I really don't consider that normal wear and tear, even for children. Still, the wool was cheapish and I bought it for children's use.
This is the burgundy wool bought from Bendigo Mills along with the rest of the wool shown in the picture in the post below. I've used Heirloom Argyle before and liked it. I would like them to add a few more colours to their range, but what they have is nice and the wool is pleasant to use.
As you can see, these lovely needles and this wool are making a pleasant firm fabric which also feels good. My knitting is very even with these needles and I'll get some more with another order. There's little variation at all showing up in the stitches. The colour was a bit hard to get accurately. It's a deep burgundy and this shows up reasonably on my monitor. It's very grey outside, although it's not raining, more's the pity. I used the flash, but that washed the colour right out. The ball of wool seems hardly touched, so I should get the pair out of the one ball. I'm not sure which grandchild will get these. I have 52 stitches on the needles and usually use 60 for my own socks, 64 at the absolute most. Theoretically they should fit grandson #1, Master 8, but I'm not sure. I'll show them to my son before I do the toe or even get too far down the foot. I haven't looked at his feet for a while, althugh I do have a measurement of length. It's actually the leg part I'm not sure about. He's awfully skinny in the body, although he eats a huge amount for his age, but I can't remember if his legs are as skinny. He's 8, but could wear size 4 pants, apart from the length! Size 8s need a belt or they fall down as he walks, even with elastic. LOL. He has his father's and my father's build. I wish I'd inherited that from Dad!