Sunday, 16 August 2009

Oh My shiny new Knit Pick (or Pro) Needle - How do I love thee?

After last week's catastrophe with the Kollage square needle I was overjoyed when my shiny new Knit Pick (Knit Pro here in the UK) 2.75mm needle arrived yesterday morning. This morning I treated myself to a strong extra shot latte and sat down to tackle the recovery.
Things seem to have gone well and I think (hope) there won't be any noticeable goofs after the blocking does its stuff.

Working with the ever dependable Knit Pick needle this morning I realised just how much I didn't like the Kollage circular needle - even before it snapped. The stitches caught on the join on the Kollage needles and the weight of the work seemed to bend the cable at the join exacerbating the problem. In fact I think that is what caused the eventual break - the cable at the join got weaker with every row until it broke off entirely.

The tips of the needles were comfortable to work with and pointy enough for lace -- but I'm unlikely to try them again any time soon until I know whether my experience was a one off.

Jomama asked about lifelines in the comments. First I guess I should confess that I never use them - in fact, I had never heard of lifelines until about 2 years ago. However, my not using them isn't to say that I don't think they are a good idea -- just that I'm too set in my ways to start using them at this late stage in my knitting career.

Lifelines (as the name suggests) protect your work in the event of dropping some stitches or finding an error or having your needle snap. Basically a lifeline is a thread (dental floss is often recommended) that you run through all the stitches of a row - usually with a blunt tapestry needle. Then if you do face a catastrophe you simply rip back to the lifeline row and pick up the stitches from the lifeline. The frequency of lifelines depends on the complexity of the lace and the level of risk you are willing to take! Some people use a lifeline every repeat, or in the case of a very complicated shawl (with long rows!) every single row.

There are some good lifeline tutorials here and here and here is one with a great Knit Picks Options trick.

And look! It's that time of year again....I'm knitting little hats (16 so far) for Innocent Smoothies Big Knit campaign.


If you've got some spare yarn and a few minutes why not knit one or two yourself? Apart from keeping Smoothies cosy in Sainsbury fridges 35p from each hatted smoothie sold goes to Age Concern to help keep the elderly warm over the winter.

9 comments:

The Caked Crusader said...

Those hats are great but seem to lack something....I wonder what it could be.....?

Batty said...

The hatted smoothie idea is so much fun, wish we had that in the US.

Gale said...

Last week whilst lamenting about NOT using a lifeline, someone told me that lifelines were for sissies...

Glad you've recovered.

fleegle said...

Not to rain on your parade, but KnitPicks needles ALWAYS separate at the joints. Before you use them, pull out the plastic, dab with good glue, and shove them back into the tips. The glue they use is cheap and dries out fairly quickly.

And I guess I am a sissy. I use a lot of stitch markers too :)

LittleBerry said...

Glad you've recovered from the horror of the needle coming apart on you...

Opal said...

i've only had one pair of knitpicks break at the join. other then that they've been very reliable. just my two cents!

Jomama said...

Thanks for the explanation--I'd never heard of the lifeline technique before--seems like great insurance in the event of an unfortunate circumstance!

cici said...

I love knitpicks. I want to try zypher next

Vikki said...

Hey soo,
just doing some catching up, I've missed reading your blog! I am so in love with knitpicks needles, both the metal ones and the wooden ones, they're really good quality. Thanks for reminding me about the Innocent hats! Must make a start with all the leftover sock yarn I've got hanging around :)
Vikki