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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

New Project, And It's Not Grey!

I realized last week that between Snowbird (grey), Mickael's socks (grey), and Taygete (grey and ivory), I had a lot of grey projects. I love grey, but it was probably making for a pretty monochromatic blog. Since I finished up Snowbird, I had a cardigan spot in my projects so I started a new one!

This is the Austin Hoodie and I'm making it in Peruvian Baby Cashmere in the Claret colorway. I'm also using some new needles. I got a set of Hiya Hiya interchangeables (I got the 4 inch needle length in the small size). I've been using Knit Picks needles and while I like the cables, and I think the sets are OK, there have been some issues with them, both in the quality and where my personal knitting style and the needles didn't play well together. Knit Picks has a soft, flexible cable, but I find that using the 40 inch or longer, I end up fighting it because it tries to twist on me. I've been reading up on some of the different needle sets on Ravelry and while there doesn't seem to be any one, perfect set for everyone (there are pros and cons for every brand of interchangeables, you just have to find what works for you), I thought the Hiya Hiya's were worth a try. They start at a size 2, the joins seem very smooth, and the cables are soft AND they have a swivel. This means I won't have to fight them in the longer lengths. You can buy additional needle tips and cables individually as well as in the sets, which come in size 2-8 for the small size and 9-15 for the large size. In addition to the needle widths, you can choose between two tip lengths, either 4 inch or 5 inch. You get the same set of cables regardless of needle tip length so if you get the 4 inch tips (which I did), you end up with 16, 24, 32, and 40 inch needles. If you get the 5 inch tips you'll have 18, 26, 34, and 42 inch needles. Hiya Hiya is apparently coming out with bamboo tips this summer (the original sets are steel) and a "pointy" set later in the year (for lace). What you see in the picture above is the extent of my knitting with these new needles, but so far I'm happy with them. This yarn is very soft and I think I would notice any issues with the needle cables if I was having any (circular cable issues are a major pet peeve of mine and the reason I used straights for years). I'll let you know how I feel about them after I've done more, but so far these seem to be working well for me.

Just a note here, needle choice is a very personal thing - from material type, tip length, cable type and joints. There is no one set of needles that is going to fill everyone's needs. Mostly it just takes trial and error to figure out what works best for your particular needs. If you use Knit Picks and you're happy with them, by all means, stick with them. We're fortunate that in the last few years there are more and better quality interchangeable sets available, each with different pros and cons.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to knit exclusively on straights, but a few years ago I began exploring circs. I, too, have had some problems with the Options line. I have had several cables just come apart on me and they don't seem to be able to take the weight of, say, an Aran sweater. I have been looking at Lantern Moon precisely because they have that swivel point. Thanks for letting me know about the Hiyas!

11:26 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

I do hope Logan is up to modeling this when it's done. He would be adorable with the hood up and the rest tied at the neck, and the color is great with his golden highlights.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Dana KBS said...

Funny, because I clicked to this pattern and immediately thought: I want this in gray. So. What comes around, goes around! :-)

11:13 PM  

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