Friday, 4 April 2014

Planning ahead

Last weekend I went on a bit of an online spending spree. It started out fairly innocently; I'd seen a pattern in a magazine that I wanted to knit, I had the yarn in my stash but didn't have the right needle. Usually, what I do in this case is go to eBay and find myself a needle in the correct size and length. However, I didn't find anything in the right size apart from the really cheap bamboo needles with those nasty thick plastic cables. While I do have quite a few pairs of those in various sizes, since I started buying nicer needles (like the Addi turbo needle I bought to make my Christmas Stockings, and the KnitPro Novas I used for Mrs Tumnus) I don't really want to go back. But it would cost a fortune to stock up on every needle I need buying posher needles individually.

Once I came to that realisation, I spent a good hour or so browsing the web and reading reviews of the various interchangeable needle sets out there to try and help me decide. I was very tempted by the KnitPro Symfonie set, particularly after reading several comparisons between them and the Addi set (I do like my Addi needles, but looking at the interchangeable set, the needles are nowhere near pointy enough for me). However, my ultimate decision came down to my preference for metal over wood for circular needles.

In the end, I bought a set of Nova interchangeable needles from Hulu Crafts. The set comes with needles from 3.5mm up to 8mm, and four different cables in three different lengths.

For a deluxe set, I have to say it doesn't come with a particularly nice case. It's perfectly serviceable, but having seen the gorgeous cases you get with HiyaHiya needles (see here, Deramores stock them separately to the needles themselves) I feel like I should have a better case for mine! I've had a look around and there's plenty of inspiration out there. Of course, I won't stop with just a case for these, I will figure something out for my fixed circulars as well!

My shopping problem really kicked off once I started wandering the rest of the Hulu Crafts website to see if there was anything else that could slip into my basket while I was there. Sadly, I couldn't quite justify buying more Lily's Sugar'n Creme so I ended up checking out with nothing but the needles in my basket. Not satisfied, I headed straight over to Deramores and started filling my basket with yarny goodies.

There's a lot of black yarn in my parcel, which is completely unintentional! There are two balls of Rico Fashion Fur, which is going to be used to knit this cat which is in a pattern book my husband gave me for Christmas. The ball of Red Heart Baby in brown next to them in the picture above is also for the cat, to do his nose, ears and paws. I am uncertain whether I have enough yarn, as the pattern is not specific about yardage, gauge and size, and there aren't many finished projects on Ravelry either.

The black Bamboo cotton is to supplement the remainder of a ball I already have, to be paired with the half skein of Cascade Ultra Pima Paints cotton I have left over from my trip to San Fransisco.

The rest of the yarn is Stylecraft Special Aran. It has the same gauge as the Cascade 220 I used for $5 in Paris, so I should be able to replicate the project quite easily. This time, I will use three colours, black, red and silver-grey. I haven't decided on the stripe pattern yet, but I do know I want this one to be longer in the body and have longer sleeves than my first version.

Now that I have new yarn, and new needles to play with, I am going to have to try very hard to make sure I finish what I've already started before casting on something new!

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