Exit Your Comfort Zone

Woooo spring break! While it still does not look anything like spring here in the gland (that’s New En-gland, to you), I am deeply appreciative of the upcoming week off. Time to catch up on knitting and Downton Abbey season 5 (don’t tell me anything!!) and oh yeah, schoolwork. Or something.

How has your week been? I hope it has been lovely.

I must say I had a great time last night at – get this – knit night! The struggle has been real (so real) out here, separated from my knit group in Montreal. It’s awesome to follow knitting friends virtually and listen to podcasts and (of course) nurse my sweet baby blog, but I have been wanting some real needle-to-needle knit connection. Ravelry had the answer. Doesn’t Ravelry always have the answer? I found a lively and fun knitting group in my part of town, and they hang out once a week.

It was a little nerve-wracking walking to the meeting, knowing I would have to approach a group of strangers and just be like, “Hello! I am new! Accept me!” And I may have invented many excuses to not go, and just remain safely at home. But in my heart of hearts I knew that knitter get each other, and it would be awesome and worth it. I met up with them for the first time last night and immediately knew things were off to a good start. Why: as soon as I said hi, I was bombarded with compliments on my hat and cowl, and questioned on what the yarns and patterns were. Amazing! And this group was working on some pretty impressive projects of their own. I will definitely be meeting up with them again 🙂

Now, if you have been following my riveting sock knitting needle saga, there is finally closure.

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YES those are 40″ Addi Sock Rockets in the apparently elusive 2.25 mm size. I don’t even know how many pairs I have ordered to try and get these to knit Jason’s socks. It’s really quite shameful. In my defense, the list of needle sizes on Amazon is not intuitive and it didn’t match up with my resource for US-metric needle size conversions.

The website Yarn Forward lists 2.25 mm as US size 1, so I went looking for size 1s. Here’s what shows up on Amazon:

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 6.07.50 PM

There is Size 1 and Size US 01 (2.5 mm) but no mention of 2.25 mm – so I thought. Not until a few days ago when I finally solved this drama did I see at the bottom of the list Size US 2.25 mm. That doesn’t even really make sense to me – is there no US equivalent for 2.25 mm? Anyway, very odd to have such disorganization in this list!

I am happy to report that the socks can now carry on happily, with a comfortable length of cord for magic loop. Here is sock 2 this afternoon, right before switching needles:

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Another thing happened needle-wise. My Twigs and Willows Mitts were coming out way too small, which is really not surprising since I have found that my gauge is way tighter than what the pattern calls for in Alana’s patterns. My fault for not swatching on these mitts, but there you go. I went ahead and restarted the mitts with 2.5 mm and 3.25 mm needles.

This required purchasing 3.25 mm needles. Ahem. Motivated by price after my Addi saga, I went with the more economical ChiaoGoo Red Lace 40″ circulars, which I have heard great things about. I will say I’m a die-hard Addi fan, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. My pet peeve with magic loop is the rigidness and auto-coil tendency of the cord that seems to attack my hands and knitting.

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Well, these needles are clearly something else. I could tell they were fabulous as soon as I took them out of the package. You know how Addis coil up on their own? (And I thought this was common to all circulars) – check this out.

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I laid the ChiaoGoos out on the table in this shape, and they didn’t budge. They just chilled there. The cord is very pliable and totally relaxed! Miracles upon miracles. Things are going fabulously with my mitts now! Why did I never try this brand before? That just goes to show me – try new things now and then! Even if it’s just needles. They’ll change your life, bruh.

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If you’re wondering about the actual needle parts, the Addis and ChiaoGoos are comparable but not the same. I have only knit with the ChiaoGoos for an hour so I don’t totally know them yet, but at this point I still prefer the finish on the Addis. The Addi needles feel smoother and more frictionless. That said, I prefer the ChiaoGoos overall for magic loop due to the amazing Red Lace cord. In terms of needle pointiness, here is a comparison of the 3.25 mm ChiaoGoos (left) and 2.25 mm Addi Sock Rocks (right):

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Considering the size difference, the pointiness seems comparable. I am doing some cabling and M1R/M1L in the Twigs and Willows mitts and not having any issues with those finicky maneuvers. In the future, I would like to try ChiaoGoos in a smaller needle size for socks, but I am done with sock needle shopping for quite a while.

Have a fabulous weekend, fibre friends!

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