Thursday, September 22, 2011

It's hip to be square

You may recall my double pointed needle crisis, but I'll recap: I've only got enough to have two pairs of socks in progress at once and apparently I have a deep-seated need to work on a lot more socks than that.  Cue the shopping bells.

Sadly, it turns out that tiny dpns were not a popular item for venders to bring to the Knitter's Fair.  But Serenity Knits had a few, and the ones in the size I needed were square, by Kollage.

You'll see from the link above that knitters are encouraged, as indeed I was, to be alert to any gauge changes caused by the shift to a square needle from round.  A lot of people have to go up a size to make gauge, but you can't really know till you start knitting;  I did the above-pictured gauge swatch which was perfect only to find mid-sock that I'm cramming slightly more stitches into each inch than usual.

I'm not really bothered by this.  It's not enough to make a big difference in fit anyway, but to be on the safe side I'll be reserving these for slightly heavier sock yarn because the pattern I use for them is a bit looser to start with.

The thing that actually worried me when I bought the needles was whether my skin would react badly to the metal.  I do well with Addis, but every other metal needle I've tried (and I think I've covered them all) make my hands unpleasantly tingly after a while.  Thankfully: these ones are not every other.  They not only look very pretty, they feel great.

And that is the real point of square needles - they feel great!  The word is that if you have arthritis or other problems like carpal tunnel, square needles feel better because you can grip them more easily.  It's absolutely true, for me in any case.  My right wrist is often very sore after a lot of knitting but not with these.  I love them and almost wish I had gone with my initial gut instinct to buy four sets instead of the two I brought home.

Almost, because...

these babies are sharp.

And boy do I mean sharp!!  You know how lace tip needles are pointy?  Well, these are pointier.  Pointy to the extent that they could do real harm in a collision between knitter and Any Other Object.  Which is not a problem if the knitter is stationary, but is a big problem for me.  After all, I'm already having safety issues with dpns on the go.

So the squares stay home unless I'm meeting a friend for coffee and not knitting en route.

And when I'm not working with them they stay sheathed.  Compared to the joy they bring, it's definitely not a lot of trouble to take.

1 comment:

Kathleen Taylor said...

I'm not sure about using square needles myself- I am so used to ordinary dpns that I only use circs if I have to. I don't think I'd make the transition to the square ones without some major difficulty. But I do hear that others like them.

I'm sort of intrigued by the log cabin/mitered square blankets they've been making on Mason Dixon- not enough to cast one on, but still...