Monday, April 22, 2013

Sock knitting tools: comparisons and fixes

Once I had time to knit again last week, I put in about an hour on the Koigu sock I'd parked on my new Addi Sock Rockets:

Normally in an hour, I'd have about three times as much knitting to show for it.  In my hands, Sock Rockets, these are not.  The needles themselves are totally amazing - so light and slick and comfy - and if I could find them in double-point form I would feel I'd gone to Sock Heaven.

It's just so messy to knit a sock on two circulars as a newbie, with cord and tips everywhere you look.  Maybe I'm doing it wrong but I swear the lady nearest me on the subway the other day was flinching every time I switched needles and left one sticking straight in her direction for the first couple of stitches.

So: for now my choice is between the messy Sock Rockets or KnitPicks Harmony Wood, which should have been a no brainer because hello, I bought new from KnitPicks to replace the needles I'd worn out from constant use over many years.  Knitting the ribbing of the sock that's parked on those though, I deemed the new-to-me Koigu yarn intermittently splitty and catchy.  Then I took a closer look at the needles.

Criminy.  Some of this batch (I'm looking at you, second from left) haven't even been sanded smooth at the tips, and the rest are pretty stubby.  No wonder they were tearing into the twist.

I cast no disapproving glances at KnitPicks, however.  Anything else I've ordered from them has been great, returns from Canada are kind of a pain, I need the needles now and not when the postal service gets around to completing the circuit, and most importantly - being wood, the needles can be sanded post-purchase.

Heh heh heh.  My friend Michelle gave me these awesome purse-sized emery boards a while back, and I bet she never thought they'd end up in my knitting bag.  To be fair, they're usually there to deal with a problematic fingernail that's catching on my working yarn, but still.

That's better.

Soooo much better.

Faster, too.

I must say, now that I'm not shredding it the Koigu is knitting up pretty - no pooling to speak of, just this subtle striping effect.   I have no idea how this yarn holds up in sock form, but it's going to match some stuff I bought in Italy really nicely (more on that soon) so I'm happy. 

Hope you all had a great weekend and that you have a great day today, too.  See you tomorrow!


Leslie said...

I agree with you about the difference between 2 circulars and DPNs. I've even tried magic loop (hated)...but DPNs are just much smoother and work so much better for me. The only time I prefer 2 circulars is for travel or for knitting tiny tubes like I make for my little monsters.

UmmRania said...

I was convinced I hated DPNS, I didnt understand why someone would juggle so many needles around when you could just magic loop, and then even do two at a time, and was convinced toe up was the only intelligent way to knit socks, and a short row heel the easiest and fastest way to do a heel!

I HATED knitting socks.

Then, because of another blogger doing some kind of KAL, where the whole point was to try knitting socks in a different way, I did the exact opposite. I did cuff down, heel flap on DPNS......the socks flew off the needles and I am no longer a hater. I couldnt believe it, I never thought anyone would catch me with DPNS but I almost never want to magic loop again!

Marianne said...

I have never knit a sock, but I love working with DPN's over 2 circulars any day!! I've been debating over the Harmony wood needles, some say to purchase the lighter wood, but love the colors of the Harmony.

Mary Keenan said...

I am SO glad to hear I am not alone on this, you guys... I was actually feeling a bit of a failure for not being able to make the whole process more fluid. So much nicer just to have to choose between 1 circular needle and a set of dpns, for simple working in the round :^)