"To label any human being as inferior based on their health, their appearance, their size, their choices in food or physical activity or any other arbitrary measure that is nobody's business but their own is bigotry." ~ Fat Heffalump

1/22/15

A Chinese Needle Review

I'm a member of a Facebook knitting group. A couple weeks ago one of the other members mentioned she'd bought a set of circular needles from an Ebay store based in China for a price that I couldn't believe. Folks asked her how the quality was and she said it was pretty good. They are very much like Chiaogoo needles. They had the same kind of cable on them.  My curiosity was peaked. I ended up buying some just to try them out.

First of all, the Ebay shop is Cherry's Store. There are quite a few different needle choices available, as well as crochet hooks and other knitting and crochet tools. I decided to purchase 2 of the set of 13 25"/65cm stainless steel circular needles.



The sizes are UK rather than US or European mm sizes. They range from UK size 6 to 18. In US sizes, that is between size 8 to size 00000. Prices are listed in Canadian and they were $5.69 CN per set. Shipping was free.  I paid $9.87 total in US dollars for the order. Needless to say, at those prices, my expectations were very low. I figured if I didn't like them I could probably donate them to a thrift store. The price was worth the learning experience.

I placed the order on Friday Jan. 9th. They were shipped from China within hours after I placed the order and arrived on Tuesday, Jan. 20th. Damn! That was quick!

And what a surprise! I LIKE them! Thirteen little packages in each of the two sets. They are made in  China and all the printing on the package is Chinese. I don't have a problem with that.



Each one came with a circular needle, a little plastic needle gauge, and a yarn needle! The last two items being a bonus I did not expect. The yarn needle is very nice. The hole is a good size, and the tip is sharper than you usually find, which comes in handy once in awhile.



The circular needles themselves seem to be very well made. Very smooth to the touch. No burrs on any of them. The points aren't real sharp, but they aren't real blunt either. Kind of a nice medium.



I took them to the Tuesday Rathdrum Knitalong group meeting and we all tried them out. The unanimous consensus is they knit very nicely!

The cables are actual steel cable with a transparent plastic coating on them (like the Chiaogoo red cables). The joins where cable meets needle are the smoothest I've ever seen! They are stable and strong too. There's a nice curve on the end of the needles so when you're knitting the stitches just slip on down. It also decreases the strain on that join so it will last longer. I found it much nicer to hold than the ones that are completely straight. With the 3 smallest sizes, one needs to be careful just because the needles are so thin. I pulled a little hard and managed to kink the cable on the size 00000 right at the join. I can straighten it out so no problem, but I will make sure not to do that again.



Now most knitters will not use the 5 smallest sizes (I will, but then I love knitting itty bitty stuff), but even with just 8 of them being usable, $4.94 a set is a darn good price for these needles! One of my friends pointed out the smallest size needles would be good for using as a life line, or holding stitches. (She logged on to Ebay before the end of the meeting and ordered herself a bunch.)

All in all, I am quite pleased with them and have ordered the 17" long set, as well as a package of 100 locking stitch markers in assorted colors, and a little tools kit that contains scissors, point protectors, stitch markers, tape measure, and whatnot in a little plastic case.

Cherry's Store has the stainless circular needles in 4 different lengths: 17, 25, 31, and 47 inches. Kind of odd measurements, but they work.

They also carry double pointed needles and straight needles of various lengths in steel, plastic, and bamboo, as well as circulars in bamboo. As I mentioned above, they have the locking stitch markers, and some other knitting notions. They have knitting looms, pompom makers, and tons of crochet hooks, and tons of other stuff (like clothing, toys, jewelry) too. I can't speak for the quality of anything but the stainless circular needles, so buy at your own risk.

Live long and prosper. \\//

1/12/15

New WIPs

I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post. Time is flying by. Before I know it, we'll be starting 2016! Urg. Anyway, I've got some new WIP's I've been working on lately.



You can see the heart pattern on these mittens now. One would think I'd be much further along since the last pic I posted, but you don't know how many times I've frogged to get to this point. It's been a challenging project, and I've learned quite a bit.

This is a pair of mens mittens for Knitwits.



I had quite a bit of yarn leftover from nephews Christmas gift, so I'm making good use of it.

I started a pair of socks today.



I'm teaching a sock class at the shop this month and decided to knit along with the student.

I actually did a bit of beading!



I got an idea for a Christmas ornament cover and am figuring it out.

Last weekend I worked on this.




It's a very roughly made pair of flat pumps for my Josephine Lammily. I found some tutorials on the internet and decided I would learn to make doll shoes so Josephine could have some dressier shoes. It took me 2 days to get a pattern figured out and then make the shoes. It still needs some tweaking, but I'm going the right direction.



The vinyl I used is a bit too thick, and the glue I had in the drawer is inadequate, so I'm gonna try again with something thinner and better glue. The folks at Joann's are fascinated by my attempts. I guess I'm the first person they've met to make doll shoes?

Besides the sock class, I'm teaching 2 beginning knitting classes at the shop this month, so I'm very busy. By the end of the month I'll probably have been to the shop so many times I'll feel like I'm living there. Heh heh!

The last WIP I've got is cross stitch.



I got out the snowman cross stitch and finished up snowman #10. I've started #11 too. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy counted cross stitch.

Live long and prosper. \\//

1/1/15

Celebrate!





HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wasn't sure I was going to be able to post this. It took a week to get the new hard drive working, but it's up and spinning now. Hooray! I've got just about all my software reinstalled (Can't get my Print Shop to install, sigh), so I should be good for awhile. Here's to new beginnings!!!

Live long and prosper. \\//

12/29/14

For a Broncos Fan

Finally! I can share pics of the gift I made for my nephew, Shawn. He is a huge Denver Broncos fan.



Bronco Stripes

Pattern: Be Kind by Melissa Simpson

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted
Content: 75% Acrylic/25% Wool, worsted weight
Colors: Blue, Orange, and White

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars size 6 and 7.

Cast on: December 2, 2014
Completed: December 9, 2014

Comments: The pattern does not have stripes. I just made random sized stripes as I went along. It's a nice pattern. Easy to follow, well written. At the time of this writing, it's a free download on Ravelry.

I got the Broncos logo patch on Ebay. It's an iron on patch, but I sewed it on because I didn't want to damage the Acrylic. Worked great. I also slightly stretched the fabric under the logo so it wouldn't pull in when the hat is being worn.

Had lots of yarn leftover, so made matching mitts.



Bronco Stripe Mitts

Pattern: Mens Fingerless Mitts by me.

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted
Content: 75% Acrylic/25% Wool, worsted weight
Colors: Blue, Orange, and White

Needles: Addi Turbo Circulars size 6.

Cast on: December 9, 2014
Completed: December 19, 2014

Comments: I used the rib and stripe patterns in the hat and made it up as I went. I really like how they turned out.



I added a small Hickory Farms box of snacks, and one of those single drink bottles of Jamesons whiskey. Called it a fan kit. Shawn is very happy with his gift.

Weather report: no more snow for awhile. The clouds have cleared up and the sun is shining. However it's cold. We're going to have clear frigid days for the next week. Single digit night temperatures. So the snow isn't melting anytime soon.

Live long and prosper. \\//

12/28/14

Dolls Today

I knit a little sweater for Josephine.



It looks great with her shorts.



I wonder if there are any commercial pretty doll shoes out there that would fit her? Those sneakers are gonna look pretty silly with the skirt I'm making to match the sweater.

My sister, Jodie, sent me a complete new outfit for Ellowyne. It's so pretty. She made it all but the shoes. Thank you sis!



I love the silver snowflakes on the hat and cloak.



We got snow yesterday. Boy, did we get snow!



10 inches of the stuff. Gonna be spending a good part of today digging ourselves out. Urg.

Live long and prosper. \\//

12/27/14

Birds!

I hope you had a good Christmas day. I know I did. I got awesome gifts from my family, and had an absolutely wonderful time at our friends house for Christmas dinner. We played cards until almost midnight. We also took Cable with us, and she was so very good. She was disappointed because their dog Tico, who is a Chihuahua, didn't want to play, but that is because Tico is getting very old now. I thought he was extremely patient with her under the circumstances.

My Christmas presents are chocolates of various kinds, a necklace with a jeweled dog paw print pendant, some doo-dads for my kitchen including purple chip bag clips, a nice heavy meat tenderizer, and a garlic press. I also got a pack of Star Trek TOS playing cards and a Knitpicks Velvet Glove Palette yarn sampler set. 10 balls of Palette fingering yarn in different shades of purple. YAY! The biggest surprise, though, was a new 500 gig hard drive for my laptop. It's not installed yet. Hubby had some problems trying to clone my old drive onto the new one, which he wants to do before installing it, so there's a delay until he can figure out why it isn't working. (Computers never work the way they say they will. Especially when the manual says 'easy install'.)

This weekend the Parkarosa Bird Buffet has been very very busy. There are so many Pine Siskins it loos like the plum tree has leaves again. We also have Chickadees, Red Breasted Nuthatches, more House Finches than you can shake a stick at, and several Woodpeckers. Best of all, the Red Crossbills are back. I managed to get some pics yesterday.

This is the first Red Crossbill that came to the feeder. We thought he was alone here, except the 2 Pine Siskins of course, but when I loaded the pic into my laptop we could see that his mate is actually at the feeder too on the back side. You can see her head through the feeder.

Click on pic to embiggen

She never did come out where we could see her.

Click on pic to embiggen

I managed to get some pics of this Hairy Woodpecker too. It's hard to take their pictures cuz they don't stay still for more than a second or two.

Click on pic to embiggen

He was very interested in the suet block.

Click on pic to embiggen

We did not have any snow for Christmas, but we've got it today! It started snowing early this morning and has not stopped since. We've got about 4 inches and climbing. Tonight is the Park family Christmas dinner. We decided to do it tonight instead of Christmas eve. I will be giving my nephew the present I've made him. Pics of this project will be posted later this week.

Live long and prosper. \\//

12/25/14

Merry Christmas


Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas







There is a poem that someone shared with me several years ago. I've posted it before, but it bears being posted again.

 The Knitters Christmas Eve
by Nancy Massaroni

'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me


There was unfinished knitting not under the tree.


The stockings weren’t hung by the chimney with care


’Cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.


The children were nestled all snug in their beds,


But I had not finished the caps for their heads.


Dad was asleep—he was no help at all.


And the sweater for him was six sizes too small.


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,


I put down my needles to see what was the matter.


Away to the window I flew like a flash.


Tripped over my yarn and fell down in my stash.


The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow


Reminded me how far I still had to go.


When out on the lawn I heard such a noise,


I was sure it would wake up both Dad and the boys.


And although I was tired and my brain a bit thick,


I knew in a moment it must be St Nic.


Yet what I heard left me very perplex-ed


For nothing I heard was what I expect-ed.


"Move Rowan! Move Patons! Move Koigu and Clover!


Move Shelridge! Move Starmore! Move Spinrite! Move over!


Lopi, don’t circle around, just stand there in line.


Pay attention you sheep and you’ll work out just fine!


I know this is hard, as it’s just your first year,


But I’d hate to go back to 8 tiny reindeer."


I peered over the sill.What I saw was amazing!


Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing!


And then in a twinkle, I heard at the door


Santa’s big boots stomping on the porch floor.


I rose from my knees and got back on my feet.


As I turned around, St Nic I did meet.


He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe


And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.


A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back,


And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran sack.


His hat was a wonder of bobbles and lace,


A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.


The scarf on his neck could have stretched for a mile,


And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.


On the back of his mitts was an intricate cable.


And suddenly on one I spotted a small label:


"S.C." in duplicate on the cuff.


So I asked, "Hey, Nic, did YOU knit all this stuff?"


He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.


I learned how to knit when I was a kid."


He was chubby and plump, a well-dressed old man,


And I laughed to myself, for I’d thought up a plan.


I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,


And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.


He spoke not a word, but looked down in his lap


Where I had laid my needles and yarn for a cap.


He began then to knit, first one cap then two.


For the first time I thought I might really get through.


He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks,


While I sat back drinking a scotch on the rocks.


Quickly like magic his needles they flew,


Good Grief! He was finished by two!


He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,


And over his shoulder he looked back at me.


I heard him explain as he sailed past the moon,




"Next year, start your knitting sometime around JUNE!"





Live long and prosper. \\//