I’ve been reading forums on Ravelry and topics that come up very often are “what is your favorite yarn (for socks, for sweaters, for lace, for pooling, for kids, etc etc)?” and “what are your favorite needles (for knitting socks or lace or interchangeables, or general knitting)?”.
If someone asked me, what is your favorite yarn, you’d just have to look into my stash. Madelinetosh and Wolmeise. I have expensive tastes. These two brands of yarns have in common their amazing colors, and also the fact that they are hand dyed. The variation and beauty you can achieve with hand dyeing makes the yarns seem like works of art in themselves. You can knit plain stockinette stitch garments with these yarns and they will look stunning.
Knitting with hand dyed yarns isn’t all fun though. You have to be careful that the yarns don’t bleed dye when you wash them. Be careful if you are combining colors in a garment that you wash the yarn first and make sure all the dye is out before you start knitting. This is a serious pain in the neck, but I don’t do a lot of color work so I’m not fussed about that. The other down side to an addiction to these yarns is that they are somewhat scarce. You have to stalk them in shops or be lucky enough to catch a shop update to get what you want. Or buy yarn off someone who is destashing. And of course the cost. It’s a costly addiction. (Remember not so long ago I had an online yarn shop? Talk about a costly addiction!)
These days I’m on the lookout for new needles. I just ordered a set of HiyaHiya interchangeables – the steel, sharp, 4″ small set. I can’t wait to try them out! They get excellent reviews, from the sharp points to the very flexible cables. I’ve been knitting the past several years with a set of KnitPro(KnitPicks) wood interchangeables, and while I love the feel of the wood, I have fallen out of love with them. They break and fall apart easily. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve superglued tips back into the metal bases. A few times the cables have come out of the metal connector and can’t be fixed. Sure, the company replaces them no questions asked, but what a hassle! I don’t like how stiff the cables are either and how they have too much memory in them (once kinked, always kinked). I’ll certainly let you know when the Hiya Hiyas arrive and what I think of them.
I’m also on the lookout for new sock knitting needles. I like knitting socks on 2 circular needles. Here’s what I’m looking for:
3″ to 3.5″ needles
very pointy tips
very flexible cables
not costing a fortune (like Signature needles!)
What would you recommend? I’ve put this question to the “Sock Knitter’s Anonymous” group on Ravelry and I’m now waiting for replies. Surely there are needles out there that can meet these basic requirements! If not, I should go into business…..