Last, but Not Least

I really do love being a part of the Three Waters Farm Ravelry Group because there is always inspiration, there’s always something happening. January and February this year — like last year — the group is doing an SAL + KAL focused on Susan Ashcroft, or Stitchnerd, Designs. Susan is a master of potato chip knitting patterns and they are often, if not always, written to be very adaptable. It’s an attribute that I really appreciate as a spinner who isn’t always perfect in producing the yarn in my mind’s eye. I mentioned my Stone House + Light Relief project earlier this week and while I do have another couple braids of fiber that I plan to spin and then knit into a Winterplay in February, I actually still had at least 2 yarns I’d spun last year specifically for some of Susan’s designs. Happy with my Light Relief finish, I hopped right into another project.

This particular project started here…

suumers-end
                                     Photo courtesy of Three Waters Farm

September’s Top of the Month Club colorway named, Summer’s End, on a BFL/Tussah Silk blend. It turns out that looking back this may just be my worst documented spin ever, unfortunately.

I have exactly 4 WIP photos.

One…

img_4455Two…

img_4462Three…

img_4717Four.

img_4718And then the trail of photographic evidence of this skein completely disappears. I think Spinzilla crept up right on the heels of finishing it and then I just forgot to take finished photos. Suffice to say, I chain-plied it. Of that I’m positive and I wound up with 235-ish yards, I think. Not realizing the lack of photos, of course, I wound the skein and started knitting without any. Whoops!

Anyhoo, after I printed the Yarn Optimiser pattern for which I spun this yarn, I’ll admit I was excited to knit away on it, but not as excited about the weighing involved. I’d been totally spoiled by the particularly ‘light’ brain requirements of Light Relief. I got going nonetheless.

yarn-optimiserI’ll admit that once I got going it was really kind of fun and fast. I was wary of the edges and how it could possibly block out evenly, but I carried on because aside from having to stop and weigh things now and then, it was just super easy and fun to watch take shape. As with my other Stitchnerd Designs, I was done in the blink of an eye.

yarn-optimiser-fo3And the blocking did mostly work out. I’ll admit that I rushed it a bit and there are some little peaks from the pins where I really should have used blocking wires. Yes, blocking wires would have been smart, but I was in a rush.

yarn-optimiser-fo2I may block it again when I’ve got a little more time (this was admittedly rushed), but I also may just wear it and not be such a perfectionist. Maybe? I think stranger things must have happened somewhere once probably.

yarn-optimiser-foSub-optimal blocking aside, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It really is just as I’d hoped when I spun it and I think it was just the perfect fit for my purposes for this colorway. It’ll be just perfect for spring, I think. Summer’s End, Spring Beginning — either way, this one works for me!

And that, my friends, is that end of my parade of FOs. I hope it’s been as fun for you as it has been for me. Coming up, I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled (mis)adventures and sharing my projects as they slowly come to life. As you well know, there’s always something happening on my needles, wheel, spindles, loom, and…well, you know, life.

New Beginnings for March

I’ve been in a bit of a rush lately to finish some things up because I knew that March would be a deluge of new beginnings, spurred largely by a couple new -Alongs I’ve helped organize. Of course that means that once again I’ve got a stack of FOs that I need to share with you — a fact about which I’m definitely not complaining. Partly because some of them are still drying and partly because none of them have proper finished photos taken, I thought I’d tell you about the new things that have landed on my needles and wheel over the last couple of days.

First of all, a little over two week ago this beauty landed on my doorstep…

img_2346And as I’m to review the yarn, Reinvent by Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts, I was anxious to get it on my needles without too much delay. I did take my time settling on a pattern and then, upon finishing up some socks I’d been working on for my MIL this weekend, I got straight to work.

img_2444I settled on Artarktis by Janina Kallio and I’m extremely happy with the selection. I’m kind of at a point in the project where a really good quality photo is not all that easy to get, but rest assured when I say the yarn & pattern are playing beautifully together. I’m finding the combination almost irresistible as the yarn is nice and crisp in my hands and the colorway, “Kismet” is so very lush. When combined with the almost popcorn knitting of the pattern, setting it down has been almost too much for me.

But that said, March 1st has marked the beginning of two awesome new -Alongs I’ve helped to plan. I’ve been a tiny bit nervous that I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but I’m nothing if not willing to go for it when it comes to knitting & spinning. Even when time challenged, they are such an enjoyable release for me. This morning I got up early and the kiddos actually slept in, so I managed to get started on my two new projects for the two new -Alongs. What a fun way to start the day!

First, on my wheel, I’m participating in Three Waters Farm‘s Unexpected Combo Spin-Along this month. Basically, it’s a little challenge to take some of the beautiful Three Waters Farm colors and mix them up. I will say that helping to see color combinations is something Mary Ann from Three Waters Farm does phenomenally well and the group is equally as skilled. I’ve always been a little challenged in this department so I’m staying somewhat tame, but I feel like I’m making up for that in sheer ounces of fiber.

img_2432I’ll be taking my braids selected this quarter for my 1+1+1 project and spinning them together. Usually for me 2  –  4oz braids of fiber is the max I do for a project, so doing 3 feels like an enormous (kind of daunting) undertaking. I’m positive it’ll be worth it though. It’s kind of an evolving plan, but right now I think I’m just going to spin all three separately and then ply them together in a traditional 3-ply.

And early this morning, I got my start.

img_2455I’m beginning this project with ‘Dirty Girl Redux” on a BFL + Silk base. It’s been a long enough time since I’ve spun with a silk blend that I’m expecting a little more inconsistency and a little slower spin time on these. This little bit I got started, however, has been a pure joy — regardless of how it looks or how long it took.

On my needles, I got a start on the Brioche-Along taking place in the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group. It’s just an informal, intimate little group working on brioche. Yarn, pattern, everything is the individual’s choice, we’re just knitting brioche together for support where needed and the general fun involved with working the same types of projects together. I’m working on Stephen West’s Askews Me Shawl. I was 100% inspired to knit this last summer when Renee from Spun Right Round was working on a scrappy version with her yarn. I had some of the same yarn in my stash (and may have added a couple skeins with this shawl in mind) and set it aside for this project. And there it sat until a few weeks ago when a couple people in the 1+1+1 Project mentioned wanting to try their hands at brioche. Long story short, we opened up the Brioche-Along.

I spent the past weekend staring at and rearranging my wound yarn cakes trying to decide how to organize this project without buying more yarn.  And this where I landed…

img_2435In lieu of a “dark side” and “light side”, I’ll be doing a “blue side” and a “not blue side”. I wasn’t convinced at first, but this has really grown on me and I think it’s going to be pretty whimsical and fun. I took my sweet time getting started in the wee hours this morning…

img_2452I think I re-knit the set-up rows at least 6-10 times to get it in my hands. By this point, my kiddos were also up and about so getting through the whole section without interruption/losing my place took some doing. A friend in the TWF ravelry group recommended these erasable highlighters a few weeks ago and — holy moly — did they ever save my life. I’d rank them up there with highlighter tape for their usefulness. They’re definitely worth trying if you haven’t yet.

But I digress.

Having finally gotten the set-up rows just so, I got to the main section and…

img_2454Found the point of total addiction. I’m already trying to figure how if I can make this shawl a little bigger. I think I’m getting ahead of myself, but it’s seriously just that fun and the fabric is just so squishy. And it’s only going to get better as I move into the more high contrast yarn combinations. Oh, I can’t wait!

As you can probably understand, I’m going to stop gushing for now and get back to knitting and spinning. These new beginnings are just too good to set down!

Surprise, Surprise: A Completed Pair of Mystery Socks

As you’ve probably noticed, it’s very true that I love trying new things. New dyers, new bases, new colors — if it’s new-to-me I’ll usually try anything at least once in my crafting. In fact, I think my drive to try new things in my craft-life is part of what makes me as prolific as I am because I never get bored. Also, because I’m never afraid to try new things, I often find some of the loveliest yarns and colors out there. That said, my budget and time isn’t limitless and there is a fair bit of picking and choosing behind the scenes here. I follow a lot of artisans on social media and usually I’m pretty calculating as to when I decide to take something home. And sometimes, my priorities go out the window and I do something on a whim, just for fun.

A few weeks ago, I entertained one such whim. I noticed an indie dyer I’d had my eye on for quite some time, Narwhal Needlework, was hosting a fun little knitalong. The Mystery Skein Sock Knitalong required that you order a skein of yarn using the Mystery Skein listing (sold at a 10% discount for the event) and knit a pair of socks before October 1. Now I’d been dreaming of a skein of Planet Earth or Dr Watson’s Pullover for a while, but the idea of a surprise skein totally overwhelmed all sensibilities and I decided to order my mystery skein and join the KAL. I just love yarn surprises.

What I got was neither of the skeins I’ve been drooling over, but this one…

IMG_0613Chocolate Raspberries in the Squishy Sock base. This base is a 75/25 Superwash Merino Wool/Nylon yarn that is exactly what it says it is — squishy! And it comes in generous 462yd hanks.

Now I’ll admit that I kind of was hoping & half convinced that fate would deliver my mystery skein in the form of Planet Earth or Dr Watson’s Pullover, but — surprise, surprise — that didn’t happen. The reality though did not disappoint. In fact, it was awesome and inspiring to get a colorway I totally didn’t expect. It’s not the type of color I’d usually pick for myself and that’s really the root of why I love surprise skeins — they allow me to expand my palette and teach me to fall in love with a lot of things I wouldn’t normally even take the time to try. This skein of Chocolate Raspberries really kind of blew my mind — in a good way!

As a new-to-me dyer, I really didn’t know how this skein would knit up, but I knew straight away that I wanted to do a pattern with slipped stitches. I have no idea why exactly, I just had a feeling it would be a good match. After a little research, I picked the Atlantic Current Socks pattern by Melissa Sibley.

IMG_0636I was instantly pretty happy both with how easy the pattern was and how it looked.

weekend knittingI did skip the pattern instructions for the heel and just subbed in my favorite slipped stitch heel flap…

heel And I just did my standard toe decreases as well…

toeIt turns out that little slipped stitch detail…

legWell, it did turn out to be a pretty darn good match for this yarn.

choc & raspberriesI just love how these turned out. And isn’t the dyeing lovely?! Three cheers for trying new things!

I will admit that with a full sock drawer at my disposal, I’m thinking I will tuck these away in my cedar chest for the foreseeable future. I love, love, love how these turned out, but these brownish greys and pinks are so my daughter’s colors. I may just set them aside for when my daughter’s feet grow into them. We shall see.

Whether I wear them tomorrow or save them for my girl to grow into them, I’m so glad I participated in this little Mystery KAL and I so love the socks I have to show for it. Plus, I found a new yarn base & a new dyer to love. What a wonderful experience this whole little whim of a knitalong was — it really does pay to try new things!

Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry Group Updates

Socks with Sarah started Wednesday & I have been b-u-s-y getting everything up & running smoothly over on the Ravelry group. While our official start date has come & gone, please know that I’m happy to honor an open enrollment policy — just hop over and join up if you’re interested. We’ll be happy to have you!

You know, every time I think this group can’t possibly get better, it does. I’m so lucky to have so many helpful folks with so many great ideas participating. Thanks to some of these awesome knitters who came up with some wonderful ideas & helped brainstorm a way to make them work, I’ve got a couple new resources to share with the group.

Because there have been some changes, to make it easy on everyone I’m going to go ahead and walk you through  how to use the different threads & resources on the Friends of Knitting Sarah Ravelry group.

Socks with Sarah Main Thread: This is the main area for the Socks with Sarah KAL. This is where I need y’all to sign-up (just hop on & let me know you want to be added to the list). It’s also the spot for chatting & questions & WIP photos.

SWS Recommended Patterns Thread: By request, this is an indexed place for Socks with Sarah knitters to share their favorite patterns. Please read the guidelines for submission carefully before posting.

SWS Recommended Resources Thread: By request, this is an indexed place for Socks with Sarah knitters to share their favorite sock knitting resources. Please read the guidelines for submission carefully before posting.

SWS FO Catalog (photos & links only) Thread: Just as the title implies, this thread is for finished socks! Please read the guidelines for submission carefully before posting & please resist the urge to comment here — direct your oooohs & aaahhhhs to the Main thread, pretty please.

Say Hi! Thread: Just like it sounds, this is for anyone — KALer and general group member alike to say hi & introduce him/herself.

Today on *your* needles… Thread: Just like the ‘Today on my needles…’ serial here on my blog, share what you’re working on today. We’d love to see!

What socks are you wearing today? Thread: Started by a KAL member (Ravelry ID: blueadt), this is a fun little spot to show off what’s keeping your toes warm today.

Ask Knitting Sarah Thread:  This is a general question & answer area — check out the first post for specifics, but if you have questions about things I’ve written, materials & tools I’ve used, techniques I write about, or any other general knitting and spinning related item, this is your spot to ask.

Inspire Me Thread: Because I think it’s too easy to be hard on ourselves for perceived imperfections, this is the place to say, “I made this and I really like how it turned out.” It’s not about showing-off, it’s about being proud of your work & sharing the awesome!

Tell Me More Thread: This is your chance to make requests and suggestions for things I should write about here on the blog.

You’ll notice the Socks with Sarah Main Thread is spelled out in so many words, but the other KAL-related threads start with ‘SWS.’  This is due to formatting issue & how the titles appear on your screens. The abbreviation should make everything a little more user friendly. Of course, threads not beginning with an ‘SWS’ are general. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions just let me know!

Enjoy the improvements to the group & look forward to hearing from you!

Screenshot (53)

All About Socks: Helpful Tools

As the days & minutes count down to the official launch of the Socks with Sarah KAL, I have to admit that I am getting really, really excited. I am working very hard these days to get the word out to as many as possible before the big day. If you have any favorite dyers, sock knitting groups, or local knitting friends & circles, please feel free to spread the word to them, too. I know a lot of you have been linking to our KAL on your blogs & that is awesome — Thank you!  We are assembling such a knowledge, enthusiastic group of knitters!

I’m also working hard to start rounding up some exciting prizes that y’all will be eligible to win later in the year. A million thanks to the shops who have already agreed to provide items for these giveaways!  If anyone knows of any shops (or perhaps you have a shop of your own) that might be interested in participating, please just shoot me an email at  knittingsarah {at} gmail {dot} com and I will be glad to follow up. Likewise, please feel free to share your favorite shops, too, as I will be happy to reach out to them — again, please email these suggestions to me. The more goodies I can assemble, the more chances you have to win!

That being said, onto the topic for today: Helpful Tools. There are a number of tools I pack along with me that are general as well as sock specific. With socks, I tend to carry everything I need for the entire project just because it is so compact and I never know when I will have a burst of speed and finish up a sock (this is equal parts reality & wishful thinking at all times).

First, the basics. My ultimate favorite knitting tool, part crochet hook & part knitting needle, the little Handi-Tool is indispensible.

20140111-095500.jpgIt is perfect for fixing mistakes & picking up dropped stitches. While it’s true a crochet hook will work just fine, these are well under $5 at your local yarn or craft shop & well worth the investment. I really love the versatility of the crochet hook/knitting needle combo. And it’s no lie, I have about 8 of these in my knitting kit at all times. That’s how much I love them.

Next two very basic things I don’t like being without: my Gingher embroidery scissors & a bent-tip yarn needle.

20140111-095452.jpgWhile my husband’s pocket knife will do in a pinch, I much prefer to have a nice sharp set of scissors with me. These I got as a gift many, many moons ago. They are about 4-5″ long and just heavy enough to be substantial without being annoyingly big.  The bent-tip needle is essential. While I’ve used the straight-tip yarn needles from time to time, whenever possible I stick to the bent-tip variety I was introduced to in my very first finishing class. They make seaming & finishing work so much more pleasant & quick. The bent-tip needle is another small investment that makes a big difference in my sock kit. Because I am me & I’m pretty specific with my tools, I can share that my preferred needles are Clover Chibi Jumbo Darning Needles Set.

Another not exactly exciting, but extremely useful tool is highlighter tape.

20140111-130041.jpgYou can tell from the, um, less than awesome state of mine that it’s been around the block once or twice. In fact, it travels with me everywhere. This was one of those items that I didn’t bother with for a long time, but have come to really appreciate having it. It is literally tape that is colored & see-through, so it works like I removable, reusable highlighter. I use it to mark my place in patterns. Especially helpful working from charts, I usually place the tape just below the row I am on — this tape allows me to easily see the row on I’m, but also let’s me see through it to the rows that have come before. I get to keep my ‘big picture’ and still keep my place. Finish one row, then I pull it up (I fold over one edge to make a little tab — a student showed me that — brilliant!) and replace in on the next row. And repeat. Love it.

20140111-130051.jpgI love it so much, I am still using this roll. It has definitely seen better days, but it still works!

Now a fun item: stitch markers!

20140111-095435.jpgAs you can see, I like options. I almost always carry this little green case with me. It’s a small tackle box made by Plano & I swear by it. The compartments are flush with the lid so the markers don’t mix. It has been dropped multiple times and not popped open (which would be a gigantic mess). You can read more about this case in all its glory here.

As you can see from the photo on the older post, I’ve added some new markers to the mix. Namely, my fave markers of all time from Heidi & Lana.

20140111-095443.jpgOver the years I’ve been accumulating different colors — you know — so I can designate different elements of the pattern. I rave about Margaret of Heidi & Lana on a regular basis for good reason. She. Is. Awesome. And so are her markers. And her shop in Sebring, OH. I’m so happy she’s joined us in the Socks with Sarah KAL!

Another fun item is a project bag — it keeps your knitting organized & contained and there are so many great options.

20140111-111837.jpgThese are some of my faves — one from Heidi & Lana (that sheep is so cute!), the chickadee from Blue Sky Alpacas Pretty Cheep Project Bags, and, of course, the ever-present prints of dellaQ. You really can’t go wrong with project bags, whether they are handmade or purchased, but I do find that having a cute little bag to contain your projects definitely helps to keep everything together. If you are working 2-at-a-time or with multiple colors, I recommend Namaste’s Oh-Snap bags.

oh snap2They come in multiple colors, are relatively inexpensive, and you can do this:

Oh Snap Bags in actionThose multi-color projects will never be the same!

One tool I didn’t spring for until the last year or so were sock blockers. They were always an investment I just didn’t want to make. Then I saw these from Bryson at my lys.

20140111-095520.jpgWhile it’s true there are much prettier sock blockers available, I jumped at these for one simple reason: I can hang them. I live in a small space & don’t have a lot of drying space. Now I can simple hang these up on the shower curtain rod. The are very open, too, so socks dry fast. I love them. Well worth the $15 in my opinion.

And last, but not least, the simplest of all tools: a notebook.

20140111-095414.jpgI understand that I will keep track of everything digitally, but I still like having a pen & paper. I plan to carry this little red moleskine right in my project bag to log my daily knitting this year. What can I say? I am a sucker for a blank notebook. There are so many possibilities.

As we all make our final preparations for the start of Socks with Sarah on the 15th, please keep sharing your thoughts, insights, and favorites, as well as how you are preparing for the KAL on the Ravelry thread. We have been having such a rich exchange — I’ve learned so much and have been enjoying getting to know everyone!

20140111-095425.jpg

All About Socks: Needle Basics

Already on the Socks with Sarah Ravelry thread there has been a fair bit of discussion about method & needle choice for sock knitting. Like everything in knitting, we all have our favorites. There are those who prefer magic loop or two circular needles and there are those who prefer the good ‘ol fashioned double-pointed needles. I… well, I’ll be honest. I like them all. You name it and I’ve tried it — including the famed 2-at-a-time method both on two circs & magic loop. I’m a knitter who enjoys variety, so I like to change things up.

I started many moons ago on bamboo and birch double-pointed needles — they are by far the most conservative option. If you are worried about needles falling out of your stitches or you just like a nice grippy needles, these are the way to go. Bamboo can vary quite a bit as far as how much grip they offer — and remember yarn plays an important role in this equation, too. In my opinion Crystal Palace bamboo are just one step shy of a metal needle. Birch, though, birch is like the velcro of knitting needles. If you are looking for the ultimate in secure double-pointed needles, needles that won’t budget without your express consent, this is the way to go. Brittany is the most readily available birch needle around my area & I actually really love them (they make cable needles that are unbeatable, too). They are earthy to the extreme and all around beautiful needles to boot.

Brittany needles are so pretty!
Brittany needles — delicate & earthy.

From these needles, I went on to learn magic loop. As you well know, magic loop requires one long circular needle. For this purpose I have used Addi Turbos for socks requiring a US 1. I prefer 32″ when knitting one sock in magic loop. While you certainly can use a 24″ & 40″ and many swear by one or the other, personally I find 24″ is uncomfortably short & 40″ is so much cable it gets in my way.  Yes, 32″ is definitely my Goldilocks length when it comes to magic loop for one sock. While I haven’t had the good fortune of trying out Addi’s Sock Rockets, they on my list of needles I really want to take for a spin. I hear rave reviews about them all the time, so one of these days a test drive is definitely in order — I’ll be sure to share what I think when I get there.

While I am a big fan of Addis, for US 2 & higher, I usually use HiyaHiya interchangable needles. I love that you can purchase US2 & US3 interchangable needles tips & cables in this brand. You can certainly just buy the 2 sets of tips and a cable or two. If you already have the small interchangable set though, these extra tips augment  your needle range from US2 all the way up to US8 — all able to use the same cables. For someone like me who uses those 2s and 3s a lot, this is a huge selling point. You can also select tip length– 4″ or 5″, tip shape — sharps or regular, and they even make bamboo sets. They are kind of like choose-your-own-adventure needle!  There are definitely times when I prefer the tip & the ever-so-slightly tackier HiyHiya tip. While it’s true, I could just get the Addi fixed needles in US2 & US3, but I like the flexibility of interchangables — especially when we start talking about this next point.

2-at-a-time.  When knitting socks 2-at-a-time (2aat), I will occasionally use the 2 circular method method if I don’t have a long enough cable to easily use magic loop 2aat. I prefer magic loop simply because I think it is much easier to keep track of where I am and therefore I’m much less likely to make mistakes. For magic loop 2aat I usually opt for a 40″ cable — for me, there is nothing more irritating that having to recover my ‘loop’ because the cable length is too small & I keep pulling it into the sock. This is where — if you are like me and fussy about your tools — the interchangables come in handy. Thanks to these sets, I almost always have the proper 40″ needle available. If I don’t though, I can easily use one 32″ and one 24″ which I usually have around and work my socks on 2circs. Like many of you, I have doubles of a lot of fixed circular needles, so this back-up plan generally saves me a trip to buy another needle.

All this being said, these days I have been rocking the metal double-pointed needles. It’s kind of like I’ve come full circle! I like the speed & lightweight feel of good metal needles. For the most part I have HiyaHiya stainless steel double points that I picked up at my LYS which I really like. At less than $10 a set they are a truly the best bang for your buck I’ve found.

hiyahiya
Hiya-Hiya double-pointed needles — They are like to Honda of double-pointed needles. Pretty darn nice for not a lot of money.

For the first pair of socks in the Socks with Sarah KAL, however, I will be test driving my luxury needles.

Signature Needle Arts -- truly a work of art.
Signature Needle Arts — truly a work of art.

I have heard nothing but great things about Signature Needle Arts which is what brought me to splurge on a set at the 2013 Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival — many thanks to Yarns by Design for bringing them to the show!  As I like to support local business when I can, I love that these needles were developed and are manufactured in the USA, about 2hours from my house. These needles are definitely not what I would recommend for a beginning sock knitter, but for the seasoned knitter with a little cash for a special treat… like me, they might be worth the splurge for you. I will definitely let you know what I think shortly after the 15th!

Of course, really lovely luxury wooden needles exist, too. These would be rosewood needles and they are stunning.

rosewood
Blue Sky Alpacas Rosewood Needles — stunning wood that knits like metal.

These are from Blue Sky Alpacas and I used them throughout the MerryKAL.  They are lovely & they knit with the organic feel of wood but the smooth speed of metal. If you like wooden needles and are looking for a special set, these are definitely a great option.

Now if you have some double pointed needles (or circular, for that matter), you will want to have a method to storing them that goes beyond tossing them in a cup. While a double-pointed needle bouquet may look kind of cool in the moment, you will probably be singing a different tune when it comes time to locate a set. I swear by my della Q cases. I ‘ve had this one for 4 or 5 years and I love it.

dellaqdeluxeclosed
Beautiful silk taffeta with a stripe accent — 5years old and it looks brand new!

Inside it’s clearly labeled and made from beautiful chocolate brown silk (there are a bunch of other colors, too). Mostly, what I value is that it’s clearly labeled and easy to fold up and put in my knitting bag. These days I use it mostly for storing my wooden needles.

dellaqdeluxe
Love the clear labels & the extra spots for overflow on the right side.

When planning the Socks with Sarah KAL before the Christmas holiday, though, I happened to be browsing needle cases for my mom. It’s kind of a funny story — she had showed up at my house on Thanksgiving ready to start knitting her first sock and when I asked if she had X needle, she held up two zip-lock bags of tangled needles dpns & circs. I almost passed out. When I recovered my breathing, I immediately started seeking a nice needle case for her. Well, you know how it goes, one thing leads to another and while I was looking I found the Lily Solely Socks case.

dellaqsock
Again with the gorgeous silk taffeta from dellaQ — I love the stripey interior and the little zipper pouch for extra stitch markers, etc.

Perfect for this KAL.

I tossed it into the cart (if you like to flip-flop between dpns & circs, the Combo Sock Case might better fit your bill). I love this little needle case. It is super small & holds just what I need for socks.

dellaqsockroll
So. Pretty. And. Cute.

It’s true that there are a lot of options when it comes to needles — needle cases, too, for that matter. This post has covered my needle evolution over the years — I’ve tried to be relatively thorough, but some details like needle tip length and cable flexibility I just didn’t dive into today. I don’t want to overwhelm you with all the minute details, but if you have further or more specific questions, please feel free to ask!

Like so many things in knitting, I think the best way to find your favorite is to try them out. I think it’s pretty cool that everyone’s story is a little different — why we use the tools we use, what methods we use, the changes we’ve made throughout the years to how we do things. The tools we use & the reasons we use them are as unique as we are. Be sure to share your stories & preferences on the Socks with Sarah Ravelry thread — your KAL friends want to know what you think!

By the way, there’s still plenty of time to join the Socks with Sarah KAL! Want to know more? Check out this blog post and then pop over to throw your hat in on the Sock with Sarah Ravelry thread. We all look forward to seeing you there!