Friday, March 11, 2011

More Pictures Than Usual

I know it's been a long time between posts. But I've been very busy with Mom and paperwork around here that when I have down time I don't even think to turn on my computer. I might have to actually get up again. I'm gonna try to do better so I don't waste all those lovely blog ideas running around in my head.

On the way to Modesto I have to drive through the countryside. Okay, on the way to anywhere I have to drive through the countryside. Right now the almond trees are in full bloom or even bursting out in pale spring green leaves. The orchard above is just between those two. It's in full bloom and although you can't see the leaves yet they are right there ready to pop out. Those are blossom petals on the ground not snow. Almonds bloom first and announce the coming of spring in a very flashy way. The few apple orchards around here are also in bloom. Apricots, peaches, and nectarines are just now blooming. Those trees have a much darker pink bloom. And last and best are the cherry trees. They haven't started yet. But they will soon.

Okay, here are my observations on interchangeable needle sets, for what it's worth. First up are the cables. From left to right, a Boye set I've had for at least 35 years, Denise, Knit Picks Options, and Hiya Hiya. I included the Boye even though I don't use them anymore just to show that interchangeable knitting needle sets have been around for a very long time. And I've used them for a very long time. I don't have every brand out there but I have a few. The cable on the Boye needle, white in the photo, set is HUGE and by now old and stiff. They never were very flexible. The Denise cable, blue in the photo, is also large and not all that flexible and soft. They have the advantage of being able to hook several lengths of cable together so you can have just the length you need and you can use them for stitch holders by simply removing the needle and attaching a button that comes with the set. The Boye needle set has the same advantage. They are okay for large needle tips. The Knit Picks cables, purple in the photo, I find to be too stiff for me but I like that they are smaller in diameter than the Knit Picks. I really like the cable on the Hiya Hiya best. I have the small cables, you have the option to buy a set with bigger diameter cables if you prefer. I like the small ones. They are soft without being floppy. They don't kink at all and conform to a soft gentle curve when you take them out of the package.

Okay, let's talk about joins. I'm sorry about the light in the photos. But I'm not all that good a photographer. The old Boye set has smooth joins but I don't like the bend in the portion that attaches to the needle itself. They screw on and don't stay screwed on anymore. I wore them out years ago. The Denise needles don't have a nice join. They click on easily but don't use them for fine yarns or the yarn will get stuck in the join. A real pain. I have had them come unclicked. But they are fine with larger yarns. The Knit Picks options are very nice at the join. It's a screw in type. The Hiya Hiya has a killer join. I mean it's great! There is a crimp on the needle above the join that, I believe, serves to lock the connecting mechanism in place. Since it is a crimp the edges are rounded and it doesn't pose any issues that I have found yet.

The tips are all a little different. The Knit Picks is on the left, and has a very, very, nice point. I'm a pointy needle girl and I like this one the best of the points. The Denise are not pointy at all but have a nice long taper which is something else I really like. The Hiya Hiya needles are not as pointy as I like but have a very, very long taper, which I really like.

The needles are all different lengths. I'm going from bottom to top here. The Knit Pick Options needle is about the same length as the Hiya Hiya needle here. They are both fine. A longer needle is what I prefer. With the Knit Pick Options you can have acrylic, wood, or metal. This needle is from a sample set they have that allows you to try them all. Darryl prefers Harmony wood needles so that is what we bought for him. The Denise set has the shortest needles but it's not really noticeable because of the larger cable size and stiffness. The Hiya Hiya have options. When you buy them you choose the thickness of the cable and the length of the needle. I have the smallest cable and the longest needle. A very nice option. The needles are stainless steel. They are hollow and that makes them light weight. They have a very slight texture, they aren't smoothly polished. It puts me in mind of Signature Needle Arts needles. And the Boye, well, they are just damned old and worn out.

This is about where the cord joins. They are work very well. I have felt the join on the Hiya Hiya's but it doesn't slow me down. The BIG advantage here is that the Hiya Hiya needles swivel at the join. Your work always lies just right in your lap no matter how you hold your needles.

The Knit Picks have not arrived yet so I don't know what kind of case they come with but we have ordered a Hiya Hiya case for them. They come as a full set from size 5 to really big for the most reasonable price. The Denise comes in a compact storage case that isn't all that big and the needles provided come in ten sizes beginning at size 4. The Hiya Hiya needles are purchased in either the smaller sizes, 2.27 - 8, or large sizes 9 - 15. They come in a great compact case that is strong and beautiful. You can see it in a previous post. If you have both sets they will all fit in one case. Then you can use your other case for, say...your Signature Needle Arts dpn's. But they are more expensive than the Knit Picks or the Denise, but cheaper than Addi's, if you are an Addi girl. You can't connect the cables together for a really long cable but you can get a 60" cable for a very small amount of money. All the sets have the option of adding needle tips and cables if you choose too.

And I have no idea why this is a chosen irrigation method but it looks pretty cool. The water is going into an irrigation ditch not just running out on the road.

I complained to Darryl that he made glittens, a fingerless glove with a flip over mitten top, for everyone but me. So he asked me to bring him some yarn and he'd make me some. So I gave him a bunch of yarn with oranges in it to use up and this is what he made for me. Wouldn't these cheer you up on a cold day?

And these are socks that I made as a gift. They are fun to look at but I don't like the fun fur type yarn. But they look so cool and it's only two inches of ribbing so what the heck. I have finished one military sock but haven't cast on the other yet. I'm feeling another bout of startitis coming on and the yarn for my cardigan hasn't all arrived yet. I have the yarn all set out for the Dipped Infinity Scarf. I'll just bet I have the right sized needles around here somewhere.


  1. I liked your comparison of the different interchangeable needles. You could have borrowed my addi interchangeable set just to add to the choices. So far the Knit Picks interchangeable are my favorite. I've used the Denise and I'm not a fan of the plastic tips, but like you I like pointy tips and/or a lond tapered tip. I tried the Boye set, but they always came unscrewed. I haven't tried the Hiya Hiya's so I can't say. My lace weight yarn always get caught on the join on my addi's and I find that the needles are uncomfortably short to hold.

    The glinnets that Darryl made came out very nice and I'm not a fan of orange, but those are very cheerful. The socks are cool.

  2. Love the socks and mittens. The tops of the socks look ticklish. Are they?

    You right, the almond tree blooms first. Mine already has green leaves and all the flowers are gone. About half the flowers have dropped off the flowering plums. The cherry tree is doing nothing right now.

    I'll have to dig out some of mom's old needles and post them for Shannon and Kellyey.