Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kicking It Old School

I'm working on a new design... a baby sweater worked in sock yarn. Because when you've got a stash this big, it's good to do something other than socks with it. This is actually a design commission, from the ladies at the Purple Purl.

Here's the old school bit: I'm using straight, metal needles. Aero needles in the red slip case, in case you're wondering.

I don't often have to buy specific needles for a project, and when I started into this, it never occurred to me that I didn't have the right size... I have 3mm bamboo dpns, but the only straight ones I could find were these, hiding in the dusty back corner of my needle closet. They must be 15 years old, at least.

I use bamboo needles most of the time these days -- with the exception of some lace work -- and I always use circulars for flat knitting -- as a travelling knitter, and an incorrigible KIP-er (knitting in public), they're so much more convenient.

But here I was, forced back to straights. And metal ones at that. And you know, they're good. I'm enjoying it. Although they are significantly less convenient for streetcar and subway knitting -- they don't fit into my bag, and I poked my seatmate more than a few times. But the point is good, and they're slightly slippery, so the yarn moves very nicely along them.

It's been good to remind myself that although we've come far with needle technology, there really is still value in the old classics.

The yarn is Tofutsies, and it feels truly great... although there's all sorts of stuff in the blend (wool, cotton, SoySilk(TM) and chitin, which is a by-product of shrimp and crab processing... yes, really, it's antibacterial), it feels like nothing more than a really nice, soft cotton. A cotton with some good elasticity and flexibility, and a nice drape. It's exactly the right texture for working on these not-too-slippery metal needles.

The pattern stitch isn't showing very well in the photos, but the cardigan has a lacy edging, around the bottom, around the fronts, and around the cuffs. And it will need only a single ball.

Stay tuned for details on the pattern!

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