julesjones: (Default)
I cashed out a load of about to expire frequent flyer points onto an Amazon gift voucher, so I indulged in a batch of cheap tat from China for my knitting basket. (And then got seduced by the Chinese fountain pens, but those are for another post...)

Estone 4 pcs Plastic Knit Knitting Needles Pride Row Counter 2 Sizes New by HeroNeo

Cheap and cheerful. They're not great quality and the finish is fairly crude, but they do the job, on the pack I received there are no rough bits to snag your wool, and you get a pack of four for under a quid. The description says 2 small and 2 large; you actually get 2 small and 2 medium if you're comparing with the name brands, so you'll need to look elsewhere if you want ones for needles above 7 mm or so. I wouldn't use these as my primary row counters, but I bought them to have some spares to avoid swapping my good ones on and off needles all the time and for the knitting bag at work. These would be fine if you were looking for some cheap row counters to kit out a novice knitter. I bought them on UK Amazon at http://amzn.to/2t20iMC

That product code doesn't exist on Amazon US, but I found a two pack (http://amzn.to/2tAX4Rw ) and a ten pack ( http://amzn.to/2tv2VaC ) under various other names which seems to be the same thing. Weirdly, these are more expensive per counter than the UK pack.

HeroNeo® 1 pc Mini Multi Purpose Knit Knitting Stitch Row Counter Pendant Style New

This looked pretty cheap and nasty when it arrived, not least because the seam where the front and back clip together wasn't properly sealed. It turned out to work perfectly well, and I'm pleased I bought it. The counter clicks solidly, it's easy to adjust the numbers, and it has a lock so you don't accidentally click the counter when it's packed up for the night. I suspect it won't last more than a year or two of use, but good value for the £1.15 or so I paid for it on Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2uW8ZpF

Again, a gazillion different offerings under different brand names on Amazon US at wildly different prices, but this one admits to being the same model: http://amzn.to/2sBdQfd

Liroyal Useful Electronic Row Counter Finger Ring Golf Digit Stitch Marker LCD Tally Counter

This is intended to be worn as a ring. Alas, personally I found it got in the way when I was using it for knitting. It is, however, a nice little electronic tally counter that will be very useful as long as I have somewhere to put it down (or wear it on a cord around my neck). The one I received was well made. It's very light, the count and reset buttons have a good positive response, the reset button is much smaller and needs more force than the count button so you're unlikely to press it by accident, and it has an adjustable flexible plastic strap. The screen blanks to save power when it isn't used for a while, but it retains the last count. The battery is included (and indeed there is no simple way to change it). The main potential drawback that I can see with it is that the only reset option is to zero it, whereas the mechanical row counters can generally be adjusted to a different number.

Prices vary wildly on Amazon depending on seller and brand name, and as far as I can see they're all the same actual item. I paid 67p for mine, the same item has gone up to 82p a month later, and there are entries under other product codes at ten times that price. Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2t0Bu4q Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2u5BZiA There are also multi-pack offerings which would be useful if kitting out a class.
julesjones: (Default)
Having bought some of those circular knitting needles with mix-n-match cables and pins last week, I got them home to find that a) the cable key was too big to fit in the hole, b) the internal thread on one of the pins was knackered. I had some time off work during the week, so I made my way back to the shop to explain the situation. This is a small independent shop, so what happened next was the owner trying the bits to see what I was talking about, saying "oh dear" and similar, and trying various other packets until he found enough bits that worked to make up a full set for me. As I left he was muttering about how the rest of his afternoon was obviously going to involve going through every packet on the stand and checking them individually to find the ones going back to the manufacturer...

The other comment I've got on the Symfonie modular needles is that the 7mm pins are significantly longer than on the fixed pin Pony and Prym circular needles I have in the same size, so although the Pony and Prym versions work perfectly well in the 40cm length, these do not. There's a bit too much of the length that is rigid. Having had a look online, it seems there is a special short version of the pins to use with the 40cm cable, which is obviously Not What I Have Got. Given that I have a specific use for the 7mm 40cm circular needle (twiddlemuffs), this is a bit of a nuisance. They do, however, have a nice feel to them. I'll need to try them for a bit, but I'll probably end up getting more of these needles once I want longer length circulars. I'll be checking each individual packet for Assorted Problems, though.
julesjones: (Default)
I've been wanting to get some stuff from the wool shop anyway, and the email announcing some interesting specials this weekend for Knitting In Public Day was a good incentive to drag myself out of bed and into the rain first thing this morning. I was so early the shop was still opening up as I arrived. Alas, I spent a little too long nattering to the woman in the shop, and missed the bus home by about 1 minute. It was early enough in the morning that the next bus wasn't for another forty minutes. Because I'd got to the bus stop less than half a minute late and hadn't seen the bus anywhere further up the road, I had to wait ten minutes or so to be certain I really had missed the bus and that it wasn't just running late. I'd left my Kobo at home to save weight in the backpack. My phone battery turned out to be dead.

And thus I have become that old lady who knits at the bus stop...


Sep. 13th, 2015 07:11 pm
julesjones: (Default)
I failed to post last weekend about having made it over to the wool shop's new location for their opening party. The new shop is a good deal smaller, but they've taken the opportunity to redo the layout, and it's a really nice space. I don't think it's really practical for me to get there after work for the knitting classes, but it would be nice if I could. Instead I bought enough wool and equipment to keep me occupied with working my way through the learn-to-knit book for absolute beginners I acquired last month.

The party included goodie bags for anyone making a purchase, so I have two hanks of Sirdar Lush and a pattern to go with the things I bought. Alas, I will not be up to using it for a while yet. This is also why I resisted buying any of the stunning hand-dyed yarn from Fyberspates, who were doing a guest spot - with yarn so freshly dyed it was still slightly damp. :-) It is gorgeous, gorgeous yarn, and I will be getting some when I've got to a level where it would not be wasted on me.

I'd already started working on my first project beyond practice squares, which was my other incentive to go to the party and pick up some kit, and I completed it yesterday: a pair of simple baby bootees. The sewing up is a little rough, but the bootees *are* the same size, so I'm pleased enough with my first go. :-)
julesjones: (Default)
...that's Stash Enhancement eXperience for the non-crafters. :-> The sewing shop in the village has decided to have a serious clearance sale of the cross-stitch kits that have been hanging around unsold for a few years. Some of the kits in question were ones that I had been refraining from buying on the grounds that I didn't have a floor stand, and then refraining from buying on the grounds that I had now bought a floor stand but that "Tallulah in Silver" was going to be occupying it for the next couple of years. However, when I see kits reduced to a fiver each, I am perfectly happy to increase the stash to several years' worth. Of course, this also means that I now need a couple of new sets of stretcher bars so that I can swap pieces in and out, not least to give me the occasional break from doing blackwork in silver lurex on black evenweave without it all being really tiny pieces.

Not that I object to really tiny pieces. I also bought a couple of Mouseloft kits, one of which has already been completed and will be heading off as a get well card. I'll probably do the other one on the train if I visit anyone over Easter -- they make nice train kits, as they'll fit on even a tray table if I can't get a table seat.

Speaking of "Tallulah in Silver", it is a slow stitch as expected, but I have a large enough section done now to be able to see how the blackwork comes up in the three metallic threads used for outlining and texture. The crystal and silver beads will be left until after all the threadwork is done, but even so it shimmers with light on the worked section.


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