Knit Picks Caspian Needles

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Note: not a paid advertisement, and I am in no way affiliated with Knit Picks. I just love this product. I feel like sometimes knitting needles get left out in the cold when it comes to knitting supply love. Yarn gets all the attention. True, if one was desperate (and gauge was unimportant), one could theoretically knit on twigs, pencils, heck even on your fingers or arms (there are YouTube videos on this topic if you’re curious.) The thing is, needles are literally the foundation of everything you knit. Having good ones means more energy focused on the task and not fighting with the tools.

I learned to knit on wooden needles, grateful for their warm grip and light weight. Wanting to save money as I grew my collection of needle sizes, I switched to Susan Bates metal needles– slick and cold, but once I got the hang of using them, much faster than the “sticky” wood or bamboo. Slickness is wonderful for speed knitting, until you begin working with fine gauged yarns, and batting lace weight and fingering weight on steel is frustrating. That’s where Knit Picks Harmony needles come in. Smooth and light, just grippy enough but still sleek and not sticky, these polished wood needles are the perfect pick for fine-gauge patterns. The newest addition to KP’s needle family, Caspian, arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago, proving needles can be useful and visually stunning.

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The wood is stained in a gorgeous blue-green pattern, with varying oceanic shades dipping and swirling in the polished wood. I purchased a pack of size US 2 DPNs in the 6″ length for my first foray into sock knitting (more on that in an upcoming post.) I previously used the Rainbow Harmony wood circulars, and they’re among the most frequently used needles in my collection.

At $6.49, the needles are reasonably priced, particularly considering the fact that smaller needle sizes are not typically sold at craft stores (this is a problem when your wonderful sweet glorious LYS is a monumental pain to get to involving limited hours, no nearby parking and serious temptation to spend lots of money because you did you take the trouble to get there.) I also love the fact that you get 6 needles as opposed to the more prevalent packs of 4 or 5. The tips have a very gradual taper with a decently “sharp” tip for picking up stitches.

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As far as faults go, I’ve heard complaints from other knitters about wooden needles having a tendency to break (not specifically about KP needles, but wood needles in general) though I’ve never experienced this. I do take care not to bend them, leave them on the floor, store them in a purse,  or any other potential snapping situation.

In the end, even though I love all the great qualities Caspian needles have, I’m a sucker for beauty in functional things. I love the fact that the name is the same as that of a particular seafaring Narnian prince. I like the way wood, as a natural element, combines with the natural wool and cotton yarns. Most of all? I love the colors, and sometimes that’s enough.

 

Upcoming Projects + A Friendly Chat

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Hello, readers! Yes it’s been a while. I’ve been ill and behind on classes, chugging coffee and cold meds to get through the day (not at the same time, mind you.) I’m working on not one, not two, but 4 projects to be blogged about in the upcoming weeks, with 2 free patterns, a project journal, and a product review in the mix. In the mean time, a seemingly random but friendly chatter list of things I’ve been working on/liking/want to talk about because I’m socially deprived in this doggone polar vortex.

-At the top of this post is a sneak preview photo of one of my upcoming free patterns. It promises a vibrant splash of color and fingering weight wool to keep the frigid air out of your coat collar.

-Did you watch Sherlock on PBS last night/last week? Are you still obsessing over what REALLY happened at The Reichenbach Fall, even though supposedly Sherlock told Anderson the truth? Are you still swooning over the Sherlolly kiss that was, but wasn’t? Do you ship Sherlolly the way some people root for their favorite NFL team? *raises hand.*Do you assume every random character is the murderer just so you can feel smart when the villain is revealed only to STILL not get it? Did you laugh/cringe/cry when Sherlock gave his best man’s speech?  *deep breath before continuing*  Are you, like me, totally convinced Mary is doomed? Did you Google Mary and John’s wedding venue and figure out how much in US dollars it would cost to have your hypothetical wedding there?  Are you crying in despair because you realized the season is now more than halfway over? The answer to the second-to-last question, by the way, is $2,154.36 for a reception in Goldney Hall’s Orangery, where the episode was filmed. If commenting, remember, if you’ve seen all of season 3, DO NOT SPOIL the last episode for me and everyone who hasn’t seen it. Thank you for your cooperation.

-Something I’ve been wondering: does it bother you if your gloves/hat/mittens/scarf don’t all match? I know it might seem odd to make them all matchy-matchy, but lately having lavender mittens, a red hat, and a cream colored scarf has been bugging me. I think at least harmonious and similarly hued colors are necessary.

-All this indoor dwelling has been good for cooking experiments. A recent tango with the Smitten Kitchen’s dulce de leche was one delicious odyssey. It’s miraculously easy to make, doesn’t burn onto the bottom of your saucepan, and it doesn’t stick to your teeth the way caramel does. Proceed to drizzle it over a banana with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkling of toasted pecans.  Bonus points if you eat this while watching Sherlock.

-Going on 42 days since Christmas gift of Palette fingering weight wool, and I’m not tired of fair isle yet. Hence the bounty of posts related to fair isle and fair isle related yarns. Thank you for your patience.

-The Irish band Celtic Thunder is amazing. Those guys can sing like nobody’s business. Their concert DVDs are ridiculously good, as are their CDs. The songs the group sing together have great harmony, but the solo pieces by individual band members are really stand-outs (YouTube their versions of Friends in Low Places, Tears of Hercules, All Out of Love, Place in the ChoirSeven Drunken Nights, and  My Land.) Some of the best sing-along songs around.