Posted in Knit Ramblings, Life

ChiaoGoo RED Needles

Recently, I’ve mentioned that I’ve tried out the new ChiaoGoo RED Stainless Steel Circulars. I’ve had a few people ask what I think about them, so I thought I’d do a little review.

ChiaoGoo RED Needles (original & lace)
ChiaoGoo RED Needles – Original on the left, Lace on the right.

There are two types of ChiaoGoo RED Stainless Steel Circulars: original and lace. Initially I bought the original in US 8’s in a 24″ and 40″ circular since I wanted to use them for Eadon. I bought those from Grandma’s Hand Knitting on Etsy. They are relatively inexpensive (similar in price to HyaHya Stainless Steel circulars) and they arrived within a few days of ordering. The cable is the most unique I’ve ever seen in any knitting needle to date. It reminds me of the type of cable you’d use to lock up your bicycle with. The cable has no memory at all, unlike the plastic that most circulars use which have to be stretched out or used to lose some of the memory it has from being packaged. Straight out of the package the cable can be straightened easily. The size is printed lightly on the side, which you can kind of see in the picture below if you look closely at the bottom needle.

ChiaoGoo RED Stainless Steel (Original)
ChiaoGoo RED Needles – Original

Later, when I placed an order at The Loopy Ewe, I decided to order a few of the ChiaoGoo RED Stainless Steel Lace Circulars. I ordered a US 0, US 1, and US 6, all in the 40″ size.

The original tips are the same as their Stainless Steel Circulars which have now been discontinued. The biggest difference between the original and the lace is that the original has a bend at the base of the tip near where it joins the cable. The other difference between the two is that the lace tips are sharper. I’d say that the lace are similar in sharpness to the Addi Lace needles. As for the sharpness of the originals, I’d compare them to Knit Picks Nickel circulars or HyaHya Stainless Steel circulars. Not as sharp as Addi Lace, but not dull like Addi Turbos are. Here are the Original and Lace needles side by side.

ChiaoGoo RED Stainless Steel Comparison (original & lace)
ChiaoGoo RED Needles – Comparison (top: Original, bottom: Lace)

I like both the Original and Lace ChiaoGoo RED needles. The bend at the base of the Original ones don’t bother me at all, but a knitter I know who has a few of the ChiaoGoo RED needles said she doesn’t care for the bend in the Originals. I like that the Lace are pointy which are great for, well, lace! The Originals are nice to knit with, I like the bend, and they aren’t too dull (not a fan of Addi Turbos personally – too dull). While I like both the Original and Lace needles, I really do not like these needles for magic loop. I know there are knitters out there that have said they use them for magic looping socks, but I am just not at all a fan. I bought the US 1’s and US 0’s for magic looping socks. I tried it and frankly, I hated it. For reference I use Knit Picks Nickel needles for magic looping socks right now. Their cable does have a curl in it. It just stays out of my way by curling down and away from me. The ChiaoGoo RED needles twisted a bunch, curled a bit up, curled a bit towards me, and just generally got in my way. The cable got in my way so often that I felt like I was fussing with it constantly instead of knitting! I had to switch back to my trusty Knit Picks needles. I will give them another try sometime for magic looping socks, but I just wasn’t that fond of them.

Overall, I’d recommend that you give these needles a try. If you like HyaHya Stainless Steel or Knit Picks Nickel or Addi Lace needles, I’d recommend giving these a try. They’re great needles for a good price with a very unique cable!

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Posted in Current Projects

Another Decimal Setback, Knit Picks City Tweed & DPNs

Are you tired of hearing about Decimal yet? I am. I’m tired of looking at it too, but I want this sweater, so I keep knitting and frogging and knitting it again.

This morning I realized I’d screwed up the sleeve. I was working along with about 10 rows before joining it to the body when I realized the ribbing looked weird to me. It looked too short somehow. I pulled out the body and compared it side by side and I realized immediately what was wrong.

What's wrong here?Do you see what’s wrong with this picture? The body is on the left, sleeve on the right.

If you can’t tell, it’s the ribbing. It’s supposed to be k1, p1 ribbing, but I did k2, p2 ribbing. Why? Who knows. Apparently I’m not so good at reading directions with this pattern and just do it without paying enough attention. I’ll be ripping sleeve attempt #3 out today. Maybe the 4th time is a charm? I feel rather dumb for making this mistake in the first place. I think I was just too tired or upset when I ripped it out last time and when I restarted it, I didn’t bother to look at the directions other then to see how many I needed to cast on. Oh well. I’m going to get this sweater done and it will be FANTASTIC.

Here’s what it looks like before I ripped it out. I definitely like the way it looks and fits, just need to fix that ribbing!

141/365: Decimal Sleeve Attempt 3

Recently, one of the lovely ladies in my knitting group placed a Knit Picks order and asked if I wanted/needed anything. I’d been putting off buying DPNs because I didn’t want to pay shipping for them and there wasn’t much else I was really interested in getting (not enough to get free shipping anyhow). I had been wanting to try out the new City Tweed, but only wanted a skein or two to try, so I decided to get two skeins of City Tweed DK in Morning Glory and 4 sets of DPNs (1, 1.5, 2, 2.5).

140/365: City Tweed & New DPNs

The City Tweed is pretty soft and the color is what I expected it to be from the photos on the website. I don’t know about you, but with Knit Picks, I’ve sometimes purchased colors that look QUITE different from the website, so I’m always pleased when it looks very similar to what I saw online. After knitting a number of pairs of socks with my US 1 nickel plated Knit Picks DPNs, I decided I really love them the best for socks, so now I have them in all the sizes I’d need (and two in 1’s because that’s the size I use most).

I don’t have progress on anything else to show today since I’ve only been working on Decimal. Hopefully the next time I talk about Decimal it will be to show the sleeves attached to the body!

Posted in Knit Ramblings

Klean Kanteens – A Review

Today I wanted to do a little review of a product I recently purchased. Not something I’d normally do, especially since it’s not even knitting or crafting related, but I have been quite smitten with this recent purchase, so I wanted to share!

I drink a lot of water. I’m probably one of those few exceptions since it seems like so many people tell me they don’t drink much water. I grew up drinking lots of ice water, so even now it’s a staple for me, especially at work. It has to be COLD, though. I don’t like drinking room temperature water at all. I’ll do it, but much prefer it cold or iced. At work, we have a water and ice dispensing machine. For quite a while I was using that and my Nalgene bottle every day while I was there. Some time last year, the water machine started tasting off to me after they had someone come “fix” it. The guy came out a second and I think a third time, but it still just didn’t taste right. In fact it tasted downright disgusting to me. I couldn’t handle it. So, I started buying bottled water and bringing it to work with me. I was going through about 3 bottles on average per day. Since I work somewhere that’s very environmentally conscious, recycling the bottles just didn’t seem enough to me after a while.

I started to look at other options, since using the water machine just wasn’t one of them. I tried and tried again to drink that water, but I can’t. The taste and aftertaste are just not bearable for me. I decided I could bring water from home, but how? I already had one Nalgene bottle, but with the amount of water I drink per day and the fact that I couldn’t have cold water at my desk all day with just one 40 oz Nalgene bottle, I knew I needed to get more based on my needs. I’d looked into getting a Sigg, but they are a bit out of my price range and unless you have a special ice maker, you can’t get ice cubes in them because the opening is so small. Thought about getting an additional Nalgene, but I was worried a bout BPA’s (though I’m fairly sure they have changed materials now). Then, Matt pointed me to Klean Kanteen. I wanted to order, but hadn’t really heard much about them. After a while, I gave up and stuck to plastic bottles.

This month, it started bothering me again. I went back to the Klean Kanteen and saw one of their banners at the bottom that read something like “The average person consumes 168 bottles of water in a year.” I immediately thought, “I must drink double, maybe tripple that amount!” It struck me pretty hard and knew I just needed to make the switch. So, last week I ordered three Klean Kanteens. Two in the 27 oz size and one in the 40 oz size. One 27 oz bottle was for Matt, and the other two were for me.

Klean Kanteen
The black one is Matt’s and the two pink ones are mine.

They arrived on Monday. I was surprised that they showed up with sports caps along with the loop caps. I didn’t see anything on their website about this or that they were supposed to come with one. The colored ones don’t specify a cap type, but the all metal ones do. Hm. Anyway, I was pretty excited that they arrived with both caps. I’ve used them all week at work and I have to say, I love them!

The sports caps are really great. They don’t leak at all! When you turn them upside down when it’s open, you do get a steady drip, but not a pour. When you drink from them, you do have to suck a little. When you tip them over (yes I did try this to see how much they’d spill), you get very, very little spillage, if any at all (depending on how it falls). Otherwise, they are leakproof when closed. They stay nice and cold, too. Much longer than plastic bottles, especially if you have ice in them. What I do for work is fill my 40 oz one with water and my 27 oz one full to the top with ice, then water. I keep the 27 oz one at my desk and the 40 oz one in the fridge at work. When I need a refill, I just pour from my 40 oz one into my 27 oz one (which is actually really easy and not a mess at all). The prices are quite reasonable (especially if comparing with Sigg) and you get a discount if you buy two of the same size bottle. Shipping was really quick and they are easy to care for (dishwasher safe!). The only thing I could even mention about improving is the opening. I’d like it to be just a little bit bigger if I were going to drink directly from it rather than from the sports cap. Overall, I’m very happy with the bottles so far! I’m also glad I can stop buying all that bottled water :o)