Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

The right needles

The saga of the Garden Jumper continues.   

I spent much of Tuesday patiently knitting while waiting for my verryyy slloooooow dial-up connection to work.  The time I spend online since I’ve moved house has gone up 100%, but yet my productivity has probably gone down 100%.  This is not a good situation and must be remedied.  I’m pretty much a heart-beat away from getting a t-stick and setting up shop in a café.   

Anyway, back to the knitting.  By the end of the day, I had a huge knot in my shoulders and my arms ached.  I realised that I was getting very annoyed with the needles.  In my unwisdom, for this project, I selected a pair of vintage needles with a slightly rubberised texture.   

Ordinarily, I love these needles, but their combination with alpaca spells disaster because I now realise that alpaca has a “grippy” nature.  I had just knitted 40-odd centimetres on 3.25mm needles, tugging and pulling the yarn along the needles, fighting it all the way.  No wonder my shoulders ached.   But because I’m so loving playing with this alpaca, I hardly noticed what was happening.  

After the frustration of many hours of waiting time on the Internet yesterday, the irritation factor finally kicked in, and I frowned at my knitting – what gives with this dragging thing!?  I studied the needles and yarn and realised that the yarn was hugging the needles because of the needle’s texture.  I decided to buy some new needles with a slippy surface.  Honest to goodness, I had nothing else in my collection that was the same size!  

After not much effort I, found a pair that matched my old needles’ size perfectly yesterday.  And do you know what?  The last 4cm I knitted went so fast that I actually over-shot the mark and had to rip back a centimetre.  The other consequence, which I noted with interest, is that it pays not to fight with your yarn when you are knitting, because otherwise, this happens:  

The changeover point is quite apparent


Alpaca needs smooth, slippy needles


No prizes for guessing at which point I changed needles!  

In my alpaca-love induced haze, I had noted that my tension wasn’t as even as normal, but naïvely thought that this is how alpaca knits up, and that it would block out.  I really hope it does… I’m not relishing the idea of knitting the entire back all over again…  At this stage, any reality of doing so will result in this project’s relegation to the UFO pile to await the day I regain my composure.  

I think I had better do the unheard-of for me, and wet block the piece before sewing up to see how it works out.  Just in case.


Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

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