Monthly Archives: July 2006

Follow up(s)

I apologize for the scattered nature of this post, and also for allowing some of your e-mails to ferment in my Inbox to an almost-pickled state.

As much as I try to run this knitting blog independent of my personal life, this is an impossible proposition at its very nature. Lately work and life in general have been frantic. Nothing bad, just everything sped up about fourfold.

I’ll be more alert in about a week, and I appreciate your patience until then.

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Yesterday I was privileged to witness the knitting wedding of the year! It was beautiful and uniquely special, and no fewer than three people (Omar’s mom, Greeley, and Katie) busted out their knitting. I wish Betsy and Omar many happy years together.

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There has been some knitting progress! Well, there has been no actual knitting, just progress in locating a cute pattern.

My, oh my! Did you catch that?!?

I found a cute pattern in a new-to-me book while browsing the shelves of Barnes & Noble this weekend. I requested the book from the library (it’s just one pattern, after all), and even have a yarn in mind already. I’ll report more when I have something substantial to say.

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There has been some sewing progress! Well, there has been no actual sewing, just progress in locating a sewing teacher. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so I’ll report when I have something more substantial to say.

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As for the needles, we’ve done it, haven’t we?!? Hehehe…

Thank you, everyone, for writing to Ms. Skacel Haack. I understand that she has received many e-mails expressing interest in pointier Addis, and that several of you even received a response from her! (I haven’t yet, but I’m sure I will).

She writes, “We at Skacel now know there is an interest in pointed needles for lace knitting.”

We’ve been heard!

To all the blunt Addi Turbo addicts, do not worry! “I would like to clarify that Skacel has no intentions of discontinuing the addi Turbo line as it currently is… Now that we are aware that there is a desire and need for quality, pointed, circular, lace knitting needles, we will see what we can do to fill that need.”

A full copy of the response is in the comments.

I’m just overwhelmed, in a good way! It was so simple – Sheila sent me an e-mail, I wrote a little blog post, and now this! Could it be? Will it actually be? One day in my lifetime I can knit lace with ultimate pleasure and comfort?!?

We’ll just wait and see ;).

And if you haven’t sent an e-mail yet, what are you waiting for? Join the crowd! The more, the merrier! Once again, all the details are here.

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I realized that I’ve sort of let the 400th Jaywalker winner to go unnoticed! Oh, the shame! The others and their prizes were announced proudly, so let me continue the tradition.

 

The winner is Not An Artist Michelle! As her prize she received 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Pond Blue (from Linda’s store, of course). Congratulations, Michelle!

That’s it for now. It feels like this entry moved fourfold faster than typical, too ;).

Little birdie

A little birdie named Sheila (hi, Sheila!) told me that Karin Skacel Haack, Vice President of the Skacel Collection, makers and distributors of the Addi Turbo, is entertaining the notion of making Addis with sharper tips!

Oh boy, I’m hyperventilating!

Specifically, it appears that before the company goes through with any further investigation into Addis with sharper tips, they need to have an idea as to whether this is a worthwhile investment.

Of course it is! But at this very moment Skacel has only one letter on file, Sheila’s, stating an interest in sharper-pointed Addis. They don’t know that there are hundreds, thousands more of us!

Let’s write ‘em! What do you say?

Do you see the maniacal glow in my eyes through your monitor?!? Mwahaha!

For reference, Karin Skacel Haack’s letter is posted below (with Sheila’s permission, but not Ms. Skacel Haack’s – I’m hoping it’s okay), as well as the letter I personally wrote the company this morning. You have my permission to copy and paste my letter, if you so choose. Or to send it off with whatever personalized adjustments (like, you know, subbing your name instead of mine, hehe). Whatever you need to feel compelled and motivated to write them!

Contact info: Karin Skacel Haack, karin@skacelknitting.com, Vice President, Skacel Collection, Inc., (425) 291-9600.

Spread the word!


Hello Sheila,

Thank you for your email regarding the lace needles. I did speak with you briefly at the Seattle Knitting Guild meeting last Wednesday and followed up on your request for sharper tips for lace knitting. It is possible to have a needle manufactured with a sharper tip, however, the message we have received from our customers in general, is that they like the way the addi turbo tips currently are. Offering a needle with a sharper tip would entail manufacturing a vast sum of needles and we are not yet convinced there is a market for. Your request is our first on file, however, lace knitting is making a strong come back and it could be that we get more requests in the future. If that is the case, we will reconsider offering a sharper tipped needle. As our end consumer, your opinion is important to us. If you have knitting buddies who are interested in the same thing – please have them drop us a line as well. Out of curiosity, if we were to produce such a needle, what sizes would recommend we offer?

Once more, thank you for your input!

Karin Skacel Haack


July 27, 2006

Subject: Addi Turbos with pointier tips

Dear Ms. Skacel Haack,

My name is Kathy XXXXX, and I’m a passionate knitter in Cambridge, MA, USA. I have used the Addi Turbo as well as other needles distributed by Skacel for several years, often with fantastic results! I find the Addi Turbo circulars speed up my knitting due to their superior sleek finish, light weight, and unrivaled connection between needle and cord. For me, it is the needle of choice for many applications, and I thank you for this product.

I understand that the Skacel Collection is entertaining the notion of manufacturing circular needles like the Addi Turbos, but with pointier tips, specifically with lace knitting in mind. If I may be so bold, I believe that this is a great idea, and that the knitting community would welcome such a needle with open arms (and wallets).

The tips on the Addi Turbos as they’re made today are simply too blunt for many applications. Lace knitting often requires precise maneuvering of very thin yarn, and the Addis have a hard time finding the space between stitch and needle. Sharper Addi tips would tremendously improve knitting lace for me.

I also find Addis in larger sizes (US 7 and up) to be too blunt for some projects. Here other factors come into play, specifically yarn choice. Most recently, I unsuccessfully tried to use an Addi Turbo, US 7, to knit a somewhat stiff cotton/silk blend. I had to switch to a needle with pointier tips after just a few stitches.

If Skacel were to offer Addis with pointier tips, primarily I would love to see circulars in sizes US 000-4, 20″-60″. For non-lace projects, I think pointier Addis in sizes US 7-10, 16″-40″ would satisfy the majority of my needs. Others use larger needles for lace, or perhaps find Addis in different sizes to be an issue – I will let them speak for themselves.

I know that Skacel needs to have a sense of the market before launching a whole new needle line. Not to worry – I will urge all my knitting friends who’ve dreamed of Addis with pointier tips to write to you. I hope you will see that the demand is high, and invest time into researching this option further.

Thank you again for manufacturing a superior needle, for listening to the needs and desires of knitters, and for your willingness to evolve as needle demands change. I appreciate your consideration. Please feel free to contact me with any further questions, or to request any additional information.

Sincerely yours,

Kathy XXXXX

grumperina@gmail.com

617-XXX-XXXX

Marriage counseling

 

So I finished the next Mountainash pattern repeat (highlighted in green).

Big whoop de do. As Wendy would say, “do not alert the media.”

While I’m excited to show you some progress, any progress, I must admit that Mountainash and I are no longer in love.

Part of the problem is pure bitterness. You see, I knit the green section in question twice. After completing it for the first time, I noticed a small mistake about 16 rows down.

This mistake… let me put it to you this way – you wouldn’t notice it unless I pointed it out with arrows and circles and a variety of other highlighting mechanisms. I wouldn’t have noticed it, I think, if I didn’t have a coffee (well, my version of “coffee” – iced decaf latte) that particular Saturday afternoon.

But I saw it, and what is fixable must be fixed. I dropped the yarn 16 rows, and actually picked it up rather successfully. But something was still not quite right. I dropped it again, started picking it up, and at that point it became clear to me that it would be quicker to just reknit the damned thing. So I frogged 16 rows and started over.

What is fixable must be fixed.
Level of bitterness is directly proportional to amount of stupid fixing that must be done.

Another part of falling out of love is that the challenge, the excitement, the thrill are now all gone.

I figured out the Japanese characters (more or less), with some help I figured out the instructions, and I have a pretty good idea now about how the whole thing is constructed. It is no longer this mysterious, exotic pattern, filled with conundrums that keep me up all night.

To add insult to injury, the remaining knitting repeats are very simple – the only thrill is doing a double decrease on stitches which have been previously simply knit. [insert sarcastic voice] Oooooh! [end voice] Come on! Throw a googly moogly my way or something!!!

So. Boring.

We need therapy. Okay, only I need therapy – how do I maintain excitement and motivation about a project which no longer keeps my interest?

On the other hand, while knitting what seems to be the most boring shawl ever I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I have compiled in my head three things I find incredibly odd about this pattern.

What do you think about the following? (opinions of experienced lace knitters are particularly appreciated)

  • The pattern combines both stockinette-stitch and garter-stitch lace sections. The green one above is garter, and the one immediately below is stockinette, for example. Why?

  • The decreases are not paired. You expect certain motifs to be framed by k2togs on one side, and SSK (or whatever alternatives) on the other. This is not the case. In fact, I do not think I’ve used a left-leaning decrease of any kind even once. Why?
  • On the wrong side of garter-stitch lace sections, the decreases are p2tog, while the rest of the stitches are knits (obviously). Wouldn’t it make sense for the decreases to be k2tog, to maintain the whole garter stitch nature of thing?

In conclusion, blah and yawn. Someone pass me a new project.