...I'm sure there's a joke in there, somewhere.
The Mohair Splash wrap I started working on has taken on a personality of its own, rather like the personality of Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. Every time I set this piece down, no matter how carefully I set it down, it tries to escape. The stitches migrate off the ends of the needles. Granted, I am using 24" Addi #13s with lace weight yarn, but seriously, this piece is on a mission. It doesn't matter if I set it down in the middle of a row or at the end, they just find a way to come off the needle. I swear I saw them creeping stealthily towards the tips one time when they thought I wasn't looking. Fortunately the mohair component makes them stick to each other a bit, so it's easy to pick them back up without any dropped stitches. But I have learned that this piece cannot be trusted on its own - it must be supervised. Sure, I could use point protectors, but that seems to me a bit like cheating at this point. This has become a struggle for control, and I will dominate. I hope.
The folks from Joe's Fiber Tools came to the shop yesterday with some very interesting wooden needles. Some are flat, some are triangular, some are square, and all are made from recovered exotic woods. The flat ones - and I do mean flat - are very interesting. I test drove them in what is supposed to be a size 13, on the above prodigal wrap. I knitted two rows with them, and I think the size may be closer to a #15, as the stitches in those two rows definitely looked larger than the ones I had done with the Addi. But surprisingly enough, the flat needles are pretty easy to use and rather comfortable, once you get used to the whole concept. I also test drove the triangular needles. They took a bit more repositioning to find a comfortable way to hold them, but overall were not bad to work with at all.
Joe also makes HUGE (at least size 50) wooden needles out of broomsticks. These needles were even featured in Vogue Knitting (I forget which issue). They would be great for very large, broomstick lace type projects, but what I would really like to try them on is knitting a rug that would subsequently be felted. It would probably be prohibitively expensive, but I'm thinking the new Malabrigo Rasta, a super bulky hand-paint, would make a really pretty felted rug knit up on these needles.
I know some people have asked about weaving supplies - Joe is going to drop off a 24" rigid heddle loom made from osage orange wood next Saturday. I know nothing about weaving, so I can't answer anyone's questions about the loom, but it will be for sale, so those of you who are weavers may want to come look at it. He had a bit of osage orange wood on some of the needles he brought in, and it is a really, really pretty wood, slightly orange in color, too.
I do love beautiful wood. When I was small my father did custom checkering on gun stocks, and that was where I developed my love of beautiful and unique woods. One of the woods Joe makes needles out of is called blood wood, and it is a deep purplish red. I would love to have a bedroom set out of this wood, it is that pretty. The tiger wood is pretty, too, and striped accordingly. He also has Brazilian cherry, walnut, and birds-eye maple, as well as some others. These needles would be pretty just to have around the house, with the bonus of being useful. I only got a few sets - I want customers to test drive them before I get more in. So please - come in and test drive the wooden needles, and let me know what you think of them.
#1 Husband came to the shop with me yesterday and after a while decided to wander the neighborhood checking out yard sales. Bob is a yard sale junkie. He found two metal mitten drying racks at one house (only $2 each!!!), and snagged them for me, thinking they would make good yarn displays. Right on the money, husband! I moved the Berroco Seduce and Bonsai onto the mitten driers, and it looks really nice. Plus there is the added bonus of freeing up shelf space for yarn that is not in slippery skeins. This is why I asked him to go to the trade show with me - he sees things I may miss, and it is always good to have an extra set of eyes when you are in a 25,000 square foot candy store.
Well, off to the showers with me, then on to Pet Smart to get some special cat litter that is supposed to stop evil cats from peeing in places other than the litter box. Dana the Destroyer has been on a real binge of peeing in inappropriate locations lately, and I am just about at the end of my tether with her. Knit happy!