Friday, February 02, 2007

Good News

Yesterday I received the monthly newsletter from Sandy Terp at Moonrise and in that newsletter she brought the news that Skacel, makers of the Addi needle, have listened to the deluge of pleas from dedicated lace knitters around the world. They are finally going to make a needle specifically for lace. Pointy tips and a red cord, so I hear. I can't wait to see them, though I expect they will be inordinately expensive - as all Addis are (though they are so worth it, in my eyes.) I've heard great reports of the Knitpicks Options needles, too. Though as previously discussed on this blog they don't ship outside the US. He'e's a quote taken from their website:

"We regret to inform you that we do not offer international shipping for our customers (...). Our primary reason for this is that we are not able to provide our international customers with the same superior service we provide to our North American customers."

So how on earth do they think they can have "international customers" if they won't ship outside their comfort zone? The global marketplace appears to have passed them by (which is a great pity, because they have some great stuff for sale and cheap is not the word, though of course the £/$ exchange rate is a big help).

Many thanks to an anonymous commenter who tipped me the wink about the fine buttons available at Woolly Workshop. I'm thinking about ordering this one:

to go on the Giotto Jacket. There are others that I like, too but this one is the right size. I don't know why I didn't thing of Woolly Workshop - I ordered some Margaret Stove Artisan Merino Lace weight from Gill and was astonished by the speed of delivery, and nicely packaged, too.

While I was trawling cyberspace in pursuit of buttons I came across this thing:

which is rather inelegantly known as a "scrawl". The pattern is free and available here.

I like the versatility of this - you can wear it as a shawl, a scarf, a shrug, a sash and there is even a picture of it on the dog - I think I will draw the line at that. It will be just the ticket for my hols in Italy with mother and her tattoo. (Yes, we had such a good time last year, we have decided to make it an annual event.)

Of course, if I'm to have the thing knitted by May, I would need to start it sometime soon, so as not to have panic knitting at 2am on the night before we leave. The yarn used is GedifraFashion Trend Sportivo - a sock yarn, as it turns out. I managed to find some in a sale at Webs, and although they have stung me rather a lot for postage and packing, it still works out at a reasonable price. I've ordered colour #5712, which is an autumnal colourway. I ordered plenty so that there is no danger of running out and if there is any left over I can always make a pair of socks with it.

I also came across (for about the third time) this pattern for a scarf. I'd already got it bookmarked for future reference and when it came up again for the second time in two days, I took that as a hint. I happened to have some Noro Silk Garden which I had bought for a hat and scarf from the Shadow Knitting book but it didn't look right. I had a play last night and eventually decided on 6mm needles.

Progress so far:

Close-up of the stitch:

It almost looks woven. I'm thinking it would be nice for a cushion cover as it results in quite a dense fabric, without you having to use a needle that is "too small" for the yarn (in fact Noro recommend needles 4.5 - 5.1mm for Silk Garden). 5.1mm?? obviously the Japanese have very particular needle sizes.

At Angel Yarns in the UK this yarn is available for £5.95; at the Knitting Garden it's $10.95 per ball (that's £5.56, not much of a saving) BUT at WoolNeedlework it's only $8.09. That is the equivalent of £4.11. Yes, we have to take into account postage and packing but they could charge you a whacking £1.84 ($3.61) per ball and you would still make a saving. The moral of this story is: shop around. I know there is something a tad odd about someone in the UK ordering a yarn that's made in Japan from the US but until I learn to speak (and read!) Japanese, so I can order direct, that's the way it's going to be.


Brigid said...

The Silk Garden scarf is lovely! I made that pattern in a homespun yarn that I was given and it's kept its shape well. Just a note of caution on ordering from outside the EU. Occasionally you will get stung for customs duty and I think it's a minimum of £18 or so. I'm not sure that I would risk it for Noro, which is fairly easily come by in the UK.

allisonmariecat said...

Oh, I love the silk garden scarf. Very pretty. I think the "scrawl" will be a nice wardrobe addition.