UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

August 15, 2008

Wherein I seem to hate everything to do with knitting.

Filed under: knit, yarn — Tags: , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:59 pm

Let me explain why I am still angry with EZ. Her BSJ “pattern” is merely a guideline with the details left as an exercise for the knitter. And really until you have knit one, it is almost impossible. It took me 5 weeks to do the first one, using a worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles.

I started the second one with KnitPicks “Imagination” yarn (in “evil stepmother” — because that was a good color, if I could have chosen by title, I might have picked “wicked witch” instead) and size 4 Addi Turbo needles— more on those in a minute— last Sunday and I have the thing half done as of today.

The difference? I wrote out the whole be-damned pattern in step by step instructions, no after-the-fact or “meanwhile back at the ranch” business that causes the knitter to need to pull out 12 rows of work. I have a list to check off each row and there have been no mistakes. I do not see how something can be a pattern when the original material is a few hundred words and I have 5 pages.

Even though I am now working with a splity two-ply yarn on blunt-ended needles with lousy joins— I cannot k2tog without a helper needle for example.– the knitting is 250% faster. If I had tried to knit the BSJ for the first time with this yarn and these needles, I would have given up.

I do not have any idea why people think Addi makes a superior product. I have 6 of the Addi circs and only one of them is actually good. Most of them, the yarn catches at the join, the cable gets kinked from its own weight while stored, and overall the quality is mediocre. It makes sense that the Addis cost about twice what craft store needles cost, but just as craft store needles are not worth $10, Addis are not worth the $20 they cost.

As much as I decried the lousy quality control of the Knitpicks Harmony needles, they are actually cheaper than craft store versions. Since the Knitpicks nickel-plated needles are nice and the cheapest thing going, I plan to order replacements for my Addis next time.  The Knitpicks needles are viciously pointy and getting the tip under to M1 or k2tog is as easy as it ever gets. I need a knitting thimble for when I push against the needletip to pop the old stitch off after it has been knit.

The colorway for the “Evil Stepmother” yarn is quite nice with its purple and blue and brown and red. There has been very minimal pooling. I do not like the fiber though, the combination of superwash merino, alpaca, and nylon is not creating a soft fabric, the alpaca is not de-haired, and the plying is extraordinarily loose— when I was long-tail casting-on, it tried to unply. They market this as “sock yarn”. I would say that this would only be suitable sock yarn for someone in a wheelchair, because it never will be durable for a direct-wear application. The hairy alpaca seems likely to be itchy also, so I would not think anyone would want this in a next-to-skin application.

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June 26, 2008

In Perfect Harmony

Filed under: stuff — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 10:22 pm

Knitpicks is not Coca-Cola. *humming a bit*

Remember the old Coke commercial, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.” ?

Well, the current status of my Harmony needle tips is that I ordered 2 pair and one was defective. I was pleased by the customer service response to my problem report. I received a replacement pair, and I thought that was going to be kind of irritating to have an odd-ball needle tip— only when I checked the new tips, one was defective.

I have received what I ordered and paid for, a set of #6 and #8 Harmony needle tips. But I also have 2 defective #6 tips. They are defective in different ways, but not ones where a dab of glue would fix it. My problems were with the threading that enables attachment to the cable ends.

So out of 6 tips, 4 are fine, but 2 are defective. Even knowing I had had a problem and this was a replacement shipment, no one bothered to test the second batch of needles. With a quality problem in a third (perhaps my experience is aberrant) of the needle tips, I have to say that no one should bother buying these, even though the ones without problems are a superior product at a great price. If I were someone who purchased double-pointed needles, I would definitely consider the Knitpicks Harmony ones, but not the interchangeable ones. They need to dramatically improve quality control overall, but certainly for replacement products. I am not unhappy per se, I am underwhelmed though.

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