As I said in my New Year post, in an break from tradition I did a New Year’s Day cast on of 327 stitches for Eunice. After a slightly rocky start with two coloured rib I persevered and completed the rib (20 rows) by the end of the first week. The following week I progressed through the first two sections of the pattern but as I half expected progress slowed once I got back to work not helped by 30 degree heat in the evening.

Needle options:

I cast on with 3mm Tulip Bamboo needles with an 80 cm cable. The cable was slightly on the short side but not concerningly so. I bought these needles in Korea in March 2019 and this was the first chance I had to use them. The handle of these needles is beautiful, the finish on the bamboo is like silk and they just feel lovely in your hand. I typically prefer wood over bamboo but these could have changed my mind. The points are on the sharper end of the spectrum which normally I would like but with the chemo damage to my finger tips I found them slightly uncomfortable. While Tulip accessories and crochet hooks are available in New Zealand I couldn’t find a source with a quick Google. Maybe an excuse to visit Seoul and Dongdaemun Market 🙂

About half way through I switched to a 3mm Lykke with a 100cm cord thanks to Miss Maude in Greytown For the new readers – Lykke is my favourite wooden needle. I love the waxed finish and the cable join on fixed circulars is beautifully smooth. The point is just slighly more rounded and was more comfortable especially with the slightly unusual technique I had adopted to deal with the dual coloured rib.

A bamboo ans birch circular knitting needle tip in knitting
It’s minor but this shows the slight variation in the tip.

Typically the smallest size for an interchangeable needle is 3.25 which relates to the fitting for the cable join. Lantern Moon do have a 3mm and while the tips arrived a little late for this rib I am going to try them for the cuffs.

Once the rib was complete I added the steek stitches and joined in the round (I am not quite sure why the pattern didn’t start that way as when I went for a hunt about two colour rib all the demos were for iin the round). I switched to a 3.25 Addi Unicorn (UK) Ewenicorn (Skacel US) needle with a 120 cm cable. This Addi needle isn’t readily available in New Zealand yet. I indulged my curiosity and bought a sock needle size in 2022 from Jimmy Beans Wool in the US. Normally I avoid metal needles over a 2.75/3mm size but the ergonomics of the 2.5mm sock needle were so nice I wanted to give it a try. It has been really nice although to be fair I have only being 2-3 rows at a time. I am going to switch out to try a Lykke Cupro (their new copper tips) to see how that feels on the next section.

Yarn: Jamieson and Smith 2ply Jumper weight

Despite the 2 ply in the name this is a 4 ply (fingering weight) yarn. I bought this yarn to fill out an order for the first version the Shetland Journal during Covid but Holland Road now stocks it. Jamieson and Smith is one of the two Shetland mills – the other is called Jamiesons. The yarns are very similar both in texture and in offering a huge colour palette that is designed for fair isle. Compared to our soft merino, polwarth and corriedale yarns it is a lot hairier and has a crisper handle. It is still soft and will wash to be even softer but the texture supports the colours binding together. So the slip of a metal needle helps with the movement of the stitches. I am really enjoying this project.

In other news…

In a surprising moment of serendipity I ran into the organsier of the Greytown Fabric-a-brac on Friday morning while buying vegetables at the veggie stand. When I commented that I had been thinking I needed a stall there she told me she had a cancellation that morning if I wanted it. So after a bit of messaging with Tash we got what we needed together and had a great day today. While I had a couple of moments as I sold off lengths of fabric – I am feeling so much lighter that they are no longer in my stash and while I wouldn’t want to think to much how much I earned compared to what I paid for them I did clear enough to pay for the fabric I need for a specific project. The temptation at something like Fabric-a-brac is not adding to your stash which I pretty much managed!

In order to make it manageable I focused on what was already sorted fabric wise in my stash but we are already discussing the next one where I am planning on doing a sort through some older boxes with embroidery fabric and threads.

My book recommendation

Cover of Why Calories Don't Count

Why Calories Don’t Count by Dr Giles Yeo

This one is a little unusual – it was an unusual choice for me to even buy but it is a brilliant book. Incredibly entertaining and pragmatic, written by someone who loves food, understands the science and also comes with an awareness of diverse cultural contexts. Way back in the day when I was doing my leader application for La Leche League it was a bit of a standing joke that I was the only applicant who took sugar in her coffee, but the guiding principle on nutrition about eating a wide range of foods in as close to their natural state as possible, has always been a useful fallback position for me. And this is very much the approach his book takes. I bought it last year and not only enjoyed it but I think it did help me back some good choices when I was struggling with eating during chemo.

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