Thursday, January 31, 2019

Prym Ergonomic Knitting Needles

Prym Needles
Prym has released some different knitting needles here in Canada and of course, I wanted to try them out.  The description was they are ergonomic needles so I wanted to see what they were like so I went ahead and purchased three different size needles.

I purchased 5.0mm needles at Michaels as that was the smallest size they had in stock. Michaels carried both the double point and straight needles ranging in size from 5.0mm to 10mm but only the whole sizes.  After finding those I contacted one of my local yarn shops to see if they had the needles and sure enough they did.  We headed off to The Yarn Guy who has the full range (or most sizes) and I picked up a 4.5mm circular needle and 4.0mm straight needles.

Once I had the 5.0mm needles I started to work on an Easy Goes It Shawl with some yarn that I had in my stash to try out the needles.  The needles do feel very nice in my hands and I was able to make some good progress on the shawl.

This is the description that I found about the needles:
Simply knit more easily The detail is decisive: The new drop-shaped tips optimize the picking up and guiding of the yarn. These hook tips make the start easy for the beginner and enable the experienced knitter to work quickly and quietly - even with complicated patterns. Click Heads, Triangle Shape, Hook Tips and Steel Cord.
Now here are some of my comments with regards to the needles.
US vs International Boxes
 1. The boxes vary depending on where you purchase the needles.  The needles I purchased from Michaels are in a box that is basically a US box and the description is in both English and French.  The needles I purchased at The Yarn Guy is the International box as there are multiple languages on the boxes.

Tips of needles
2.  The tips of the needles are something that I am finding interesting to work with.  The tips have what they explain as a hook but I would describe it more as a small ball.  The little ball does make it easier for your needle to slip between the needle and the yarn and doesn't split the yarn.  I was finding that using these needles meant that I wasn't fighting as much doing the different stitches, example purling, knitting and knit-two-togethers.  All of those stitches seemed to work very well with a lot less effort and a lot less splitting of the yarn.

3. The needles click/slip together so that you can basically use them as a stitch holder.  I wouldn't be clicking them together as I think doing that would wear them out faster than slipping them together.  I have found that sometimes when you pick up the needles after slipping them together that they do come apart so it is something you have to watch.  I think they would be good when putting a project into a bag and taking somewhere as long as you put the needle with the stitches on it pointing up.  For needle storage they will stay together making it easier to find the set.

In Action
4. The sound of the needles is something that even my husband noticed as they are so quiet.  These needles are quieter than any other needles that I have and I have a few different types of needles in my tool kit.

5. The steel cord on the circular needle to me is a win because it means that the cord will stay straight and not have that normal twist that we knitters have to normally deal with. As soon as I purchased the circulars I pulled them out of the box and they went nice and straight immediately.  I tried to get the normal twist that most circulars have but it didn't happen.

6. Texture of the needles is a little different.  The actual needle goes from round to triangular which is something that you have to get use to.  I have also found that some yarn doesn't slip as easily on these needles but in some ways that could be an advantage because the stitches won't slip off the needle.

7. My overall opinion of these needles are a win because they lighter, quieter and easier to knit with.  I am really looking forward to trying a knit-three-together to see how that goes.

One comment I cannot make is how long they will last as I have only had them for a couple of weeks so time will tell. Now to see if I can wear them out and how long it takes.

Overall review:  Will I purchase more of these needles?  YES

If you have used these needles please let me know what your opinion is.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Some good progress

Linen and Threads Mystery SAL ' 19 - Jan 20
 Here it is another week and yes I have some progress to show.  I am happy to say that I am getting back to doing the crafting that I love doing. I have started to pick up my needle most evenings which is great and even on the weekends, I am finding time to just sit and do some of the projects that I have missed doing. I will explain why later on in the post. 

Linen and Threads Mystery SAL '19 - Jan 24
Linen and Threads Mystery SAL '19 - this is once again a twelve-month project but it is going to be smaller than it was last year so that is great.  The first part of it was the center design and that is the Peacock and it did take quite a bit of time to stitch but this week I was able to get it finished and now I am waiting to see what the second piece is going to be.  The actual title for this piece is A Peacock's Garden so looking forward to seeing what we will be adding to the garden over the rest of the year.

Linen and Threads 11,000 Members - Jan 26
11,000 Member Design - this is another design from Linen and Threads and it was released through Facebook when the group reached 11,000 members.

I decided that I wanted to work on something a little different so this weekend I picked the fabric and pulled the threads for this design and actually got it all stitched on Saturday which made me very happy.  Yes it was a nice quick piece to do and it measures 6 x 4 so now to just get a frame and it will be finished. While I was stitching this piece I was thinking about how I could stitch it again so it might be stitched again but with some different colours but I will wait for a while and see what I feel like.

Temperature 2019 - Jan 13
Temperature 2019 - Jan 26
Temperature - here is a project that still isn't caught up but it doesn't bother me because I know that I can get it caught up quickly if I would just sit down and actually work on this piece more than I have. 

I have only worked on this design for two days this month so I am thinking that I am going to need to try and focus on it for a couple of days if I want to get it caught up so I will see what I do this week.  If I don't get it caught up before the end of the month that is fine because I will focus on it next week and see how it goes.

Roses - Jan 17
Roses - Jan 27
Roses - this is my largest project that I currently have on the go and I decided that it needed a little bit of attention this week so I saw done and worked on it for maybe three hours. I am starting to see that I am making some more progress on it and right now I am going to be trying to get another page finished on the design so it would mean I would have three of the 68 pages completed.  The piece looks rather large in the photo but it isn't as it is currently 9 inches wide by 4 inches high.  The finished piece is going to be around 21 inches wide by 27 inches high.  So yes I am getting there but as you can see I still have a long way to go before I have this piece finished.

Easy Goes It - Burgundy - Jan 24
Easy Goes It Shawl - I decided that this week I was going to try and finish a shawl that I had on the go for a while.  Actually, I started this shawl in November and it was going to be a gift but after some time I decided it wouldn't get done so I made the other burgundy shawl that I gave as a gift.

I was extremely happy to see this shawl finished as it just kept reminding me about a hand issue that I have been dealing with for some time. Yes, I have had to deal with severe tendonitis in my left hand for the last few months and that is one of the reasons why my actual crafting has been down.  It took a couple of specialist appointments to figure out what it was because of course, I ended up having it in the pinkie finger side of my hand.  I am a lefty so it meant a lot of things got impacted and crafting was only one of the things.  My work took longer for me to do each day so that meant that by the time I was finished doing what needed to do I was dealing with pain and crafting just didn't happen.  In the last two weeks, I have had a cortisone shot in the area and am happy to say that the pain is a lot less and I am getting back to doing everything at a normal speed again.  I asked the second specialist what could have caused the problem and her answer was it just happened.  I had thought it might be due to the typing or other things that I do and she let me know that it wasn't repetitive stress that caused the problem it was just something that happened.

Other knitting - I am also working on a couple of other knitting projects and will be writing a separate blog to show off some new knitting needles that I have discovered.  I started both of these projects within the last week and now to write up a blog explaining these new needles.  One project is using the new needles and the other project is using needles that I had so I am going to compare what I have discovered about the new needles.  I hope to have this other blog posted later this week.

It is now time for me to get some work done today as it is getting close to the end of the month and there are things that need to get finished up.  I hope to find some crafting time this week but will have to see how things go as this is a busy week for me.  Hope everyone has a great week and you find time to do some of the things that you love doing.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Progress on projects

Linen and Threads Mystery SAL '19 - Jan 13
This week was a week of trying to make some progress on a bunch of projects and I think I was able to do just that.

Linen and Threads Mystery SAL ' 19 - now this is a project that I am trying to make some good progress on and I would like to see the January section done before the end of the month.  The Peacock is slowly starting to make an appearance and now to see if I can continue to work on this piece and get the rest of the Peacock finished before the end of the month.
Linen and Threads Mystery SAL ' 19 - Jan 20

Roses - Nov 24
I am enjoying working on this piece but have to admit that it is taking me longer than I thought to actually get this section finished.  I hope that now that I have the outline done on the second half of the feathers that I can continue to see some good progress on it over the next week.

Roses - this is one of my Heaven and Earth Designs and I decided that this week it was time for it to get a little bit of attention and that is what it got.  I had hoped to get some more of this piece done over the weekend but things just didn't work out as I had hoped so I wasn't able to focus on getting some more of this piece done.  The good news is I have finished another page of the pattern so that is nice and now to see if I can continue to work on it and get some more of it finished before the end of this week.

Roses - Jan 17
The nice thing about this pattern is once I start working on a section I seem to be able to see some progress on it pretty quickly which is nice.  I am thinking that I am going to try and spend some time working on this design this week so that I can see some more of it moved forward before the end of the month as well.  I am thinking that if I can get another page finished before the end of January then I would be happy because it would mean that I have three of the pages finished and that is at least a good start.

Cocker in the Rye - Dec 23
Cocker in the Rye - this is another Heaven and Earth design and I am hoping that this is one of the projects that I might be able to get finished before the end of 2019.  I know it doesn't look like I was able to get a lot done on this design this week but at least I was able to add a few more stitches and sometimes that is all I can ask.

Cocker in the Rye - Jan 17
I hope that now that I have picked up this piece again once I have finished Mystery that I can work on this piece for a while this month and maybe see some more of the design start to come to life.  I know that it isn't going to be a quick stitch but I hope that once I can get into the habit of working on this piece even a couple of days a week that I will be able to see some good progress on it.

Work Day Scarf - Jan 15
Work Day Scarf - now here is a knitting project that I started just after Christmas and I am very happy to say that I have finished it.  I enjoy working on this pattern as it is a pretty easy design so it doesn't take long to make once you start working on it.  I wanted to make this scarf as I wanted to wear it on February 1st so now it is finished and I will be wearing it when I go to an Alzheimer's event. The reason I wanted to knit a purple scarf is I am helping at the Alzheimers walk here in Toronto on February 2nd and figured it would be nice to have something that is the right colour.  My fundraising page is here and if you would like to make a donation please know that I would appreciate any amount.

This scarf is something that I have enjoyed making and I hope that during the year that I will be able to make some more of these in different colours.

I continue to try and work on a bunch of projects and I still have a couple of other projects that I haven't taken pictures of.  I know that just continuing to make progress on a bunch of things makes me feel so much better.

I really don't have a lot of time to craft but at least if I can find even an hour or so each day I feel so much better so that is what I am trying to do.  I have work that needs to get done and that is the priority but at least find a bit of crafting time each day helps me regain the focus and it makes work a little easier the next day.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Moving things forward

Linen and Threads Mystery SAL ' 19 - Jan 5
Here it is the start of another week and I am happy to say that I was able to find some time to do some stitching and am finally starting to see some progress on a few projects.

Linen and Threads Mystery SAL ' 19 - so I finally have been able to see some progress on Mystery 2019 and have to admit that I am happy with the progress that I have been able to make.

Linen and Threads Mystery SAL '19 - Jan 13
The January section of the design is rather large so it has been taking me a bit of time to get it done but I am now seeing some progress.  I hope that I will be able to get the rest of the piece finished before the end of this coming week.  Seeing that I have been working on the feathers of the Peacock has really helped so now to see how it goes.

Temperature 2019 - now here is the new version of the temperature design that I will be doing for this year.  I haven't caught up on the piece but I am thinking that just seeing the overall design is making me feel a little better.  I was able to get  8 days of this month already completed so it does feel a little better about things.

Temperature - Jan 13
I am looking forward to seeing how this design ends up looking because I will be doing lines for each month so yes it is totally different compared to last year. It is interesting to see how each of the days is going to turn out so will see how things go.  Maybe just working on the different things will make me feel a lot better about things.  It feels great seeing that the new design is a lot quicker to work on so will see what it really looks like before the end of the month.

Other crafting -- I am working on some of the other craft items so will see how things go.  I have been working on a scarf that I want to get finished before the end of the month so that is something else that I have been doing.  I haven't taken a picture of the scarf but it should be finished soon and then I will take a picture of it.

Now that the holidays are over it is now time for work to get back to being busy, so that means that I have quite a few things that need my attention now so I will get to work on see what I get accomplished today and then what crafting I can do in the evenings.

Monday, January 7, 2019

A finish and a couple of starts

Temperature - December 30
So this last week wasn't a week to get a lot of stitching accomplished as life just seemed to get in the way.  I did find some time and energy to do a little bit of stitching so I do have a bit to show but not as much as I had hoped.

Temperature - now this is a project that I was determined to get finished early in 2019 and I actually got it finished on January 1st which was great.
Temperature - completed

Temperature - January 1, 2019
The piece now that it is finished measures around 6.25" x 22.25" so it is a fair size piece but I am happy with how it turned out.  Now what I need to do is figure out how I am going to be framing this piece.

The colours where a lot of fun to see some together throughout the year and at the very bottom just above the word "Toronto" I have included all the colours in the scale that I used from highest to lowest colour. 

Temperature 2019 - so this piece will be done but as of right now I have the pattern figured out, fabric on the frame and all the floss sorted but no stitching has happened yet.

Linen and Threads Mystery SAL ' 19 - January 5
Linen and Threads Mystery SAL 2019 - as I said last week the 2019version of the Mystery SAL was posted on the 1st of January in Australia and I was looking forward to getting it started.  Now there were some challenges and that was the colour fabric and floss that I was going to use for this year. I had picked a couple of colours that I thought I was going to use but once the design was picked it meant that it was time to rethink my colour selection so I ended up selecting the same colours that I used for the 2018 version but have added two additional colours so I may be using 5 colours for this piece but I will see how it goes.  This year the theme is a Peacock's Garden so I am interested to see what it will look like after we have finished the Peacock which is the January section.

Farewell to Anger - January 1st
Farewell to Anger - this is a Heaven and Earth Design that I purchased and I really wanted to get it stitched so it was my new year, new start piece and as you can see I was able to get a few stitches in on New Years Day but that is all the attention it had got.  Hopefully, once things get back to normal I will be able to get some more stitching in on this piece as well as a bunch of the other things that I would like to work on.

For this design, I am using pre-gridded fabric so that means that it might help me keep track of where I am but will see how things go.  I hope to be able to see some good progress on this piece before the end of the month but will see how things go.

Now that life is getting back to a normal schedule I hope that I will be able to see a bit more progress on things over the next few weeks.  I am not sure what this week is going to be like but I hope to maybe see a little bit of stuff accomplished but will have to wait and see.

Hope everyone had a great holiday and now will be able to get bac to the normal routine and see what can be accomplished.  Until next week, hope everyone can find even a few minutes each day to do something that they love.