My current work in progress:

1. Ashburn, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Woolfolk Tynd in colorways 6, 7, and 8 on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Hip to Be Square?

Last month when L-B was here for a quickie visit, she was knitting with some of the new square dpns by Kollage. She told me they were quite pleasant to knit with so I was intrigued.

I don’t knit with dpns anymore — haven’t for about 2 years now, so I ordered some of the square circular needles. (Sounds like a contradiction in terms, doesn’t it?)

Now, at the time L-B warned me that the cables on the circulars are very fine. She didn’t think I’d like them for knitting socks on two circulars.

needle051109 240x160 Hip to Be Square?

Well, she is right. The needle tips themselves are fabulous. I love the square needles. However, the danged cables are very fine and it took me as long to push my stitches from the cable over the join onto the needle as it did to knit a round. So sadly, square circulars are not for me. It’s too bad because I really loved the needles. I’m not sure why they chose to put such a fine cable on the needles. I suppose the finer cable helps with the non-curling and non-kinking that they advertise. They may be easier to manage with heavier yarn on a larger needle size (I tried a size 0), but trying to push stitches in fingering weight yarn over the join on the size 0 is just not a happening event. Sigh.

Of course, maybe it’s just me.

In happier news, lookie here:

yarn051109 240x160 Hip to Be Square?

String Theory sock yarn!

The red yarn is their Caper Sock Yarn (a cashmere blend) in the “Fusion” colorway. The green/brown is T.O.E. Sock Yarn (100% merino) in the “Nerrivik” colorway. Aren’t they gorgeous?

In insomnia news, lookie here:

sip051109 160x240 Hip to Be Square?

Amazing now much you can get done on a sock when you can’t sleep.

As I mentioned yesterday, this is Enchanted Knoll Farm Superwash Sock Yarn in the “Athelas” colorway. It’s 90% merino and 10% nylon and has a lovely squishy feel to it. It knits up into nice even stitches and is a joy to knit. I love the variegation, too — sort of subtle stripes.

The pattern I worked up for it is a simple one, but I think it shows off the variegation nicely. I’m calling it “Rivulets” because to me it looks like rain drops as they trail down window glass in rivulets. So there you have it.

I’ve also got other very cool yarn-related news, but can’t spill it yet. Hee hee!

Lucy sez:

lucy051109 240x160 Hip to Be Square?

“I know! I know!”

Comments

  1. That must have been a hell of a night last night to get that much done. Can’t wait for the pattern to come out.

    Anas last blog post..Frog Pond Announcement

  2. catspaw says:

    I tried a pair of the square circs for magic looping and had the same problem. The fine cable seemed like a great idea but it’s way to hard to push the stitches around on it. Next time I’ll try some back and forth lace and will also try some dpns, cause I still like them.

    That Lucy is such a tease!

  3. Wow you are very fast. Love the sock, and you are spot on with the name. As for square needles I have to pair in straights. You have to be really careful with the gauge as they are not true to size. Have not tried any of the others. Not my favorite needle. Have a good night.

  4. Ops two pair

  5. I have the square dpns and love them. (There’s no cable issue, there!)

    Karen in Toledos last blog post..Spring Happenings

  6. No it not just you. I love the square needles, I even love the dpns. But I don’t like the circulars because of the cable. I will just stick to my addis and knitpicks thank you very much.

    Tawana Hutchinsons last blog post..Let’s get finishing! finishing! Ohhh…..

  7. See, I told you!!!! Just kidding; however, the cables are not any better with the heavier weight yarn. It does the same thing. What were they thinking when they used those fine cables? Poor quality control, in my opinion. Must not have had a knitter test them out before they went to all the trouble to mass produce them. I, too, liked the feel of the square needles. I have some in the DPs, but haven’t tried them. I’m sure they’ll be great. I feel better knowing that you had the same experience with the cables in that now I know it wasn’t just me. ;)

    Elizabeths last blog post..Just had to show you these….

  8. OH, PS—–love the new sock pattern!!!!

    Elizabeths last blog post..Just had to show you these….

  9. patricia says:

    The new sock is pretty cool! My water image wasn’t rivulets, but rather the parting of the Red Sea back in the olden days! Or seaweed.

  10. Rivulets is verra nice!

    I too, thought the cables were funky. I will say that on the larger size circs (I handled a 7) the cord isn’t quite so fine, but I thought that it was rather floppy – not good if you are having to moosh your work from one end to the other.

    Nice red yarn, by the way! I’m looking to add that color into my stash as we speak! Who needs another purple yarn, right? (Oh, who am I trying to kid – I’ll buy purple till the cows come home)

    Megan S.s last blog post..It’s been a while, I know…

  11. deknits says:

    I had the same problem with the square circs – I was bummed, b/c I really do like the square needle, but it was almost impossible to get stitches back on to the needle from the cable. :( Love the new socks!

  12. I was totally thinking about raindrops on window panes when I saw the sock — perfect name! :-)

    I’ve never tried using two circs, for socks or anything else for that matter. But looking at the picture, I can imagine the problem. I’m intrigued by the square needles, though; maybe I’ll try some dpns.

    yarnpiggys last blog post..Piggy Sings the Blues

  13. motherbee says:

    I so agree with you on the cables. I would really love to knit with those needle but the cables are such a pain. Oh well…

  14. are you getting your own yarn line? sock club? both?

  15. I agree with you the square needles are great, but the cord is to soft.

    gertieannes last blog post..Calorimeters and Locker Hooking

  16. Gotta agree with you, the DPNs are great, but the circulars are awful, even a size 8 32″ needle meant that every stitch had to be helped over the join despite the fact that it was a 48″ circumference.

    Ooh, a yarn tease.

    Elysbeths last blog post..Closed for Repairs

  17. Wow – love the rivulets socks, Wendy – so glad you’re loving knitting your yarn:)

    Still, I’m sorry you couldn’t sleep….I hate it when that happens.

  18. Kathryn Sigman says:

    I bought a pair of the square circulars, too. I really liked the way they felt in my hands but it was a pain pushing the yarn over those joins! The cable wasn’t as big an issue with me. Too bad. They really made it easier on my hands. Love your new sock pattern and can’t wait to try it!

  19. I appreciate your and LB’s review of the square circular needles. I bought the 5″ dpns and found I rowed out with them, especially on the heel, and gave them to one of my friends with CTS. I had been regretting not ordering the circulars instead. I got a set of Signature Arts 5″ size 0 dpns at MSWF and they are a bit heavy. They weigh 14 grams as opposed to the size 1 (2.25 mm) 5″ dpns which are hollow and weigh 6 grams according to my balance at work.

    Roseanns last blog post..Meilenweit Cotton Fantasy Socks Completed

  20. My local knitting group had a discussion about these needles on Ravelry. Thought you might want to check it out: http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/noble-knitters/633262/1-25#12

    They pretty much said the same things you did but some of them talked to a rep at Stitches South and he had some pretty interesting things to say…

    Melissas last blog post..Breaking the Silence

  21. Kristin says:

    Lucy, I’ll offer you two catnip yarn toys and a large empty box to spill the beans. :)

  22. The cables on the size 3 and larger are thicker. And since the square needles tend to make me knit at a finer gauge, that works out about perfectly for me to hit my standard size 2. I also use the size 2s in dpns when I want to knit at a standard size 1. I absolutely love the kollage needles (but agree, not the circs in sizes smaller then 3).

    Angela Places last blog post..well, thank god that’s over!

  23. I’m with you! I do Magic Loop socks and thought these would be great with their flexible cables. They were terrible! I had to PUSH my stitches from the cable to the needles. I purchased either #1 or #0 – can’t remember. I switched right back to my Addi 40″ for my Magic Loop socks.

    Robins last blog post..The Artwork

  24. Let’s see, YOU got Athelas, and I think Anne H. got Athelas, and I got Athelas too….great minds think alike! I love Josette’s yarn. Plus she was really nice when we went out to dinner!

    At Sock Camp, Stephen (of Hizknits) was struggling manfully (ar ar) with the Kollage sock needles too (which I had bought at Madrona, tried briefly, didn’t like, put away to try again in the future perhaps). He had the same problem that everyone has had. I didn’t realize cables could be *too* flexible until then, but the bending at the join! No, no! He said, however, that he had a pair in a worsted weight size, and didn’t have the problem with the cable at that size and really liked them. Just passing that on.

    Cathy-Cates last blog post..Flowers for Mother’s Day

  25. I can’t wait to hear your yarn-related news. :)

  26. Thanks for the info on the square circs. I wanted to try some, but I have other needles there it is hard to push the stitches up, and I get very irritated by that…. so the squares idea goes in the circular file.

    Rona

  27. I’m waiting with bated breathe. What length circular needles do you use for the socks on two circs?

  28. I talked to the Kollage people at Stitches South and they told me they are coming out with a firm cable – probably by July. He implied that many people like the soft cable so they will be offering two different cables. I haven’t heard of anyone who liked the soft cable below a size 7 or 8 so I have a feeling if the firm cable actually works it will end up being the only one.

  29. I bought the square straight needles because they were supposed to be easier on tired/sore/stiff hands and I have trouble with my hands and fingers. While I liked them, I didn’t find them any easier to use than the regular round needles.

  30. A Wendy Knits! line of sock yarn?

    Idas last blog post..Excuse a bit of self-indulgent reminiscing

  31. Someone gave me some 40 inch Kollage needles and I planned to use them on cuff downs which I magic loop. Your comment makes me think I probably won’t like them for the same reason. I had have to “push” the stitches over the join.

    I’m loving the new socks.

    southparknitters last blog post..Looks like it worked…

  32. That’s I “hate” having to push stitches over join.

    southparknitters last blog post..Looks like it worked…

  33. Just echoing the general sentiment about the cables on the square circs… I’ve given up on mine :(

    Jens last blog post..Sweet, sweet failure.

  34. I too was intrigued by the square needles. Not only was it hard to push work along the thin cable but after knitting only two small projects the cable broke at the join (I tried both size 6 and 8). The LYS is returning them for me.

  35. I can only imagine the frustration of spending so much time trying to slip stitches over the join on the square circulars … yikes! Turns out, it is hip to be square but it isn’t hip to be fine. That’s the difference.

    Rivulets seems to be just right as the name for the new socks. They also look a bit like the current of a flowing river. Very pretty, very Wendy.

    Hope you and Lucy have a beautiful day!

    Warmly,
    firefly

    fireflys last blog post..Pumpkin seeds and tea cups

  36. The rivulets pattern is lovely – I really like the name! While you were very productive, I do hope you can sleep tonight!
    That yarn looks like much fun.

    Jennifers last blog post..A baby surprise – jacket

  37. I haven’t tried the square needles, but I love dpns so I will have to check them out (eventually).

    Seanna Leas last blog post..not the walk of shame

  38. Bonnie H. says:

    I saw some of those Kollage circular needles at a local shop on Saturday. I thought the cable might be a little too flexible. I’ve never had a complaint with my Addi Turbos. Well, I had one circular that did not have a smooth join. I emailed the company and they told me to send it to them. They replaced it promptly.

  39. Michele In Maine says:

    Oh, String Theory – you will love knitting with their yarn! Karen and Tanis are very talented dyers and knitters (how do I know? It’s my local LYS!). The Caper is especially nice. Can’t wait to see what you make with it.

  40. Karen in Ontario,Canada says:

    I also had a problem with the cables, and mine broke.
    I contacted Koliage. Gave a rave review on the square needles but not on the flimsy cable. They were super. Replaced my broken needle,on my word without sending them the needle. Suggested using a drop of crazy glue at the join and twirling so that you did not get a bump of glue. Did that, but have not tried it yet. I was also told that they are in the process of trying a bit stiffer cable, still on the drawing board, but they could be coming out with another line of needles. Square circulars with stiffer cables.
    The people at Koliage are listening to all the knitters out there that use their products, and trying to remedy the problems that knitters have with their products.

  41. noallatin says:

    Like so many others, I tried the Kollage circular for sock kitting and put it away very quickly. The cable gave me fits. I’m much fonder of the Hiya Hiya needles.

  42. I haven’t tried these needles (although I’ve been thinking about it) but, judging from the picture, I’d say the problem is not so much with the cable as with the join – the metal part should taper down more or there should be a little sleeve covering the join (that wouldtaper from the metal to the cable – sort of like wrapping tape around the join.) How do the cables compare to those on Addi lace needles? They are very soft & flexible & that is why I like them so much (but they do have a little plastic thingie covering the join).

  43. I’m knitting your Trilobite socks with those Kollage square circs (US 1) and I completely agree with your assessment. I adore the needle tips and am having a horrible time getting the stitches from the cable onto the needle. I’m also using Berocco Comfort sock and its acrylic-ness probaby isn’t helping the situation.

    On the plus side, the pattern is showing up just beautifully in the yarn…

  44. Mark at Kollage told me that 90% of those surveyed liked the floppy needle. However, that *may* have been on the larger size needles, not the size 2 which is more used with Magic Loop. I have arranged to return mine to the shop I bought them from at MSW and I will await the release of the firmer cable. I do love the square-ness factor because I do grip less tightly with them.

  45. I have been wondering about those needles – and whether or not the stitches would catch on the square shape, or if it would distort the stitch…
    pity about the cable.

  46. Lynda Hitt says:

    Love, Love Love the needles, but the cords, not so much. I love how the needles kind of even out the stitches and make my knitting smooth. I do have trouble getting the yarn back onto the needles when it’s been sitting on the cord for magic loop.

    I’m not sure it would keep me from buying more, but I would like a firmer cord.

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