New to the Queue: Keeping warm and giving thanks

Sunlit Shawl

Sunlit Shawl

Photo courtesy of sweetfiber on Ravelry

This shawl caught my eye immediately. It’s one of those designs I love because it’s fairly simple, yet striking. I like the way the shawl plays with yarn weights to create the striping effect, it works very well.

Price: $6 CAD

Craft: knitting

Designer: Melissa Thomson


Ragnatella

Ragnatella

Photo courtesy of minimi on Ravelry

I love this hat. The contrasting stripes are dramatic, and the chevron pattern makes otherwise simple stripes interesting. It looks like a cute accessory to brighten any winter day.

Price: €3.75 EUR

Craft: knitting

Designer: Cristina Ghirlanda


First Snow Mittens

First Snow Mittens

Photo courtesy of Asti on Ravelry

Can you tell winter’s coming soon? These mittens are so adorable, and the colorwork is so detailed. There are at least 9 different snowflake patterns, including the big one.

Price: $3.50 USD

Craft: knitting

Designer: Aet Terasmaa


Colleen Hooded Coat

Colleen Hooded Coat

Photo courtesy of Susieacedo on Ravelry

I am in awe of this coat. The cabling is so gorgeous, and it looks like something that would be so comfy to snuggle into in front of the fire with a good book.

Price: €5.00 EUR

Craft: knitting

Designer: Susie Acedo


Thanksgiving Turkey Amigurumi

Thanksgiving Turkey Amigurumi

Photo courtesy of petalstopicots on Ravelry

Of course I couldn’t let Thanksgiving week here in the U.S. go by without a turkey pattern! This little guy is adorable, and I love his granny square tail feathers. He’d make the perfect Thanksgiving table centerpiece.

Price: free!

Craft: crochet

Designer: Kara Gunza

Favorite Pattern Friday: Cotyledon

Now that the weather’s getting cooler, I’ve been turning a lot of my focus toward projects to keep me warm, like scarves and hats. I used some lovely madelinetosh tosh DK to knit myself an autumn-themed scarf a couple weeks ago, and decided I needed a matching hat.

My Cotyledon

My Cotyledon

Looking at the amount of each color I had left, I decided that a Cotyledon in yellow with a brown trim would be the perfect complement to my scarf.

Of course, with Christmas gifts coming up and the crazy idea that maybe I can knit myself a sweater between now and Christmas on top of everything else, that hat’s fallen a bit by the wayside.

Anyway, I’ve decided to feature Cotyledon as my Favorite Pattern Friday this week, since my attention’s been brought back to it recently and because it’s such a nice pattern.

I was one of the original test knitters for this pattern in 2011, and loved it. The hat quickly became one of my go-to hats. The pattern gives two options: a slouchy version and a beanie version. I can only speak to the beanie version as that’s the one I’ve knit.

My Cotyledon

My Cotyledon

This pattern’s a little different than many hat patterns I’m used to because it is knit from the top down, instead of from the brim up. It’s a little fiddly getting started, just because there are so few stitches across 3 or 4 dpns, but once it’s cast on it’s an easy pattern.

I like the way the cables in the pattern are simple enough to be almost mindless knitting, but interesting enough that you don’t get bored. The contrasting border on the bottom adds a nice pop, too. The sizing of the pattern works very well for me, because I like hats that cover my ears well and this hat does the trick.

I would give this pattern an A and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting but not too complicated hat or portable project. The pattern is available for $6 on Ravelry here.

Review of the Week: Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles

I’d been eyeing these needles since they first came out. I’m generally a fan of wood needles, but like the pointy-ness you can get with metal needles. These seemed to be the best of both worlds: a needle that has the warm feel of wood and the pointy-ness of metal tips. Plus, the needles aren’t as likely to bend as metal needles or to break as wood needles.

My Karbonz in action

My Karbonz in action

I got a set of size 2 (2.75mm) dpns on a whim at my LYS, figuring they’d see a fair bit of use as that’s the dpn size I use the most.

I’ve used them a few times now for various fingering weight projects, including my current pair of CanCans.

Overall, I like these needles a lot (in fact, I’ve requested an interchangeables set for Christmas!). They definitely deliver on the smooth, warm feel, and I’m very comfortable knitting with them.

The Karbonz are a bit on the pricey side compared to the wood Dreamz or the metal Nova, but about on par with Addi needles. For reference, here’s a price comparison on a size 4 16″ circular needle, using prices from WEBS as of Nov. 2013:

Nova – $6.99

Dreamz – $8.49

Karbonz – $14.95

Addi Turbo – $15.95

Overall, I’d give these needles a 9 out of 10, and would definitely recommend them.

Pros:

  1. The feel – The needles have  a nice, warm feel to them, which I like. They don’t stick to my fingers like metal needles sometimes do.
  2. The color scheme – I like that the needles are a simple black with metal tips. They kind of sit in the background and let the WIP jump out, rather than the needles.
  3. The way they work with different yarns – I’ve used a few different yarns with these needles, and I like how easily the yarn moves on them, yet doesn’t slide right off.

Cons:

  1. The joins at the tips – The spots where the metal tips meet the carbon bodies of the needles isn’t perfectly smooth, I can feel a bit of a bump there.
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