Circular needles are not all alike. There are wondeful, smooth as silk and raring to go needles. The Ferrari's are like these:
Yes, Addi (zooom!) turbos. Blessed be the Addis.
But let's go back to the beginning. A couple of months ago I bought several skeings of Fibranatura Flax -- three skeins in lemon, about 7 in a pretty sky blue. I decided to save the blue ones for a lacy tank top similar to the one at the top of the blog. The yellow ones I wanted to turn into market bags for Christmas gifts.
Luckily, I found someone on Ravelry who made the Monteagle Bag from Mason-Dixon 2 with just one skein. Added everything to the queue in September, having downloaded the pattern from www.masondixonknitting.com.
Then selfish knitting intervened. I've been working on the log cabin afghan, which is very, very close to being completely done (one strip to sew, ends to weave in, and final blocking!). I knitted a nice pair of socks, and a scarf to go with a hat that I knit last year.
But then I realized I do like knitting for others, just not all the time. The fact that the Inca Gold that I've ordered special from Marin Fiber Arts for a lovely cardigan has not come in yet has nothing to do with this, really! So, I started a dishcloth set for my cousin, Marie -- and it's pretty much done, except for some weaving of ends and sewing on of buttons.
I culled the queue on Ravelry (down to five projects, now that I've discovered that I can favorite something and put a keyword in to find it later), and the Monteagle was calling to me. So, last night I started.
First, I decided that it was time to use Judy's magic cast-on instead of the sew-uplater version. So, I grabbed the Boye needle set (thinking that my Knitpicks needles in the size 9 I'd need -- I'm a loose knitter -- were in use on another project, and the 20 in length is in the Boye set), put on the cables and started, then realized that I'd be better off using two circular needles at least at the beginning. I rummaged through my circular sets and found two 16 in circulars -- a Susan Bates coated set, and Plymouth wooden ones.
Ah, here's the rub of circular needles. They are all so different from each other. The Susan Bates are flexible, have a relatively easy "jump" from the cable to the needle. They are slightly sticky, and blunt-tipped. The Plymouths have a better point, but they are like molasses to move stitches over, and, to my mind, have one feature which will ban them from my hands forever, a small BULB right at the base of the needle. This is not a mistake, in like "gee, we goofed on the design." No, it's an intentional little bulb, which will impede the progress of any yarn from the cable to the needle.
Back to the Monteagle bag: I got the cast on done, knit the three rounds of stockinette, and then started with the "twisted cross stitches" which are really mock cables with extra wraps. Not a big deal, except I'm knitting flax, which has NO give, NO bounce. What you see is what you get.
The experienced knitters are now saying, "No, you didn't." Yep, I did. I put all those twisted cross stitches in flax onto the Plymouth circular needle. And everything came to a grinding halt. I could not get the stitches up over the "bump" (read -- boulder beyond any knitter's understanding). Unfortunatley, I could also not "tink" the stitches back, because I couldn't get them back over the other side.
One little thing that I forgot to mention is that the pattern I'm using will use every inch of the Fibranatura flax. There is no "excess" according to what I've read on Ravelry. I couldn't just cut off what I've knitted and start over and have enough to make a bag.
I pondered...and then it hit me. I hate this Plymouth needle. There is no way I'm gonna use it again. And it would be totally unfair to impose this needle onto some newer unsuspecting knitter who doesn't know crap and will get discouraged and think they are a bad knitter.
And so, I cut the cable. (A picture will follow.)
So, I pulled out my Knitpicks options binder, I realized that my Size 9 tips were not being used. I put a 40 inch cable on them, and am magic-looping my way, feeling virtuous and victorious over my Plymouth circulars.
And yes, it is finished: