Sunday, February 04, 2007

Frustration at lack of agreement

The Regia 4-ply sweater was coming along, until I took it to an Iolanthe sing at friends' of ours today. Mid-way through act one the peers come on in marching procession, and since we'd all been sitting awhile there was a general call to all stand up and march around their living room while the piano had a good long intro. I'd had my knitting out before we got started, picked it up in a hurry to move it out of the way of the march and felt the size 1 bamboo circular snap under my fingers. Sigh.

Got back home to the collection and found there is disagreement between manufacturers as to what size a US 1 is -- 2.25 or 2.5. Guess which one I have plenty of.

Further research on the shopping sites shows that the brand I like in a metal needle, the Addi Turbos are of the 2.5 mm category. Eh. Given how loose the fabric looked when I did the gauge on a 2.75 mm size 2 and then how it improved with the 2.25 mm size 1, I'm sticking with the 2.25 mm.

So who makes 2.25 mm size 1s? Crystal Palace, which, much as I ordinarily love their bamboos, I'm not going to be naive enough again to shell out another $12.90 for something going in about-town knitting and just as likely to snap under the abuse I give things. It's just the nature of the beast that bamboo is not as tough as metal, nice as it otherwise is to work with, and at small diameters it's just much more likely to snap,much like how fine china risks damage in a dishwasher. (Note bene, Himself asked if wouldn't they be under warranty and I said it's like if you run your brand-new car into a stone wall and break the headlamp, that headlamp ain't under warranty anymore.)

Inox I have a checkered history with. I like the Inox Express with the shiny silvery needles and the black cord well enough, though I've had cord/join issues with them, which is why I prefer the Addi Turbos. Inox Standards with the gray aluminum I won't buy again. Their tips wear out too fast and I wind up with grainy aluminum catching on the stitches where I've worn the tips down into flats on one side. Worst time was when I got some on my way out of town in a hurry up to Cape Breton in 2004. We left on a Friday, I had a lot of passenger time across Nova Scotia and then touring the island to work socks. By Thursday I needed to replace them.

So I'm waiting for a reply from the merchant to confirm the size of the Inox Express. I have a sweater length Inox Standard size 1 in the needle stash and the sweater has been moved onto it for security, but I think I'll be focusing on other projects until I can get a real replacement.

You might also want to consider the flexible plastic sort of needles:

That's what I use for around-town #1 DPNs. I'm not sure whether they're 2.25mm or not, but they have good customer service, so you could just ask. Upshot is that they don't seem to fall out of stitches and they're guaranteed not to break. Given that I just toss my in-progress socks into my bag, they're a lifesaver for me. (BTW, not associated with the woman who sells these in any way, other than having bought a set.)
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