Monday, July 10, 2006

The right tools for the right job

They always say "the right tools for the right job," isn't that, well, right? For example, it's much easier to type this sentence (one that has many, many letter E's in it) with an E key than without! I present to you my brand new-to-me keyboard, complete with E key and a gratifying lack of cat hair. So much better than that old nubby stump of an E key.

On the subject of the right tools, I recall that a few months back, Rose switched to using different needles for her Adamas shawl, also made with Knitpicks Shadow. I've been using my very ordinary, everyday bamboo needles, the ones I use for pretty much everything, for the Pacific Northwest shawl, and they weren't really doing the job. K2togs were a terror, let's just say. They were too blunt, which just made everything else not quite right: too grippy, or too slippery, or just plain wrong. On Friday (I think it was) my new needles arrived, inspired by Rose's post - Bryspuns! They are pointy! I see what they mean about concave (or is it convex; I can never keep the two straight) needles! They are so much better for knitting lace and lace-weight yarn! The PNW shawl is now zipping along; I have two more repeats to go on the seagulls and then it's on to the trees. My journey into knitted ASCII art continues.

(Oh, and in answer to an older question about the pattern, yes, it's very easy to follow! So much easier to follow than Charlotte's Web; it's really a shame that such a popular design (CW) had to be so confusing, especially one recommended for new lace knitters. PNW is complicated because the patterns don't repeat from row to row; you can only memorize sections, not the whole shawl. And yet, PNW is amazingly easy to follow along. I highly recommend it.)

My hands have been hurting a little bit on and off from so much typing for exam prep and knitting, but not as bad as a few weeks ago, so it's okay for now. I wear the brace more than I'd like to have to do, though, but it's worth it to be able to type and then to knit. The right tools, they say. The right tools. Now if only I can shape my brain into the right tool, too.


Diana said...

I haven't tried Byspun needles. Let us know how you like them.

Lazuli said...

Diana, I like the Bryspuns a lot, at least for lace; I think I'd like them for other things, too. The pointiness is especially nice when working with such thin yarn! They are very lightweight, which is odd at first, but very easy to get used to. Their cable is thicker than that of the Clovers, and it is, how do you say it, has less twist-memory when fresh out of the package, and is therefore easier to work with? All in all, I like them thus far.

rose said...

The bryspuns work well for lace. I can't say that I wanted to go through that many needles, but I didn't have a choice.

Is the PNW shawl done with laceweight yarn? If so, that might be why it's considered more difficult than CW (which is done in koigu sock yarn, right).

I've actually been wearing a brace while spinning. It's helped. I have to do so much typing at work now, I'm thinking it's better safe than sorry.

Angel said...

I tend to use cheap metal needles when I am working on lace- Susan Bates I think, however I have always wanted to try the Bryspuns....

I have been thinking of also making that shawl- I guess I will have to add it to the list. I have to think of what projects are coming home with me for the week that I will be in LA- I always take too much yarn. I've made one beaded lacy wrist cuff from the latest knitty ("Perdita" I think the pattern is called?) and they are so fun. Just a wee bit of lace and total instant gratification in one evening.

I tend to get soooo impatient with lace.

Lazuli said...

Angel - the Bryspuns are really not that badly priced; $6-7 on Elann, depending on size #, which is roughly the same as Clover bamboos.