Recently, I’ve been going berserk, knitting as much as I can. You’ll remember that not long ago, I finished knitting a mustard beanie and started a pom-pom blanket for my baby niece.
After the successful hat attempt, I went yarn crazy and bought tons of different colours to make a slew of other beanies!
In today’s Smorgasbord Sundays post, I’ll show you photos of my completed purple beanie. (Hehe, I’ve already started a green one, and soon I’ll be making a blinding neon-pink one using hand-dyed merino wool I purchased from Etsy.)
Also, my amazing interchangeable bamboo knitting needle kit came in the mail! I’m so excited about it, and of course I have to show you. It’s literally my dream knitting-needle set. (Haha, that sounds nerdy, but whatever…I stand by that statement!) 😉
P.S. I’ve included a “Knitting” section in the “Categories” menu because it just dawned on me that nobody will be able to find those posts unless they dig and digggg!
Here’s the purple beanie I made.
While knitting, I made some mistakes, but the design is so lumpy that it conceals them fairly well. (Hehe, that’s why it’s a great pattern for beginners like me!)
Here are some photos I took of it with my iPhone. (I was surprised how well my cell captured the details. Funny thing is that when I photographed it using my DSLR, the colour of the yarn didn’t show up true-to-colour. Strange how the iPhone’s camera captured it more accurately!)
It’s exactly the same style as the other hat I blogged about previously (see below). If you would like to see the post on the mustard beanie (it has the free pattern I used), click on the link.
I’ve used straight and circular aluminum, plastic, and bamboo knitting needles. My favourites are circular bamboo knitting needles!
Circular needles are more compact, so when I’m knitting on the bus or subway, I don’t feel like I’m poking people’s eyes or elbowing them. Plus with circular needles, you can ‘knit in the round’ (meaning that you can knit things like hats seamlessly) as well as knit rectangles (like scarves).
I prefer bamboo knitting needles because they’re not cold to the touch, bamboo is a renewable resource, and they’re not as slippery as aluminum needles. (When you’re a beginner like me, you want slight texture on your needles because it prevents stitches from accidentally slipping off.)
Bamboo knitting needles are more expensive than aluminum and plastic needles, though, but I think it’s well worth the investment.
And here’s the Takumi Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles Combo Set that I’ve been gushing about on Twitter.
What’s the big deal about it? Well, the Takumi (Clover) brand of Bamboo knitting needles are my absolute favourite! They feel very comfortable in my hands, and the cord is flexible, not stiff like the Boyle ones.
So when I found out that there was an interchangeable kit by Takumi, I knew I had to get it!
What’s an interchangeable knitting needle set? Basically you get a whole bunch of different needle sizes and you can screw on different-sized cords to the ends. This allows for a lot of possibilities for an economical price. If you had to buy many needle sizes in different cord lengths, you could easily spend several hundreds of dollars, and storing them all would be pretty messy.
This Takumi Combo Set has these 12-tip sizes:
- Size 3 (3.25 mm)
- Size 4 (3.5 mm)
- Size 5 (3.75 mm)
- Size 6 (4 mm)
- Size 7 (4.5 mm)
- Size 8 (5 mm)
- Size 9 (5.5 mm)
- Size 10 (6 mm)
- Size 10.5 (6.5 mm)
- Size 11 (8 mm)
- Size 13 (9 mm)
- Size 15 (10 mm)
You also get 5 different nylon cord lengths:
- 16 Inches (This is one of the few interchangeable kits that has a 16-inch cord, and I was so happy to see it because this is the length you need to knit hats!)
- 24 Inches
- 29 Inches
- 36 Inches
- 48 Inches
In total, you can create 60 combinations with this kit! If that’s not versatility, I don’t know what is!
It also came with a black faux-leather zippered case, which is really compact and keeps all your tools organized. It’s so chic and looks almost like a clutch or an executive’s padfolio!
Okay, if you’re not into knitting, this won’t do anything for you, but if you are into knitting, seeing a set that’s so organized and practical probably makes your heart race. (Mine’s racing!)
The inside cover has a pocket. This will be great for when I need to keep some patterns handy.
Haha, when it comes to knitting, size matters! 😉
Here they are all lined up. I love how there are elastic loops to hold each pair in place.
And here’s a closer look at one of the needles.
Each one has the size clearly labelled, which is very important for me because I don’t want to buy those ‘knitting needle measure tools’.
The end is made out of stainless steel. This is where you screw on the cord.
(And, by the way, another reason why this interchangeable knitting needle set is da bomb dot com is because the joints swivel. You see, if that part doesn’t swivel, when you knit, the connection between the cord and the needle can unscrew itself…and your work could fall off! But Takumi was smart because by having that swivelling mechanism, there’s less chance of having that disaster happen.)
The point of the needle isn’t sharp. It’s blunt, but that’s the way I like it. With sharp knitting needles, I hurt myself because I tend to touch the point a lot when I’m knitting. Plus I don’t work with really thin yarn or do any lace work, so I don’t have a need for sharp points.
These are the 5-different cord lengths you get:
The cords are very flexible, which makes a big difference. I’ve been using a pair of Boyle circular needles to knit the pom pom blanket for my baby niece, and the cord is so stiff that it sticks up and is a bit annoying to work with!
In case you want to get your hands on this awesome Takumi Combo Set, I really suggest that you buy it from the Nancy’s Notions website like I did. It’s $99 USD, which is the cheapest I’ve seen it sold. Everywhere else, it goes for $175 USD or so. (Plus shipping to Canada is about $17 USD, and I didn’t have to pay any additional fees like duty, tax, or C.O.D.)
(You know what? When I was little, I remember watching Nancy’s TV show. She usually talked about sewing or crocheting. I was probably the only kid who watched that show because it was definitely geared toward the much-older crowd. I had completely forgotten about it until I came across Nancy’s Notions. Then I saw her photo and recognized her immediately!)
What’s Next on My Knitting Agenda?
Now that I have the right tools to make anything, I’m looking up new patterns since needle size and cord lengths can’t hold me back now. (“You can’t hold me back! Come at me, bro!” Hehe…)
And, as I already mentioned, I’ll be working on two hats (one green that I already started and the other will be a blinding neon pink because I found an Etsy seller who hand dyes merino wool. Apparently it’s so bright that it’s supposed to glow under a black light! :D). But I also want to challenge myself and make a sweater.
Haha, and I think that after I make my first sweater, I’m going to go crazy and become That Person Who Knits Everything Including Your Poodle. 😉 Who knows? Maybe I’ll start knitting little toys in the shape of nail-polish bottles…haha!
Knitting Goodies I Suggest for Beginners like Me
Although having bamboo needles helps prevent your work from accidentally falling off, it doesn’t hurt to have extra protection.
When I was browsing Michael’s again (oh boy, I feel like I go there once a week these days!), I found out about these Silicone Needle Point Protectors. They come in different sizes to fit a range of needles.
This is how you use it:
Another little goody I suggest getting are Locking Stitch Markers if you’re knitting in the round.
Previously, I used regular split-ring stitch markers because I thought those were the only kind available. The problem with them is that they would occasionally pop off my work! Do you know how distressing that is? When working on a hat, if it pops off, you have to ‘figure out’ where the beginning of the round was. And since I’m a beginner, I wasn’t even sure if I guessed correctly.
So I made another trip to Michael’s. (They must recognize me by now as that weirdo who zeroes in on the knitting section.)
I found these Locking Stitch Markers, and they’re much more secure than the split-ring variety. Even if you shake your work around (although I don’t know why you’d be doing that…), the stitch marker won’t come off. So now I don’t have to worry about it popping off unexpectedly.
Here’s what the stitch markers look like:
See how the split ring (on the left) just slips onto your work? Then, in the middle and on the right, I show you how the locking ones can open and then lock to secure it onto your work.
And look! I told you that Clover/Takumi is my favourite knitting brand! Even my stitch markers are made by them! (And, actually, when I checked just now, the needle point protectors were also made by Clover!)
Hope you’re all having a wonderful Sunday!
Are you knitting anything? Do you have a favourite knitting brand? What knitting books, YouTube channels, or magazines do you recommend?