Saturday too

A rare weekend post from me, but I didn’t want to get behind on gifts for knitters, or not tell you what Luis is hanging today.  (I’ve had a few emails that imply that there’s more than one knitter out there who’s making one a day, in conjunction with what I post, and I didn’t want to let them down if they were on a system.) I’ve not yet recovered from the mitten debacle, and the fastest way to fix that is to knit, rather than tell you about it, so let’s cut to the chase, eh?

What’s Luis hanging today?


midge 2014-12-06

When asked why, he just said “Pim pom, pim pom” which is what he says when the waves rock the boat to and fro.  He’s too little yet to do any real sailing, but he does like to go out, bob around in the sunshine and then motor back in, and this boat has been such a big part our family this last year that I couldn’t leave it off.

midgelou 2014-12-06

To make our Midge ornament, I messed around with this pattern a little bit.  I altered the colours (to match Midge, it goes without saying) and since my ornament was going to be flat, not something that would stand up, I took out two of the rows that make the base.  (I don’t need no stinking bases.) My version was made of fingering weight wool on 2mm needles, so there was no way that a pipe cleaner (thick or otherwise) was going into the mast.  An unbent and cut paperclip is rather securely sewn in instead.

Gifts for Knitters, Day 6

Quick and dirty – here’s another good idea.  Knitting needles come in lots of sizes, and the sizes aren’t always printed on them, and it’s pretty important to know what you’re dealing with. Enter the humble needle gauge.  We’ve all got a couple, but don’t let that stop you from buying another one.  The more them merrier, that’s the rule for gauges. (It ups the odds that your knitter will be able to put their hands on one. It’s one of the things you see them ripping up that drawer trying to find.   There’s lots of different kinds, so I think if you poke around, you’ll find the perfect thing.  If your knitter is a purist, try this plain wooden one. If your knitter’s American*, this seller has some cute ones in the shape of your knitters home state. (Knit free or die.) There’s some beautiful ones that are nothing short of art.  Try this one with swallows, or hedgehogs, (actually, she has a lot of cute ones) or a dinosaur or this one that’s a  brooch, if you think your knitter would wear it.  This one’s a pretty pendant,  and this one is too, and this one (are you sensing a theme?) is a tardis. If you’re looking to kick your game up a notch?  This one is gold.

*Note re: There are, in the world, presently two needle systems, and gauges reflect that. The US needle system (a numbered system) and the Metric system (that one is measured) for pretty much everybody else. Most Canadian knitters will prefer metric,  most European/Australian are going to prefer metric, and most American knitters will prefer the US sizes. If you don’t know your knitters preference, then it’s best to get a gauge that is numbered for both.


46 thoughts on “Saturday too

  1. Ha, funny you should mention the hedgehog needle gauge – I actually bought one for my newly-converted knitter BFF this year. Also made her some hedgie project bags to go with it. I heartily recommend hedgie-themed gifts in general.

    Glad to see Lou is enjoying the calendar!

  2. Just to add to the fun of needle systems, there are still some around ( like all over my house, that used to be my mom’s or my gran’s) in the old UK system – basically the opposite of the US system, so the needles get smaller the bigger the “size” number.
    So yes, a gauge is essential; then it doesn’t matter what system the needles were originally made in, or even if you don’t know where they were made, you still have a clue what size they are.

    • True! I’ve got old UK needles too (that’s certainly what was for sale here in Canada when I was much younger) and I agree!

    • If anyone is in the medical field they will recognize the UK sizing system. We still use it for IV catheters. I think they’re even the same size as the old UK sizes!

      • `The old UK system was based on standard wire gauges. I have a lot of them too, as Aero was the (UK) brand most commonly available when I was young. Their circs were charmingly called twinpins.

    • And there are others — I used to think the old French sizes had to be metric, but a needle gauge showed me the error of my ways. And old Canadian sizes aren’t the same as…. well, you get the idea.

    • So did the old metal ones. Really old Bell Gauges may have several holes worn out to where they are the same size. Modern plastic ones also will wear out larger.
      And gauges don’t always agree, no, not even purportedly metric ones. Best bet is always swatch. But if your knitter uses those antique needles they find at auctions and on ebay, that only differ from each other by .001, a very fine micrometer might be just the thing.

      • When I learned to knit, I got my Canadian grandmother’s needles. I got a British book. It said simply, 8 British, 6 American….which according to the chart in Mon Tricot, does not match up. Then I got a metric set w/American sizing. Nothing made sense anymore–my newborn booties were huge. Then I got older knitting books, and it’d say #3/3mm–which doesn’t line up on the Mon Tricot chart either. So I gave up knitting for years!

        • It doesn’t help that the UK sizes changed more than once during the mid-twentieth century, and more recently the American sizes have been changed to make people think they are using finer needles than they really are. Always swatch!

  3. Pingback: Saturday too | Yarn Buyer

  4. Funny; I was completely unable to find my needle gauge today. (I was stuffing the stash back into its bookcase before my husband noticed.)

    I don’t use the metric sizes much (I’m American), but I do intend to collect many needles in all sizes. I have a grand plan to sew myself a giant hanging needle holder, and I think I’ll write on both the American and metric sizes. Just makes more sense.

  5. It’s a lovely wee boat – and very Christmassy too – think of “I saw three ships come sailing in” even if Bethlehem isn’t exactly known as the watersports capital of the world!

  6. Wow! Thank you Stephanie! I just bought myself some Christmas gifts, a spinning bowl and a needle gauge! I love finding new etsy sellers to love. 🙂 Luis is so beautiful. I imagine his little fingers every day putting his choice into the pocket.

    • OK, I came here to say that there is a definite third sizing system, which my needle collection AND gauge reflect. But now I’ve read your comment and…the Japanese have their own system ? Tell me more !

      • Yup. Which is metric, but annoyingly different from European metric, in that their needle sizes jump by 0.3cm instead of 0.25… So I’m thinking of asking for a laser cutter for Christmas so I can make my own d**n needle gauge with US/Metric/Jpn on it so I don’t have to carry so many around all the time.

  7. The calendar and the wee ornaments are wonderful, and I’ve enjoyed them all. But the real joy here is that photo of Lou–surely one of the most beautiful children ever. (And that’s from a nana of 6 in the same category!) And 2-3/4 is a great age 🙂

  8. I loved finding your post today! Thanks for the extra! Cute boat/adorable Luis! I might need one of those hedgie needle gauges.

  9. Thank you Steph for sharing such a beautiful part of your life – Luis, and your talent! I am loving hearing all about it.

    Lol, yep, us Americans* gotta be belligerent and not conform. Actually, it’s more like ‘metrics is hard…’ for me anyway.

    I love the Wooly Ewes gauge! And I would wear a Debra’s Garden gauge as a necklace – reminds me of a painter’s palette and a conch shell.

    Thanks for a great post! 🙂

  10. Thank you for the Saturday post. We are greatly enjoying vicariously hanging Advent calendar ornaments with Luis (the cutest boy in the world)

  11. Lou is just too adorable. And I like how your gift to him keeps on giving … to you and to us, as we enjoy his delight in it.

  12. You know, I’ve seen “tardis” so many times and don’t know what that is/means. I was going to ask you, but then I thought to myself, “Cheryl, you will be much more likely to remember it if you look it up in the dictionary your damn self.” And I tried to do that! Guess what? It’s not in my bloody dictionary! 🙂

  13. Haha! My confirmation thingy said “touch the man”. My mind went elsewhere. Anyway, if you could find it in your heart to send some needle gauge mojo my way, it would be greatly appreciated. I know for a fact that there are at least three of them within a 10 foot radius of me right now and I’ll be damned if I can put my hand on any of them.

    • I swear to you, I just went back and sat in my knitting spot, reached my arm over–not even fully extended–and the needle gauge was right there! Your gauge mojo is on fire today!

  14. I think I understand why you’re experiencing knitting difficulties……………
    You’re not about that bass (about that bass), so you’ve got treble (trouble).

    Somewhere Meghan Trainor is dying a little inside…….

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