Someone asked for in-progress photos from the project I wrote about starting yesterday. Little did I know that I would have some progress to show today already!

This shows about half of what I have (if you look closely, you’ll see it’s folded over) – a good chunk of the back. I just couldn’t stop! As you know, by now I’m pretty used to working in k1p1 for long stretches, so getting into that rhythm wasn’t an issue at all! And I’ve found I don’t mind purling, when it’s combined with knitting. What I really dislike is just endless rows of purling only. That tires me out.

But the reason why I’ve made this much progress in one evening is something else, I think. The needles. When I had just moved to London, and Ysolda (who is having a 25% off sale today only!) had just published her Snapdragon Tam pattern, I was dying to make it asap! I bought a wonderful yarn, but I couldn’t get the correct gauge with the needles I had – everything indicated that I needed a 4.5mm needle. But that seemed to be sold out at whatever store I went to. Finally I found Loop, where the lovely shop assistant spent quite a bit of time digging through their needle stash to find me the right size. The needle she found was kind of short, and I wasn’t sure if the cable length would be enough for a hat knit in the round, but she worked with me and was really nice and knowledgeable.

The needle was a Hiya-Hiya. I had never tried them before and was a little suspicious, but she recommended it warmly and I decided to trust her. I am so thrilled now that I did! This needle is a joy to work with, it’s very light, the cable is nice and flexible, the joint between the needle and cable is not at all noticeable, the needle is slippery enough to let you knit fast yet sticky enough to not make yarn fall off the needle on its own. And let me say it again – it’s very light. I didn’t think this would mean much, I mean how much does a needle weigh anyway, but I can really feel the difference when I’m using it!

I have also used Addi needles since, but I wasn’t as thrilled with them. That doesn’t mean I disliked them, I think they are very high quality and if you want a reliably good needle, they are highly recommended. But the Hiya-Hiya gives me that extra thrill! Let me say that this could also be biased by needle size. The only Hiya-Hiya I have is 4.5mm, and that is arguably one of the most comfortable needle sizes generally. But I still think I’m onto something here and I’ll definitely be buying more Hiyas in the future!

Oh yeah, and Hiyas combined with this amazing blend of wool and acrylic just takes me straight to heaven! I think this cardi might be knit up sooner than any of us expected! ;)