I hope your holidays have been merry -- and continue to be!
Things were bustling around here for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then ground pretty much to a halt thanks to my back. While getting dinner ready, I started having spasms in the middle of my back. Lovely thing, that. One minute you're busy in the kitchen and the next you're grabbing the counter and just trying to breathe.
Fortunately, and with the help of ibuprophen and massage (thanks, Scotty!), things are already a bit better. I spent all day Saturday taking it very easy. I felt bad about staying home from the shop since I knew we were having a sale and it would be busy. Fortunately, Kathleen was already planning to be there to help out, so between her and RaNaye, they managed okay. I just didn't trust my back to hold up, nor did I want to be driving and suddenly not be able to breathe because I moved the wrong way. That definitely wouldn't be good!
At least I was able to sit and knit. I finished the Citron shawl. I was going to make it bigger, but by the last 12 rows, there are something like 550 stitches on each row and I decided that was as big as my patience would reach, so I bound off. On Sunday the back felt better, so I washed and blocked it and it's now around my neck keeping me toasty warm. It really is a cute thing, just more of a scarf than a shawl, which is fine by me.
The yarn is Malabrigo lace. I used almost all of one skein. The color is Pearl 36, which is gray with a slight bit of pink that shows up depending on the lighting and the background color being worn. Unfortunately, it doesn't show up in the picture very well. As usual, Malabrigo is a joy to knit and to wear. So soft!
Saturday's mail yielded my new Signature circular needles. Woot! I ordered a pair of US 6 needles in 32" length since that's the size I use most often when knitting lace with sock-weight yarn. Since Citron is off the needles, I had to search for something new to start that would use my new, shiny, super-pointy, wonderful Signature needles. (BTW, I'm not getting paid anything to review these needles, 'kay? Just so we're clear.)
I finally settled on the Woodland Shawl by Nikol Lohr using some Blue Heron Rayon Metallic that I got from one of Susan Pandorf's legendary destash sales. I'm not sure what the color is called, but it's a lovely blend of blue/purple/green with gold metalic bits. I've done two repeats of the pattern so far and I really like how it's looking. I should have enough yarn in the 550-yard skein to get a decent stole out of it.
Oh, and the Signature needles? Love 'em! (Was there any doubt?) I got the 6" length needles, which are longer than the usual needle tips on circs. The length is perfect for my big hands and lets me keep a lot of lace stitches on the needle, thus mitigating the need to keep sliding stitches from the cable to the needle -- something that can be a PITA when working lace. The cable is very flexible, but doesn't coil on itself. One of the reasons it doesn't coil while knitting is that it's set into the needle in such a way that it swivels as you knit. They managed to do this while still keeping a very smooth join, which is fabulous. Oh, and I got the stiletto tips, so they're nice and pointy for those pesky K2tog and SSK maneuvers.
The surface of the needle itself is what you expect from Signature -- smooth but not too slick. I'd put them about even keel with Addi Lace for ease of stitch movement. I don't think they're as slick as Addi Turbo needles, which is fine for how I use them. The Signature DPNs I have (size US1) have a microscopic scoring on them that allows stitches to move easily but keeps the needles from falling out of the knitting accidentally. The circulars do not have that feature and I don't think I miss it. It's really more necessary on the DPNs than on circs.
The US6 needles I got came in green. I'm not sure if the other sizes are in different colors or not. That's something they do with their DPNs, though, so maybe they are. Pictures on the Web site do show some in red.
One thing I know for sure is that I will save up to get two sets of 24" US1 circulars when they're available. Knitting socks on two circs will be a joy with those! (Although I do love my DPNs, it's nice to switch-hit sometimes.)