Warning: Beware Circular Needle Lengths

I did it again.  I always forget that a 16″ circular needle does not mean the cable is 16″ but that the entire needle  from tip to cable to tip is 16″.  Am I the only one who does this?  It wouldn’t be so bad except that to get a 16″ circular needle the needle tip portion ends up so much smaller!

Look how much smaller the needle tip is with 24″ vs 16″ circular needles.  The 24+” fixed circular as well as the interchangeable needle tips are all the perfect size.  Sometimes I want just a little bit smaller of a cable and this is how I got into my current mess.  I go down to 16″ and end up with a tiny needle tip that I now have to hold differently and that messes with my tension and gauge.

I have no excuse for this.  The Knit Picks circular needle description says how the needles are measured.  It’s very clear and even tells me how long the needles tips are. I just can’t seem to get it to stick in my head. I’m hoping that next time I’m tempted to buy 16″ circular needles I will look back here and remember the reason is a was a bad idea the first time and an even worse idea the second time.  If I’m lucky there will be no third time.

I realized my mistake pretty quickly while I was knitting my new pair of socks.  The tension isn’t as consistent and it’s taking a little bit longer to get any progress on them. I’ve just finished the heel and I have new 24″ needles coming in this week.  Hopefully my socks speed up after that.

Diatom Shawl – Neutral


Yarn: Knit Pick’s Palette Yarn

  • White – 3 balls (5 balls in kit)
  • Mist – 1 ball
  • Silver – 1 ball
  • Marble Heather  – 1 ball
  • Ash – 1 ball 
  • Black – 1 ball
Yarn Weight: Fingering
Needles: Knit Picks size 6 circular needles
Measurements: 48” diameter (kit calls for 60”)
Pattern Location: Knit Picks’ Diatom Shawl Kit (not available anymore)
Time Spent: 65 hours
Dates: 7/27/2011 – 10/12/2011

The majority of this pattern was fairly consistent with only the center and edging deviating from the same general stitch pattern.  I enjoyed it but I did not like the double or even triple yarn overs that were in the center and edge charts.  I find that I have to always slow down to avoid losing these extra yarn overs and it breaks up my rhythm.

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