Friday, August 31, 2018

A Needle Guide for Your Needles

They say the pen is mightier than the sword... well what if I told you there was a magical thing that’s

the size of a pen, but as sharp as a sword? You’d call me a fool. I’d call you a monster, wiping away
my tears because I thought you were my friend, and I don’t understand why you’d choose to hurt me!

All kidding aside, you’d be wrong. That magical item exists...

Behold---the knitting needle.

These little babies come in all sizes and are made out of all kinds of stuff: aluminum, brass, steel,
bamboo, birch, plastic, and even carbon fiber. Knitting needles also come in several configurations:
single-pointed, double-pointed, and fixed circulars. Combine that with the various manufacturers of
these needles and you have A LOT of choices in front of you..

So, here’s what’s going to happen. We’re gonna check out which materials work best for certain yarn.
And then we’ll take a look at which needle types work best for which projects.


Wooden Needles

Wooden needles tend to be a bit more comfortable, as they are warm to the touch. They’re also quieter
than their metal counterparts. These needles grip yarn a little bit more due to the texture of their material.
So, if you’re using a yarn that’s a bit more slippery, wooden needles can keep it from sliding all over
the place. Here are some patterns/yarns that would be great for wooden needles!



Metal Needles

Metal needles stay cooler, and they are also sharper and smoother than other needles. This allows
you to slide the yarn along them more easily, making them better suited for speed-demon knitters
and/or those who tend to knit a bit tightly. Check out these patterns/yarns that are perfect for metal needles!


Plastic Needles and Hybrid Needles

Let's say you're at a bit of a crossroads. Wooden needles might be too rough for you, and metal needles are a bit too slick or cold. You're looking for something that's juuuuust right. Well buckle up, Goldilocks, because we're about to dive into the fun stuff. 

You see, plastic needles are great for heavier yarns, blends with synthetic fibers, and medium to tightly plied yarns. They're usually fairly pointy and are warm in your hands. Pretty cool, huh? And don't even get me started on hybrid needles. Karbonz, for example, boast a smooth, carbon fiber body. This make them both flexible and strong. Brass tips give them a sharp point, making them perfect for heavier yarns. 

So which needles sound right for YOUR project?

Friday, August 24, 2018

September In-sport-ation!

Tis the season! Crafting season, that is! Looking for a fun way to get a Head Start on the Holidays? Luckily, we Beans have come up with a plan to make sure that your loved ones get the gifts they love without all the added stress on your part! Because we love you.

There. . .  we said it.

If you haven’t heard of our Make-It Event, be sure to check it out on our Ravelry Page. And if you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve gathered five cool (free) patterns that you could potentially knit and crochet for next month’s weight!

4. Card Tower by Pink Araiguma

© Michelle Sprouse

Friday, August 3, 2018

We went to CGOA!

Last week, Shannon and I (Jeff) visited the CGOA conference! CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) is the only national organization dedicated to the craft of crochet. To quote their mission statement, “CGOA provides the opportunity for members to learn more about crochet, be inspired by innovative designs, and connect with other passionate crocheters.”

We were proud to be a corporate sponsor, and we were lucky enough to get to cut the ribbon and open the event! We brought lots of goodies to share with the CGOA members, including skeins of Madelinetosh and Spud and Chloe that we cast into the crowd!

We also brought our SmartStix Crochet Hooks and shared them with attendees. They were a big hit! We even handed out a few Crochet Club projects to some lucky attendees!

If you’re a crocheter, this event is an amazing experience. They had an absolutely overwhelming amount of classes, fun events (like a speed crochet competition!) and some of the biggest names in the crochet world were there. The work on display in the competition booth was beautiful and creative.. The amount of classes offered was overwhelming, some creating projects right in the classroom, and others teaching technique and theory spanning all levels of complexity, from basic to the advanced. These ‘hookers’ weren’t shy either! It was a fun and exciting atmosphere filled with laughter and joy. We were very thankful to get to be a part of it.

To learn more about the CGOA, visit their website. Membership is only $35 dollars a year, and next year’s event in Manchester New Hampshire promises to be even bigger and better!