I was never a particularly speedy knitter, and things have slowed down even further since my stroke. I ‘throw’ the yarn with my right hand and, though I enjoy working with my left hand when knitting Fairisle, I am curiously unable to adopt this ‘picking’ method with just one colour. I just can’t seem to get the tension right. For a slow knitter like me, producing a sleeve at 7 stitches to the inch can be a drawn-out affair . . . that is, until yesterday when I discovered . . .


Addi’s new mini circular needle! Tom is away cycling with our friend The Mule, and yesterday, inbetween walking Bruce and other usual Sunday tasks, I managed to knit a whole sleeve


(thanks again for the stitch-markers, Mary Jo)

To those of you whose sweaters fly off the needles this may not seem that remarkable, but round here, this level of production is quite unprecedented. I’m not sure I would enjoy working (say) twisted stitches this way, as the short tips can be quite fiddly, but for manic stockinette these needles are ideal!!

That is a whole green sleeve. And I am actually looking forward to the other one (unusual, for sleeves). Clearly I have a thing for green cardigans, as this is the third I’ve knit in as many years . . but they are all very different designs, as well as very different greens.

This particular green is ‘Maury’ from is Renaissance Dyeing’s ‘Troubador’ range. I really cannot say enough good things about Andie’s yarn – I absolutely love it. This green is bright, and luminous and rich – the colour of leaves in high Summer. My new cardigan involves some texture and, because the springy Poll Dorset fleeces have been combed rather than carded, the stitch definition is superbly crisp. Andie has named the colourway after Pierre Maury, a brave Ariègois shepherd, who, eight-hundred years ago, lived close to where Renaissance Dyeing is based. To hear more about him, and to see a fabulous video of la Fête de la Transhumance, go and have a look at Andie’s blog. The desire to take a trip to France is very strong.

38 thoughts on “green sleeve

  1. I might give these a go, although I’d be sad not to use my existing dpns to which I’m very loyal. I recently had to buy some knitting needles for the first time in many years, as I was knitting an unusual weight yarn, and was sad to see that no-one stocks Aero needles anymore – they’re probably no longer made as they were British. My most recent (for me) (Indian) ones came in a stupid cardboard sleeve which has disintegrated and is no use for storage at all. Now going to search on Ebay.

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  2. I’m very interested to hear your comments on the tiny circular. I’ve been wondering if it would be too fiddley to use, but clearly not.
    Spendid green colour, too.

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  3. It seems you have an itinerary through France planned for you with eager hosts awaiting your coming… Paris, Bourgogne, then Ariège (and most likely a couple of stops in between). Plenty of hills to climb and beautiful places to explore on the way – and wool related, even. I can’t wait to see the completed cardigan.

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  4. Oh, Kate! Your blog is always a constant source of handy tips, beautiful and inspiring photos and wonderful words…and now? Mini-circular Addis?!? You may just have changed my life!
    Okay, that may be a bit hyperbolic of me, but really….I can hardly wait to get these in my hot (yet excrutiatingly slow-knitting) little hands!

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  5. I’m a thrower too and love my mini circ. I wish I had a couple in every size you can buy!
    Unfortunately I don’t have the size I need for the sleeves I’m knitting at present. Very slow knitting around here :-(
    I find when I pick my tension is way too tight, just need to find time to practice, I think.

    Love Textisles. As a dis-placed Brit ( albeit 33 years ago!) and a costumer I find the information both historically interesting and very useful. I am looking forward to knitting Warriston, just have to wait for the temperature to drop, it’s been in the mid 30’s for the last week but feels like mid 40’S. In othe words too hot to knit wool!

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  6. You should have come to Le Lot et la Laine which was held ten days ago (a first of its kind french fiber festival), Andie was there with all her beautiful wool and some incredible samples (like the amazing shawl and sweater from the sample pack of the range of crewel wool)! I agree, her wool is scrumptious and the colours are gorgeous.

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  7. If you are slow then I am snail-like. However, as you say ‘it’s not a race’. Do you throw or pick with the little circs? I am a thrower and on the rare occasions that i tried picking I found that my tension was very loose which put me off. I have to say I haven’t persevered (old habits…… etc).

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  8. I am also a thrower and I love those little circular needles. I use them for socks and mittens too and I’m much happier and more productive since I found them.

    I’ve been meaning to ask, our library just got a copy of a documentary called, “A Poet’s Guide to Britain”. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet but I wanted to make sure you’d seen it since it seems like something you would enjoy!

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  9. I discovered short Addis when learning the 2 circular method for socks. They lend themselves beautifully to sleeves as you discovered, as well as hats – anywhere one would use DPN’s in fact. But they are also very handy for smaller areas where a longer needle increases the fiddle-factor. I just knit across the first front of Deco with my 12 inch Addi – and I expect to finish the front before bedtime. Loving Deco – thanks for a great pattern, and also for inspiration all around. (Remind me to take you out for a cyber-cuppa and tell you about the time I peed myself from fear on Pillar in the Lake District … and I was fit then – not having your trials to overcome….)

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  10. The desire to take a trip to France is strong with me too.

    That green is the best thing I’ve seen on this monitor all day.

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  11. I am curious to find out whether you ‘threw’ or ‘picked’ with the mini circular. I have seen these needles, and they look so tiny that ‘picking’ would be hard. The yarn looks very inviting.

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  12. Excellent! I’m glad you have found your teensy tiny circ to be so useful! I use mine all the time for socks, but I’ve not used it for sleeves… yet.
    I had no idea you were a slow knitter – I certainly don’t get that impression from the gorgeous amount of designs you publish!

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  13. Changing knitting styles does take some time to get used to. Persevere. Re-mastering a skill will improve your outlook. I wish you well.

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  14. I survived my stroke in 2006 and I have been able to adapt my knitting in a way that works for me. Its been a new beginning.

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  15. Oh that green looks luscious! Can’t wait to see what the pattern is.
    I’ve been curious about mini circs for a while. I’m another thrower, and not usually the fastest knitter in the world either!

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    1. I agree, once I’d used mini needles for socks I never looked back, especially good for knitting while travelling, especially on planes.

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  16. Amazing colour for an amazing project ??? use small addi circ needles too and if you visit south west of France, i’d like organize a workshop with Ravelrers, customers at my shop ” La Lainerie ” in Bordeaux……

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  17. That whole sleeve in a day might have lost you your “slow knitter” badge :)

    I like the idea of the tiny circulars, but in practice, they don’t work well for my knitting style, which involves pushing the stitches along with my little fingers. I need enough needle length that those fingers are on the needles. I adore that colour of green.

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  18. Slow knitters unite! I’m a slow knitter, too. I love those short circulars. I’ll be keeping an eye out for them. Your knitting is lovely and the yarn is a stunning colour. Thank you for the link to Andi’s blog. I really enjoy the historical aspect of your blog.

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  19. Oh splendid … you have adopted the short circulars. I can’t manage the straight DP’s, and you know, if I want to use two 16″ circulars, even better (as new to ‘magic looping’ , I’m finding that it, too, has it’s limitations). I am doing just as you… though with red. I have a big huge red project on needles right now, and amd thinking … ‘I love this red sooo much’, I want to knit the same color in a different yarn, into something else red cardiganish. I can’t stop ! I am suddenly in love with rusty red . Similar to your green I think. Well, I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us next post.

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  20. Thanks for the really interesting link. I may use it some day… And if you ever come to France and want to visit Burgundy – hélas, not a lot of sheep here – I can provide you with lodging…
    Enjoy the second sleeve.

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  21. Ah! I love it! Can I ask where you got it from? I feel it would transform my knitting having such a dinky wee needle to speed things along. Beautiful colour of wool, too.

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  22. Such a stunning green! I am a huge fan of tiny circs. I use HiyaHiya needles, 9″ long in sizes for socks in size USl – 2.25.
    I find them user friendly!

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  23. I LOVE Andie’s Dorset yarn. I made a pair of socks with it this winter and they instantly became my favorites. I ordered more for this winter! Beautiful stitch definition.

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  24. Brilliant! I’m so slow knitting fair isle sleeves with dpns and while I like to use magic loop – I seem to mess it up with two handed fair isle…this seems to be the perfect answer! I’m off to look at that yarn – pure gorgeous!

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