Stupid Questions and Observations


1. Anyone know of some good online yarn stores that would sell finger/lace wt yarn in the US? Something that won't cost $25.00 for an oz? Natural fibers? Ebay has a lousy selection (unless my search is wrong...Lions Brand...blech....). Oy

2. Really stupid --- assume if my head is 20" and I want to knit a hat...should I get a 24" circular needle? Any rules?

3. I assume my head is larger than 20" cause my older sister used to call me Frankenstein Head when I was young. Might be the high forehead. Heard it is a sign of intelligence...but others may question that.

3B. I think I need to get a rocking chair. Outside this afternoon on a patio chair, I found it soothing to rock back and forth.

Dat's all fer now!

Celowin's picture

1. My first place to look for yarn is always Knitpicks. I haven't seen any other quality yarn as inexpensive as what they carry. They have a fairly limited color pallette, but I can usually find something that I like.

2. You should always go for a shorter needle than the diameter you're working with, rather than larger. Stitches can be "scrunched" on the needle, but it is usually a bad idea to try to stretch the knitting out. There are other options like using 2 longer needles, but in your case I'd say go with a 16" needle.

3. Unless your head is more than 24" around, go with a 16".

3B. Rocking chairs are awesome, but it is expensive to get a good one. Maybe that is just me, because it doesn't feel right unless it is antique....

Antique one! Exactly!!!!

MMario's picture

"My" rocker is getting close to antique age - it was new when purchased (30 plus years ago) in anticipation of my nephew's birth. Hand crafted, somehow if defaulted to being "my" chair in the living room - when the tuxedo panther deigns to allow me to sit in it. Can't beat a rocker.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

MMario's picture

Personally - I would go with a 16 inch needle as that means you will be able to continue to use it longer while decreasing - and you should be able to get 24 inches worth of stitches onto it without undue crowding. YMMV

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

I am happy I asked about the needle. Now that you guys mention it, it makes sense.....!

Knitpicks....gonna check it out.

YarnGuy716's picture

KnitPicks is a good choice for inexpensive yarns, but not the only choice. I've had good experiences with them, but have heard more than a few people complain about under weight balls of yarn. Even so, their prices are among the lowest.

You might want to take a look at WEBS. They have a great selection of lace-weight and fingering-weight.

Another is Patternworks which many of the ladies in the knitting guild use.

Oh, and for making hats, I use a longer circular needles and the Magic Loop technique so that I don't have to switch to DPNs when I do my decreases. Otherwise I would say to go with the 16" circular.

ronhuber's picture

An antique rocking chair would be wonderful. But while you're waiting buy a cheap one becausing rocking rocks.
I have had good luck with Knitpicks, however, the real stuff from the Shetland Isles is not that expensive. Check it out on the Jamieson and Smith website. Good luck

superi's picture

If you wrap string around your head while holding the ends where it meets you can then measure the circumfrance of your head with a yard stick. But I find it best to make the hat and inch or two smaller than your actual head, otherwise I feel that there too loose. The knitting will stretch and I like my hats a little snug anyways. But you may have a different prefference.


Jamieson & Smith yarns are stocked in America at: and the colour palette is terrific.

MMario's picture

If you want mass quantities - Sarahsyarns is great for the lighter weight yearns; especially if you can swing ordering several cones worth - the prices drop dramatically. Nothing like getting several POUNDS of yarn at pricing per cone what you might normally pay per skein!

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

I feel EXACTLY that in bulk!!!

teejtc's picture

This may seem obvious and you've probably ruled it out already (judging by your question) but if you used double-pointed needles all the way through, you wouldn't have to worry about whether your circular needle is big enough (or small enough) and then switching for the last handful of rows.

I may be unlike everyone else on this board, but I actually ENJOY working with DPNs -- I think it's fun. The trick is to buy long one (6-8 inches if you can find them). Shorter ones are kind of a pain because you're worried about loosing stitches off the end (especially if you knit loosely).

An added benefit is that, with DPN you don't have to mark the beginning of your row and deal with the marker every time around -- just start your row at the beginning of the first needle. If you forget which one is first look at the "bottom" of your piece and see where the string is (weave it in at the end of the project).

Grace and peace,

I never thought of that either.....thanks for bringing it up!

scenter's picture

For an online yarn source: Have you tried I have ordered from them several times, and haven't been dissapointed yet.

As another possibility for less than 25$/oz: I am currently working on a lace shawl from "Victorian Lace Today" (Center Diamond Shawl p20) using "Misti Alpaca" laceweight yarn. The two 50g balls were about US$ 8.00 each at my LYS, and that is more than the yards needed to complete the project. They are available online from Alpaca Direct for about the same price, but I haven't used that service, so I can't comment on their expediency.

I am looking at these sites...they are great! Thank you so much for your wise advice.

PS...I thought I would search craigslist for a rocker too. The weather has been warm so sitting outside rocking and knitting has been nice but it probably will not last much longer....