Another finished object this week. The Shake the Barley mitts are done.I love them alot. Of course, now it's too warm to wear them, but they'll be all ready for next fall. I don't think I have enough of the Patons Classic Merino left to make the matching hat. I could possibly do it in reverse, with the body in burgundy and the cuff in cream. But I don't think I'd like that. I've got other cream yarns in stash so I should be able to find something that will work.
Working on the cabled mitts and a mention on a Knitmore Girls podcast reminded me of a cable needle I've been lusting after for some time now. I don't remember when I first heard about Leslie Wind's cable needles, but when I saw them I knew I had to have one someday. She dubbs them "tewelry". Functional knitting tools that are pretty enough to be jewelry. They are a bit spendy for a cable needle when you consider you can get a pack of 3 Clover cable needles for under $3. However, I like a bit of luxury here and there when I can swing it and that little bit of something special adds a lot of pleasure to my knitting time. So I finally broke down and treated myself to one (one of the small advantages of not buying yarn, you can spend the money on cool tools!)I went with the sheep design. It arrived about a week after I ordered it. As expected, it is gorgeous. The needle came with it's own little satin pouch that zips shut along with a polishing cloth to keep it looking great. The sheep is sterling silver and the cable needle is brass. It comes attached to an adjustable cord necklace so you can wear it around your neck. I found this just got in the way, especially on back cables, so I removed the cord. Using the needle took a little getting used to. I'm used to a straight cable needle (Brittany's are my favorite) where you can slip the stitches on to the needle from right to left and then knit them off the other end. With this needle, you have to slip the stitches to the needle from left to right which is a bit more difficult for me since I knit rather tightly. The needle is heavy enough to pull the stitches out of the way while you work the cable. After I work the cable I loop the needle around the middle finger on my left hand so it's ready for the next turn. It is by far the handiest needle in that respect; I don't have to weave it into my work or hold it in my mouth or drop it as mostly happens with my straight needle. I don't think this may be the cable needle for everyone. But if you are a bit experienced with cabling and looking for a special treat, I do recommend it. (Yes, that's the Fylingdales sweater in the background. Maybe this sweet cable needle will give me the push to finish it!)
I didn't get much reading done this week. I gave up on Aunt Dimity Snowbound. I couldn't get into it. I loved the first book and have only read one more in the series so far. Maybe it's because I read it out of order but I didn't care for it nearly as much as the first. I think I'll go back and try to read them in order before I try to read the later books.
I've instead started Biggie and the Fricasseed Fat Man. I LOVE the Biggie books. I've read the first two already and this is third in the series with 3 more after this one. The books center around Biggie Weatherford and her grandson JR, told from JR's point of view. They are set in Texas and are written with a heavy Texas accent. The characters are delightfully quirky. The stories are rather absurd and unlikely, but totally fun nonetheless.