Socks, more socks, and a Hiya Hiya needle review

Hello, and how are you doing?  I thought that just for a change, I would talk to you about socks ( 🙂 ) and I’ve got quite a lot to talk about this week!

From new socks to emergency socks on and off the needles to a potential sock disaster to brand new needles … it’s all here in this week’s photo-packed blog post so make yourself a brew, get comfy and read on!

 

I wore my new Wildflower socks this week.  I wrote about finishing them during Blogtober last year, photographed them on my feet to show you – and promptly forgot to put them in my sock drawer so they’ve been tucked away in my study for all this time!  I can’t believe I managed to do that, but it was so lovely to find a “new” pair of socks that I could wear straight away (maybe this is something that I need to do more often as it felt like a gift to me! 🙂 )

Christine is sitting on the bottom step of the staircase putting on a pair of pink, blue, green, purple and yellow striped socks. There is a pair of brown boots on the wooden floor next to her.

I love the colours of this yarn so much!  It makes me incredibly happy to see it whatever the weather – and it’s been pretty cold this week!

So cold, in fact, that it’s been easy to remember that we are still “mid-Winter” even though there are Spring flowers appearing in the garden and out in the woods where I’m walking with the dog.  It made it very easy to make my choice for my next pair of socks …

A ball of blue, navy, turquoise and cream striped yarn is on a white background surrounded by silver snowflakes

Winter Icicle!  I’ve seen lots of pairs of socks in this yarn on social media just recently and it so happens that I’ve enough left over in a ball in my stash to make a pair that’s just my size.  It’s funny, but once I’ve knitted a pair for a pattern design, I don’t always think to go back and use the rest of the yarn to knit a pair for myself, but I really should do – and I am planning to do more of that in the future.

These socks are going to be my new Emergency Socks which will live in the car because I have finished my other pair.  In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can read my blog post about Emergency Socks here, but basically, I keep a sock knitting project in the car for when I’m waiting for small daughter to come out of school (blimey, that girl dawdles some days!), for when I’m stuck in a stationary queue in the car or just any other time when it would be handy to have something to occupy my hands.  After writing about the Emergency Socks on Instagram, there was a suggestion that there should be an Emergency Snack in the bag too, and I think that is an excellent idea!  (Although the best suggestion was to have an Emergency Snack that wasn’t too tasty so that you didn’t have to keep replacing it …)

A cream bag is resting on Christine's knee with a short circular needle on the left, with a few rounds of rib knitting on it. The yarn is shades of blue. To the right is the ball of yarn which is striped yarn in shades of blue, pale green, navy, turquoise and cream.

I’ve made a start as you can see, and as much as I enjoyed knitting my last pair of Emergency Socks, there’s something about this yarn that feels like coming home.  The colours, perhaps, because of all the reasons that I chose them, or the fact that it’s WYS and I do love their yarns, or maybe the time of the year … I don’t know, but I have felt a great deal of comfort this week from having this sock in my hands.

Here’s my last Emergency Sock project – and I am very pleased with the result!

The yarn shade is Bower and it’s hand-dyed yarn from Burrow and Soar.  It was lovely to knit; very smooth and the colours were consistent and look – no obvious pooling across the gusset as well which was very much appreciated by me!

Christine is sitting on a brown and copper-coloured tiled floor showing off a pair of hand knitted socks in pastel shades that give an overall purple tone. She's also wearing her jeans.

I started these socks in October so it’s taken me about 4 months, maybe just under, to knit them.  That’s fine, there was no rush – socks are very patient, you know!  They don’t mind at all if you leave them in a bag in the car for a while, they’re just there when you are ready to pick them up again 🙂

 

Now, with two pairs of finished socks under my belt and a new pair started, you might be wondering what happened to the pair that I was finishing off for the Winter Haven KAL.  They were a pair of Falling Hues socks and as the original prototype for the pattern for my Autumn Leaves yarn, they had got put on the back burner when the yarn became available and the socks needed to be knitted in that.  By Week 4 of the Knitalong, I was almost up to the toes and an afternoon in front of the fire watching a film was the ideal time to finish them off … and then disaster struck!

But more about that in a minute.  First, I promised you in the post title that there would be a Hiya Hiya needle review and I haven’t forgotten!

Before Christmas, I was delighted to be asked by the nice people at Hiya Hiya if I would be interested in trying out some of their needles. I always recommend that sock beginners use good quality needles with smooth joins because good quality kit makes learning so much easier, and although I haven’t used Hiya Hiya needles for my own knitting, I have test-driven some before and am always happy to recommend them as an option for people to look at.  The reason that I haven’t used Hiya Hiya needles for socks before is because my preference is for a 30cm (12″) needle (anything less than 25cm makes my hands cramp up) and at the time I bought my first 30cm Addi needle, I wasn’t aware that other brands were available and I’ve stuck with what I like!

Anyway, here was my opportunity to change that!  Hiya Hiya are well-known for producing sharp-tipped needles which are very good for knitting lace in particular and their 23cm (9″) needles are hugely popular with sock knitters.  Being an awkward-ossity (as my Nan used to say), not only do my hands cramp up with small needles but I end up poking holes in my fingers with sharp points so I was very glad that the package that arrived contained Hiya Hiya steel tips which are less sharp and therefore much better for those of us who are prone to skewering ourselves 🙂

This is what arrived in the post – such a generous package!

There are three sets of needle tips – 2mm, 2.25mm and 2.25mm – and two cables, one of 60cm and one of 80cm to create a long circular for magic loop.  There was a packet of stitch markers, a needle gauge, a pair of fabulous unicorn scissors and the little packet on the right contains a key to tighten up the joins.

I often use magic loop for the toes of my socks but as it happened, my Falling Hues sock was on a long circular needle so I decided to swap the Addi I was using for the Hiya Hiya and that would give me a good opportunity to see how they compared.

Straight away, I noticed that the Hiya Hiya needle tips are shorter than on my Addi long circular needle.

They’re quite a bit shorter, aren’t they?  I did wonder how I was going to get on with that as I am used to the longer length.  I noticed as well that although the Hiya Hiya tip wasn’t as sharp as the “sharp” variety they sell, it was still more pointy than the needle I was using …

It’s not that easy to see from the photo, perhaps, but the Hiya Hiya tip at the top of the photo is definitely more defined than the Addi.  Uh oh, I thought, there may be skewering ahead …

But having promised to try the needles out and write a review, it was only fair to try them out to write a review and not assume that they were going to cause bodily harm without even checking.  I put the cable and tips together – this is how you use the little key that comes with the cables – there’s a tiny hole at the end of the cable that you insert the key into and that gives you something to hold onto as you twist the cable and needle tip in opposite directions.  There’s even a little pad in the packet if you need some extra grip.

And then I swapped the stitches from the Addi to the Hiya Hiya and I was ready to go!

The first thing that was immediately obviously (apart from those shorter tips – I wasn’t sure I was going to like those!) was that there was no curl in the cable at all.

My Addi needle is wilfully curly and always has been, even after being soaked in hot water more than once to straighten it out.

After a while, I found that the short tips didn’t bother me at all, and the join is lovely and smooth as I had expected so it was a pleasure to knit.

I even found, unexpectedly, that the shorter tips meant that when I reached the gusset, I didn’t have to make an extra loop to accommodate the length of the needle tip as I usually do – the shorter tip meant that the stitches fitted across the needle without stretching.

I’ve got to tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed using this needle!  I now know that Hiya Hiya make 30cm needles in the steel tips and they’re also bent tips like the ones I used for the Sockalong tutorials so I could be tempted to make a purchase – you can never have too many sock needles!

Also in my package were some of these stitch markers – ooh, I’ve fancied some of these for years!  My husband used to have some cuff links to go with a posh shirt that looked like these little balls and I loved them; I always thought they looked really cute, so I was delighted to see these!

A needle gauge is always a useful thing to have in your accessories box, especially if you’ve inherited knitting needles over the years.  It’s not always easy to keep needles in their packets (I have to make a big effort to make sure that I put mine away in the right place rather than leave them in the bottom of my work basket as I know I’ll use them again later) so having a way to tell what size they are if they get mixed up is essential!

Oh, and look at these scissors!  I am not too old to still adore unicorns and iridescent unicorn scissors in rainbow shades absolutely made my day 🙂

So, as an official conclusion to my review, I will still be happy to recommend Hiya Hiya needles to beginners who are looking for good kit.  I’ll use this needle again because I like it so it will end up in my “regularly used” needle selection, and next time I need to buy 30cm needles, I will definitely look at Hiya Hiya as a choice.

Thank you very much, Michael at Hiya Hiya, for getting in touch as I have thoroughly enjoyed trying your needles out!

 

And before I finish, what about that sock disaster?  * Sigh *  I was so close to the end …

Here’s my sock, just about ready for the toes …

and there’s a mistake.  I’ve knitted part of the pattern section twice, probably because I was engrossed in the film I was watching and not really looking at what I was doing.  I suspected that I had gone wrong but couldn’t quite see the mistake (ah, remember I stood on my specs?  What a pain!) so I carried on – and now I have my new glasses I can see it, which of course brings that eternal dilemma – to rip back or not?

I’m not sure that anyone else would notice it – I mean, can you see anything wrong here?  I can hear my Nan, who had a good supply of quotations for many occasions saying, “A blind man on a galloping horse wouldn’t notice it”, but I am neither blind nor on a horse and I can see it!

And that’s the worst of it – I know that it’s there and it’s right at the point where my sock appears from under my jeans so there’s a good chance that I’ll see it every time I look down at my feet.  Normally, the perfectionist in me would have ripped the lot out straight away, but I decided to sit with it for a bit to see if I thought I could live with it.  It’s just that if I think I can, I finish the socks and start wearing them – and then the mistake shouts at me every time I look at my feet, I’ll be cross.  The mistake puts the sock about 4 rounds longer than the other sock which is a reasonable amount to be out of sync.

I’m not sure that I can “cure” the desire for perfection on this one!

I’m even considering whether I can just take out the central pattern section and re-knit that without having to take out the whole of the foot … this internal debate with myself may go on for some time!  In the meantime, I’ve got two other new pairs that I can wear, and I’ve got a nice needle to fix my sock with if I decide to do that.  It’s not all bad! 🙂

 

Have a lovely week, whatever you’re up to, and I’ll catch up with you again soon! xx

 

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51 Responses

  1. Toni in Niagara says:

    Do not rip it back. No one will notice – who is going to be scrutinizing your socks?? AND, accepting that you can make a small error without ongoing anxiety is a good for the old mental health 🙂

    • winwickmum says:

      Ooh, rationally I can hear that you’re absolutely right … but … but … 🙂 Still noodling on it! xx

      • Darcy says:

        I am Irish and there’s a saying about leaving a flaw in our work…and it will always be noticed only by you…it would bother me aswell…therefore..I personally would frog back and fix my mistake…Irish or not…it would frogged…that’s just me. I love the sock…and would like to know what small circular needle is in this picture ? Mine seem way smaller…???

        • winwickmum says:

          I think there are a few cultures that leave mistakes for various reasons – but I’m with you and I’m going to be fixing these! 🙂 I use 30cm short circulars – if yours seems much smaller it may be a 23cm (9″) – they make my hands cramp up and I prefer the longer tip sizes 🙂 xx

    • Darcy says:

      I am Irish and there’s a saying about leaving a flaw in our work…and it will always be noticed only by you…it would bother me aswell…therefore..I personally would frog back and fix my mistake…Irish or not…it would be frogged…that’s just me. I love the sock…and would like to know what small circular needle is in this picture ? Mine seem way smaller…???

      • winwickmum says:

        I think there are a few cultures that leave mistakes for various reasons – but I’m with you and I’m going to be fixing these! 🙂 I use 30cm short circulars – if yours seems much smaller it may be a 23cm (9″) – they make my hands cramp up and I prefer the longer tip sizes 🙂 xx

  2. Julie says:

    I agree that no one else is likely to notice but is that the point? You’ll know; you have mentioned before about your need to cut yarn and wind on part way through a sock so that the stripes continue to match up, this doesn’t strike me as the mindset of someone who will make do when there are other viable options. I also wonder whether you are procrastinating because in your heart of hearts you really want your sock to be as perfect as possible and anything less will just aggravate you! You know yourself best, so go with what feels right to you – if that means ripping back, you’ll just have more time to enjoy knitting this pattern with this yarn!! Wishing you all the best, J

    • winwickmum says:

      And I think you know me very well! 🙂 xx

      • Darcy says:

        I am Irish and there’s a saying about leaving a flaw in our work…and it will always be noticed only by you…it would bother me aswell…therefore..I personally would frog back and fix my mistake…Irish or not…it would frogged…that’s just me. I love the sock…and would like to know what small circular needle is in this picture ? Mine seem way smaller…???

  3. Betsy Grizzard says:

    Every time I read one of your posts I learn something new however I found this a bit confusing about taking out the center pattern section without taking out the whole foot. could you explain that please?

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, that’s me flying by the seat of my pants and dropping stitches from the central panel so that I can re-knit just that little bit! 🙂 As long as you’re careful, it’s possible to do that but you do have to take care that you only knit with the strand of yarn from that round when you knit back up again. This post from the Yarn Harlot might show you better than I can explain! 🙂

  4. Deb says:

    Just a quick note….just recently became familiar with your blog and I really enjoy your wit and humor and your very helpful information! I too vote for leaving the blip but if it were me I would probably obsess of it and rip it out. Just the way my mechanical mind works. also appreciate the Hiya Hiya needle review. my LYS lady loves them and got me started. I love them but all of mine are currently fixed circulars and flips. Good point about the sharp tips. Excellent for lace (I didn’t even know what that was at the time I bought them) but I do poke my fingers….A LOT! But willing to endure for the sake of a good project. Take care.

  5. Corinne says:

    Work out the maths…
    How long will it take to rip out and re knit divided by how long you can wear it before you decide you should have ripped it out! I’m a perfectionist too 😉😆

  6. Mary says:

    Lovely written words and review. I will read again later as I usually do. Thank you.

  7. Mary Wilson says:

    Hi Christine. I am so glad you have tested the Hia Hia needles. I have seen so many good reviews for them. I like that they have a smooth connection at the join. I have some circulars which I love, but I recently noticed that the yarn is sticking at the join. So I will be buying Hia Hia when I can.
    I also love the WYS blue Signature yarn, so put that on my never-ending favourites list.
    I have the yarn stitch holders, I love them.
    Think I will treat myself for my Birthday later this year.
    Forgot to say. I think I will go down in history as the slowest sock knitter. I have had half a sock on my needles for almost 3 years 😲🤭

    Take care and keep warm Christine. We have some colder weather forecast for the North West.
    Best Wishes.
    Mary 😊

    • winwickmum says:

      Those socks of yours won’t mind in the least! Yes, I am very happy to recommend the Hiya Hiya needles, I thought they were lovely to knit with. A tiny bit lighter than my Addi but then the needle tip is shorter so you’d expect that. Happy birthday for later in the year! 🙂 xx

  8. Ruth Howard says:

    Thanks again for your usual interesting news letter!!! – I have started my 2nd sock and like you have had a mishap – 1st mistake – knitted too many rows before starting the mosaic pattern !! carried on & now find I have got a mistake in the pattern and have a long line instead of a staggered mosaic – I don’t know whether to take it out or carry on!!! Pondering 🤔 on it thinking it will not show as at the top!!
    Comforting to know I am not alone !!! – have been having a dizzy spell just lately- literally as well as figuratively! so might plough on
    Thanks again for your post really appreciate it
    Love Ruth x

    • winwickmum says:

      Ah, it really is a very personal thing about whether you can live with a mistake, isn’t it? I know there are mistakes in my socks and I have left them, but leaving a mistake in a lace pattern that I think I will notice is, I think, a step too far for me. I hope you can decide what to do and that you feel better soon! xx

  9. Seonaid says:

    Reading this tonight has made me want to cast some socks in the lovely ball of WYS Seascape my husband put in my Christmas stocking, despite the fact I have a Zick Zack scarf on my needles.

  10. ELAINE says:

    With regard to the mistake, we’re all different in what we can/can’t will/won’t tolerate. Probably most people won’t notice or care about the mistake. But if you do, you’ll notice every time and maybe will end up not wearing the socks because of it. I’m new to knitting, but have been crocheting for 50+ years so have faced this dilemma quite a few times. My rule of thumb for myself is to first confirm that it really is a mistake and then immediately rip it out. If I spend too much time thinking about it, I’ll convince myself that it will be fine. And then I’m dissatisfied with the item forever after. BTW, I spotted the mistake right off, although I probably wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t said there was a mistake.

    • winwickmum says:

      Well, that confirms it for me – if you have spotted it even with it being a bit awkward to see in a photo, then I know I won’t be able to even consider living with it … even though that would always have been uncomfortable for the perfectionist in me. It’s been a interesting experience to think about it though, to see how I actually felt because we do change over time, don’t we? Not with this for me, though! 🙂 xx

  11. I not a fan of mistakes either, I have spent hours ripping back stitches to set it right. It is always worth it for me, but that does mean that everyone should do it. I too have a set of those stitch markers, except that I seem to have lost the pale blue one for now. I love them they are big enough that you are aware of them, but not so big that they get in the way. Those scissors! I know a wee gal in my house who would love them!

    • winwickmum says:

      Those scissors are ace, aren’t they? I am inordinately delighted to have shiny purple unicorn scissors! And yes, I think I will be ripping back, even writing about it made me pretty certain that was what I was going to do 🙂 xx

  12. Denise says:

    Funny I have a similar dilemma with the sock I am working on, so this made me smile. The odd looking area is in garter stitch on the bottom of the sock ( they are reversible ) and I reckoned if I can’t see it when I wear it, then I can live with it. A case of “What the eye doesn’t see the heart won’t grieve”.😉 If I could see it though it would drive me nuts and I would have to rework it, so I can sympathise. Good to know the info on what you thought of the Hiya Hiya needles, will have to give them a try, so thank you!

  13. Susan Rayner says:

    Hi Christine – I am afraid I would be ripping back to the mistake and reknitting it no matter how frustrating that is – it is worth it when you think how long the socks will last and every time you wear them you will think – wish I had fixed that mistake!
    I feel a tutorial on how to reknit part of a pattern (for example a cable) would be very useful and I am sure lots of people would appreciate it.
    I must try the HiyaHiya needles – but I am also renowned for stabbing myself and ending up knitting with plasters to prevent further damage!
    Have a lovely weekend and enjoy the emerging spring flowers!

    • winwickmum says:

      I think you’re right, the more I think about it, the more I’m not going to be able to leave it alone! I hadn’t thought about documenting the process as dropping stitches to re-knit is something that I do so often that I don’t even think about it any more, but it’s a good idea, thank you! If you get the Hiya Hiya steel variety rather than the sharps, I think you might be OK – I didn’t feel as if I was about to be stabbed with those ones 🙂 xx

  14. Elizabeth Wren says:

    I can’t advise you what to do about your sock but my grandma used to say the same thing! No-one else has ever heard of it so it was interesting that you used it. x

    • winwickmum says:

      My Nan used all kinds of expressions that nobody else has ever heard of – and so did my Mother-in-Law – when I met my husband I gained a whole new arsenal of peculiar sayings! 🙂 xx

  15. Ruth Howard says:

    Thanks Christine – an excuse to do more knitting 🧶 – sorry 😢 about the pussy – leaves a big hole doesn’t it? – Love Ruth x

  16. Madeleine says:

    Coincidence, I am wearing Wildflower WYS socks, the only pair made for myself using your basic 4ply pattern, usually my sock knitting is for DH, using this pattern I know to cast on 64 stitches for his socks, 60 stitches for my narrow feet.
    I purchased your WYS signature pattern book, didn’t use the Wildflower pattern as I decided the yarn itself provided enough interest.

    • winwickmum says:

      We are sock twins! Thank you for buying the book of patterns – you might choose to use them with different yarn one day as I agree that Wildflower looks lovely without any pattern at all 🙂 xx

  17. kathleenalice says:

    Your work is beautiful Christine. The mistake in your sock is barely noticeable, I wouldn’t have noticed it at all had you not pointed it out. I started knitting my first wobbly stitches at the age of 4 or 5 and am still going strong 60 years later, I used to be an absolute perfectionist but now am content to let small mistakes be, though I do tend to point them out to all and sundry!

  18. Gretchen Hrusovsky says:

    Ah I never seem to notice my errors until after binding off and blocking . . . . and then sooo obvious!

  19. Caitlin says:

    I completely understand the sock mistake dilemma. I recently created a sock (absentmindedly knitting) that is about 4-6 rows too long in the foot portion. It’s wearable, and only noticeable to me. But I want to it match the other! It annoys me in a low-level niggling sort of way, because I’ve been perfecting the “fit” of my socks, and this sock’s mate fits perfectly!
    Even though the pair is currently in my wearable socks rotation, I keep thinking about a way to fix the too-long sock without re-knitting it. Partly because the mistake annoys me, but also because I like the mental and creative challenge. For example, I wonder if I thread some spare yarn through the two rows on either end of the extra segment (i.e. as stitch holders) and then simply snip the yarn and remove the extra rows, would I be able to reattach the yarn ends of the two foot portions to each other? I think it’s quite do-able. Some weekend when I’m feeling ambitious, I will probably try. The sock yarn is WYS stripes (no pattern), so I’ll just remove the stripes that will make it match its mate. Would this (admittedly as-yet unproven) strategy work for your patterned sock?

    • winwickmum says:

      I think your idea will work very well, and will be a good opportunity for your to practice your Kitchener Stitch! 🙂 Unfortunately, I don’t think it would work for me as I’ve got a pattern with yarn overs so if I’m taking it back, I’m going to have to take the whole section of pattern out. I don’t think it’s an unsurmountable task, I’ll just need to tackle it when I’ve got time to think about it. Good luck if you decide to shorten yours! xx

  20. I believe it is the Navaho Indian weavers who deliberately weave a ‘mistake’ into their work as ‘Only God is Perfect’. I would go with leaving it there and taking on that philosophy. 🙂

    • winwickmum says:

      Ah, I have heard that before but I think I have already decided that it’s coming out – there’s always something in a sock that isn’t quite perfect which will satisfy the philosophy but I really can’t leave this one! 🙂 xx

  21. Carolyn Hann says:

    I have tried the Hiya Hiya DPNS. After two pairs of socks went back to Knit Pros as my index finger needed a rest. Back to the Hiya brand and like them as they feel smooth and easy to knit with.

    • winwickmum says:

      The sharper tips really are very sharp, I can’t get on with them at all as I end up looking like a pin cushion! You’re right, though, they are smooth and easy to knit with and I was really glad to find that they had less-sharp tips too 🙂 xx

  22. Anne says:

    Great blog again Christine.
    Myself I would just finish the sock and carry on. Lots more knitting to do.
    In the old days the Persians carried the same sentiment. That only God is perfect. Which is why even the most expensive of their hand made carpets. Will have a tiny flaw in them. And it certainly does not take anything away from their beauty !!

    • winwickmum says:

      You’re not the only one to have said this to me and I am better at embracing mistakes than I used to be, but I don’t know that I can leave this one. I’ve just put the sock to one side for now but I know I’ll need to make a decision eventually 🙂 xx

  23. Bracken says:

    Hi, I think depends on how much it will annoy you. I just ripped back half of the foot on one of the basic socks ( so easier) but all thats wrong is one row less on the heel. My other half could not tell but I could so I ripped back three evenings knitting then had the hassle of picking up the slipped stitches and nearly ripped the heel back as well in sheer frustration. So Its hard to say. If you will not notice then why bother but if its always going to annoy you then maybe……………….They are particularly lovely looking socks!

    • winwickmum says:

      Oh, I absolutely KNOW that it will annoy me so the socks are currently waiting patiently for me to have some spare time to take the pattern back and reknit it, hopefully without having to reknit the entire sock – you’ll know if I manage it as there’ll be a blog post, and if it all stays very quiet, you’ll know it went horribly wrong 🤣 xx

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