Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Needles, Needles

Way too often, on knitting BB’s, there is a discussion of which needle is best.
Inevitably, the person posing the question, acts as if there were only one or two choices
(Which is best, bamboo or addis? ) I also bristle at the idea that there is one best--as if all knitters could agree on something as personal as the choice we make when it comes to our tools.

I have lots of needle, made from lots of different materials, some less than a year old, some, several decades old! and several different systems for storing them!
I know what I like, when it comes to needles, but I certainly don't what is best!

You love them, but how in blazes do you store them?
Here’s an idea-- this 6 pocket folding case has 4 X 6 inch pockets, designed to hold photo’s but it works perfect for circulars. (I have the Tsock Tsarina to thank for this idea!)

I have just have the one, (I use it for my small/sock needles) I have been thinking about buying a few more--but in the meanwhile, I made do.
It is nice that I can set up a pocket a piece for size 0’s, (2mm) size 1’s, (2.25,) 1.5’s (2.5) 2’s (2.75) and 3’s (3.25’s) since these sizes are sometimes hard to tell at a glance (Sure I can tell a size 0 from a size 3, but not always a size 2.25mm from a 2.5mm one!)

The rest of my circ’s are in a small zippered ‘project bag’. Most but not all, in there original packaging. The gold tube is a recycled M &M’s container, that hold crochet hooks of various sizes
I have a large selection of circ's, mostly mid length (29 to 32 inches long) and most Susan Bates or Boye aluminum, but i have some ‘antique’ ones with metal cables instead of nylon cords--see a detail here
and some totally nylon needles, a old set of Boye’s balenes--(not pictured)

The sizes range from US size 0's to US size 15's --note the price on this circular needle (one of the oldest circ’s I own!)

Straights and DPN’s
Both my straight needles and the DPN’s are stored in cans.. (recycled cookie tins, painted to look a bit nicer.)
Most of my straight needles are aluminum, (I love them!) but some are wood, others bamboo, a mix of short (9 to 10 inches and 14to 15 inches.. Every size from 0’s to 15’s, with lots of duplicates when it comes to size 6, 7, and 8!

Look at these old DPN’s--60 to 75¢ cents for the sets!

I lost needles along the way too, here is a mixed set of size 1’s, (note 3 are lilac, 2 are silver)
Each started out as a set of 4 DPN's.
They are not the only set I have like that!-- and look at the packaging--those are old needles, too. But then I am not exactly a spring chicken, and I have been knitting for a lot of years!--My oldest needles tend to be smaller, since I really like fine knitting, and always did!
I have DPN’s in several lengths too, and different material,

Here, Bamboo, (long!) Bronze, (medium) Aluminum (long again) and Birch, (short!) --again, mostly smaller diameters (US sizes 3’s and 4’s)

I can’t find (it's hiding somewhere) the size 6 aluminum needles I deformed --(I was under a lot of stress, and took it out on my needles and knitting) But I will, and post a picture when I do!
It is amazing just how many needles I own, and the variety of materials they are made from, especially when you consider, I don't any made from rare or exotic materials (like bone or ivory)

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