Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The tools I use...

I will be compiling (and constantly updating) a list of the tools I use in my work - needles, hooks, stitch markers, needle rolls, yarns, etc. So to kickstart that I thought I'd do a bit of review of each of the items that I plan to put in the list. I'll keep coming back to this post over the course of the next couple of days.

I have a mishmosh of needles (that's not a word but I don't care, I'm a rebel). I learned to knit using those ubiquitous Bates needles - I'm sure you've seen them.

I have long since abandoned the ones actually pictured above - the ones that double as swords and could easily kill a small child. Or a large one, for that matter. I do, however, still use good ol' Susan Bates' DPNs (double pointed needles).

For the most part I love them. The only issue I have is in the fact that the size 6's and size 7's are SO CLOSE in color the difference is practically imperceptible (or is it 5's and 6's? I can't even tell). And if anybody out there is a knitter, you know that the difference in thickness between two sizes, one size apart, is ALSO practically imperceptible. Yet somehow, it makes a huge difference in your garment and you end up with a sweater with one little vestigial arm and one hefty one. Not that I've done that. I'm an EXCELLENT KNITTER. But anyway, you'd think they could make one BRIGHT GREEN and one DARK BROWN or something rather than the current system of "light pink" and "ever so slightly lighter light pink". It irks me. **Alright, I've just scoured the whole of the internet and cannot find proof of this travesty. I'm starting to think that maybe I'm insane and really they're all the same size. They're all the same color. But I swear they are slightly different!!**

This is exactly why sometimes I just put my metal needles down and pick up my trusty Clover Bamboos, with their CLEARLY PRINTED SIZES on each needle.

Oh, the smoothness. Yet not so smooth that your work just slips right off when you're trying to fumble with a teeny tiny baby sock and you throw it in the corner in a huffy tantrum for the last time dangit! Not that I've done that. I am an EXCELLENT KNITTER! But my point is that these are the perfect amount of smooth and the perfect amount of sticky. And the points are not SO pointy that you create a divet in your "knitting finger". I sometimes (blasphemously) refer to those as "knitting stigmata". Oh how I love my Clover bamboos. I have exactly ONE circular needle made by Clover. My trusty size 8's. (Not a picture of my own personal pair)

Love the cord, love the needles, love it all. So why do I only have one pair? The short answer is that I'm cheap. The long answer is that I'm verrrrry cheap. Instead, I use this very cheap set I got off of ebay for an EXTREMELY low price (so low I have to assume there is some sort of scam going on). I don't particularly like them. The points are too pointy. The needles are too sticky. The cords are too thick. But I still use them. Because they are the only ones I have in so small a diameter. And because I'm cheap.

Now on to interchangeables! My darling husband bought me an interchangeable needle set 2 Christmases ago. He went to Joann's and asked the sweet ladies there to set him up with a whole bunch of stuff he should get for his darling wife who is an avid knitter. They pointed him to the Boye KnitMates/NeedleMaster set.

This is a perfectly respectable set. But, because I'm picky and obnoxious and ungrateful, I have a few complaints. There is an odd ridge at the point that sorta makes your stitch get a little hung up every time you pass it over the needle. The cords are a bit too stiff to do any Magic Looping comfortably. And the points are a little too pointy for my taste. But they work, and in case you hadn't heard - I'm cheap.

Oh, don't think that I haven't dreamt of buying a brand new interchangeable set. In particular, I have spent many a night drooling over Hiya Hiyas, Addi Clicks, and the KnitPicks sets (who hasn't been mesmerized by those Harmony needles??). Someday maybe I'll finally make up my mind and just buy one already. My current obsession is the Hiya Hiya set. We'll see...

I think that I will have to stop this post here, my children are calling...


Ellen said...

ROFL Michelle! I too have looked at DPNs and thought "how am I to tell the difference?"

Michele Munoz-Miller said...

LOL - I have been on a mission to find these dang dpn's online with incontrovertible proof that I am NOT crazy and that they selected two shades of pink for very similar sizes! But I can't find anything!! I may have to trek to Joann's today.

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