Wednesday, July 3, 2013

All My Knitting Needles

On my recent trip to Columbus, Ohio for TNNA, I picked up two more interchangeable needle sets.  To add to the three sets I already have.  As I was explaining the joys of my new sets to my husband with great enthusiasm, he asked, "So, you're basically never going to have all the knitting needles?"  And that is correct, I will never have all the knitting needles, though I will probably keep trying forever.  (Signature, I'd love to review your new interchangeables, so feel free to send them to me.)

So I think now is a good time for me to share all my needles, and show you how I store them.  (I hope that sentence doesn't get taken out of context.)

I like how reasonable this picture looks.  It's just a tiny pile!  No excess here!

And then you open them all up.  

I don't care to do the math as to how many needles that may be, (I save my math brain for important things, like repeats and sleeve caps!) but I'm going to guess that lots of professionals have many, many more.  

So here's the run-down:

This is one of my recent acquisitions, a set of sharp Hiya Hiya's.  (You can see that several of the sizes are already in use, though even with all the needles in the set present, there aren't enough to fill up the holder.)  I hadn't really used Hiya Hiya's before, but I'd heard good things (Wendee of Hazel Knits stocks them in her online shop for one thing.)  I always love a very pointy knitting needle, but what really sold me on these was that they come in sizes US #2/2.75mm - US #8/5mm.  None of my other sets have sizes below US #4/3.5mm.  So far, I'm really happy with them.  The sharp tips are delightful, they're light with a smooth, comfortable texture, and the join is perfectly smooth.  There's a tiny catch where the plastic of the cord meets the metal that attaches to the needle, but it's pretty much exactly the same on on my needles, and doesn't really bother me.  My only gripe is that when I tried knitting with the shortest cord (16 inches, I think), it felt very constraining.  My other set that has that short of a cord has extra short tips to make it work, which aren't as comfortable to knit with, but that's the trade-off with a 16-inch needle.

I keep my two Addi Click sets in this very handy Maxpedition case.  This company makes fantastic portable organizational gear.  Their audience is mostly military and bush-crafting types, so it's all very tough and utilitarian.  If you're looking for a needle case that's not so feminine, check them out.  I think this case is designed to hold bullets or a variety of pens that write underwater.  I like it because it holds my needles, cords, and accessories securely (love that zipper!) in a very compact package.  I've got regular Addi Clicks and short-tipped Addi Click Lace needles in there.  I love them both.  The join between needle and cord isn't completely seamless, but I like that I don't need any tools to tighten the joins, and the needles themselves just feel like butter in the fingers.  They were my first fancy knitting needles.

Addi (and Cirilia specifically), please don't hate me for this, but I keep my two sets of Knit Picks needles in my Addi Lace Clicks case.  I use my Addi's a whole lot more and my Maxpedition case is more compact and secure for transporting wherever I go.  The plastic case that comes with the Knit Picks needles has always been my least favorite part of the kit, so I use this nicer storage solution instead.  The ones with the blonde wood were a prize from Marly's dinner at TNNA.  I have always liked the pointy tips on the Knit Picks needles, and the join is very smooth, so I was happy to have them.  I used to be a huge fan of wooden needles, and my Knit Picks Harmony's were actually my very first interchangeable set.  But I find myself turning to wooden needles less and less.  I guess I like the smoothness of metal more these days.

I don't own any straight needles any more (I gave them all away with most of my other belongings when I ran off to Peace Corps), but I do still have quite a few fixed circulars and double pointed needles.  Most of these are from the days when I wanted to knit only with wood, and I keep them in this lovely hand-made needle case that I bought from Crippenworks on Etsy.  

Among other things, I like that it has happy outside dogs on it.

After reviewing all my needles and how I store them, I have to admit that despite having so very many of them, I can still never find the one I need.

Thoughts on knitting needles?  Knitting needle cases?  Questions? Please post a comment!

If you're curious about TNNA, I'm sorry but I'm terrible at taking pictures at those sorts of things.  Hopefully I'll do better next year. For fantastic wrap-ups by some of the folks I got to spend time with there, check out 
do stuff! (Lee Meredith)
Fringe Association (Karen Templer)
Sweatshop of Love (Allyson Dykhuizen)

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