Wash them

Wash your knitting needles people.  You spend hours holding them.  Anything that’s on your hands (lotion…hair stuff…chapstick…possibly that pizza you had for lunch) is on there too.

Just chuck them a sink full of warm soapy water (ahem, making sure you don’t send them down the drain…that’s no fun) and let them hang out for a bit.  You can use the same soap you use to wash/block your knits, I like Soak.  After they’ve sat for a few minutes, rinse them off, and dry them off with a soft towel.  They’ll feel so much better.  The only thing you have to watch out for is needles that aren’t plastic or metal.  If you got wooden (or bone, or horn, or some other natural material), you’ll probably want to rinse them and dry them quickly rather than soaking them.

But really…anything you touch that much can benefit from the occasional wash!

And someone asks every time so, yes, some of my needles are square! Kollage does them, and I do like them because they make a slight tighter fabric than the same size round needles do. And the others are some combination of Signature Arts Needles (the fuchsia ones and some of the green ones), Susan Bates (I especially love the pack they do with sizes 000, 00, 0, & 1), Hiya Hiya and ChiaoGoo (silver), and whatever else has caught my eye over the years (meaning there are some I just don’t remember).

And no…no there is no such thing as too many needles!

Suitably Matched

Way back when I was a brand new knitter (think ‘had to look up how to purl because it seemed sort of tricky’ level of new), I read a pattern that said something like ‘cast on 24 stitches with appropriate yarn and suitably matched needles.’  And somehow I got it into my head that ‘suitably matched’ meant ‘needles that look pretty with your yarn.’  I’ll just let you imagine how well that worked out.  It’s a wonder I ever got the hang of this.

But that incident has left me with a tendency to grin every time my needles happen to match my knitting!

And someone will ask, so these are the needles.  No they’re nothing fancy.  But I’ve had them for at least a decade, and they’ve held up perfectly (as have all the other needles of that brand I’ve used over the years…).  And the yarn is Silky Victoria from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the color Sugar Plum Fairy Dust.  And the knitting is a swatch for Curls 3 (which should be next year’s book)!

Flake

Remember back in August, when I was so excited for lovely, long DPNs?  And bought three sets?  And loved them with an undying fervor?  Yeah.  So here’s how that turned out.

DSC_3076 copyIt’s a bit hard hard to take a picture of, but if you look closely, you can see that the tip is flaking rather badly.   It’s happening to all three sets.

I get that needles are tools, and that tools show signs of use over time.  I don’t expect tools to last forever.  But I’ve had the needles for less than five months, and they’ve only been used for two or three projects (depends on which set we’re talking about, but either way it’s not what I’d call heavy use).  And I do expect needles to last longer than this.

I’m totally bummed and once again on the hunt for sturdy, long DPNs.  Though I’m starting to think they just don’t exist…

Meanwhile

So, it’s been sort of all book all the time around here, but I have managed to grab the occasional spare moment and actually knit (not many mind you…but every now and then).  There’s a hat underway.

DSC_0500 copyIt started out something like that.

DSC_0513 copyThen it was more like that.

DSC_0600 copyAnd these days it’s more like this.

It’s the simplest little thing ever (two row repeat, mostly stockinette, easy to pick up and bang out a row when you have a minute), which makes it the perfect thing for the craziness of launch week.  All the interest comes from the yarn (Spun Right Round in the color Bug Jar), and I’m not actually sure I’d be up for anything more complicated at the moment!

And it’s the absolutely perfect project to break in my lovely new needles.

DSC_0488 copyEDIT: These, alas, fell apart after about five months of light use…details over here.

I’m a huge fan of long dpns (really long, 14 inches long).  But they can be shockingly hard to find, and the wooden ones I ordered most recently have given me no end of problems.  So I was absolutely delighted when a few folks on twitter pointed me to this etsy shop.  They have long dpns (both metal and wood) in a whole host of sizes for astonishingly reasonable prices.  Their customer service is great (I had a question about the needles and they helped me out right away) and the needles came quickly.  I’m completely smitten with them and will totally be ordering more.

Inevitable

Sigh.  I have knit two curls, two sizable curls on straight needles with no problems at all.  I just bunched the stitches up (and eventually whacked a rubber band around the fabric to keep it smooshed together).  It worked perfectly.

But that’s just not going to work for this one.  The yarn is both astonishing fluffy and hideously delicate, and it just won’t take being smooshed too much.  Stitches are popping off both ends of the needles, and I’m pretty sure if I tried to rubber band it, the band would chew right through the fabric like a chainsaw.

too many stitchesSo I did the unthinkable.  I actually bought circular needles.  I feel dirty.

i bought circsAnd of course, this pair had scuffed up tips, which I only realized after I transferred all several hundred stitches over.  So I’ve moved them back to straights and am waiting for the new needle to arrive.  Then we’ll see if I can actually bring myself to knit on circs.  I expect I’m going to whine.  A lot.

Edit: The second pair of addis also arrived with scuffed tips, so I switched to ChiaoGoo red lace needle and am having much better luck with that.