If you know me at all, you’ll know that I have a thing for needles. A pretty big thing. A little story – long before I decided to learn to knit I almost bought a set of needles made of whalebone. They were the most exquisite things I had ever seen and I wanted them for their sheer beauty. I didn’t get them when I first saw them and when I went back at a later date, they were gone. I think I have always had a thing for needles. Anyway, as a knitter, probably the most important tool for us other than our yarn, is our needles. My friend Anne will tell you that you don’t need as many needles as I have, but I disagree. I like to collect them and when I’m at home knitting, I like to have a project sitting on some straight needles. It’s usually a special project that I just pull out every now and then. I find relishing in the beauty of the needles is as intoxicating as a good rum, or fond memory, or intricate pattern. Combining all four is absolutely orgasmic!
Okay, back to the topic at hand. So when I’m at home it’s great to use my straight needles for whatever project I’m working on at the time. The thing is though, if you’re traveling and knitting, straight needles can be more bothersome than helpful – unless you’re doing a scarf and you’re using the shorter 8″ kind. When I’m on the train or bus or a passenger in a car and I’m knitting, it’s almost always using circulars. They’re easier to use, you tend to not drop as many stitches, they take up less space, are more portable, and less conspicuous when you’re getting on an airplane! I’ve never been stopped when using circulars on an airplane – knock wood. So yeah, while I like the beauty and eloquence of straight needles, my preference is towards circulars – they’re more versatile. The obvious problem with circulars though is that you need to carry a few different ones if you want to work on more than one project. Depending on the length of the cables, they can get tangled or worse, kinked in cramped quarters. If only there was a way to carry them ALL with you when you’re out!
Well, if you’re very new to knitting you may not know this, but otherwise you’re probably aware that there are numerous companies out there selling interchangeable circular knitting needles. Yeah, that’s a mouthful. Basically, these sets are the needle tips that are most commonly used (usually about 10 sizes come in a set), with at least three lengths of cables, and a connection system. This allows you to customize your needles on the fly for the different projects you’re working on. As a matter of fact, in one set, with just three different lengths of cables, and the connectors, you have the equivalent of over 100 pairs of needles. At an average price of $15 for a good quality circular needle, that’s $1500 worth of needles you’re carrying around. Add the fact that you can mix and match tips for different projects (use a 4mm tip on one end and a 6mm on the other for a really cool look), and they versatility and savings increases dramatically! Most sets allow you to buy additional cables, tips, and connectors as well. I’ve done this with my current set and find the cables make great stitch holders when I’m going to a new part of a project. There are lots of advantages to investing in a good set of interchangeable needles, one of the biggest being space savings. In a small compact case you have all the needles you may ever want or need – well, need, and if someone is in a pinch you’re able to share.
The big question is which set to buy. There are about 10 different companies that immediately come to mind making their version of interchangeable needles out there right now. That number is growing and I’m sure there are more when I think about it. A couple of months ago I approached the ones I could get information for with the hopes of acquiring a set to evaluate and report back to you. To date I have gotten two sets – one from Denise and one from Webs. I have gotten some friends to help me test them and I’ll be doing some posts on our results. If anyone else sends a set, I’ll gladly test them and let you know my findings. In the meantime though, I’ve gotten permission from both companies to do as I please with the needles they have sent me. Since I don’t NEED anymore needles, I’m going to have another little contest. Well, it’s more of a raffle.
What I’m going to do is allow you to purchase tickets for this raffle. The tickets will be at the following rates:
- 1 for $5
- 3 for $10
- 5 for $15
Each ticket is your name entered into a draw once. In 2 weeks time I am going to draw 3 names. The first name gets their choice of needles, the second get he second set, and the third name gets to choose a charity or non-profit organization that will get the money from the sale of the raffle tickets. So in effect, you’re getting a chance to get over $1,000 worth of knitting needles (slightly used but still in exceptional condition) for $5 – $15, and even if you don’t win, you’ll have contributed money to a great cause.
*** I am in the process of figuring out how exactly to do the payment for the raffle. As soon as I have worked it out, I will let you all know. If you’ve already sent in your money, I will refund it if i can’t solve this little dilemma. Sorry for the trouble!
Watch this space and I’ll keep you posted!