Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

What a difference a needle makes! March 23, 2009

Filed under: Knitting Topics — happystitches @ 12:43

Well, I’ve known that for years, ever since (many many moons ago) a friend and I split the purchase cost of one pair of straight Addi Turbo needles.

We could neither of us justify the purchase of yet another pair of needles, since we both owned a full quiver of aluminium needles, and were cash-strapped. However, we had been reading great things about these needles in the Knitting Guild of Canada magazine, so of course our curiosity was piqued. How could one kind of metal needle be so vastly superior to another? We made the investment. When we found that we were constantly commuting across the Halifax bridges in order to borrow the needles from one another, we knew it was time to start reneedling ourselves. I am still buying and adding to my personal stash of Addis and I sell them as a business! These days I use almost exclusively circular needles, both the Addi Natura bamboo and the Turbos (except for socks, more on that another day).

A circular needle purchase, BTW, is a real bargain (especially the really long ones): you have straights, flex needles and circulars all in one. There is not much you cannot do with a circular, except perhaps make tea! I can hardly wait to have a set of the Addi Clicks (their forthcoming multi-size needle set, that hasn’t yet reached the east coast of Canada, although I have just heard that a few sets are on their way next week).

Having said all of the above, I’ve fallen in love again. With needles it’s less of an issue than with life partners, as it is permissible, indeed beneficial to be polygamous! This needle and I were first introduced by Ann and Eugene of Philospher’s Wool at Stitches West 2008. Their glorious booth, brimming with Ann’s vibrant designs, was adjacent to that of Deborah Doyle of Asciano Fiber Arts.

Ann innocently enquired if I had ever tried one of Deborah’s needles? She was glowing in her praise for the quality and workmanship of the needles and the pleasure that they were to use. I admitted to this deficiency in my education and went to have a feel of Deborah’s needles. They felt superb; the joins between the rosewood tips and the flex wire were imperceptible. I felt obliged to buy a needle based on Ann’s recommendation, the feel of the needle and my desire to support other small businesses. The only snag being, that at that time, the smallest needle Deborah made was an 8mm / US# 11. I rarely use a needle that large. Oh well, I was sure that I would eventually use it, so the needle was purchased and it returned with me to Nova Scotia.

For quite a while it hung neglected and unused with my other needles. Last summer, however, I was playing around with Kauni Effektgarn , a fingering weight wool yarn with a hand very similar to Shetland wools and with wonderful long colour gradations, and wanted to try some garment construction experiments. Suddenly the light dawned: I could test drive my new needle, play with the Kauni yarn colours and experiment with construction ideas all at once, if I tripled the Kauni, Navaho style, from a single ball.

I love it when things all come together: serendipity in action. The needle was well worth the wait and I do definitely seek it out to use it. More on where the needle has since led me next week! I’m into an outbreak of hats right now.

Thanks to all of you for your kind comments on the DVDs and our first edition of this blog. Dawne has been putting serious pressure on me to write and it appears that she may have created a monster! DVD progress this week has been good, The Brand New Knitter has gone to Peter Gaskin for indexing. He’s probably going to have conniptions when he discovers that it is more than 3 hours long with approximately 130 topics. I have more of less corralled the appropriate information for the covers and the small print for each disc, so my brain is beginning to feel better now.

Just for a little variety, I have to share this You Tube clip with ewe: it was sent by a good knitting buddy whose standards for viewing seem to gel perfectly with mine. Having lived in Wales, I find the underlying Welshness of the scenery very pleasing. However, they weren’t doing this in my neck of the woods when I left! Good job, or I might not have been desperate enough to move to Halifax solely on the strength of there being a Rowan Yarns stockist listed there!

Happy stitches to all,


4 Responses to “What a difference a needle makes!”

  1. Jasmin Says:

    I splurged on a set of the Asciano needles as well, this year, and I really am enjoying working with them. Deborah also couldn’t be a nicer woman!

  2. tmarie Says:

    That Youtube video was a riot! I had to watch it more than once to get all the different things they did and even then I didn’t “get” the name of the group at the end (BAAA-STUDS), until my husband said it outloud. Too funny.

    I’m a fan of the Addi Turbo circulars but not the dpns. Have you tried their dpns? The set I purchased–US 9s–are not slick and are heavy.

    And thanks for walking me through my first garter stitch short row heel yesterday (via the Sock Techniques 2 DVD). I felt like I was all thumbs but it looks very nice. I’m sure it’ll feel more comfortable after I’ve done it a few times.

  3. Shelley Says:

    I found out today what you meant by “What A Difference A Needle Makes!”. I am a fan of bamboo & wood needles myself, and I wanted to get a nice set of wooden circulars, but was being a little off put by all the sizes, between the needle size and the different cable lengths I though I would never figure out, and then someone suggested a set of Knitpicks Harmony interchangeable circulars. I received them today, and promptly started trying them out. I am in love! They are so smooth, and the points are lovely, the joins are smooth, no snagging. Oh wonders, I wish I had found these sooner. I even was able to make a set into a “mock” straight needles to work on a sweater. Oh the possibilities are endless now….now to find more time to knit with them.

  4. I enjoy your DVDs tremendously, I learned so much from them, I own 7 of them now and I am saving money for some more. I understand they are a lot of work to make, so thank you for working so hard and sharing your knowledge with us.

    Welcome to blogging, it is also quite a bit of work but it is well worth it.

    You can share videos like this one anytime you want, it was GREAT!

    Enjoy your double life on Tancook Island. 🙂

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