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Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Needles

What do You Use?

Talking with my DH this morning after a squeal of delight by me (more on that later) I got to thinking about my life's journey thus far through knitting.
I first learned to knit when I was just a wee thing, taught by my gran and using the standard long needles which for all I know were all that were available back then. They as I remember were about as long as my arms and I struggled so much with them, but I persevered and mastered the basics of the craft.
The type I started with.
I continued knitting with this type of needle all through my younger years until I gave up due to sad circumstances and never picked up another needle for about 15 years.
When I did begin knitting again it was with the same style of needle and I must admit that looking back I had the same problems, I still found them difficult to manoeuvre and my hands would begin to hurt after just a few rows.
I then decided to try bamboo needles which I was assured were much lighter and would not be so cumbersome. Whilst it is true that I found them lighter and slightly easier to manage I still was not totally convinced, although you will see I still use them for some projects.
Bamboo Needles

Moving on I discovered that there was an alternative, circular knitting needles where two needle tips are attached to each other with a long cable. So I thought what the heck I may as well give it a try. What a revelation these were light easy to handle and I did not get sore hands. I could knit for hours at a time. 
Circular needle
I then discovered Ravelry and this opened up a whole new world of knitting to me. New techniques and patterns, different styles and ideas and of course I learned even more about knitting needles and the endless brands that are available at the touch of a few buttons via the wonderful world of the internet.
Now whilst I was quite happy with the circular needles I had in my tool box, I had also discovered that I wanted to try new things. Something which appealed to me was trying for the first time in my life to knit socks. I tried and failed spectacularly with double pointed needles and actually broke a couple of sets in my endeavours to master them, (so I have none to take pictures of). 
Then I was pointed in the direction of a technique called Magic Loop. I duly studied a few You Tube videos on the subject and off I went. Wow!! What a revelation. I could knit small things in the round, I could try socks!! And so I did, but there was a fly in the ointment for me. I just did not find the cables on my needles malleable enough and I started to struggle once again. I then heard about a certain brand of needle whose cables were more pliable and I decided to give them a try. And so lo and behold I mastered Magic Loop 
A sock in progress on my chosen needles.

And so, back to my squeal of earlier. So far the smallest needle size I have in this brand is 3mm, as I have the interchangeable type. This limits my choices in sock making as most patterns call for a thinner needle, so imaging my delight this morning when just on the off chance I discovered that this brand I use makes fixed circular needles in sizes down to 2mm in my preferred length for magic looping. Today I am one happy bunny. I will order some soon and you will surely see some more pictures of socks in due course.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary





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