Thursday, March 12, 2009

So, size three needles.

Last night, I was telling the husbeast about the new double points from Signature Needle Arts. He inspects chunks of metal all day, and appreciates good engineering, so I knew he'd like the sound of the new DPNs from Signature. Two different kinds of points - blunt and pointy, one on each end, to knit with as you choose. The center of the needle is slightly rough, to hang on to the stitches, but the points are smooth for ease of working. Honestly, I think a machinist who knits came up with the idea, or a couple like me and the husbeast, one who works in metal and one who knits a lot. Either way, they're some seriously awesome precision engineering and probably the only improvement on knitting needles to come by in, what, five, six hundred years? (No, wait. Steel needles for everyone, improved wire-making technology, two hundred years ago. Ish. Last improvement.) It's a subtle improvement, but it's there.

The husbeast, as is usual (because he spends more on car parts and tools than I EVER will on yarn unless I go to knitting cashmere exclusively and is probably afraid I'll start totaling up expenditures for the last two months), said "Buy yourself a couple sets."

Um, yeah. There's the rub. They're $45 USD per set. Even the husbeast agreed that was kind of steep, but gamely said maybe I could get one set, in a size I used a lot. (He's spent a lot on car parts lately.) I told him as soon as I almost entirely limit myself to one size of needle (like if I were to knit socks exclusively), I'd buy some. In the mean time, I just couldn't justify the expense, particularly since I've been knitting twenty years and I'm so used to baby-butt smooth aluminum that the sudden popularity of bamboo and wood five years back seems like a huge luxury I'm still enjoying. If I get into sock knitting in a big way (it's possible, but unlikely), I'd consider getting some ones and zeros.

This morning, bless his heart, the husbeast called to tell me that we'd been paid and I could "Get those knitting needles." Well. He didn't specify which ones, now did he? Just... knitting needles. And I DO need some good size threes for this unholy Setesdal project. I figured so long as I spent less than $45, he may roll his eyes and call me a cheapskate, but he wouldn't really care.

That's how I found myself over at Yarn Supply, buying three cheapass Boye circulars and an ergonomic crochet hook in the same size (I'll use bamboo double-points). Boye needles are the anodized aluminum monstrosities they sell at Wal-Mart. They're what I learned on, what I'm used to, and may the gods help me, what I still prefer for many - nearly all - projects. The circulars are pretty well-engineered: aluminum points go down to a thinner bit BEFORE the nylon cord joins on. The join between cord and point is pretty sturdy, because I've never had one break, not in twenty years of knitting with these beasts. (Unlike the Denise needles. I broke one of those last month, and I almost never use them.) The points on the Boye needles are - for me at least - the perfect combination of pointy and blunt, and of course, as I've said before, they're what I learned on and what I've knit with for twenty years.

Plus there's the cost. Did I mention the cost? Less than four dollars each. SCORE! Three knitting needles and a fancy ergo crochet hook, for sixteen dollars. And free shipping.

Ideally, I'd have the gauge swatch done when the needles get here, but I have this overwhelming urge to finish the Russian Prime, which has been languishing for TWO YEARS (holy fuck, I only thought it was one, where does the time go??) with only one arm. Knitting a single arm won't take long. And it'll put off the moment when I have to cast on 420 stitches and join without twisting. Plus, it's the Year To Finish. I should finish something before starting a new project, right? I've been finishing stuff right and left, but I should finish MORE, right? Avoidance. Gotta love it.


By the way, thank you, Donna Lee, for the "pure and simple hell (with pink ribbon)" comment. Snarfing tea out my nose helped my sinuses, and I really needed the laugh. May I remind you, YOU have to watch me bitch about this for the next six months. At least. Hahahaha.


And lastly, a photo of the Goober. Who had a growth spurt in Florida and is looking positively little-kid sized. Speaking of 'where does the time go?'

As well as carpet beetles, warm weather brings out squirrels.

Sekhmet's quite interested.


KnitTech said...

Yea, those are some awesome looking needles. Much like you, I can't justify to myself spending that much on them.

Mandy said...

I haven't seen those yet. What do you think of the square ones? I was thinking of trying a set of those to see if they keep my fingers from going numb so quickly. I get all my needles at JoAnn Fabrics when they have the 40% off coupons (which is all the time!)

I've gotten strange about my needles in my old age, too. I did splurge and buy myself a couple of sets of Brittany birch sock needles a couple of years ago, and they are lovely. But, all of a sudden, wood and bamboo needles are too sticky and drive me bats, so I've switched back to my cheapo aluminum Susan Bates needles (some of which are not pointy enough for me, but cheapass beggars can't be choosers...)

Amy Lane said...

Dude, I SO would have taken him up on that needle offer! (Or, I would have done what you did, and bought more yarn... potato/potahto...)

The Goob is beautiful--and so little kid sized--how awesome!

Alwen said...

Look at that kid! Ankles! I just had to buy more pants to replace the ones we bought the child in September.

I am a very cheap person. I should quit hibernating and do a blog post on Cheap.

Donna Lee said...

I like the look of the signature needles but can't justify the price. And I would use them for socks. A lot. I'll stick with my knitpicks which I love. Maybe if we win the lottery or a rich relative that I don't know dies and leaves me their estate.

MLJ1954 said...

I have to tell you that Ijust love my knitpicks, harmony needles. I so enjoyed them that I just bought the set of 4" harmoney dpns (but, of course, the reason I bought them is because I was sitting in a hotel room last night and kept going back and forth . . . finally put them in the cart, along with some other stuff . . . the shame of leaving me in a hotel room two hours difference from my family and it was me and tv and the lace I couldn't figure out where I lost a stitch). They are WARM.

I have the KP's interchangeables and mucho cables and points that I like. I also like the metal ones that are interchangeable.