Sunday, November 18, 2012

Double-Pointed Needles

I love working with double-pointed needles.  Recently, one of my size 3 (3.25 mm) needles broke.  I loved that set, but it only had four needles, so a broken needle was a serious problem.  It was a vintage celluloid set, probably made in the 1930's--similar to plastic.  Since I was in the middle of a project, replacing those needles was a priority.

I generally don't like modern plastic needles, because I haven't had very good experiences with their points.  Either the tapered part is too long, or the points are too blunt.  Bamboo is nice, but it's expensive, and you run a fairly high risk of buying needles that snag.  With larger needles you can just sand down any rough spots, but that doesn't work very well on small sizes.  I've had similar problems with other woods.  Metal is usually slippery and heavy and falls out of one's project easily.  Really, I didn't want to put a lot of money into something unless I was sure I'd like it.

The other problem was that going to the yarn store is an out-of-the-way trip for me to a part of town that has horrible parking and a lot of traffic during the day.  With two small children in tow, I was not looking forward to it.

Ultimately, I decided to go to Walmart first (I needed to go there anyway for a couple other things) and see if they had some cheap needles that would get me through the rest of the project.

To my surprise, they did!  The needles were metal needles from Boye, and I anticipated that they would try to fall out of my work, but they would at least get the job done.  I could always buy something nicer later.

Imagine my pleasure when I started using the needles and they were almost as light as my old celluloid ones!  Boye's needles are aluminum coated in paint, making them very light-weight and not at all slick. My previous experience had been with steel needles that were coated in paint or nickel to make them extra slippery.  I love my new needles!

Sometimes the cheap option is also the best choice.

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