Following on from my poll on needles, I managed to obtain some bamboo needles and one pair of wooden (beech) needles. At the time of writing this, the voting results are:
- Metal (35.3%)
- Bamboo (32.4%)
- Wood (29.4%)
- Other (3%) – not specified
- Plastic (0%)
Good cases were made for all the favoured types. Naturally, there’s no substitute for personal experience. That’s why I obtained bamboo and wood needles for myself.
I haven’t yet had the opportunity to try the wooden needles but they are 7mm! The bamboo, however, I have tried. I have to say that it took very little testing for them to replace metal as my favourites! It was quite strange, though. One reason why I dislike plastic needles is that they seem to drag on the yarn terribly. Now, there’s a similar sense of drag with bamboo needles (new ones, at least), but the yarn still moves more smoothly than with plastic. A big plus is that they allow free movement of the stitches but aren’t as slippery as metal, which are often so slippery as to be difficult to handle without dropping stitches! Also, bamboo needles don’t slip between fingers/thumbs as easily, and they don’t engender as much joint and/or muscle pain as metal.
All in all, bamboo gets my vote as best!
Today, while hunting for 6mm DPNs and circulars, we found a delightful shop! I say “shop” but “Emporium” would really be more appropriate! Aladdin’s Cave in fact! Halfpenny Home is magical, to be totally honest.
Greeted with immense warmth, even though we’d never been there before, we were even offered a coffee/tea, as Nic (the owner) was just making herself one. Oh bliss! I was frozen on this cold, rainy day (yes, I’d forgotten to put on my posh new mitts!) and my fingers were totally numb! Poor Jenny was still in shock, trying to take in the fact that she really was in this magical realm! I must admit, I was equally awed by the hundreds of delectable bamboo needles, and yarns, and buttons, and….. well, you get the idea! Coincidentally, too, Nic heard Jenny call me “Steve” and instantly knew that I was KnitSteve from Ravelry! Nic’s another Ravelry member…
OK, so I didn’t find any of the 6mm needles that I needed, but Jenny did buy me a skein of gorgeous yarn (Colinette‘s Hullabaloo, Shade 146, Popsicle – Aran weight) and a pair of 3.75mm bamboo straight needles. One thing I’m sure off: we will be going back!
As for those bamboo needles? Well, I finally got to try some and I have to say – I love them!! This sweater is growing much faster with those as they are so superior to the metal ones I was using, and the joints of my hands aren’t hurting anywhere near as much!
The 6mm needles are now on order from an eBay seller… The hat will get completed!
Last night, Jenny started experimenting with making beaded stitch and place markers for knitting use. It’s a learning curve as we’ve only got the little plastic stitch markers and place markers have always been loops of scrap yarn. One thing I’ve always hated about those yarn place markers is the way the loops go sloppy and then “creep” so making stitch counting a problem. The beaded ones, however, have enough weight to stop that happening. I’d seen the beaded stitch markers others make, and in all honesty had thought them to be no more than a bit of pretty bling. Now, I know that they’re actually very useful, and definitely superior to the cheap little markers, which have a nasty habit of pinging off, often without being noticed.
Here are a couple of place markers Jenny made for me:
Knitting Place Markers
I’m looking forward to using these in place of yarn scraps!
Considering how often markers are used, and the fact that they are obligatory in many patterns, especially knitting in the round, I think that having this particular form of bling is very worthwhile!