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Saturday, March 19, 2011


Someone corresponding with her craftswoman sister once used the shorthand of "kneedles" (for knitting) as distinct from "needles" (for sewing).

So, how many kneedles do you have, and which is your favorite?  Straight, double-point, circular, cable--each has its best purpose.

Circular is my default position:  nothing to get lost except the kneedle itself, and the supple nylon cord allows an accurate gauge check when beginning, a sense of shape and drape as the piece comes along.  Over the years I've acquired a host of sizes and lengths, but I have yet to suffer a surfeit, a plethora.  Always there's another kneedle needed:  super-long, for moebius, perhaps.

I've never seen the purpose in introducing children to knitting with big, thick, long kneedles that hang up at the elbow and defy all natural balance.  I switched Maria, the elder stepgranddaughter, to a nice doodly #5 circular, and that worked out well, even for a lefty, even for a recalcitrant pull-the-yarn-around beginner.  (I never could turn her into a flicker, but she's doing well as a picker--more about that anon.)

Beyond form, there's substance:  Wood, aluminum, bamboo, plastic, for sure...but did you know there are stone kneedles?  I met them at my hairdresser's, and so ingratiating were they, I rushed to the fabric store only to find they had sold out.  Handmade, from Tibet, cool and smooth and lovely to the touch.  Circular, of course.  I now know kneedle envy.

Hubbest says I could make my bamboo kneedles slide more easily if I were to wax them, and I may do just that, because certain clingy fibers, the kind with teeny tiny claws, clutch and grab at the bamboo.  With a really slippery fiber, a little cling is an advantage.  The Addi Turbo is just too slick for silk or soy.

Choices, choices, choices; thank goodness we have them.  Which kneedle do you find yourself favoring?

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