Knitting Needles are a very personal thing. Do you like straights or circulars, are your circulars interchangeable? Do you prefer bamboo, metal, wood or carbon fibre? Short or long enough to tuck under your arm (that’s me!) The choice of needles now is endless, there’s set of needles to suit everyone. I was thinking about this when I was at Heartlands last weekend at the World wide Knit in Public weekend. I looked around, and although we were all knitting, we each had different needles, way of holding them and technique to move the yarn. One lady is right handed but has her own version of a left-handed continental style of knitting which fascinated me; my Gran Pearl who taught me to knit was left handed but she could knit right handed, and as fast as you can imagine. Elizabeth Zimmerman, the American knitting guru taught herself to knit and purl, forwards and back again, without turning her work at the end of the row. That just blows my mind when I think about how I could learn to do that, and she did it just for fun, because she could!
Thinking about this, at the World wide Knit in Public weekend also led me to think about all the hundreds of thousands of other people around the world who were also knitting in public last weekend, and what knitting needles they use, their cultural styles of knitting and what knitting needles they might use.
A dear friend went on a 3 month walking holiday in South America and brought me back some 5″ cactus spines from Peru which the local women in the mountains use to knit socks from lama wool to keep warm in the thin air at that altitude. They don’t have access to the knitting needles we do, and so they use what they have available. The spines are incredibly sharp, I wouldn’t want to use them to knit with, but they are a knitting novelty (kept carefully away from visiting little ones’ hands!) How many women, (and a few men perhaps) over the millennia have used what was available to knit with, both in terms of knitting needles and yarn or fibre.
I try all the products we stock at Gorgeous Yarns to be sure they are good enough for customers, and so the range of knitting needles represents what I have found, tried and liked. If you are aware of needles that you think are great, please let me know; I’d like to try them too.
Gorgeous Yarns will be at 3 Bags Full in Liskeard, Cornwall and at the Woolly Weekend at Kelly House, both in October where we have been asked to take our extensive range of needles and hooks, hand made project bags etc. So if you are particular about your needles, or want to give a different needle a try, come along! New to us, Knit Pro bamboos and Knit Pro Karbonz interchangeables. I’m always happy to make you up a set with a range of sizes, just let me know.
I have very nearly, almost finished the shawl I have been knitting for about 2 months on and off! Hooray! Its a lovely shawl, by the way, “Spontaneous” by Hanna Maciejewska, it has just taken me a lot longer than I thought to finish it! Hopefully, by the autumn when its cooler and I need it, I will have forgotten how fed up I got making it.
Bye for now, Caroline