When I started knitting the Frost Flower Lace shawl I picked out my longest pair of Number 10 (3.25mm US No 3) knitting needles. Nice and long, I thought, for spreading out the knitting and seeing the pattern forming.
But when I started knitting, did they start bugging me? Constantly trying to tuck themselves under my armpits. I’ve no idea why this happened. It’s not as if I haven’t knitted with this length needle – and longer – before. Right now I’m logging it as a case for Mulder and Scully, unless you have an explanation?
Digging back through my needle collection, I found my only other free pair of No 10 needles.
This pair of needles are a lifelong friend – okay there’s only one here, the other’s gone AWOL. These needles were my mother’s. I used them as a child and, when I left for university, I
stole them took them with me.
Pleased to be reunited with my old chums I continued knitting the Frost Flower Lace on them.
The yarn I was using was quite slippy. As I knitted on, I kept dropping stitches when I tried to slip them. And knitting the two stitches of an SSK together was really tricky.
Instantly The Voice of Doom jumped in at told me I was lacking in my knitting abilities. I told it to shut up and persevered, pushing that thought firmly to the back of my brain each time I heard it. Then one day a new voice spoke up…
‘These needles really aren’t very pointy,’ said the voice.
‘Nah! Don’t be silly,’ I told it. ‘All needles have the same pointiness.’
I knitted on, but the voice in my head kept telling me if my needles were more pointy, it would be much easier to knit. Finally I checked the needle tips against the armpit burrowing No 10s.
Quel horreur! My life long friends had a less pointy tip! Ok, it might be a fine difference, but I swapped back to the longer needles and my stitches behaved so much better – although the needles still persisted with their fetish.
When I told Lovely Husband he said, ‘Of course. Everything wears out.’ And, of course, he’s right. If I’d thought about it, this is a vintage pair of needles have been in use for over fifty years. Can anyone date them? I’ve googled to find similar pictures, but can’t find ones this shape with the UK number and no millimetres on them.
Maybe I didn’t make such an extraordinary discovery, but my knitting needles wearing out was something I’d never thought about and something that made me quite sad. My emotional attachment surprised me too. Okay, anything that takes us back to our childhood is likely to tug emotion. But a pair of knitting needles? I do have needles I like to use more than others, but this pair weren’t a particular favourite, yet I still became attached.
Do your tools ever take on a life of their own? Do you use vintage tools for your craft? And do you have favourites? I’d love to here about them.
Hope you’re having a great week.