For want of a needle

Last night, during my “Check out for a few hours and knit” time, which really is a great habit, you don’t get a lot done but you do feel okay about it, I started the sleeve for my current seemless yoke sweater.

And I must say, I don’t really like it.

Knitting it that is. It’s appearance isn’t the best, but it’s passable in my book, and doesn’t have any problems that a good stiff blocking couldn’t cure. Mostly just uneven and out of shape stitches. (Maybe they should hit the gym.) But Knitting on it is just, hard.

I’m knitting it with cotton on some DPN’s. Now, cotton yarn, which is noted for its slipperiness if nothing else, usually doesn’t bother me. Maybe if I’m knitting a tight dishcloth after a long day of typing will it hurt my wrists, because of the inelasticity, but it is a rare day where I’m bothered by it’s slipperiness. I never notice it on circs or straights. But here, using these collector’s items knitting needles that were picked up at goodwill, I am driven nearly mad by them. They’re making me more crazy, which isn’t hard, but still. They keep slipping and sliding, always threatening to fall out of the work, and even doing so occasionally. In the few inches of sleeve that I have, I’ve had to re-insert the needle several times. I’m working on devising new methods of knitting, so I can hold onto the needles not in use while I use the other two. What is a fella to do with this kind of problem?

Well, here are a few options.

1. Get ye self to ye olde hobbie lobbie, and pick up a pair of Clover bamboos. They shouldn’t cost too much, comparatively speaking, but could still be a little bit more than I’m wanting to pay for a knitting needle of all things. Since I have no way of getting to a big box craft store, I probably won’t be doing this one anytime soon.

2. Head down to the local and fork over, what, by LYS standards is reasonable for some DPNs that don’t make you want to stick them in your eye. Considering, A. my dislike of the only yarn shop that my two legs can get me to, by walking at least, and B. The limited budget part, I probably won’t be doing this. I could buy the needles, I just don’t want to.

3. Alternate method. I could reasonably devise another method of doing this. My only good US three circ is currently in use on the body of the sweater, but even if I had it free, it wouldn’t be any use, because it’s one of those odd 18” circs, that I didn’t buy, just took because someone gave it to me. (I did have to elbow some other knitters out of the way, I am a pushy little bastard.) So I couldn’t do Magic loop with it because it’s too short, and I couldn’t go all the way around the sleeve with it. The knit picks interchangeables, which I love with the passion of a burning sun, don’t come down that low. (Curses, they stop at four.) However, if you’re paying attention, which I have my doubts, you’ll note that I said, “My only good circ.” Not my only circ. I have a little bamboo needle that I bought a while ago, a size three. I only used it a little, because the cable shaft is hollow, and I am hard on needles. The needle is starting to come out of the shaft. Let’s go have us a little look at it.

Yup, I was right, but, a little tape turned a nonexistent join, into a snaggy, deadly join. Hum. I know it won’t be long enough to go around the sleeve though, so why am I bothering with this idea? I don’t know, but it’s nice to know that I have an “emergency” size three if I need it. Let’s try anyway. No, no fit, though I can do some sort of odd, magic loop on it, which really is only better by about one degree, and it is only a matter of time before the other side breaks.

That leaves me with one option, knitting it flat. No, not happening. This is EZ, it must be knit in the round, all of it, otherwise, it is not easy. (It was only a matter of time before I made that joke too.)

So. Right back where we started, only this time with a poorly repaired needle. Well, there is another option, one that I’m a little afraid of. Making my own needles. I’m scared.

But it’s in the stars I tell you. First, I need a needle. Second, the local hardware shop, close enough to walk to, is having a going out of business sale. They probably carry dowel rods, which I’ve been told, with a little sawing, and sharpening, and some polishing/sanding/I’ll know it when I see it, you can make some decent needles. I think we all know what is going to happen.

Gulp.

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