I feel like a real ass. Yesterday I mentioned that I looked all over for that one needle. And I swear I did. I took every needle out of the bag where I keep the 16″ circulars and measured them with my needle gauge, and didn’t find the size 5. I looked in project bags, in desk drawers, and places that needles are never kept. Later I was back in the circular needle bag looking for a size 4 needle, and you know where this is heading. I found the size 5! So frustrating.
Usually I don’t have much trouble with my needles (which makes this whole episode that much more annoying). After 8 years of knitting, I think my system is finally at a place that I like and that is manageable. I don’t own a ton of needles; many of the larger needles were bought in the year that I began knitting. And then I slowly acquired all the other sizes. Sure, I buy needles occasionally and I have plenty of duplicates, but I try to avoid buying any more if I can.
Since organizing my craft area back in February, I have been very diligent about keeping things in their places. My needles all live in that little basket shown in the picture at the top. The basket lives on the shelf of my craft area (though not pictured in the link, the shelf’s contents have evolved over time to suit me). Without further ado, here are the contents of the basket!
First, the case that holds the most used needles: DPNs in sizes 000 to 4.
This case was on sale at the yarn store when I bought it, and I think it’s intended for crochet hooks. But it fits my DPNs, even the 8″ ones, perfectly. The top folds down so the needles can’t fall out very easily (NB: They can fall out, I assure you. It is never pretty.)
I also use my circular needles a lot.
These gallon ziplock bags have been in use for years! As you can see, there is one bag for the 16 inchers, one for the 24s and one labeled just “longer”. Although yesterday’s trouble began with this bag, the system usually works, even if it takes a few minutes to sort through to find the needle I’m looking for.
I also have a needle case that I made a long time ago.
Up until I got the case that holds my small DPNs above, this red case was actually used to hold all sizes of needles. It never worked well because it was always too full. Now that I’ve transitioned the small needles to the other case, this one works great for the larger size needles, 5s to 15s. The straight needles are all 9″ long. When I use straight needles I prefer these to the longer ones.
But I do own longer straight needles! I just don’t knit with them.
Some of these were gifted to me by family and the others were bought at thrift stores. I can’t help myself when I see old knitting needles at the thrift store. I am compelled to bring them home with me! They live on the shelf, but are rarely, if ever, used. If I ever teach knitting to kids again I will probably use these needles, but in the meantime I just enjoy having them around.
In the basket is also a ziplock bag for my crochet hooks.
It seems an obscene number of hooks considering how little time I actually spend crocheting. But at least I’m prepared whenever I feel like a quickie crochet project!
So those are my needles! As I’m continually reminded, it is not a fail safe system. Usually every couple of months I still have a big needle round up; I go through project bags and find all the forgotten needles and put them away. But it works better than any system I’ve tried since I began knitting, and that makes me happy.