Tuesday, 18 March 2014

How I Fell In Love With Circulars

When I started knitting I started using straights, which I think is pretty common.  After a few mitten projects worked flat I discovered double pointed needles which I immediately took a liking to, as finishing has never been my favourite part of a project.  A few projects I did called for circulars because the number of stitches just wouldn't work well on straights and while I did use them I never liked them. Then one Christmas I was given a set of addi turbo click interchangeable circular needles.  The set comes with three cords of varying lengths and sets of tips in varying sizes, which you can combine to make whatever combination you need.  It was a beautiful gift but I didn't think I would get much use out of it, I didn't like circulars after all.

They sat in their case for some time before I pulled them out for a project that required circulars at which point I made several discoveries.

  1. While dirt-cheap straight needles work fine (it's pretty hard to screw up a pointed stick with a bobble on the end which is pretty much what a straight needle it) the same is not true of circulars because the quality of the materials and workmanship effects the join between the cord and the needle.  If you buy cheap circulars you get a join that snags your yarn and annoys you forever, this is not true of some of the more expensive circulars.
  2. You can knit with circulars on buses, plans, trains, in waiting rooms and various other crowded situations without poking the person sitting next to you with the back end of your straight knitting needle. 
  3. Because circular needles are shorter they are less likely to work their way through the fabric of your backpack and stab your friend walking next to you (sorry Maria).
I'm normally pretty frugal, but I think part of that is knowing when to buy good quality that I'll use rather than crap that I'll hate but won't want to replace, and circular knitting needles are one of the things that I'm happy to buy good quality so I'm happy with how it works.

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