Sunday, 18 November 2012



"Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order."

In all professions and hobbies, your tools of the trade are of the utmost importance in helping you achieve success. Whether it’s your brain, your computer or your hands, looking after what’s important is priority. With regards to knitting, your needles only come second to the care of your hands so take your time when choosing which needle suits you best. 
I first started knitting on metal needles. Generic metal needles are cheap and plentiful but can be noisy and hard on your hands. Modern metals are made to be more user friendly and do not break easily, if at all. Good quality metal needles are more beneficial when knitting socks or fine lace due to the sheer thinness of the needle required. Plastic needles are fine for chunky knits. They are lighter, warmer but can become a bit ‘sticky’ with use. When knitting, you should be able to run the stitches smoothly up and down the needle, without them dropping off. There should be no space between the stitch and the needle. This is also a good indication that your tension is correct. Again, the only comfort I found in plastic, was the price. 

Late into my knitting years, a friend, kindly give me a gift of a set of bamboo needles. Bamboo is a great material to work as its warm and almost noiseless. They will bend over time but this doesn’t seem to weaken them. They may split at the points over time especially if you are a frequent knitter. I find using a nail file to smooth out any rough edges helps prolong their life.

While on a trip to London, a few years back, a good friend in the know escorted me to a fabulous little knitting shop. It was the equivalent to stepping into ‘The Land of Take What You Please’, which nestled atop ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’. the feeling was as though you were walking into one’s dotage’s abode, greeted by yarns, needles, accessories and everything else you could possibly want and make believe, you really needed! It was here, I was introduced to Swallow Casein Knitting Needles. Swallow produce ethical, natural, eco-friendly needles from their hub in Australia. These adorable creamy, pastel coloured needles are in fact, made from Casein, a milk bi-product. The health benefits of these little gems can be read here at Casein Knitting Needles.
Needles made from Milk!

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