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The Right Tool for the Job

24 Mar

I’d already skeined up the yarn for my new sweater when I sat down to pull the needles out of the case in which I store them. Several years ago, after keeping them jumbled in a drawer for most of my life, I had organized them by size in an accordion folder.

I popped the clasp and went to the pocket for the first sized needle I needed US3/3.25 mm. I had the long circular needle I needed, but not the double points or the short circular I needed for the neckline. How could I not have the double points?

I had the other needles I needed, but the US3s were vital to the start. I could make do with an alternative, but I do like to have the right tool for a job.

Each needle serves a purpose: edge ribbing, neckline, sleeve cuffs, body, color work. It used to be that you got one or two page patterns with two needle sizes. Over the last decade or so, patterns have become longer, with more explicitly written directions that don’t assume the reader knows the difference between an ssk and k2tog. Pattern designers editorialize and offer alternatives to a single way of doing something. There are links to video tutorials. Sometimes I read or watch them, sometimes I don’t.

The one thing I don’t compromise on is my needles. I have had some for decades and, though they bring fond memories, I have been replacing some of the older ones. So, I placed an order for the needles I needed and started a pair of socks while I awaited their arrival.

Today, I will finish the socks and, with new needles in hand, begin the sweater.

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