This is not phase that I will allow to compel me. I've spent 45 years getting ready to apply my life experience intelligently. But I may be absent more frequently if this pace continues. I work long hours straight, these days. Seriously, no time to get a tea in the kitchen or to find healthy food or to pee. And yes, I realize it's not healthy. But sometimes we have to stretch ourselves. Friday, I managed to eat a donut and chips for lunch, while I negotiated with a worried client. OK, don't cry for me. It was a crema catalana beignet from Bar Raval (which I picked up on my way into work, pretty sure it would be a batshit crazy day) and the chips were overpriced, jalapeno kettle cut things. These foods were strangely well-paired.
The other day my mentor came into my office and, after listening to me fast-talk with agitation for 5 minutes, inquired as to whether I was secretly pleased to be working on something so intellectually and interpersonally challenging. Way to put things into context. I guess that's why they tell you to find a mentor.
But in the quiet moments between the crazy days, I knit. (You'll note how much I've been knitting lately.)
I mentioned recently that I'd bought 2 interchangeable needle kits by Knitter's Pride, a brand I don't know much about though I do own a couple of KP bamboo circulars. This company produces numerous styles of needles and, while I'm not one to be tied down by one brand of needles - I cast my lot with Addis, pretty early on, and I don't love them in the end - I do like to mix and match. Furthermore, I'm thrilled by the idea that 6 needles, with detachable cables, can produce a zillion different options.
Here's what I got:
Knitter's Pride Comby Interchangeable Sampler Set
1 pair Symfonie Dreamz (distinctively colored wood) (US 6 / 4.0 mm)
1 pair Cubics (cube-shaped wood) (US 7 / 4.5 mm)
1 pair Nova (nickel-plated brass) (US 8 / 5.0 mm)
1 24" cable
1 40" cable
4 end caps
2 cord keys
Tips are 4.5" long. (That's the actual length of the needles that attach to the cords and join.)
Knitter's Pride Comby Interchangeable Sampler Set II:
1 pair Karbonz (US 2.5/ 3.00mm) tips
1 pair Bamboo (US 4/ 3.5mm) tips
1 pair Nova Cubics Platina (US 6/ 4.00mm) tips
1 24" cable
1 40" cable
4 end caps
2 cord keys
The cost for both sets, including shipping, purchased online from the US, was 69 bucks CDN. Very well-priced IMO, given that I get to try a many new things - even if I'd have preferred needle sizes at either extreme of the gauge range because I use really small needles most often and I don't have all the large needle sizes in my cache already. Of course, you're only going to find the steady middle in a sample kit, to suit the largest demographic. No, I don't need these sets but I want them. How will I ever learn about different needle shapes and composite materials, applied to different fibers, if I don't explore? It's not like they take up any space. Or like I'm merely an occasional knitter.
In the past, I've been staunchly monogamous. I pick up a project, I knit a project, I finish a project - and then I move on. Sure, I plan the next project while I'm knitting the current one, but I'm compulsive about completing things so I don't want to impede that process. Having said this, my Bust the Stash initiative has shown me how, when you're planning is impeccable, you can do a few things at once (esp. if they're simple and small). I haven't gone down this road yet, but I do love that I can utilize needles, with different cables, as necessary to make 2 or more things, requiring the same needle gauge, simulaneously. Yeah, I already own all of these needle sizes, and most in multiples (with different, static i.e. non-detachable cord lengths), so I probably wouldn't ever have to go to that extent. But it's fun to have all the options!
This is how they came packaged (minus the labels):
Sure, it's tidy and functional but that plastic off-gassing is nasty and, let's face it, this presentation is not chic. Who wants to reach into their sticky plastic see-through envelope to search out needles? Not to mention, in the way that all of my other needles (not interchangeables) are housed their own portfolio, these deserve an attractive home.
Which is where the (arguably overpriced, but appreciable) Addi Interchangeable case comes in:
Note that my case did not include the needles. Of course, the Addi kits come with both but, like I've said before, I hate Addi cables and, durability notwithstanding, I find most of their needle tips to be too blunt (even the lace ones) and the needles themselves to be too slippery or too sticky. Mind you, I've always loved this case and I was thrilled to learn that it's sold independently of the needles. It cost me 54 bucks CDN, all in, purchased from the UK.
Now, you might be thinking to yourself: Kristin, you just spent $125 CDN on a self-curated interchangeable needle set with far fewer needles than you'd have got if you bought a complete, ready-made kit. And they're not in the most useful-to-you sizes. And you know nothing about whether you'll like them or if they'll last. Not to mention that the case says Addi and the needles are a dog's breakfast of different shapes and materials - which is just kind of off.
What can I say? I'm happy. It was an adventure - the likes of which I experienced last night at Enoteca when, so exhausted that I couldn't even string together a sentence, I asked James (our server and friend) to bring me any beverage of his choice, other than beer (which I hate). I like living on the edge - especially when the thing that's over the edge is, let's face it, totally safe. Hilariously, he brought me one of my old standards (an Italian La Crema). I think he could see where I was at.
I love the case. The needles all fit (and there's room for others if I find a new sample kit to buy). They all seem to join well and easily to the cables. Some of the tips are more my speed than others but, you know, you can't tell what needles will work with what yarn until you're in a particular situation. Sometimes you need slippery, sometimes square, sometimes wood etc.
So there you go, a small book on a few needles.
But how about you? Are you an interchangeable needle person? Did you buy all of your needles independently - as you were learning - only to find now that nothing matches and you wish you'd gone for the modularity of interchangeables? Do you actually like Addis or did you just buy the hype? What do you think of Knitter's Pride? Do you have a fave KP style? Have you tried these sample kits? How do you store your interchangeables? Let's talk!