Saturday, October 06, 2007

Why I Love Circular Needles

In her comment on my last post, Maggie suggested that I acquire circular needles for the plane flight, so today I went to Ben Franklins Crafts, which also has lots of yummy yarn, and got a 29-inch set (the TSA limit is 31 inches, and the next largest at Ben Franklins was 34). That means that the set measures 29 inches from tip to tip, with the cable stretched between them.

I came home, knit the shawl off the straight needles onto the circular ones, and promptly fell in love. Here's why; some of these reasons were originally Maggie's, but I agree with them!

1. Everything's in one place, so there's no danger of losing a needle.

2. The cable lets me stretch the shawl out to its full width. It's very pretty, even with goofs! The length also makes stitches somewhat easier to see.

3. The knitting area is more contained. Maggie pointed out that this is an advantage in cramped airplane seats, but I've discovered another benefit: without long straight needles bobbing up and down, one's much less prone to attack from curious cats.

4. As Maggie observed in an e-mail, the circular needles distribute weight much more evenly than the straight ones do. I can already notice the difference, even with a light shawl. When I start knitting afghans and other larger things, I'm sure I'll be even more grateful. Let's hear it for ergonomics!

The one annoyance is that the nylon cable's still a little twisty, even though I softened it in hot water (as per instructions from the knitting lady at Ben Franklins) before I started. I'm sure it will loosen up in time, though.

At some point, I want to get myself some of these gorgeous needles. They make one kind with interchangeable tips and cables, which sounds extremely handy. I may ask for this set for Christmas!

Other good news: I was talking to the Knitting Lady about the TSA scissors problem, and she suggested the little thread cutter on a container of dental floss. Now, why didn't I think of that? (I did buy a pill cutter today, for pills, but the blade in it looks too much like a razor, and I suspect TSA wouldn't be amused.)

Also, I refilled my meds script, and it was much less money this month. Evidently part of the cost last time was a deductible. So that's a relief!


  1. How exactly does TSA think you would hijack a plane with knitting needles?

    "Fly this plane to Caracas or I'll force you to wear Hello Kitty booties. I have pink yarn and I'm not afraid to use it!"

  2. hahahaha! Hello Kitty booties! hahahhaha!

    I've never had any problems with my knitting needles or scissors on US flights. They allow scissors up to 4 inches long. The regulations are here if you haven't found them yet.

    I LOVE circular needles, too. I have knitpicks nickel plated interchangables, and they are awesome. They came out before the wooden ones, and I'm trying to figure out how to justify needing both sets.

    I've been reading your blog for quite a while. As a Christian healthcare worker, I love your perspective. As a knitter, I'm thrilled you are blogging about that, too.

  3. Tiel -- Yeah, no kidding!

    Red Fish -- Welcome, and thanks for the kind words! I'm sorry it's taken me a few days to respond!


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