We all know about Brownies, right. Treat them well, leave them treats, say thank you now and then, and they quietly go about making sure that your household runs right, the bread dough rises, the pants you need next landed on top in the dryer so they didn't wrinkle ... you can find the needles you need to knit the next thing?
Evidently, someone in my house has been dissing the Brownies.
I'm working on a pair of Half Fingered Mitts for Bookworm. (They're hell to photograph, because they're black, with shiny bits of green and blue - and cabled). These mitts use US Size 7 (4.5mm) dpns (double pointed needles, for those not in the know). Now, There was a time in my life when I seemed use this size for everything, and I'm notorious for having more than a few projects going at once, so I once had a healthy stash of Size 7's.
When I started this project, I rummaged about my dpn binder, and came up with enough of the same brand to do the job (I use five). I cast on, and knit merrily along until I got to the fingers. For reasons I cannot comprehend, I decided to take that fiddly bit to a friend's house, for a social gathering with knitting on top.
You can see what's coming, can't you? One of the dpns slithered away. I returned home with four. I persevered for a while, but the fiddly fingers with only four was making me insane. I finished the first one thus hampered...
but then I checked the needle stash. This is what I discovered:
You will note that they are gathered in clusters of three (with one that has four). They all started as sets of five. This brings home to me that dpns are like socks (one is always disappearing), and not like coat hangers (which multiply madly in your closet). I guess this means that what things are made out of doesn't affect their sock/coat hanger behavior.
So, back to the size 7 dpns. Let's line these up in size order, shall we?
If you look very closely (while ignoring the dog fur that the Roomba missed this morning), you'll see that I cannot actually assemble a single set of five needles that is both the same length and the same material. I come close with those metal ones on the far right, but they're very different textures, and slightly different lengths.
Yes, it can be done. One CAN knit this way. But it's not fun, and when you get to the fiddly bits, like fingers, those long dpns are a pain in the... ahem. And slippery needles with cotton yarn -- let's just say I spent a lot of time picking up needles and putting the stitches back on.
So. Saturday, when I went to the polls to sneak in a last minute early vote - I found a wonderful LONG line snaking around. I'm thrilled to see so many people voting. Good voter turnout is important. But I know that I can vote on Tuesday pretty easily. So I wnt to the yarn store instead. Voila, 5 US7/4.5mm dpns, in lovely 5" length. Now mine! Now I again have five needles that are all the same material and all the same length.
There ARE mitts in Bookworms foreseeable future.