My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Just Call Me Tenacious W

Though Compulsive W might be more accurate.

In the continuation of my quest for the perfect lace knitting needle, I received more needles in the mail yesterday. And I found one that warms my heart.

It is a Boye needle — not a Boye Needlemaster needle, just a Boye circular. This needle.

Look at the point on this bad boy!


And the join is good too!


As you can see from the top photo, my long-suffering Inky Dinky Spider Stole is pressed into service as the needle testing guinea pig. The needle works great with this very fine Suri Alpaca yarn. No catching at the join, and the points are pointy enough to make all those k2togs fairly easy to execute. And the finish isn’t too slippery.

There were some good questions in the comments today, but I’m tired and Lucy wants some Mommy time, so I’ll address them tomorrow. See you then!



  1. What? Boye? I completely need to get over my snobby self and start experimenting with needles I wouldn’t normally socialize with.

    You are Tenacious W. And we like it that way.

  2. I like those good old Boye needles, too. The only problem that I’ve had with them is after a while the color starts to chip off of the tip and it’s given me a few metal slivers. And they hurt. But the tips are great aside from that.

  3. Awwwww, Lucy is so cute. She’s so lucky to have such a wonderful and attentive mommy.

  4. OK, make me feel bad that I’m not a better kitty mommy to my Muffin. ;-P

  5. Glad you finaly found something you like. Stormy has indicated that I should be more like you, particularly as she has deemed it bedtime and lain across my pattern. I’m going to try the Boyes, if everyone who reads your blog hasn’t snapped them up already!

  6. I’ve used Boye needles successfully, but (at least in past years) their quality control wasn’t sterling. You’d get several really good needles, and then you’d get one where there would be a tiny gap between the metal part and the cord right at the join. It would be just enough to drive you nuts.

    Again, this is data from a few years back. They may have gotten their act together in these latter days.

  7. I’ve been happy with the Boye circs for years, mainly because they’re the only ones my local WalMart carries so I haven’t tried anything else. I got a Needlemaster set recently and for most purposes, they work great for me too. The only time I have problems with the Needlemasters is when I have to link cables together to make a longer circ, the bend at the joint drives me nuts.

  8. Hi there! I am thinking you don’t have a problem with changing needles mid-project, but do you worry about how changing needles will affect the finished stole? I myself worry about that (and whether the fact I knit backwards or not will affect my gauge, etc……). If it’s interesting to you , I’d love to hear your thoughts. I am loving your Summer of Lace btw – you are a very inspirational knitter.

  9. Be a good mommy. After all, as I was reminded by CatAge yesterday morning,…
    “Research shows that petting a cat evens out human brain waves associated with depression and increases human brain waves associated with anxiety relief and positive feelings. After a mere 5 minutes of affection, your cat will experience lower blood pressure and positive neurochemical changes, as well.” – CatAge
    Really made me feel like a bad, bad mommy. Sharky got extra attention yesterday night AND this morning. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. BOYE? seriously?! DANG! They’ve always annoyed the crap out of me.. the needles are fine, it’s the CORD that I can’t stand. they’re always stiff and wierd…Anyway, I have a couple *lightly* used ones you can have if you want ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Is today’s title a tribute to the Greatest Band in the World, Tenacious D? Because that would be so awesome.

  12. Yeah! I knew you would like them….

  13. Wendy, I have always used my mom’s old Boye needles from the 40’s and 50’s for my lace knitting. Because they are “antiques” the cords and joins are very soft now, and nothing catches on them. One thing though, those tips will get progressively sharper with use. I’ve got a couple pairs I actually had to sand the points on to avoid injury!

  14. Wow. I tried some Boyes and I did not like the join at all. Huh? Maybe I got a “bad” pair. Unfortunately though I have now become an addi addict! I even have my husband on the addi kick (he says I am much more pleasant to be around while I am knitting if the needles are “working” with me). Aint that a great brainwashing or what?!

  15. This question has nothing to do with lace knitting! Wendy, I know you have done A Starmore patterns in both Jamieson & Smith shetland and Alice’s own Hebridean yarns. I just finished Kimberley in the Hebridean. The only 2-color knitting is the small v-shaped sleeve/center back inserts. However, the knitting seems very dense (almost felted) and the colors almost a little muddy. I have done several fair isles in traditional shetland wool. It is coarser yarn, but the designs are sharp and the garments light weight. Any thoughts on the differences? I am soon to embark on Oregon in Hebridean (Autumn colorway).

  16. It’s so funny you should mention Boye needles. I’ve loved them ever since I first knitted with them. I love me a pointy needle!

  17. I just have a question where did you get the pattern for the stole?
    I really want to make something lacy and I like the way yours looks