My current work in progress:

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


The Needle Contest

Either you guys have very sharp eyes, or I gave too many hints, or both. Because a whole lotta you got all the needles right. Here’s the picture from the last blog entry, with the needles identified:


Some of you were flummoxed by the Regia needles. I took a quick web surf to see if they are still available. Apparently so, because The Knitter has them available in two sizes. But that was the only retail source I could find, so perhaps that’s what remains of old stock. Does anyone know?


I’ve never actually used my Regia needles, because they are far longer than I like for socks — they are 20cm (8″) long. My favorite needles for knitting socks are the Colonial rosewoods (for lighter colored sock yarn) and Skacel bamboo (for darker colored sock yarn).

Anyhow, I drew a name at random to award a prize, and the winner is: Diane McC. Diane I’ve emailed you — I need your snail mail address to send you your prize.

Thanks to everyone who emailed me an entry!

More needle talk . . .

Marjorie asked:
Do you detect any difference between Inox needles and Addi’s? I’ve accumulated a full set of Inox over the years (straights and circulars), but no Addi’s. And I see that you and many other bloggers use the Addi’s. What is the reason for your preference?

I also have English Millward’s in the old English sizes and some of the metric sizes that don’t have U.S. equivalents. Have you ever used them? They seem like Inox needles to me. (Many of these were purchased in the days when only Boye needles were available in the U.S.! Those were really dreadful.)

Interesting questions!

I’ve got two different kinds of Inox circulars — one is shiny metal and one is matte. I don’t like the shiny Inox needles — the cord is very stiff.

I don’t think I’ve ever used the Milward’s needles, but I have heard of them. I have a set of straight Aero needles that I bought in the U.K. in the 1980s — like your Milward’s, they are all marked with mm sizes and some don’t have U.S. equivalents. I used those exclusively til I switched to using ciruculars for everything.

That was the time when I first discovered Addi Turbos. They were advertised as being “fast” needles, so that’s why I bought them (being an impatient sort). I used those exclusively for years. It wasn’t until I discovered the internet and other knitters that it occurred to me that there were different needles that were good for different things. Duh. So I’ve branched out and use what seems right for the task — pointy needles for lace, wooden needles for colorwork, etc.

What about you all? If you are so inclined, leave your needle musings in the comments!

Chip โ€˜n for Dale

I found out about this extremely worthy cause a couple of days ago:

On June 23, 2006 , Orlando area resident, knitter and spinner, Dale Jarrett, left for Houston , Texas to undergo a bone marrow transplant. Read about her journey here! (

In an effort to help Dale with the expenses she will incur, we, as members of the Orlando Area Knitters and Spinners, have started a fundraiser. Beginning July 3, 2006 through August 2, 2006 , a knitting or spinning related prize will be offered on our blog: http://chip-n– The day after the fundraiser closes, those who have made a donation will be eligible to win those daily prizes. For every $5 (US) donated, you will be eligible for one chance at terrific prizes! The first name drawn will receive the prize from Day 1, etc. Please check the blog daily for a picture and description of the prize offered and to check the daily tally!

When Dale is released from the hospital, a gift basket chock full of socks, hats and slippers knit with prayers and good wishes from the Orlando Area Knitters and Spinners, along with the Pay Pal check card, will be sent to her in Houston.

The knitting community is a giving one; a perk of their generosity, is the prizes.

Thank you.

Jackie & Janette

All I can say is that if I was ever to move to the Orlando area, I’d want to hang out with the Orlando Area Knitters and Spinners — what a caring group of friends they are.

If you would like to donate, there is a paypal button on the Chip-n–for-Dale blog. And I have it on very good authority that the grand prize that will be offered is wicked cool. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Noni Bag Update

I finished knitting my bag on Saturday — here it is in its pre-felted state:


It’s 27 inches long. I like how the end looks:


Post-felting photos tomorrow! Try to contain your excitement!



  1. I definitely find even with my limited collection, that I tend to gravitate towards certain needles to use with various yarns.
    I prefer my own handmade DPN’s to knit socks with (6″ hardwood). Not that I’ve actually completed any socks. Especially since I just frogged the Jaywalkers for the third time. Apparently I must behave as though I know nothing, because everytime I think I’ve got it, I mess it up.
    Chip-n-for-Dale is a really good cause.

  2. I’m with you on the shiney Inox. Don’t much care for them.

    One question: why does it matter if you use wooden needles (light or dark) for colorwork?

  3. Marilyn A says:

    I have tried lots and lots of needles, but it seems the Addi Turbo suit my style of knitting the best. I knit with a fairly tight tension, so it’s nice to have something the yarn slides easily on. However, what would be my ideal needle is an Addi with sharper points. Anyone have any suggestions? I like my Crystal Palace bamboo needles a lot (straights and dp’s), but not circular.

  4. I find the type of yarn dictates…..prefer Addi for cotton……and love, love, love my bamboo…..something about wood & wool…….love the Noni……and the name makes me smile….I think in Italian it means grandmother……your colors are very summer…….

  5. Priscilla says:

    OK, I gotta ask. What is the Big Deal with sock knitting? Why do people do it? The stitches are so small and so are the needles. It must take forever. And don’t the socks wear out quickly? The heels of my socks wear out remarkably fast, to my great dismay, but I must admit to never wearing handknit ones. This sock-knitting-stuff is a whole ‘nother world to me. Open my eyes! Please!

    FWIW, I learned to knit at my mom’s knee, literally, when I was 8 or 9. I was a knitter when knitting wasn’t cool. And then for years I was a recovering knitter, but Dec. 31, 2005, I fell off the wagon. Again. And here I am, wondering exactly what all of you see in knitting socks. What’s up with that?

  6. I’m looking forward to seeing the felted Noni bag – but even more, the flowers to embellish it! It’s going to be a very classy bag when it’s finished.

  7. I hear the new Knitpicks needles are like sharp Addi’s.
    I think I read that at Knitter’s Review

  8. Lucy looks like she’s on pins & needles waiting with excitement for the felted bag, You just have to love Lucy – always so expressive.

    I am so-so about my Clover bamboos and never, ever use my Crystal Palace circs – I hate the join. Although I have umpty-zillion addi circs mixed in with (gray) Susan Bates, my faves are some Susan Bates from the 70’s and early 80’s – plastic or nylon (I seem to remember the cards said Nylon), translucent and with points to die for. I only have 3 of them as I fell off the knitting wagon for years, but am I ever glad I held onto those babies. If I had it all to do over today? I’d save money and get some of the KnitPicks brand.

  9. Be careful, Lucy looks like she’s eyeing the Noni bag…

  10. I love my Aeros for most anything – they’re made in England, and are readily available here in Canada. I do like wood for Fair Isle and gansey yarn – however I just snapped my Takumi circs at the join, causing me to temporarily loose my ability to breathe. I’m a little nervous around them since that little episode!

    Socks are great – they work quickly, despite the small stitches, they’re versatile and easy to take with you. And, with all the good quality yarn out there, you have a lot to choose from.

  11. I always used to use Milwards or Aeros (I’m in the UK) cos that’s all there was, and when I first read about bamboos and all these other things, I thought, ‘What a lot of pretentious nonsense: a knitting needle’s a knitting needle.’ But then I tried some Addi Turbo circs, and I ended up buying lots of sizes and lots of lengths and I used them for everything. Until I was knitting Rowan’s Silk Aran and that kept sliding off the Addis and knitting to a very loose tension (gauge) so I tried Addi bamboo circs and they were fabulous too, and now I’ve got some rosewood needles for doing Shetland lace with, and so it goes on, I’m just as much a needle ho as anyone. I use circs for nearly everything because I tend to clamp a straight needle very firmly under my left arm and it gets tired after a while. Also, nowadays, it is easy to hold circs at a spot that suits my varifocals, whereas straights tend to put the needle ends at a height where I can’t see them, sigh.

  12. I guessed the two Skacels (because I have a billion of ’em and I’d know that point anywhere) and the knitpicks.

    Clearly everyone else is more obsessed with needles than I am (which is a good thing. I don’t need another obsession.)

  13. Wood or bamboo for me…. I have bad wrists and can’t afford to be a speed knitter, so I even eschew circular needles when dpns will do. Brittany birch needles are my workhorses with Clover or Fiddlesticks bamboo when I need something a little slippier. What to do when you can’t justify buying dozens and dozens of shiny new needles? Buy knitting bags, of course!

  14. I adore my Aero needles, especially for lace. Their points are perfect IMHO and they glide very nicely.They seem to be readily available here in Canada. I do however like the Addi’s for large wooly projects

  15. For quite awhile, I used Susan Bates double pointed aluminum needles for my socks. Yes, they were ghetto, but nothing else was as fast, given how tight I knit. (Actually, I once copied Wendy’s habit of using size o’s to make socks, and got a gauge of 9.5 stitches/in using Koigu PPPPM. Those things are bulletproof!) I also tried bamboo, but liked the speed of the aluminum, and am apparently one of the few who doesn’t have many problems with my stitched slipping off.

    Then I learned Magic Loop. I’ve been using this method for a couple of pairs now, and find it works quite well with Wendy’s toe-up pattern. It’s fast, and I can use a fast needle which I like even more than aluminum.

    However, Knitpicks recently launched their whole line, and I found I really liked their DPN’s. The tip is nice and pointy, as Wendy already noted, and they’re fast, fast, fast! Whee!

    For lace, I now prefer, and will only use, Knitpicks needles. I tried doing lace on Addi’s and nearly threw the whole project away. It was so frustrating. But the Options needes were fabulous.

    I ended up giving away most of my bamboo needles, which I may regret once I begin a more serious venture into Fair Isle. I’m planning to make an Alice Starmore later this year, so we’ll just see ….

  16. Elizabeth says:

    I also like my old nylon circulars from the 70s. And, when possible, I actually use straight plastic needles. I have some size 3s that are my favorite for baby things. Bamboo is my favorite “modern” needle. I have some Brittany birch dps in size 1, 5″. I love them, but I keep breaking them on Jaywalkers with the double decrease and will now just use them for plain vanilla socks.

    Your bag is persuading me to take a second look at the Noni patterns. The first one I saw was … not as nice as the one you’re knitting.

  17. Hey Wendy! I really like the Noni bag– I love that colorway! Mainly, though, I wanted to come out of lurkdom to warn you about your “Forum”. I was reading through some of your archives, and came across the post where you introduced the Wendy Knits Forum, and decided to take a look, and I thought I would warn you that it has been overrun with hackers and spammers. I don’t know that it matters, but I don’t know if they could use it to hack into the main site or something, so I thought you should know.

  18. Eleanor says:

    Marilyn A: As mentioned before, the new Knit Picks needles are plenty shiny and smooth, but with the added advantage of a sharp as heck tip. I love mine! I have some dpns and a classic circ.

  19. catbookmom says:

    My very first circulars were Crystal Palace, and I loved them. Even with the glue problem they had a year or so ago, a dab of Superglue fixed them. But the LYS stopped carrying them, so I bought a lot of Addis because so many knitters raved about them. Then I found that WEBS has a very good clone of the CP needles, at half the price.

    I find that I rarely use my Addis because the yarns I like to work with tend to slither away, and I tighten up my hold on the needles to compensate. The only Addis I like are the sock sizes. The Inox greys are also good, and I like the Bryspun short dpns. It’s too bad we can’t set up a swap service for those of us who now have a lot of brands we don’t like any longer.

  20. I use and like the grey Inox needles best. I only use circs, other than DPN’s for socks. I tried the Addis, after hearing the raves about them, and didn’t like the glare reflected from the high shine. I didn’t notice any difference in the knitting, though. I also tried bamboo, and hated them. I found they slowed me down.

    I worked in a yarn shop for six years, and found that most often the people who loved Addis tended to knit on the tighter end of the scale, and those who loved bamboo tended to be loose knitters.

  21. P.S. Thanks for posting on a Sunday.

  22. Thanks for posting the Chip N For Dale site Wendy! We all appreciate the extra visibility. I’m happy to hear that you’re looking forward to the grand prize! I have to admit, I would agree with the “Wicked Cool” description…but then I might be biased ๐Ÿ™‚ Only another week and a half to wait…What a great reason to keep visiting the site!

  23. martha in mobile says:

    I start my toe-up socks on clover bamboos (more pointy) and then switch to birch once the increases are done (brittany are shorter). I like metal for f.i. because the wool is sticky enough as it is. For knitting in the car, it’s only wood so my needles won’t slip out of their stitches (although there are still plenty of dpns floating under my car seat).

    What’s up with socks? I like making socks because I, my mom and my daughter all have skinny, skinny feet. I can make wool socks to fit our feet exactly that will fit in our shoes (no dreaded toe-bunching). And the looks on my mother’s and daughter’s faces when they get their handknit socks for Christmas is way worth it. And where I live, one only needs a few sweaters, but handknit socks are lovely all winter long.

  24. marjorie says:

    Thanks to you and everyone else for weighing in on the needle-selection decision. My Inoxes are the gray matte variety, and I have always liked them. And I find I’m favoring circular needles more and more for everything. I did get a deal once on Clover bamboo DPs (a store was going out of business), and I used them exclusively for socks. But on some of the smaller sizes, the tips began to split. I’ve replaced them with Brittany birch, and those have worked very well. I’m trying to find a LYS that has Colonials, based on what you’ve said about them, so I can see what they look like. I’ve only been reading blogs for about three months, and so I also was unaware of such strong preferences.

    I like socks to give away as presents. Nonknitters think it is incredible that one can make them. I like them for myself because the toe seam on commercial socks irritates my toes, and handknitted socks don’t have toe seams (plus they are more interesting to look at than commercial socks). They’re also a fun project that you can complete quickly.

  25. Wendy, thanks for the needle summary. You did not include Plymouth double points and I think they have just the right amount of very pointy and smooth enough not to stick to yarn, especially in hot muggy weather. They are a bit long at 6″, but until I learn to do socks on circs they are my favorites.

  26. Lucy sez: That Noni bag would be perfect if only it was filled with cat treat.

  27. Hi Wendy. Love your blog, I’m a long time lurker. I’ve even [subjected]shown my family to your blog, the kids are big fans of Lucy. I have a bit of an offbeat question. Do knitting books have “deleted scenes” like movies do? That is, are there projects for knitting books that are all designed, knitted up, and then for whatever reason get “cut” from the book for various editing reasons before the book itself is published in its final version? The thought just occured to me. Man, if that were true, wouldn’t it be nice to get ahold of all those “deleted scenes”. Hehe! Has this happened to you? Thanks for your time!

  28. As an Orlando resident, I’d like to say a big ol’ Thank You!!!!!!!!! for this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. I agree that the Addi bamboo are my favorite for socks, but I definitely want some of the Colonial Rosewood needles because my Holz&Stein are definitely my favorite circulars (they’re similar aren’t they?). I can’t wait to see the felted bag.

  30. You are the Needle Queen! And I have to concur re Inox…I can’t stand those needles. Too slippery and the cord is mean. But funnily enough, my favorite wooden needles are the INOX bamboos. The points are just perfect and I can live with the cord if I buy them in circs with lengths no shorter than 32 inches.

  31. What a great idea for a contest–sorry I missed it! It’s great to see all the needles lined up like that–there are a couple I have never had in my hands before, so it’s neat to see them beside some of my old favorites. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. I like either Inox or Inox Express- I find they are cheaper than Addis, at least in my locale, and for me (a slow knitter) they work just fine.

  33. Wendy I wanted to tell you what a great success the charity drive was. We collected over 129 blankets and tons of toys. I don’t have a final count yet as things are still trickling in. I’ll let you know who won your book too when I draw the winners of the prizes, which will probably be this weekend.

    thank you so much for mentioning us on your blog, a lot of our donators came to me because of you.

  34. They sell Regias around here (NJ) somewhere – one of the LYSes, I believe, though I can’t remember which one. I have a few sizes, though, so they’re definitely still available.

  35. I have a totally mixed bag of needles, some Addie circs, some Inox dpns, some Brittany, some Clover, some S Boyle from the 1970-80 time frame that have the color worn off!, some of this, some of that LOL.

    I like metal needles for socks – I don’t seem to have a problem with the stitches falling off and the wood or bamboo are just too fragile for me in sizes under US 4. I do use Brittany dpns in size US 8 and up for sleeves, hats, etc.

  36. Addi turbo circulars for me. LOVE them. And your Noni bag is fabulous. Rusty