Wednesday, November 21, 2012


The other day, at the store, I was doing some inventory work with the knitting  needles and I noticed the same size zero needles that were always hanging there.  They've been there for as long as I've paid attention to such matters.  I asked Cathy if she ever actually ever sold one of those skinny little monsters.  She replied that she did remember selling some size zero circular needles but she didn't recall ever selling a pair of straight needles of that particular size.

It doesn't take much analysis to figure out why these underfed sticks don't move.  What sane person would tackle the prodigious projects that ask for a #0 needle.  They must be absolute hell to knit with.  We're talking lace yarn, of course.  The thinnest commercial yarn there is.  The kind of yarn used for heirloom shawls or other similar time-consuming projects.  I won't deny the fact that these projects are undoubtedly beautiful when you actually finish one.  But how many people actually finish one of these demanding works of art.  For someone of my limited skills, I figure one row (150 to 200 stitches) is going to take me around an hour.  Why so long?  Well, the first obvious reason is that these are itsy-bitsy stitches being knit on teensy-weensy needles.  Unlike rows of four stitches per row on #35 needles, these baby stitches take time.  But the second reason is the really frightening one - the fear of making mistakes.  No one wants to rip out rows with lace yarn.  Just the thought of that makes me shiver.  Or even if you spot a mistake on the actual row you're working on, retracing your steps with #0 needles and lace yarn could easily drive you crazy.  So if I'm knitting with these tiny tools of torture, I'm going to proceed very slowly just to make sure there are no mistakes.  That's one hour per row with probably a million rows in a big shawl.  We're talking a long, long, long time.

So, it should come as no surprise to anyone if I admit that I am more than a ligttle frightened of these needles.  It's almost as if everytime I look at a a pair of #0's, the needles speak to me and say, "Keep on walking little boy.  I'm meant for serious knitters.  Certainly not for the likes of you." 

Demoralizing?  You bet.  But 2013 is going to be different.  I will face my fears and grab a pair of these intimidating needles and I will knit with them.  No, I'm not going to tackle one of those shawls that would take me the rest of my life.  But as the official window dresser of Montoya Fiber Studio, I can devise projects that will allow me to work with the zeros in something of a more reasonable nature.  I've been thinking of possibly purchasing a Barbie and a Ken doll and knitting some appropriate garb for their beyond-perfect bodies.  Even with size zeros, how hard can such a project be?  So once the new year arrives, keep your eyes open whenever you walk by the store window.  I'll show those needles a thing or two.  I'll show them who's a serious knitter!  And who knows?  Maybe I'll even buy a Midge.  Why should Barbie have all the fun wearing my original haute couture designs?    

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