Monday afternoon found us driving out of Spokane into the rolling hills of the Palouse. It was a beautiful fall day, with splashes of red and gold against the backdrop of the recently worked grain fields. Bev and Larry live amongst these rolling hills in a place that is as close to ideal as you could ever find. You will have to take my word for it since I forgot to take my camera.
A few days earlier Bev had had surgery for a detached retina. She was recovering nicely, but I think being confined to the house and having to keep still was beginning to wear thin. We had a great visit, but I have to admit it got off to a shaky - and I mean that quite literally - start.
The minute I sat down I started knitting on my current sock project. I knew Bev wouldn't care, as she is a knitter herself. Understandably the first topic of conversation was her eye. As she went into the details of the story I found myself feeling a little bit weak. You know that feeling - the one where suddenly you aren't sure if you have a spine, and your head goes a little fuzzy? Until that moment I had no idea that discussing eye surgery would make me feel that way. This was the first time it had ever come up in a conversation I was a part of.
Due to our medically complicated family I have lots of experience with GI and kidney issues, amputations and prosthetic limbs, with a few broken bones thrown in for good measure. Until the topic of eyes came up I would not have thought of myself as being squeamish. The funny thing was, in that moment I remembered Karsten telling me a couple years ago that the one thing he had trouble dealing with in the emergency room was an eye injury. It must be genetic. All I know is I was very thankful for my knitting needles, which I was holding onto like they were a lifeline.
In case you are wondering exactly what kind of needles I was hanging onto for dear life, they were inexpensive Hiya Hiya bamboo needles. They are my standard "go to" sock needles. I also like the Harmony double pointed needles from Knit Picks, which are also very reasonably priced.
I am embarrassed to admit this, but there probably isn't a brand of double pointed needles I haven't tried. This is just a small sample. If I threw them all down on the table it would take hours to sort them all back out again.
Even more embarrassing is the fact that I have purchased two very expensive sets of needles and don't use either one. I ordered some Blackthorn needles this spring. When I started knitting with them a small piece of the carbon fibre material splintered off and lodged in my finger. The company was very good about replacing the offending needle, but I just couldn't make myself cast on with those needles again. It sort of sucks the joy out of knitting when each stitch has the potential to leave you in pain.
The other unused needles are my Signature Needle Arts set. They really are lovely needles, and many knitters rave about them. There is just one small detail I chose to ignore when I pushed the "place order" button. They are metal, and I don't like knitting socks on metal needles. Why I thought expensive metal needles would make me feel differently is a mystery.
So here they are. If you go from left to right, that is from most expensive to least expensive, you have the Signature Needle Arts, Blackthorn, Harmonies, and Hiya Hiyas. If you want to go from most used to least used simply reverse that order.
I must say that as I was listening to the description of the eye surgery I would have been happy with any of these!