I bought one when I first learned to do cables, then immediately lost it. Since then, I've made do with dpns or those little plastic seaming pins. The dpns were a bad idea, because I lose those just as easily as I lost the real cable needle. The little plastic pins work okay, are easy to stick in my project between cable rows, and don't traumatize me when I lose one.
But the cable needle makes things easier. It's got that little bend to hold the stitches. I can knit the stitches right off of it instead of slipping them back onto my knitting needle or remembering how to slide them onto the plastic pin the right direction so that I can knit off of that. And it's just less fiddly. I'd buy myself one of the pretty birch cable needles if I wasn't so sure it would vanish into the couch cushions or get carried off in a toddler's grubby little hand.
I'm not even sure where the needle I'm using now came from. It might've been one of the knitting notions I picked up when Joann's was having one of their marked down clearance sales, or I might've found it when I was sorting through stuff in the sewing room. It got into my knitting bag somehow.
The cables are for my Cabled Hobo Bag. I think I mentioned before that I'm using the cheapest of cheap yarn for this project -- fifty cents for a bag of four balls. My wild guess is that I'll have enough yarn to finish, even though there were styrofoam balls hidden inside the yarn, which threw my original wild estimate of the yardage way off. Knitting with thrift store yarn is such an adventure, isn't it?
I just realized yesterday after catching up on digests from a couple of the big knitting lists how grateful I am for the knitters who use inexpensive yarns and share their sometimes downright fantastic results with the rest of us. Because there are too many nasty yarn snobs out there spreading horror stories.
No one is making them knit with acrylic from Walmart. No one is making them shop at Knitpicks. So why are they so damn determined to make the knitters who like knitting with acrylic buy high end yarns?! What's with all the bitterness?
I'm not talking about knitters who point out that knitting with nicer yarn will get you nicer results. Or that people shouldn't go to the LYS expecting help with the cheap supplies they bought someplace else. I'm talking about the people who answer a question about whether it'll work to knit a log cabin blanket with hand-me-down acrylic with the advice to throw it away. I've read warnings that knitting with acrylic will drain the soul out of a knitter. I've read that knitters who can't afford anything better than acrylic should take up plastic canvas instead of knitting.
And I've started to fall for it more than once. Which makes me mad at myself because I should know better than to listen to total strangers without considering that almost every sweater I owned until a few years ago was acrylic and I liked them just fine. But it's easy to forget things like that when you're learning something new and everyone is telling you the same thing.
I've let myself get way too cranky up over this. There's plenty to be happy about. Leif's side has finally stopped leaking like one of those plastic drink and wet baby dolls so he won't need more surgery. I've got a yummy pork roast thawing for dinner. And I found a pattern for a knitted trilobite.