Culling the Herd

I don’t think that anyone at all is going to fall over dead of shock when I say that I have a smidge of an obsessive personality. This is usually (but not always, Joe would be happy to describe the great frozen box pizza episode of 2010) limited to my knitting – which is where I direct it, by and large to avoid hearing Joe say things like "Honey, you’re getting a little weird about the Pizza."

It should come as no surprise then, that I would have a bit of an obsession with knitting needles – and I do. I’ve been knitting for a long time, and I love them. I buy them, I get given them, they are inherited or rescued… and over the years, the knitting needle collection got a little large. The circulars (I have two interchangeable sets and still possess dozens and dozens of regular ones) are well managed. I went through them a few years ago and bought a circular needle holder (this one, though it has the sizes in both US and metric, it does only have the American sizes, which is a bit of a pain in the arse.) which has kept the circulars reined in to a system which almost works, and would work perfectly were I the sort of knitter who put her needles carefully back where they came from; which rather disappointingly, clearly and persistently, I am not.

The system for the straight needles was less successful. I had two drawers in the living room, and over the years they became where I put the straights. All of them – except for my set of Signatures, which were also in there, but at least were in a needle roll. The rest jumbled together, a full drawer of needles, tumbled together with stitch markers, notions and oddly, empty needle rolls, and every time I needed a needle, it was a bit of a mess. (Actually, the problem wasn’t usually finding a needle, it was finding a set.) The DPNs, on the other hand, were nothing short of a nightmare. I had managed to convince myself that they were well managed because they were in a bin together, but it was quite possibly the worst solution anyone ever had. It was tidy, sure- but impractical. I had to dump out a bunch of needles and look for not just two, but four matching needles every time I needed a set. I hated it. I felt unprofessional and like it was a huge mess and it bugged me so much that sometimes I thought about it at night while I was going to sleep.

I did not, however, organize my needles. A few weeks ago my buddy Denny told me about a program that was looking for donations of needles (a small program, or I’d tell you, they don’t need an inundation) and asked me if I had any. That lit a fire under me, and I decided to pay my charming and lovely assistant Natalie to bring some sort of professionalism to the needle situation.
I don’t think she was stunned by what I showed her, but she was a little lippy about it.

The straights didn’t upset her much. She got those sorted in about a half hour. Out of the drawers, matched into sets, into the needle rolls, back in the drawers. (We had a brief conversation about how many pairs I need of each size. Hint: it is more than you think.)

The she started with the DPNs, and she might have lost it a little. She was compelled to make announcements. She couldn’t help herself. She’d sit there nicely for a while, then a nugget of information would drop. Like "You have several pairs of three lengths of 4mm needles. Did you know that?" or "You have so many of size X that they won’t fit in your needle rolls, did you know that?" or "Your smallest DPNs are 1.25mm and the largest is a 7mm." or "Did you know you have SIX SETS OF 1.5MM NEEDLES DO YOU EVEN USE THEM HOLY COW STEPH."

I may have called her Judgey McJudgesAlot. This is a lifetime of needles. I’ve been knitting since I was four, and you can just get off me with the attitude. Sure, there’s a lot of DPNs, but … I’ve, made a lot of stuff and I … well. I like needles. I like them a lot, and I see no reason to apologize for it at all. It’s not like it hurts anyone, it’s not like my children are picking me up from rehab because of another weekend where I made Charlie Sheen look like he has no experience in the field of excess…

And besides, there is a huge difference between Aero 3mm and Inox 3mm and Susan Bates 3mm and don’t even get me started on the wooden ones. (I don’t think she actually did the wooden ones.) It’s just a lot of needles.

It took her forever. Just the DPNs took at least three hours, and for those hours, Natalie sat there, putting the hundreds and hundreds of needles through a needle gauge, making sets, and looking at me funny as she set aside the 26th set of 3mm needles and wondered how this could have happened to a sane person. (I could tell that she might have been deciding it couldn’t happen to a sane person, and making another judgment accordingly.)

I call this picture "I went to four years of University for this?"

… And yes Natalie, yes you did. Also, I’m coming to see your needle collection when you’re in your 40’s. Better keep it together.

PS. I know I am not the only one with this many needles. I know it.

PPS. I don’t have that many needles anymore either. Denny is getting a lot.

PPPS. Natalie says I can’t buy any more DPNs for the rest of my life (except for 3.75mm) but I say Natalie’s not the boss of me.

517 thoughts on “Culling the Herd

  1. I recently went through all my needles trying to figure out what I had and how many of each. sigh. Some how I ended up with 6 – 3.75mm (US5) circ’s all in 32 inch length.
    Did Natalie end up using a different mechanism for organizing your needles?

  2. 26 sets? Ok, I’ve read your books and blog and you do mention that you sometimes get so excited over the yarn that you buy the needles to start the project on the way home. I can see how that could happen. But now with the Finishitupitis … so many free needles…. Btw, how did the dpns finally get sorted. Into what? And is it a system that you have a hope of maintaining?

  3. I keep all my needles loose in a drawer as well, but I have to say that for quantity you have me totally beaten. And I just have to say, while you still have finishitupitis, I suggest you work on Joe’s gansy. That’ll cure you.

  4. I gotta say, those DPN’s are a bit crazy. And I agree it looks like the needles are the boss of you.
    Did she organize the circulars too? How long did it take to do everything?

  5. what a great post – so inspiring for the rest of us – however, do you know if any are missing? ;}
    p.s. i would happily spend 5 hours sorting someone else’s excess, but can’t seem to manage my own – good call using/employing/co-opting natalie

  6. Holy cats, that’s a lotta DPNs.
    Says she who has one size 3 DPN and no idea what happened to the other 4.
    No judgement. πŸ˜‰

  7. Oh, Wow am I the first? I feel so special.
    It is understandable that you have that many needles after all your years of extreme knitting, I’ve been at it for three years, and I seem to have a growing needle atatchment.
    I only seem to inherit size US 11’s, I have like seven sets.

  8. I was going to say something else, but that was before I saw the pictures. Holy crap woman, you have a lot of needles. I’m not judging you though. Nope. πŸ˜‰

  9. WOW!
    PS – Natalie rocks, I wouldn’t have sorted that all out for myself, let alone someone else – just saying πŸ˜‰

  10. I’d say you’re doing fine. When my grandmother died, I inherited her knitting needle stash. There was about a gross of US size 1 DPNs. The woman hadn’t knit in about 30 years. No one knows why she had so many of those needles.
    I’d say, you at least are still knitting, therefore you’re doing just fine.

  11. I feel sooo much better about my needle disaster I call organized. Thanks for the laugh.
    I couldn’t figure out how to comment until someone else did. No wonder my needles are a mess!

  12. Wow, that makes my needles solution(s) look super organized. And inspires me to get right on cleaning it up!
    I can only hope to have that many needles at some point in the future. And it makes me feel less guilty when I don’t quite manage to resist buying more of them….

  13. I’m still a little stunned that you have a knitting assistant… And I would be careful about giving away too many needles, because you know… you might need them.

  14. I’m so new at knitting that I still don’t even have a complete set of straight needles, let alone multiples or in multiple lengths. I’m impressed.
    (That could be one way to set your donations to KWB … a penny a needle. I would say nickel, but I’m not sure anyone could afford that!)

  15. I admire your needle collection and am well on my way to emulating it. I want to know what brand the green ones are that you used for your silk mittens. Those looked lovely…

  16. I feel sooo much better about my needle disaster I call organized. Thanks for the laugh.

  17. I do have to agree that there is a difference in needles between manufacturers. Seriously. I was shocked yesterday when I discovered that I only have one pair of size 8 (US) dpns and they are plastic. I am using them but I feel cheap. I remember I bought them because on various visits to several lys and Joann’s I could not find any so I had to buy them. Now I know who bought them all up.

  18. You’ve managed to make me feel good about my 30-year collection of needles! I must confess, I sorted, sized, and gave a number of sets away several months ago, but I still have more than I should. Am still lusting away for Signatures, but they’ll have to wait until the budget is more accommodating.

  19. Funny, over the last two months I have had the fabric laid out to make a needle roll (What!? Buy one? But, but I sew….) and it has been on the list every day. Yesterday I got to the point of laying the fabric on the ironing board. Maybe today with your inspiration. Thanks.

  20. I apologize for redundancy if you knew this already…but there is an iPhone app for keeping track of your knitting needles (it’s free and very cleverly titled “Needles”). I had the best fun the day I sat and cataloged all of mine (what? I used to work in a library…). I also discovered a few things that day about my knitting needle collection.

  21. Also, is that a lovely hand knit sweater Natalie is wearing? It looks like it *could* be, but I can’t really tell from here.

  22. Jealous. That’s it – I’m jealous
    a) you have all the needles I ever wanted
    b) you have someone to sort them

  23. That sort of makes me glad I don’t like DPNS or straights much, so I have mostly circulars and only one mess to sort out. Actually I’m pretty good at putting them away in their original packaging b/c I just do not want to deal with the ensuing disaster if I don’t.

  24. Thank you for giving me a case of finishitupitis. I now have a completed ruffly scarf and a cabled hat to keep me warm. The top-down sweater is next. I had no idea finishing things could be such fun and so infectious.

  25. Holy hell…that’s a lot of needles!
    P.S. Tell Natalie that her hair color is beautiful!

  26. The heck with all those needles…I want to hear about Natalie’s sweater. It’s adorable.

  27. I have to share this tidbit with you, just in case you did not know it. In the TV Show “Monk”, Mr.Monk is an extremely talented detective with OCD and guess what his assistant’s name is? Natalie…

  28. First reaction: Holy Cow, Steph.
    Second: my finishitis may be faltering — is there enough room in MY drawer to persevere and liberate all those needles?

  29. I completely 100% understand. When startitis hits, it’s better to have an extra set than to be stuck without the right kind of needles.
    And you have kids, so you want to make sure the little bugg…. er… beauties haven’t run off with any and left you with only 3 when you clearly need all 5. Plus, there’s travel and so, so many different feet or hands than need covering.
    Clearly, this necessitates more needles! You seem to live by my building mantra of “its better to have too much and have to trim a little than to not have enough and have to buy another freaking board.” I’m with you, needle on!

  30. This made me laugh because in ten years it will probably be me! I haven’t actually bought that many needles, I just wind up inheriting everyone else’s needles. Grandmothers, great-aunts, and my Mom’s knitting needles all came to live with me when their previous owners passed away. I’ve even got an ivory crochet hook from my great-grandmother! If I ever DO start buying needles then we’ll really be in trouble!

  31. It is posts like this that make me feel good about my own needles and not so alone. I’m pretty sure I am the only purchaser of 2.5mm dpns at my lys.

  32. It makes perfect sense to me. I have a ton of needles. I have a great case for my circulars and an inadequate needle roll for my dpns. I also know that I’m buying another US 5 circular today, because I couldn’t find a 32 inch one in my stash over the weekend. In a month or two I will find the long US 5 and wonder why I couldn’t find it then, or I will decide all of my 2 mm dpns are in use and that I need to buy another pair so I can start a new pair of socks. It’s just what knitters do!

  33. Well all this means is that the next bout of startitis you come down with won’t be limited by how many sets you might have in a particular size. And now I understand why you ONLY have 2 sets of interchangables – who needs multiple sets of tips when you already have multiples in each size?
    While 26 sets of one size/length might be a tad bit excessive, it could also be a necessity for a person who likes to have an unlimited # of WIPs hanging around.

  34. This post has totally inspired me! I’m going to make some needle rolls and a circular holder and get my needles organized. And by golly, I’m gonna buy more needles whenever I get the urge! πŸ™‚

  35. Way to make a stand Steph. She is SO not the boss of you. I’m not sure YOU are the boss of you. I think it’s the needles…

  36. nearly choked when I read this! lol Just this morning, because I have no Natalie in my life and my kids just laugh at me, I organized my circ’s yet again. And when looking at the straights that are filling an antique pickel crock and realizing that the reorg I did last year is now totally destroyed decided to do my dpn’s hahahaha – and didn’t! Must be the arctic freeze/hoping for spring – cleaning thing. Actually glad Natalie can’t see what’s here….I’m 50 – her time will come! πŸ˜‰ lol

  37. We’re going to move to Italy for a year at the end of the summer, and I know that there will be a discussion about how many knitting needles (not to mention yarn – but I know they have great yarn over there) it is necessary to bring. I plan to shars this post to give some perspective.
    Those pictures are priceless.

  38. This is not a judgment but just … um, an observation: THAT’S A HECK OF A LOT OF KNITTING NEEDLES!
    How about a new Knitters without Borders challenge? Send a donation the next time you are tempted to buy dpns (except 3.75mm, which apparently you need).

  39. I would expect that someone who makes her living with words, sticks, and string would have more than a few needles. I am envious of such lovely tools. And very envious of having a minion, I mean, a Natalie to put them in order from time to time.
    I tried to pre-package up yarn-pattern-needles into zip-lock project bags, but had to keep tearing them apart because I needed the needles. That’s mostly why I have 5 sets each (that I can find to count) of 2.25mm DPNs and circulars.

  40. We’re going to move to Italy for a year at the end of the summer, and I know that there will be a discussion about how many knitting needles (not to mention yarn – but I know they have great yarn over there) it is necessary to bring. I plan to share this post to give some perspective.
    Those pictures are priceless.

  41. When my needle collection outgrew my utensil holders (you know, those holder thingies that you use to keep spoons away from forks in drawers, or in my case my needles seperate by size) my son who is 3 whisked away the “spares” and they became sword/ sister-pokers/dog-pokers and finally Mommy-pokers. Then they mysteriously…vanished.
    This may be the only reason I am not in your situation. And I am 31. Give me time…

  42. That’s a whack-load of needles. And I am envying Natalie; sorting and organizing and counting would be so much fun!

  43. my post was lost… oh well.
    That is a lot of needles. Denny will be happy. Natalie has the patience of a saint. And somebody’s comment that I saw posted, but now seems to have disappeared (with mine) was right… I do think the needles may be the boss of you. πŸ™‚

  44. Hmmm, I’ve been thinking it’s safe to buy needles rather than yarn (stash is getting too large), but now I’m not so sure!
    Is Natalie wearing a Vivian by any chance?

  45. I now feel guilty for how FEW needles I have after knitting for 10 years. I think I need to go to the store.

  46. I recently had to stop on my way home to pick up a set of needles for a new project I wanted to start. I told my husband this, and he paused for a long second, then asked, “How is it possible that there is a size you don’t have yet?” Apparently, he didn’t realize that curating a collection of knitting needles is a lifelong commitment, thank you very much.

  47. I love the coloured DPNs so much, I have some but not enough. I think your large collection is totally justifiable, knitting needles are lovely, why not have lots?
    I also love Natalie’s cardigan very much.

  48. You are a queen, and needles your sceptres. Accept our admiration for the symbols of your kingdom of beauty, speed, craftsmanship, challenge, color, and texture. May you live one thousand years.

  49. Yep. 50 years worth of my own. Plus Mom’s. Plus a wad from a friend’s Mom. I haven’t caught up to you yet, but there sure are a lot of 2.5mm ones. Why can I never find 4 DPNs of the same set? Many of them are caught somewhere in a UFO, and every once in awhile, I find them. Time to buy another set! Or use 4 mismatched but same diameter ones. Organized? I keep trying, but no system has worked yet.

  50. Wow! You are certifiably insane. I do envy your insanity though. I can’t stand to have a Susan Bates in the house anymore so I’ve pitched all of those but I could see myself becoming an Addi-Hoarder. The mittens you made are absolutely divine!

  51. Looks like you don’t have enough needles there. πŸ˜‰
    I always buy more needles because I break mine. *sigh* So I should have a large collection, but I don’t. Maybe I should stop wrestling with the yarn and just knit it, lol.

  52. I understand and appreciate every word of the post both yours and Natalie’s. I’m 60 and haven’t had the heart to organize yet…….yet.
    Still buy needles when I can’t find the ones I know I have only to find them when I return from the LYS. Sigh! Thanks for the humor and fun of this. A great way to start my Monday. PS I think you have just the right amount.

  53. I organized my dpn’s about 3 or 4 years ago. I wanted to put them in a needle roll but couldn’t find what I wanted. I had lunch with a friend of mine one day and I was describing my dilema. She and I talked about how I could made a needle roll from two placemats. A trip to the dollar store and an hour later at the sewing machine I had two needle rolls that held everything at the time. Time now to make a third one!

  54. I get a few comments too, but will refer them to this post. My collection is feeble, obviously needs to go to the next level.
    But I did find a solution for the dpns: the sock sizes are in those tall skinny spice jars (sans lids), one size per jar, with a label stuck on the jar. Wood and metal and all have to cohabit, but they are learning to get along.

  55. Thank yOu, thank you, thank you.
    I feel so much better(i only have 3 boye interchangeable kits, and less than half of the needles you do. I love that i am so much less obsessed, and have fewer–even thought i have inherited about half my collections, and given away numerous pairs (mostly huge ones size 15 or 19 or some broom stick like size)

  56. You could color band the white ones like arrows are banded. If you roll the needles while holding the sharpie(s) so as to mark a circle on the needle, you’ll never have to size them again. If you roll a bunch of needles at a time, it can make it faster and more fun. No, I’m not OCD; why do you ask?

  57. Now that I have stopped laughing I think I can type. And I have this incredible urge to buy more DPN’s. I also remembering the post you did long ago about looking for the dpn in your rental car because it had the perfect tip, only to find it tucked behind your ear or something like that. I’ll bet there was one just like it in that drawer Steph.

  58. Hint: It would NEVER be more than I think. I think big!
    Oh, and those magenta aluminum size 2.25-mm dpns are my all-time hands-down favorite needles. If you have to get rid of something. . .

  59. I love my knitting needle collection and you can pry it from my cold dead hands! I have an addiction to the “vintage knitting needle lot” search term on Ebay. I have them in vases, in baskets, and in WIPs all over my house. They’re so beautiful!

  60. You are hilarious !! Of course you have needles , its your profession isn’t it. I needed that laughter in the middle of this dreary winter :)Thankyou Stephanie

  61. Egads. On the other hand, I would relish that particular problem at the moment, because I.Can’t.Find.My.Needles. Except for the ones that are/were WIPs, my entire shipping tube filled with needles is gone. I want to cry. I also want to go buy all new ones, but I thought that I’d wait until I needed each size. You know, instead of buying 30 sets just in case.
    And I’m afraid to tell you, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, that Natalie is the boss of you. That’s why you hired her. And you were brilliant to have done so.

  62. It’s a contagious thing, isn’t it? And if Denny ends up with too many, or if anyone else in the 416 has extras? I’m looking for straights for a school knitting club. Just sayin’

  63. No, but you know what? Yesterday I bought a knitting book from an LYS and brought it home, and then realized I already had it on the shelf! Le sigh. Fortunately, the shop took it back today (not normally their policy to take book returns, but they know me and were totally understanding about it).
    P.S. I want Natalie’s sweater. It’s gorgeous!

  64. Looks like you could accommodate the Pick-Up-Sticks International Championship to drop by at a moment’s notice…
    ; )

  65. Wow… this inspired a bit of envy in me. I especially covet the pretty coloured ones!
    As for the four years of university… a cost/benefit analysis is really just too depressing. I like to think that a university education has made me a more interesting, if not better, person. I suffer from these kinds of delusions but, then, delusions are very helpful to the knitter!

  66. I need to send this post to my boyfriend who rolls his eyes at the amount of needles I have which is alot but not nearly the sheer volume of your collection. I see nothing wrong with what you’ve amassed, btw, just humbled in the presence of it.

  67. I didnt look through all of the comments on this one yet, but just in case, by the smallest chance, this wasnt suggested yet I keep my DPNs in those travel toothbrush holders and write the size on the side and top in sharpie. I have found other cylindrical objects with lids that will hold needles that are too long or too big. This has worked for all of my DP needles, but this works best for the size 0 to 4 needles. Then when I’m running out the door, I can just grab a sock yarn and the needle/toothbrush holder and off I go to start something new. OR even better, if its close to empty, I know all my 1’s are being used up by sock projects and so that tells me I need to finish something or, more likely, buy another set of 1’s.
    Cheers all!

  68. You got me beat! I have four sets of interchangeables (got you beat there!) but not nearly as many DPN’s. My DH gets so exasperated with me when I buy new ones. I was doing so good…until signatures came out. I am as helpless as all the rest of you!

  69. “Natalie’s not the boss of me.”
    Love it. :o) A grown woman, professional in several areas, using that line. Heheheheh . . .

  70. The crazy part for me is sorting all those needles, finding so many multiples, and I’m still missing the size I need for the next project.

  71. I keep my double points in marked plastic toothbrush travel tubes. The straights in pottery vases from art shows and garage sales. And the circulars in a holder with pockets I made out of quilted fabric. It hangs from the closet rod and any large double points go in there also. I don’t have quite as many as you but its close.

  72. Wow! I store all of my needles in pencil pouches with a plastic window that go into 3-ring binders. I use my label maker to put the size on the plastic window. When I need a certain size, I just flip to the right pouch.

  73. I am laughing so hard, please tell Natalie, from me, with a smile, that she is paid to sort, NOT judge. I have inherited the needles that my mother used to knit the hundreds of pairs of mittens for her eight children and lots of nieces and nephews and friends. They are inexpensive aluminum, and battered. They are the needles I learned to knit on and I treasure them. I can’t resist buying needles when I see them at garage sales. I won’t mention my other stashes, they could be a little frightening.

  74. Holy shi*! I’m showing this to my DH Steph. Cuz a girl’s gotta use what she can to justify the fact that at least her obsession isn’t as bad as this…(points out photos in your blog)!!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    (Maybe now he’ll buy me those Signature dpn’s I want for Valentine’s Day!!)

  75. You know, the way to avoid having to store 34 sets of 2.0mm sock needles is to keep them all in WIPS. Don’t ask how I know.

  76. My mother is in decline due to a nasty, inoperable tumor. We have spent many winter days lately going thru her knitting baskets. She taught me to knit as a child and we have shared our passion for years. I treasure the things she has given me and will too soon inherit all her needles. I know those will be my favorites; the worn ones especially, since I know those were the ones she turned to and worked for so many hours.

  77. I had to consciously pick my chin off the floor after seeing the pic of the double points! Can’t wait till hubby comes home. Now, he has to admit that perhaps my collection is within the normal range. Stephanie, you may have inadvertently saved my marriage!

  78. Holy mackerel, I’m pretty sure the linear footage of your needle stash is longer than the linear footage of my YARN stash!

  79. Wow…that is the kind of excellence (and obsession) I hope to aspire to. Can I just say that I stopped and was amazed at your DPNs on the rug? See…you just never have to finish something before you can cast on something else? Doesn’t she UNDERSTAND? You’re a professional! You have a blog, for cripes’ sake! You need to keep us entertained, and aparently we’ve DRIVEN you to excess DPN storage. It’s all for love of us (and yarn) that you’ve had to go there. Absolutely driven to it…:)

  80. Yours is a truly epic collection. Mine are not as bad but I’m in no position to say a word. This is why it confuses me when I go to start a project and I can’t find any needles. I have enough to stock a yarn store and I have to go out and buy another set? Crazy. Someday I will go through all my project bags and baskets and boxes, etc. and pull out every UFO and collect all my needles. I’ll bet I have to give away some too.

  81. I do not feel so bad about my knitting needle supply now.
    Oh and your pizza would be my bags (yes bags, not cans) of refried beans that I got for a nickle each because they were on sale for $1.55 and had a $1.50 coupon on each bag.

  82. I have to ask – where did the beautiful shiny purple DPN’s in the 4th photo come from? Purple is my favorite!

  83. I started to visit the freecycle site and someone requested some knitting needles all sizes especially the larger ones , I decided to see what I had and Gave away From o to size 35 and threw in some double pointeds and circulars to boot. Still have a lot. Though I started to give my DD her own set, and I am looking forward to get a set of interchangeable Harmony wood from Knit Picks .I have the nickel plated already. Oh well.

  84. I don’t have any where near as many needles as you do. In fact I’ll bet you’d call my needle collection impoverished. But they still have a way of getting all mismatched, and lost, and so on. So I read this with baited breath, knowing you were going to reveal some fabulous technique of storage… Still waiting…While I’m waiting I’m going to go bait my breath with lunch. (PS Love the blog; am mostly only teasing. Mostly.)

  85. You didn’t mention there they were going, but then, I’m reading this screen without my glasses. Iraqui Bundles of Love is also accepting needles (and yarn, and fabric), which go directly to the poor people in villages in Iraq, for personal use and small local businesses. You can look it up on the website – the program is run by an American soldier, and it is in its third year. He even mentions you, Steph, when talking about the things the people there could use. I believe the phrase was “send needles, send fabric, send the Yarn Harlot”. It’s worth checking out.

  86. Yes, Natalie is the boss of you and you know that’s exactly why you hired her. And what is the lovely sweater she is wearing?

  87. ha ha ha. that is truly awesome. i thought i had a lot of needles, but.. whoa. you have me beat. i recently went through my needle stash and culled the Aeros (which i really don’t like very much and have been trying to replace with bryspuns and bamboo). i was all set to donate them to the local VV – but then i couldn’t. something stopped me. what if i needed them? so there they sit, all nicely bundled up in my needle drawer.
    oh and this is probably too late now – but if you have any Bryspun dpn’s (the old style, yellow plastic) i would VERY GLADLY buy them off you. i don’t like the current white plastic ones at all.

  88. I haven’t laughed this hard at one of your posts in a long time! I loved the bit about the four years of university. πŸ™‚ The pictures brought back memories of all the Pick Up Sticks games my cousin and I used to play when we were kids.

  89. Those photos of all the dpn’s? Wow. That is … stunning…
    You should have a contest for people to guess how many dpn’s there are… like guessing how many jellybeans are in a jar…

  90. I spelled that site incorrectly just above (I blame the lack of glasses, again). Iraqi Bundles of Love is the site that are asking for yarn and needles and fabric. Now to go look for the glasses……

  91. Lots of DPNs. I have a similar collection of circs, as I prefer the 2 circs to DPNs for socks. My straights are in a vase. People give them to me when a knitter in their life passes on. Other well meaning friends pick them up at yard sales for me. I save those for teaching newbies, and don’t cry if they don’t return. The circs are in a bin under the couch and in a hanging toiletry bag. (That one’s wicked cool for travel to classes. Lots of clear zipped pockets for needle gauges, stitch markers, stitch holders etc.) And of course scattered through the house in UFOs.
    If you were really evil you could have her inventory them into Ravelry for you.

  92. I thought I had lots of needles, but apparently, I really don’t! I am in needle envy….

  93. I think you can safely tell Natalie you won’t be buying any dpns for a while, my experience is that they multiply because it’s easier to buy a new set than dig through them all to make a set. I know it’s true for me and I have way less than you.

  94. That is a staggering amount of needles. Wow! I’m glad some of them are going to a good home!

  95. It took me 20 minutes last night to find a circular needle in the shopping bag where I keep all my needles. I hatched a plan several years ago where my dpns and circulars would be stored in clear plastic pencil holders and put in a large photo album binder. The size of the task stopped me in my tracks, even though I had procured the proper number of pencil holders and the binder. These pictures underscore what a small task it actually is. Thanks, Steph!

  96. I have ADD and have found that the secret to maintaining any kind of order (at the moment there isn’t really even that as I have been having physical health problems that mean I can no longer do my periodic OH BLIMEY LOOK AT THIS PLACE CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!!! type thingy) is to make it easier to put things away than to get them out. So, don’t have a millionty separate holders for each size and type of needle, or they won’t get put away properly, and may not even get put away at all because I can’t do it Properly (ok, I also have a bit of an OCD streak), so I end up with a drawer full of Special Holders Marked By Size and needles all over the place.
    I’m not sure what the solution is for needles, because you do sort of need to categorise them a bit, or it will be insanely difficult to find a set that actually, well, is a set. But maybe have, e.g. one drawer/section/holder for large DPNs, one for middle size ones, and one for tiny little ones (or two, seeing as I’m guessing you probably have most of those because of all the socks…) Preferably some kind of non-lidded container so you can just toss them into the right one.

  97. HI Steph:
    If you think your collection is back at 40, try when you are in your 50’s…… can I borrow Natalie?

  98. Like I tell my husband ‘ different needles make different things, and sometimes I like to make more than one thing at a time’- he just walks away. He’s a smart man. I use a roll up travel jewelry case that I got for a dollar at a discount store, to hold my DPN’s – grouped together by rubber bands, a sadle bag to hold my circular, and vases to hold my straights. I am not ashamed!

  99. Too funny!
    Maybe you didn’t buy them, maybe they were multiplying in the drawer.
    My husband’s shirts used to do that if I left them in the laundry basket too long.

  100. A few things:
    1. WOW!
    2. I realized one day that I had 17 size H crochet hooks, I didn’t knit then.
    3. I only don’t have a needle problem like this because my husband would fuss. (He’s a neat freak)
    4. I totally concur on keeping the DPNs in the pile. It seems controlled, but is awful.
    Love you Steph! Thanks for making me laugh!
    PS. Natalie at least you found a job, I have been looking for 14 months since graduating

  101. Sigh. After my husband read this he went and looked in the drawers in the hutch. I have now been busted for my slightly smaller needle stash. What can I say – it took a lot of tries to figure out what I enjoyed knitting with.

  102. Your collection looks perfectly normal to me.
    On one of those Hoarders programs, the interventionists once found a woman with a few skeins of yarn and four sets of needles in their original packaging. The morons told her she only needed one set of needles and made her give the others away. She had tears in her eyes as she tried to decide which needles to keep. I choked with rage at the stupidity of those people.

  103. I’m not going through all the comments before posting this so I apologize if it’s a repeat suggestion. I finally got control of all my dpns when I put each size in it’s own cheap, plastic toothbrush holder, with the size written on the side in magic marker. A toothbrush holder can hold a surprisingly huge number of the smaller needles. I’d be an organizational genius, if only I’d put the things in the holders when I’m finished with them instead of letting them pile up until all the holders are empty and have to sit like Natalie and size them all again.

  104. My God, this makes me feel SO much better about the four sets of bamboo US-size-2 DPNs that I have (and, she hastens to add still quite defensively, actually use, thankyouverymuch!). In fact… maybe I should pick up a few more size-1s… they’re always engaged with another project when I need them……… No, no, nobody suggest that I actually finish the project they’re engaged on — I’m a process knitter!

  105. Wow! Just, wow!
    Natalie may not be the boss of you, but I’d say she’s earned the right to occasionally needle you. (Hey, AlisonH would have said it if I hadn’t!)
    Also, a suggestion- use a small tray or vase as place to quickly dump needles that you’re done with. Then you can put them away neatly when you have a minute. If you start throwing them back in the drawer, the system won’t last long. (I tuck mine into the center of the needle roll, forcing me to put them away the next time I open the roll, but I don’t have nearly as many as you.)

  106. This post is way too cute and I was feeling a bit guilty about my needle collection. I have 3 sets of interchangable needles and secrectly want to buy more. (Hiya Hiya anyone?) Although I can stand to reign in my straight needle collection; I don’t really use them. (Once I discovered circulars; there was really no going back.) Which makes my problem of justifying the Signature needles, I want oh-so-badly, with the pretty tips that much more difficult. *sigh*

  107. thank you for such a wonderful laugh… The last time I dared count I had my needles all in a spreadsheet — it had over 100 lines and then I purchased a set of interchangeables to let me thin out the collection and bring it under control except I don’t really want to part with any of them so haven’t and now I really don’t care (or is it dare) to count. They’re pretty much under control insofar as sorted by size and dpns paired but when I die they’ll still be finding needles even after they’ve cleaned out the house a couple of times……. just saying.

  108. Seeing the photos of all the needles made my fingers itch to start a new project.I may not have as many needles, but I know that the inclination is there. I also have a friend who is an enabler: she picks up vintage needles at the local second-hand store and gifts them to me on my birthday. Now…who could argue with that?

  109. I’ve started coming up with alternative uses for mine. You know, turning off really high ceiling lamp switches….poking people who comment on my yarn habit and needle collection….

  110. I have more yarn (and good grief, I’ve only been knitting for about 5 years!) but you DEFINATELY have more needles.
    I bow low before you.
    p.s. Got any extra extra US#2s of any mm? I’ll arm wrestle you for ’em!

  111. You mean you haven’t told her yet that she needs to enter all those into your notebook on ravelry?

  112. I bought a huge lot off of ebay at some point and later discovered they were a promiscuous group. It was rather like Christmas finding out what exactly I had.

  113. If your yarn stash is anything like your needle stash – wow.
    ps Those dpns all look rather long to me. Have you tried 4″ sock needles? They’re great if you’ve got small hands because they aren’t stabbing your sleeve all the time.

  114. Hey, you need all those extra needles because the security guards at the Washington Convention Center may declare them weapons and not allowed you to enter the auto show with them. (Happened to me this weekend and I’m still a little sore about it.)

  115. Please don’t let me be the _only_ one to forward this post to a spouse with a message to the effect of : see, I’m not so bad πŸ™‚
    I too treasure the needles that I inherited from my mother.

  116. Yep, I know exactly how this happens. You have something on one set of needles but you need to cast on another project that calls for that size so you buy another pair. And what about when you’re out of town (which, let’s face it Stephanie, you are out of town a lot) and you need to cast on and you didn’t pack that size needle. There’s another pair. And, like you said, you have been knitting for many years so it really doesn’t surprise me that you have that many needles. I was actually getting ready to do some sorting of my needles because I really have no idea what I’ve got and often when I’m in a hurry I just buy a new pair for a new project even though I know I probably have that size somewhere.

  117. OMG….I want to show my husband this, but then he might ask about my stash….hehehehehehe

  118. I’d like to borrow Natalie. I have a needle mess that could use some cleaning up and organizing, and she is now a trained professional. Also, it’s in the upper 60’s here, the daffodils are sprouting, she could sit outside in the sun and sort my needles. I have wine in the cellar, and beer in the fridge. I’ll be here waiting.

  119. oh………my……….god! that’s ALOT of needles!!! i myself, find that i just keep going and buying a set for almost every new project because either a) i can’t find the ones i need/want or b) the ones i need/want are still in a previous project. but bless you for making my collection look manageable! πŸ™‚

  120. I am partly to blame, and I accept the beame! Way back in 200? I met Steph at the Rutherford Public Library where she was talking about Bookboobook? and I gave her some of my butter tarts ( my Canadian grandmother’s recipe….) and a set of Susana Bates metal sock needles that I knew were WAY TOO SMALL for me to ever use! Since then, I have found myself knitting on some size0000’s….. cannot believe this!
    I’m sorry, Steph! (Although I hope you enjoyed Nana’s butter tarts…. she claimed they were better than Helen Gougeons, anyday!
    Barbaraa M.

  121. I’m so pleased with these pictures. Next time anyone mentions the number of needles I have, I’m going to point here. Because my needle collection is PUNY, I tell you. I only have three sets of 2.25 mm DPNs. I nearly wasn’t able to cast on a third pair of socks last week.

  122. Gee, I thought I had a lot of needles because I have several pairs of 5 different sizes. Can you show how all your needles are organized? I’ve been trying to figure out a different system. Any rolls or organizers just aren’t large enough.

  123. HOLY SHIT!
    I took this post on parade around my hubby and told him he has NOTHING to complain about!

  124. DPN’s – Toothbrush travel holders. I write the size on the outside, and have multiple ones to hold all of them, but it seems to hold the groups together well.

  125. I finally went through my needles last summer. My daughter and a few of her friends were finally learning to knit! I tried and tried to get her to learn to knit and now in her 30s she has finally hit the knitting trail. Going through my knitting needles I gave each one a set of knitting needles. Some double point needles and now am down to just 3 sets of circular needles, the rest of the needles- straits, circular and double points are in roles and are in a old copper washing tub next to my couch. Needles to say my daughter gave me a book on Getting rid of clutter at Christmas!

  126. I teach knitting in high school. I showed the pictures to one of my students and she said, “I’m a little jealous!”

  127. All I can say is different yarns, different needles. Always pair silk yarn with bamboo or wood or your metal needles will be on the floor while your ‘almost’ mitten is still in your hands. Silk does not take kindly to being thrown across the room when it has done nothing wrong. I’m sure it would sulk if it could.

  128. Sooo weird you should post this today: this morning on the tube I was wondering how many needles you had! HOLY COW, YOU ARE A CHAMPION. Also, I’m glad to see I’m not the only person guilty of chucking all the DPNs in a container and hoping I’ll magically be able to find a set again. I got a needle case for my birthday last week, but I only put my straights in and that filled it up, so now I have to buy another one to hold all the DPNs…

  129. Somehow, I feel vindicated. I may need to bookmark this post for use when people harass me about my needles. The ones I use regularly are in pencil cases in a zippered notebook, though I will admit I need to add a second notebook for easy accessibility. Though then I’d have to keep track of two notebooks, which creates it’s own problem.

  130. You need at least 14 sets of sock needles: 12 for the sock club, and 2 for traveling socks (home errands and airplanes). Maybe more, for parties, special projects, etc. Not to mention mittens.
    Most of my needles stand up in a clear plastic bin 11.5″ wide by 14″ long, tightly crowded, but sorted. Others are in UFOs in the traveling bags, and a few delicate sets in a wooden box. Each dpn set is wrapped in paper and labeled, and groups of sizes are in cut-off manila envelopes, so some space is filled by the paper. Circs are labeled and flat on the bottom. Single points are in cardboard tubes, because they’re easy to mate. The smallest I’ve knit with (so far) are the 5-0 dpns; one person thought I was embroidering. The biggest dpns I’ve used are US size 13 (9mm). The antique steel dpns are all over the scale; I got a digital micrometer to measure them into sets because I had about a dozen visibly different “size 2” diameters.

  131. I LOVE it. LOVE. At least your collection is useful. You know what my husband collects[hoards]? DVDs and video games. And comics. And manga. And game systems. And cords. No one is going to look at his collections [hoards] and have awesome memories about things made for other people. You will.
    Trust me. Yours is a productive, awesome collection.

  132. Thank you for sharing. It is a known fact that needles procreate when they are out of our sight (but never in sets!)

  133. I don’t see anything wrong with those photos. I would expect you to have all the equipment you need!
    But please tell us how your are keeping the sets of DPNs now. In a roll? or some other way. Also – the link isn’t there for how you keep your circs. Not complaining – just wondering as this is an area where I could use some of your wise guidance.

  134. Even before I started buying needles I had inherited all my mother’s, grandmother’s and godmother’s.They are all bundled together in rows of empty spaghetti sauce jars. Except for the dpns- they are rattling around in a big shortbread tin. Occasionally I lose my mind and bundle the sets together with rubber bands, but somehow they always escape.
    The circs are just in an old gift box, sitting there, taunting me.

  135. I’ve only been knitting 10 years or so – I don’t have that many needles. However, my niece came a couple years ago and helped organize my pantry. She forbade me from buying any more tea as we found about 7 boxes of the stuff. That’s not counting the herbal tea – which technically isn’t tea so I told her it didn’t count. Therefore I agree, she’s not the boss of you!

  136. Not buying any more needles will last until the first time you are out of town and don’t have the right size needles with you.

  137. I keep all my straights upside down,with heads on top in a huge flower vase–they are very colorful. It does take time to find a matching set, but the colors help.
    Circs are in their packages, organized smallest to largest in a large flat basket. DPN’s are also in their packages (or repackaged in ziplocs)in a large tin container.
    I don’t have near as many as you, though, mainly cuz I try to stick to only a couple projects at a time.

  138. How about those of us who are known to be knitters and have coworkers have cleaned out relatives’ houses and bring us needles belonging to grandmothers and aunts and mothers. I feel like the repository for knitting history sometimes.

  139. someday sometime soon..very soon..I can feel it coming, some manufacturer is gonna figure out that by using some sexy new material,(I’m thinking dark red glitter or hard swirly fiberglass with beads floating inside, or see-through and filled with colored gels) they could make a fortune selling tiny sticks that cost a tenth of a penny each to make to every one of us millions of knitters for 9.99 plus tax. Can’t wait πŸ™‚

  140. ROFL! With you, not at you, because I have 4 size 1 circulars, 60 inches long! Yes, I used one for my daughter’s wedding veil, but I couldn’t have bought 4 of them. That first one had pups, is all I can figure.

  141. I know you’ve already dealt with your DPN organizing issues, but as I was looking at the photo of them all lined up, I started thinking….hmmm, Stephanie has a small loom ( I’ve seen you post your scarves)….what if she sets up a nice warp and uses the individual DPNs as weft?….sort of like those woven bamboo-type place mats or table runners or coasters, but now with a knitterly slant…of course, you would use only the overflow of DPNs because you couldn’t pull them out and use them again…but then you could buy more and then call it weaving supplies and not a needle obsession.

  142. Hi Steph
    I’m glad to see that someone has more DPNs than I.
    By the way, I really like the silk mittens.

  143. Nope, you’re not the only one, not by a long shot. It’s nice to have needles I can give to my students (although then I generally need to go out and buy more) and you have to try all the new ones that have come out and it would be insulting to not accept ones that your friends give you and when you find them at thrift stores or church bazaars it would be a crime not to buy them at such prices and for such a good cause and then there are my mother and grandmother’s which are special to me. Besides, no matter how many needles I have (and mine are surprisingly organized) I never have the ones I want. Sigh.

  144. I can’t believe you paid somebody to let her find out about your dirty needle laundry. I would rather die. Ha!

  145. It’s like watching Hoarders for Knitters. Also Ipad has an AP for keeping track of needles, which I will use as soon as I get some UFO’s taken care of and can catalogue them all at once(like that’ll ever really happen)

  146. Question: To you have a “go-to” needle gauge? I have two, and they are both slightly different. Which one do you consider “THE Gauge of Authority”?

  147. HOLY MOLY that is some collection !!! Perhaps you should at least consider going into rehab. I THOUGHT I was bad as I still have some of my Mom’s and older sisters needles and all the ones I have purchased and believe it or not this has spurred me to go through them and get rid of a lot. It’s going to be a traumatic job but it IS going to be– done but not today. I have to wait for the feeling of “”dunging “” out hits me. Natalie must have a LOT of patience as she did a good job.

  148. Your needles will stay perfectly organized only when you no longer use them. Until then you are just experimenting with different types of organization. πŸ™‚

  149. Perhaps all those needles have been breeding in the dark and cozy drawers and you are not to blame.

  150. I like it. I like it a lot. I like the organizing. (Okay, I love the organizing.) I like that you prefer metal needles. I like that you embrace your crazy. I like that I feel in good company regarding my own yarn and needles possessions.

  151. But they’re tax deductible aren’t they? So how can you have too many? I mean knitting is your business – aren’t they required equipment? Perhaps Canada has a sensible tax system in contrast to the one directly to your south?

  152. Stephanie…I love you. I now know I am not alone with my needle obsession. I have the circular needle organizer that hangs and every slot is filled. I had it hanging on the back of my bedroom door and when my sister saw them she almost fainted. Same with double pointed needles…I have a binder with pages that have spaces for the needles in sizes… that is filled and i have the extras in a plastic ziploc bag. I have two large ceramic pitchers that hold my 10″ straights and a large decorative box that holds my 14″ straights. It is sooooooo nice to know that there are others like me. Thanks!

  153. Like, holy wowsers, dude. That is quite a collection. I only have a few needles by comparison but the DPNS really drive me crazy. How is one ultimately supposed to keep them rounded up and organized, since there’s no way of marking their size on them? And also, since you have so many many needles, how do you choose which ones you want to use for a particular project?

  154. Steph, can you please link to your circular holder? The link doesn’t seem to be there for me. And while I’m mostly able to keep my frequently used straights and DPN’s organized, I have tried and fail multiple times with my circs.

  155. Holy Mother of Pearl!!!!!!! That is an impressive needle collection!! I can’t wait to show the pictures to my husband! This is a guy who doesn’t understand why I need more than 1 project at a time!! The look of shock on his face will be great!!

  156. HA! I love this post. Love it, love it.
    Thank you for this. I feel soooo much better.
    I can totally relate to the knitting needle thing. I haven’t even been knitting for a year, and I’m inundated with them.
    I end up with doubles (triples or, if socks on two circs, quads) because I’ll lose a pair or two, only to find them a day or two after purchasing more . . . and I wouldn’t dream of taking them back because having more needles allows me to have more projects going at the same time.
    Not to mention those times when I’m out of town (I travel a lot), go to a LYS and find a project I love. You’d better know I’m buying the needles right along with the yarn. There is NO WAY I’m waiting until I get home to cast on. Life is too short; time is too precious.
    Then, as you say, one needle isn’t the same as another. I’m continually upgrading from one style needle to the next best . . . it will never end. I will never want it to end.
    Stephanie, be proud. As a knitter’s soul deepens, stash-and-stuff grows right along with it.
    Those needles are a badge of honor. Good for you.
    And you’re right. Only you are the boss of you.
    Well, maybe your stash and needles are the boss of you, but that’s because YOU decided YOU wanted it that way! : )

  157. Just showed your needle pics to my husband to let him know that my collection of needles is very very conservative! Now I can ask for more needles for Valentines day! Yay!!

  158. At least they are small so no one knew – until now. And at least they are easily contained so they can’t feature you on the tv show “Hoarders”

  159. HAHA
    Love this post. I am showing these pics to my bf. He never comments on my ‘issues’ and he certainly won’t after he sees these pics!

  160. I can appreciated your needle collection – but have managed to restrain myself. I only buy needles when I’m starting and project and have discovered I don’t have the right size. After doing a gauge swatch with what I’ve got that’s closest. Sometimes.
    Anyway, that all went to hell when my bull-in-a-china-shop Rottweiler bounded from the back seat to the front seat because OMG THOSE WINDSHIELD WIPERS WILL HURT YOU MOMMY! And while snapping at the wipers, snapped some from 2 of my nicest DPNs (also a pair of sunglasses, scratched my purse and spilled coffee all over everything). The DPNs both had projects on them.
    Between that and some old melamine straights that friends in college were using as light sabers and snapped, I have the worst luck with breaking needles.
    Anyone know a manufacturer who does shape-memory metals? Like they make kids glasses out of?

  161. Oh, and I thought I have too much needles… appareantly NOT.I fell much better now, thank you πŸ™‚
    Those purple ones are just GORGEOUS!
    So is Nathalie’s hair…and sweater.

  162. Oh my heavens. Just recently took all of my needles out of the vases I had them in and put them in a dresser drawer. I can now see where this is headed. Yikes.

  163. WOWEE – what a collection.
    I laughed so hard I nearly knocked my tea over!!!
    I’m actually envious. I began knitting just last fall-2010, and I’ve barely have a dozen needle sets.
    I don’t know HOW to store my circulars yet, but I’m working on it.

  164. My husband is not a stupid man. But if he ever gives me grief over the number of knitting needles I have, I’m going to show him this post–right after I poke him in the butt with some dpns.

  165. I don’t have as many as you but what I do is set up each of my knitting bags with a full set or as much as I can so I’m half ready to travel. Then I keep a complete set at home. I’ve donated some of the extras I’m not crazy about. I’m saving my black walnut Brittanys for a charity fundraiser sometime.

  166. Obsessive needle comments aside…I would like to know details about Natalie’s sweater! It appears quite lovely in the pictures. Did someone make it? If yes, pattern details please and thank you!

  167. Wow. o_0
    I think I might have to impose a “no more than two of any size & type combo” rule on my needle collection, now. I wouldn’t sit through hours of organizing needles like that for anyone, including me D: Poor Natalie!

  168. This won’t work for Stephanie(she has WAY too many to fit in) but it works for me. I bought a large accordion file (meant to hold legal size papers). It looks like a small suitcase. I labeled a pocket for each size of needle. I keep my straight and circular needles in the package they came in and drop them into the appropriate slot.

  169. I’m convinced my stash eats 5mm needles. Cord length doesn’t seem to matter, but I know I’ve bought roughly eleventy billion 5mm circular needs and I can hardly ever find a single set, despite being a fairly good person who even flosses when I don’t have a dental appointment.

  170. Judgey McJudgesalot sounds like a a great name for a new colorway from Socks That Rock!!

  171. I find that I go in spurts with needle sizes. For a few months, every WIP (and I always have multiple in the “active” stage) is on 5 mm circulars and then I might be on 2 mm double points. Since a few WIPs inevitably end up on “time out”, this means that often when I hit a 5 mm needle jag again, I run out of needles.
    Last year I catalogued my stash. I have a gigantic Excel spreadsheet that lists by room, drawer, and cupboard what I have in terms of yarn and kitted projects. I have devoted one entire sheet just to WIPs and UFOs, indicating where they reside and what they have with them besides yarn (such as a pattern, book, needles, buttons).
    I used to have my “uncommitted” needles in a plastic bin, but have moved them to my desktop in three open baskets: one each for straights, circulars, and double points. I can more quickly find needles of the correct size and type, the double points no longer fall out of their package loose in the bottom of a bin, and if I have to borrow back needles from another project, I know where to look. My method requires keeping original needle packaging, which might not work for you.
    So far it has worked for me. I fiddle with this spreadsheet regularly, adding new stash as it arrives and happily deleting stash as it is used up (I have a “finished project” list that is my psychic reward). I buy fewer needles (mostly when one breaks), so I have more money for yarn.

  172. OMG! Suddenly, I don’t feel so bad for having, like, 5 sets of size 2 dpns. πŸ™‚ Way to go, Stephanie!

  173. Holy carp, Steph – that’s a lot of *white* needles – no wonder you had trouble keeping them sorted! Mom and I culled our needles last year for a (probably) similar project; the after school knitting club near me hit the jackpot.
    I definitely need more DPNs. πŸ˜‰

  174. Go to the hardware store. Buy a yard or so of flexible plastic tubing. Cut the tubing into half inch segments. Instant needle organizers!
    The tubing comes in lots of sizes, small enough to hold five size 0 dpn or big enough to hold a pair of 10 straight needles.

  175. If I ever spoke aloud the number of Addi Turbo’s in sizes 8-10 in varying widths that I returned to WEBS after an inventory when Ravelry first came on-line, (a) Steve would freak and (b) I would be a lifetime member of ATA – addi turbo’s anonymous. Funny thing, I like Addi’s for some things but I prefer wood for most. Steph – it made your pile of dpns look paltry. It was bad.

  176. I keep all of mine in an empty plastic container that held a bulk size of animal crackers. How’s that for organized? At least they are all in the same place? I own no dpn’s, at least not yet. They are on my list of things to buy this year.

  177. I thought my needle stash was bad…my mouth has dropped wide open at the dpn’s you have..I’m too shocked to say anything more πŸ™‚

  178. Needles come under the Stash heading, right? So there’s no such thing as too many, right?
    Anyhoo, that’s my story & I’m sticking to it.

  179. Besides, think of how many WIP’s you can have…all going at once,
    Think of all the happy needle makers you alone employ!

  180. I saw some gorgeous Blackthorn double points at Vogue Knitting. They were really pretty and felt really good. I’m just saying…..
    (and yes, I have been accused of enabling.)

  181. I was showing the photos to my husband, so as to demonstrate that my own collection is perfectly reasonable in size (sorry, Steph, self-preservation apparently trumped knitterly loyalty) and his comment was this:
    “Does she practice acupuncture or something?”

  182. After reading this post, I just stared at the pictures of DPNs in awe for a minute. Sheer awe, and total understanding.

  183. Yeah. I can’t even say that my DPNs are in one place. they are in about 20 places. When I have to find a set it is just easier to buy more than locate them all. And this is after I reorganized my stash, moved a lot of it to storage (yes, I have a storage unit with nothing but yarn, knitting accessories and fabric in it – I really need to cull THAT herd!!). At least there is hope that someday I will locate and get them all sorted, I guess. My straights aren’t too bad – I gave a lot of them away a couple years ago to a brand new knitter. I have 5 sets of interchangeables, I could get rid of everything else at this point – other than my sock needles!

  184. Whooaaaa Steph! Do we need an intervention here? Ever watch Horders on tv? I am so glad you took pictures because now I don’t feel so bad about my 6 pair of 2.25s. Thank you, I feel much, much better about myself!

  185. Two thoughts: I showed my Hubster the blog today so that he’ll stop looking at my pile o’ needles cross-eyed…. And Natalie deserves a raise!

  186. Please tell me I’m not the only crazy person who finds the piles and piles of knitting needles to be kind of pretty all lined up together!? πŸ˜‰

  187. I thought I was being decadent when I ordered 12 sets of 2.0’s and 12 sets of 2.25’s, to add to the several sets I already had in each size. (Too many were stuck in the middle of sock projects, and heaven forbid that I’d just finish the sock so that I could have the needles back.) However, you are making me feel like I might need to order more to have on hand in case of emergencies. I’m pretty sure that was not the intention of your post, but that’s the response it triggered in me. I’m trying not to act on it. Honest.

  188. Just opened my etsy shop today selling – guess what? Needle Rolls! πŸ˜‰ I can bring some with me the next time I am home in Toronto.

  189. Dude, – I felt guilty when I bought my 4th set of interchangeables – and they were on SALE. My piddly vase full of straights is NOTHING! I will feel no more guilt!

  190. None of the posts I glanced at even mention why I end up with so many needles. The metal ones inherited from my grandmother and mother and the metal ones I have purchased all are bent!! I knit almost exclusively on circulars because of this obviously inherited trait of bending needles while knitting. Can’t quite throw out the bendies!

  191. And how many screwdrivers does the average handyman have??? or drills??? Even I have two drills & one powered screwdriver fer gosh sake!! Needles are tools-of-the-trade. You need different needles for different projects, I mean, you can’t use wood needles when knitting with silk, it catches. You need slippery needles for lace but sticky needles for alpaca! And you need extra sets for those times when you’re knitting several things at once. You’re right, Natalie isn’t the boss of you!!

  192. “Natalie’s not the boss of me.”
    After years of experience as an administrative assistant, I’ve come to learn that the assistant is ALWAYS the boss of the boss. That is just the way it works when the assistant is the organized one! And it does usually burn the boss a bit, but they eventually come around! πŸ™‚

  193. *lets out low whistle* That’s a LOT of needles! While I have yet to completely get my needles under control (I can’t seem to get rid of odd needles, in case it’s mate(s) should show up someday),I did recently figure out a system for notions. An old pocketbook. Plenty of little pockets, and my scissors and current dpns each have their own little money slot.

  194. Isn’t the phrase, “She who has the most needles wins”? Judging from the close-up picture you posted, I think we can safely say that YOU WIN!

  195. Stephanie, I’ve been reading your blog for countless years, and this is one of my all-time favorite posts!

  196. Stunned. Stunned by the hundreds of needles in piles. Really, really surprised. And this is from a huge gadget freak, with a bunch of needles of my own. All I can think of is the HUGE investment of $$$ that went into that collection. Thousands of dollars. Wow. My hat’s off to you, Steph.

  197. I have nowhere near you stash of needles but I did go thru and cull them about a month ago. I have a sever case of organizititus. So any lone needles when to be used with the drumcarder.

  198. Someone who co-runs Sock Summit has to be prepared to scale that summit with the tools at hand. Ice-colored picks. Works for me.

  199. DPN sock needles are the ones I have the worst time keeping track of, so I tend to stick an entire set (or how ever much of the set I have left after I left some in an almost finished sock to hold stitches for kitchner) into the leftover yarn. Then I chuck that into my knitting basket and any time I need needles I just have to find the yarn of the last project I did and dig the needles out of there. It’s a system that only works on the small scale, and it’ll fall apart at the seams eventually. But for now it works!

  200. Honestly, I had no idea people would have that many needles! If I had so many, I’d have a project on every one of them – I have not bought extra cords for my interchangeable set simply because I tend to have a project on every available needle set, and if there’s no more cords, no more needles!
    I have a Boye interchangeable set, a set of DPNs from sizes 1.5 – 6.0, and four Addi Turbo Lace circulars. That’s it. Still doesn’t keep the project count down too far though!

  201. Oh yes, this makes me feel so good, I love it! Thoses dp’s all lined up in a row are the badge of a serious knitter. I have tons of straights standing up in a huge pitcher like a colorful spring bouquet. Although I only use circulars now, I would never think of getting rid of the others, they remind me of my knitting life.

  202. Thank you, Stephanie, I feel much better now about my needles. I have a lot, but nowhere near as many as you do.
    Trying to keep them organized is the undertaking of a lifetime. (I don’t put them back where they belong, either.)
    Good luck!

  203. My friend has my only set of US 6 dpns. I’ve been needing those for a while. Can I borrow a couple of sets of yours?
    PS: I got lucky once b/c my dad found a WAD of needles from the flea market b/c a knitter had passed on. I think that when I die, I want to make sure that my needles will also go to a young knitter.

  204. There must be something in the air (could it be spring?) that has compelled both of us to sort out our needle-mess. I personally spent 6 hours (don’t ask me where I found 6 consecutive hours but I did) sewing and finishing a needle roll and a hanger-thingy for my circulars made from a vintage Swedish pillow case. I’m sure it looses something in the translation but it came out great.
    Happy needle hunting from now on.

  205. I notice you sent a comment to test them, maybe because you were not receiving any comments for awhile. Believe me, your readers, and I mean all of them, were stunned by those pictures, stunned absolutely speechless (or commentless)! You are very lucky to have Natalie, even if she made some comments.

  206. Back in 2003, telling myself I was in my 30s so an investment in good tools would be lifetime worthwhile, I bought a Mitutoyo 505-671 dial caliper from I like having exact measurements; mentally so much easier than putting through the hole gauges. Problem comes when things (particularly the bamboos) measure 3.84 mm – do you put them with the 3.75 mm or 4.00 mm needles?
    Worth it for the needles the markings have worn off of. About once a year I have an afternoon of measure, sort, and put away.

  207. O M G. Now that’s impressive. After reading about all the creative ways to store needles in the comments, I feel so dull. I just keep them in a shoe box, with the dpns and circs in ziplocks in the shoebox, with the dpns grouped in tiny rubber bands. I’d love to know a good way to label the circs for sizes instead of having to measure it on a gauge each time I need one. Any suggestions?

  208. Wow, that is a lot of needles! You obviously don’t have enough WIP’s.
    And is Natalie wearing a hand knit sweater and socks? Do you pay her in wool? In finished form, or unfinished form?

  209. Yes, lots of needles. I like the socks Natalie is wearing. Did she make them or did you Stephanie?

  210. It takes a big heart and a small ego to post pictures of one’s assistant putting hundreds of needles in order…so you can give a bunch away.
    Personally I’m emotionally vacillating between pity and envy. :o)

  211. Dude…. having gone throught he craziness of moving and *not being able to find any dpns*, I wish I had that many needles. I’m down to less than a jar full of the straights too…
    So maybe I have a weird bias here…

  212. Heavens, woman, you could have a rousing game of Pick Up Sticks with that loose assortment!

  213. I think you should stage sets of needles around town in all of your regular haunts. Then when the urge strikes to knit — no matter where you are! — you’ll have a full range of sizes at your disposal. πŸ™‚

  214. I just happened to see your November 30 2006 post after reading this, and thought you might like to share it with Natalie. No wonder you have so many needles! Thanks for the blog. It’s a lot of fun.

  215. Well of course you need lots of needles. I mean who has only one project on the needles at one time? And what if you’re into making lots of hats and most of those hats need the same size needles? I’m mean seriously. I do two at a time socks, but on dpns. Well, the dpns have to MATCH. No, they can’t see size 2.25mm from two different sets. That’s just crazy talk. Some people just don’t understand my OCD πŸ™‚
    Pfft – I think your needle stash was perfectly fine.
    BTW, how did you end up organizing your dpns after the cull?

  216. This post showed me that I obviously don’t have enough sock dpns. Bought some tonight. One pair bamboo and one pair aluminum. Never know when I might lose one from my favorite sets.

  217. I don’t judge, Steph – I do the same thing. “Oh hey, buying yarn, starting a project, I should get some needles for that”, conveniently forgetting that you’ve had the same conversation with yourself dozens of times and thus have enough needles to teach everyone you’ve ever met how to knit.
    Also. Sweater. WANT. And from the comments it appears I’m not alone. Tell Natalie she has a pile of stalkers!

  218. You’re better than therapy! It’s great to know I am not the only person with a gazillion needles.

  219. Just got home after running frantically through an airport (a form of exercise with which I know you are familiar) and noticing the coughing does stop after bringing up some of my lungs, to read this post. Didn’t laugh, really, until the shot of the double points. Mind you, I’m envious, not critical, but the laugh did happen. Lungs seem okay. Thanks.

  220. Natalie will be totally berserk when she goes back soon and does a little re-measuring. Do all those needles get out at night and party, each one going home with someone new for a stay? My circulars certainly do, todays 3.00 turns up in the 3.25’s tomorrow and who can tell what tomorrow will bring! Has anyone else noticed this or is it my own peculiar little problem that I should keep hidden?

  221. There must be something in the air. I just sorted my needles this past weekend, which I must say didn’t take as long as poor Natalie did. I must make some needle cases for the straights. Need an idea on how to store the circulars tho. Great blog post.

  222. I’ve been knitting a little over a year, and making socks onliy since May 2010. I’m a wee infant in the land of sock knitting. So I’m sure you’ll understand I felt like I’d seen a spaceship landing in my living when I saw the pictures of your DPNs! It’s a brave woman who shares on her blog photos like this. Natalie is one dedicated woman!
    Best of all, I’m glad a charity is going to benefit from your organizational efforts!

  223. Well, Steph, your first mistake was putting them all in the same place for anyone to see! you need to stash them all around the house so no one ever knows how many you have! OK, it does make it slightly more difficult to find the ones you need, but then you can just buy them, right?
    Now, more importantly , did Natalie knit the pretty red zippered hoodie she’s wearing? Details , PLEASE!!
    Hey, there’s a thought… I think Natalie should have a say in your blog once in a while. She could probrably dish some dirt on you!

  224. Seeing all your needles out gave me a sense of joy. The sheer number of them, not the need to match them all up.
    Also – I love Natalie’s red sweater and hot pink socks, totally awesome.
    When are the wooden DPNs getting sorted? We need to see ALL your pointy sticks!

  225. Oh my goodness! I’m just sayin’! I agree…you should have a contest to guess the number of DPs! Sign a book or something. All I can say is WOW!!! I think you have proven that knitting needles multiply like rabbits!

  226. The first time my boyfried saw me zip open a carrying case of needles (representing about 1/10 of my collection at home) he looked at me incredulously and said, “I thought you just needed two.”

  227. I have an old library card file, with all those little tiny drawers, with all my crafty stuff sorted nice and neat. (Sorry — couldn’t resist bragging).

  228. hahaha – what a funny post! Poor Natalie – but at least she is getting paid to play with knitting needles : ) And, now I don’t feel quite so bad about how many I have…. I’ve only been knitting about 12-14 years and I”m older than you are. Of course, you need all those needles given how many projects you keep going!

  229. yup, that’s a lot of needles…but let’s say that you can stick all those into one drawer. It would be a full drawer mind you..
    You should see what weavers get to squirrel and stash into a house! I try to contain myself to a 26′ x 14.5′ room (formerly used as a rec room.) The 2 spinning wheels have busted loose and lurk in the living room corners but I don’t think he’s noticed them yet.
    tee hee!

  230. I may have discovered the cause of my overweight–spending too much money on unnecessary food and not enough on knitting needles.

  231. I am also organizing needles…must be the spring air? Not so much yet..
    I am wondering how come there are so many variations in size between brands of needles? My needle guages are all different as well. A micrometer takes too long..there must be a better way.
    Have to say that I do like the Susan Bates needles that I just bought, the colour co-ordination makes them easy to find. I am going to get Signatures next…not that I need another set of 2.25…but they are pretty. LOL
    I use sets of 5 dpns, how did Natalie store them after sorting?

  232. OK, you win. I thought no one had me beat, but that is more dpn’s than I have ever seen in one place. πŸ™‚

  233. Wow. Thanks.
    You provide a wonderful service to knitters everywhere. We truly appreciate knowing the limits of sanity.
    I like to use pint size ziplocs for my Addis. There’s a place to write the size. The Brittanys are in a tin and look beautiful.

  234. Holy Cow! I feel like such a piker. I am consumed with admiration, especially all those double points. How come you keep saying you lose needles? I’d hate to see what this would look like if you didn’t!

  235. Well, if one was ever bored (not in that household) Pick-Ups Sticks could be played for hours. That is a big amount of dpn’s. How are circs to be stored? I have never figured it out…I circle mine in bags and throw a gauge in there with them.

  236. now I know where the pick-up-sticks game came from. some po’d family got revenge on mom and had some fun doing it.

  237. I am insanely jealous of all of your needles! I’m a college student, so currently the needle collection just kind of spills out of a cup, but I eagerly anticipate the day when they fill a whole drawer!

  238. I’m way behind on the needle collecting. I won’t tell you how many decades I had been knitting when it finally dawned on me it was OKAY to own several pairs/sets of knitting needles in the SAME size…..

  239. Okay, so I’ll admit, I’m not a faithful reader but was lured here by one who is… That being said, I won’t even talk about how many sets of needles I have. I can’t compare to yours, but I’ve still got a few years to catch up. The the fact that I have a fabulous discount @ a LYS does not help me to curb any impulses when it comes to all things knitting. What my rambling is leading to… I use tackle binders (I like Bass Pro Shops’ the best) to store my DPN and circs (and no, I won’t admit to how many binders I have!) They work well, or at least they do when I remember to put the needles back!

  240. I think you have just the right number of knitting needles.
    The Woman who just bought a Cup Holder for her Spinning Wheel

  241. When I saw the straights I thought oh I have as many as Stephanie. Then I saw the dpn’s and realized I’m not in the same league yet. The circulars might get me in trouble though. I figure some day knitting implements may be better than cash….

  242. Is that a lot of needles? Because it doesn’t really seem like it to me.
    Also last year I found little accordion files (about 20cm wide) and filed away dpns and circs (by cable length) It’s been awesome. (As long as I put them back…)

  243. I was looking at all the needles and feeling like I need more when I noticed that the sweater looks like a Vivan. Is it a Vivian sweater? I have one in green πŸ™‚

  244. Hmmm…and I helped contribute to this stash on the occasion of your 40th… [They were Knit Picks, as I recall, so they’re wooden and “not counted”…WHEW!!]
    Oh, yes, indeedy – there are times when ONLY an INOX 2.25 mm…in a FIVE INCH LENGTH will “do” so, I’m with you…not TOO MANY at all!

  245. What’s Natalie doing next week? She could come down South (Wisconsin) for a little working vacation from all of that cold and snow up there.

  246. That is a lot. I know you need extras for the large WIP basket. But even so, that is a lot. Then again, if it makes you happy…

  247. I wouldn’t mind having Natalie’s job. And I’d say you probably ARE the only person with this many needles. But it’s okay — if anyone’s gonna have this many needles, it’s gotta be the Yarn Harlot, right? Unless there’s a Needle Harlot, too? You wouldn’t happen to be both at once, would you? That would be like Batman and Robin being the same person!
    Kelly @ Creating a Family Home

  248. Yes, you’re right. There are plenty of people out there with that many needles — more even. They’re called “yarn shop owners” and the needles are called “inventory.”

  249. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not but the whiteness of the DPNs makes me happy. Not really sure why but the idea of white needles just seems like one of the best ideas ever. Just saying…

  250. I definitely cannot ‘compete’ on quantity of needles, but just possibly on age.
    In my stash are metal Aeros, 2mm sock needles, that have bent and deformed to the pressure of the hands, and my mother and aunt used them ‘knitting for the boys’ in WW 2. I was born in 1944, so these needles are possibly of pre-war manufacture.
    And they still work πŸ˜‰ perfectly.
    What I want to know is how could ANY knitter manage with just ONE set of the relevant sizes? before you even start distinguishing DPN from straights from circulars. Metal, plastic, wood?
    Gae, in Callala Bay

  251. Isn’t that a Vivian sweater that Natalie is wearing? Clearly, she should know better than to judge a knitting afficionado’s collection.

  252. I envy the way Natalie spent her afternoon, an improvement over mine! I just did this over the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Not quite so crazy (as in, I don’t knit nearly as many socks as you do) but I had a whole drawerful, in the end!

  253. Doesn’t she know all world famous knitting authors and designers have loads of needles? Does Lance Armstrong have only one bike?

  254. i’m so glad to see you have that many dpn’s…i was looking at my collection the other day and was feeling a little crazy about how large it was…

  255. Oh my goodness. When dear hubby complains about how many needles I have, I’m gonna show him the photo with the DPNs. Yowza! Of course, this coming from the household with 54 different teas (yup, loose leaf, bagged, herbal, green, black, you name it).

  256. I got a big piece of stiff foam and poked my dpns into it in sets. Used a sharpie to mark the sizes.

  257. A few observations:
    I have been knitting since I was five, and I am 50. My needle drawer is heavy, but I do actually use my needle rolls to sort them (I like artist’s brush rolls and a permanent marker to note the sizes on the pockets for straights, but I use the ready-made Circular Solution for circs).
    I could probably defend a small medieval castle if my dpns could be employed in a crossbow.
    I’m an American but I prefer the metric sizes. I have three sets of 1.5 mm needles myself. Don’t feel bad.
    You have more DPNs in your house than I have in my yarn shop but then … so do I.
    I envy you the Aeros. They are hard to come by in the US.
    And hey, does the pit crew at the racetrack have only one socket wrench? My husband and I had a mutual “aha!” moment about hobbies during our dating years. He was surprised at the number of sizes and types of knitting needles I owned back when I was 25. I commented that he owned an MG and a Japanese motorcycle, and thus also owned a large variety of socket wrenches which were in a constant state of employment, and that said wrenches both took up more space than my needles and were greasier, and much less colorful and less pleasant to gaze upon. He agreed. The tools required for the ever-wheezing MG also helped explain why I had needles in three different sizes of measurement (English, metric and US). Dave could fix cars hailing from many nations at that time, and immediately comprehended the slight differences in tool sizes — be they wrenches or needles.
    That was one of the times I knew he was a keeper.
    P.S. — Tell Natalie it’s a recession. Rejoice in a job sorting needles! In the early 1980s recession I put my 4-year degree to work doing data entry for an employment agency. In WordPerfect. On floppy disks. With that kind of computer paper that had holes on the edges so it would track through the printer and choke the feed mechanism every 45 minutes. Suckingest job EVER.

  258. I managed my needle excess– inherited needles from someone’s storage units– by hosting many classes of little girls knitting. That’ll clear you out of 6, 7, and 8 (US) in a hurry. Last year my friend actually bought me needles ‘cus I had NO 8s!

  259. golly – and I thought I had a lot! My own lifetime collection, plus I inherited my mother- in-law’s lifetime collection! I had a ‘bit of a sort out’ and now my daughter has a huge collection, and the local charity shop (thrift store?) also has a lot of knitting needles. And yet, I can never find the exact set that I need for the current project – funny, isn’t it! Ah well, back to the wool shop. If dearest hubbie moans, I just tell him its cheaper than collecting antique microscopes.

  260. My DPNs and interchangeable circulars all live in their holders in Arnotts tim tams bag. It used to have chocolate biscuits in it now it has knitting goodies

  261. Now I know why the students in my knitting class gave me a funny look when – after finishing a sock – I took one of the ends I had just cut off the sock after weaving it in, and wound it round the set of dpns, closing it with a bow.
    I might find stray sets of dpns laying around the house but at least it’s always a set…

  262. and i thought it was bad that i desperately want to buy a set of signatures even though i have sock dpns in all sizes in the knit picks harmony range!
    you give us all hope steph, in a bizarre kind of way.

  263. Have you thought about opening a Chinese restaurant? You’ve got ALL the utensils you’d need for quite some time…

  264. Well, I feel so much better today. And I can go out and buy roughly 400 knitting needles without having too many. Of course, I don’t knit to earn my living. In fact, I mostly make sure my husband has his visa in order so he can earn a living, but still, I clearly do not have enough needles.

  265. I inherited a pile of needles (all varieties) from my grandmother a few years back. As I love knitting, but wasn’t using all the needles, and I conveniently had an empty vase in the room I was sorting needles in… a bouquet of needles appeared in my craft room. Added as many different colours of needles and different lengths to give variety.

  266. I would say without a doubt you would have the largest stash of knitting needles. Which there is nothing wrong with, you can never have enough knitting needles, and that is so true on many knitting projects.

  267. I no longer feel so bad about the needles I have “hidden” in the microwave cabinet in my kitchen.

  268. OK Steph, there really are enough comments on this post but –
    (and note that I have my own needles and a ton of my mother’s)
    I can’t help thinking about the TV show Hoarders
    and what they would think if all they saw were the pictures of your knitting needles.

  269. My oldest dpns (most inherited and yellowed plastic) are in a cigar box (wooden) beside my chair. My straights are in a crystal vase. My circs are all in their original baggies in a drawer in a plastic bin except for the Susan Bates plastic circs, which one I keep in a drawer beside my chair, the others are in their packages in my room in a drawer, and my bamboo dpns are in their original wrappers, ordered and sorted by size. I only ever carry the needles that I actually use, and I had 3 interchangable needlesets, but gave one to my son. The other two I keep because some of my projects have called for two size this or that, and I actually prefer my Boye Needlemasters to any of the others, and I’m very careful to put them away carefully and meticulously when I’m finished with them. Most of my circs in packages are for sock knitting a la Magic Loop. I think there might be three or four circs that are lying in the drawer because I don’t have their packages anymore (or never had them).
    When people give me their sets, or I get something particular on Ebay and it comes with other stuff, I just add it to my existing stuff. If I find there’s a straight with no mate, but I have a set already, I might keep it, just in case one gets lost.
    No wonder people say I’m OCD…

  270. Yes, Steph. You may be the only one with that many needles. I have two LYS here in Omaha and they don’t have that many needles.
    My question is, do you ever have socks going on all the 2.5 dpns and not have a spare set to start a new sock? Or is that how you got that many to begin with. he he

  271. If you only have one set of Signatures you have control over your needle obssession. There is no need to worry, ever.

  272. Holy cow…that is a lot of needles! I bought a house last year (my first) and I’m still organizing the “craft room” and have yarn and needles everywhere…and I was thinking just this last weekend that I had a lot of needles. Wow. I think my family thinks that I have as many as you do…but I’m no where close. But then I’ve only been knitting for 6 years…give me time, I say, just give me time. (I like knitting needles too!)

  273. Actually, this problem would have come in handy last night when I couldn’t find any US5s or US6s to make a hat that just HAD TO BE MADE RIGHT THAT SECOND. Of course, if I’d had a giant needle drawer like that, I would have gotten sidetracked organizing them and never started the hat.

  274. I’m making sure I put in my living will that all yarn, spinning wheels, needles, looms, etc. etc. etc. goes to my local guild so my family doesn’t discover how many fiber related things I have! :>)

  275. If you have the drawer space I would get a bunch of drawer dividers or other thin plastic rectangular containers and label them with needle sizes. You may need 2 sizes per container to fit in the drawer. It is much easier to drop the needles in the correct container than to open the needle roll and then re-roll and tie it. You could have a drawer with twice as many shorter containers for the DPN. Works for me.

  276. The question I have is, why, when one (myself included) has an abundance of needles, why can’t you find the size of needle you need when you need it?

  277. Another thought this morning. Why don’t you enter the Guiness world book for the largest stash of knitting needles .LOL

  278. I feel sooo much better about the size 3.5mm and 4.0mm dpns that I just had to buy because the ones I KNOW I own are hiding out somewhere with my copy of the Knitters Book of Patterns and a pile of stray socks…Thanks Steph.

  279. That is amazingly impressive. I seriously can’t stop gaping at the sheer volume of needles! In a way, it’s also pretty darn cool though.
    Still, I hope I don’t have that many when I’m 40. I’d go mad!

  280. On Friday I went through all my circular needles and made a spreedsheet, listing their size, length, if they’re good for magic loop, etc. I found out I have 59 pairs of circular needles. I rarely use straights, but have a bin of them I might sort so I can donate some. I also have a lot of dpn (not as many as you), but rarely use them now. I do have a homemade needle roll where I try to keep matched sets, but I also have a lot of really old ones, and odd ones, and it depends on which needle gauge I use when I sort them (some gauges don’t have 3mm)….
    For awhile, I used to mark sets of dpn with matching nail polish, but I quickly had more sets than colours of nail polish…

  281. The question is not why you (we) have so many dpns. The question is why you (we) still can’t ever find a full set when we need one!

  282. Love the needles, love Natalie’s sweater! Going over to Ravelry right now to look up ‘Vivian’!

  283. What I have come to love in the last 2 months since being introduced to your site, YH, is how sane I now feel. Not that you’re not, but I just know it’s not JUST ME!!! Thank you for the relief. It means more than you will ever know.

  284. Finally learned a way to organize shorter DPs — the travel plastic tootbrush holder that snaps apart at the center. Easy to label and store and keep the different sizes of wood/metal/other needles sorted out together.
    And there is serious needle envy at this end.

  285. You have made me feel so much better! I thought I was nuts having as many needles as I have, but, no, now I am thinking I may have to go needle shopping…I suddenly think I don’t have enough!!

  286. Go Natalie, Go! It is the 4 years of education that “pointed” you in the right direction – the double point piles are truly impressive Stephanie and I recommend using the piles for the cover of your next book!

  287. How sad is it that I would have absolutely loved being the person to tidy up those needles? I do like to create order out of chaos!!

  288. for marking sizes on circs: measure, mark with sharpie, cover with clear nail polish…

  289. when ever my husband suggests that my knitting stuff is getting out of hand I just show him your blog.
    Think I should be good for a long time after this

  290. Ok, I own a yarn shoppe and I have to say, dearest Stephanie, that I think you own more double points than I have for sale. But that is okay, because it makes me feel better about my own personal collection of needles. (although they have not reached your total)

  291. Only admiration from me. I love that you have an uncountable amount (well it looks like it, did Natalie count them by any chance…?).
    I just gave away some groovy retro plastic numbers to some young uns, it hurt even though I never ever use them, and they are going to the greatest cause of all which is the creation of a new knitting generation.

  292. The blog likes Natalie.
    Also, those needles look very pretty all laid out like that. It could inspire an Alice Starmore colour pallet.

  293. Holy moly…lady you do have alot of needles. I thought I had alot but NO WAY.. Yes, I can see you donating some of your needles to the cause…Nice that it takes that to organize your needles. I have the Denise’s that I use alot and so portable. I hardly ever use the straights anymore. No double points…oh yeah!!!

  294. Am I the only one that is itching to purchase more needles after reading this post?
    I’ve been dreaming about the harmony wood interchangeable set for at least a year (I love my nickel plated set).
    This post may have pushed me over the edge, thanks Stephanie!

  295. Thank you for making my needle collection look ‘not out of control’.
    and OT: That’s a cute hoodie that Natalie is wearing. Another commenter wanted to know if it was Vivian. I wanna know too.

  296. I am actually wicked jealous of your collection!
    I hope that when I’ve knit as long as you, I can have a collection like that!

  297. OMG! I was made to feel guilty because I had three sets of needles; a full set of 10″ straights; a set of 14″ straights, a set of interchangeables; plus a cheap set of dpns in all sizes. I have been contemplating buying a different set of interchangeables and some more DPNS of better quality. Your collection has freed me to buy without guilt. Thank you!

  298. I recently came to the startling (to me, anyway!)realized that I own several hundred dollars worth of needles. (The yarn stash is another matter for another post…) It made me feel quite overindulgent and financially feckless. Now, thanks to the Yarn Harlot, I feel both underprivileged AND in control. Thanks, YH! πŸ™‚

  299. You are clearly sane, because if you weren’t you’d never agree to give up some of your needles!
    Now to freak you out: I don’t own a single DPN. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Learned socks on two circs, and now use circs almost exclusively for everything, even straight knitting. I’ll bet that makes me the weird one!

  300. I learned years ago that an artist as well a workman/workwoman need the proper tools for the job. There is no substitute for the right size, length, pointiness, material for the needle for a given project. Looks like you are set.

  301. Okay..the 10th word in my post is supposed to be, “realization.” Typing after having had one’s pupils dilated at the eye doctor’s office is a bit bizarre!

  302. What fun! The knitting tools we have to work with now are a truly joyful part of the process. Why not have a diverse selection to choose from? You offer us so much, Stephanie. Surely you deserve all the needles you want/need. Thanks for sharing. Wendy

  303. Oh, my, gosh!! I am still laughing. I thought I was so bad because everytime I want to start a new project and don’t have the needles, I feel like I have to sneak to the lys to pick up a new set. I try to talk myself out of starting a new one, that I have LOTS of other stuff and if I just finished SOMETHING I would have needles. Doesn’t always work. πŸ™‚ I wonder what your stash looks like.

  304. so? your needles are organized. they are your tools. not too many. just right.
    what’s her sweater? it looks wonderful.
    thank you for this post, and all the others, too.

  305. Your needle gauge in one of the photos is unlike any i’ve seen – from teeny tiny to jumbo. I only have one gauge for small needles and I need more because I will misplace it. My lys told me, when I asked for a gauge for small needles, (I swear i’m not being oversensitive here) said, in a snotty voice, that there was no accurate gauge for sizes under 3mm, that it wasn’t physically possible and that’s why they didn’t carry them. I slunk away, duly chastened, and bought one at a fiber festival, which seems to work just fine for organizing my dpns. Ever heard of that one?
    And since it’s my birthday and I only have two sets of dpns from knitpicks, i’m going to order a set of 5, 2.00mm Signatures right now.

  306. do you want some more boye aluminum purple dpns? I only counted one set of those. they are my favorite. I’ll buy that colorway, just to have the needles, not for a project. I quit buying for a while, when they brought out pumpkin and avocado, and didn’t shine them to a high gloss.
    Glossy, purple needles are the bomb. Do you want another set? I’d be happy to send them to you.

  307. How do you survive with so few needles? You are a professional, these are the tools of your trade. I think a full set of signatures are in the stars for you.

  308. I’ve got a question for you: I have found audio versions of two of your books. Are there plans to make audio versions of your other books (and the coming one?) I listen to your books while commuting and would love to find more of them!
    I seem to recall that you have two different publishers, so maybe that’s the reason only two have been recorded?

  309. Hi Stephanie: Spent this past Saturday doing the same thing. I even made a list of what I was short. I know I buy 4:00 mm needles but they seem to disappear. Love this post. Is Natalie going to start on the yarn stash.

  310. I don’t have 26 sets of needles if I count DPNs, straights, and circulars combined! Totally using your post as justificationt to hit my LYS (maybe a thrift store or 2) this week!

  311. How can Natalie say you can’t buy any more DPNs when there are so many beautiful ones out there you might not have!? And if you already have one pair, you just might need two. Sheesh.

  312. OMG, Kathy at 11:25, if you don’t have as many DPNs for sale in your shope as Steph owns, replenish immediately! New DPNs are better than new shoes for retail therapy.
    ALMOST as good as new sock yarn.

  313. Since I have about as many books as you have knitting needles, commenting about your needle collection would be the pot calling the kettle black.
    I love the color of Natalie’s socks, though, and they look handknit. Do you know the yarn and colorway?

  314. Holy Cow Steph ! is right !!!!! Holy cow. I’ve been knitting since I was 7 and I don’t have near the needles that you possess (possession might be a light term here). Of course, I don’t pretend to have your abilities or near your experience, but holy cow !!! I want some ! haha
    I have one set of all the wee needles (dpn’s) and I have about 10 sets of various size 8 needles since I like sweaters, but otherwise, my stash of needles is not even within the same earth as yours.
    Holy Cow !!!

  315. That’s a lot of needles, but, I have to say – I love them. Especially the purple ones! Nice!! Don’t give away too many – they are all you girl!

  316. I love this post! I have never seen so many needles in my life . . . not even at a store πŸ™‚ My organizational skills are just as bad as yours. You are in good company πŸ™‚

  317. Well. I thought I had a lot of needles! I had my own vast collection, then when my grandma died, I inherited all her needles. She had been knitting every day for 50+ years, so she had quite a big collection, too. Then when my mom’s arthitis got so bad a few years ago that she could no longer knit, she gave me all HER needles, too, and she was a daily knitter for 40 or more years. Yet I continue to buy needles….some of them are just so pretty! And they call to me…

  318. Okay, great frozen pizza box episode of 2010? You can’t just drop a comment like that without explaining?
    Oh, and by the way, your post of knitting needles sent me right to ebay to buy more. Won’t mention that I bought a lovely hand made wooden box off etsy to keep my straight needles in a year ago & have yet to sort my stash of needles….

  319. Personally, I love my Circular Solution hanging organizer. Their dpn case is big enough for 10 inch straight needles too. Nice sturdy canvas that looks vintage 1950’s. Sizes in US and metric.
    I feel infinitely better about the couple duplicates I’ve accumulated in needles over the years after this post. Thank you for sharing.

  320. You have inspired me! I cleaned out my stash last night and donated 9 large bags to a shawl ministry. (Don’t panic, it wasn’t the really great yarn. I still have that!) But now I am organizing everything so I can find it each time I start a project! (of course your finishitis inspired me too so I am now doing that before startitis hits again) Thanks for your blog. You make me smile each day!

  321. Now that we’ve seen your needle collection, could you take us on a tour of your stash?

  322. Amazing — but I have another excuse (oops, reason) for multiples. Did you ever notice that not all needles labeled with the same size actually ARE the same size? INOX needles with the slippery grey coating (my most beloved needles, and they seem to be going off the market) are the worst. Even those labelled with the metric size can be off. I discovered this after giving myself fits with gauge on some socks. The solution is (surprise!) another tool! Electronic calipers can be had for about $10 US, and they are wickedly precise. So maybe you need to measure all those DPNs to be sure they are in precisely matching sets.
    You’re welcome. πŸ˜‰

  323. The wonderful thing about a collection of needles, I think, is all the stories it contains… where did those needles knit? with what? in whose hands? what special project did they make? Like memory touchstones… or is that just the hoarder in me talking?

  324. Can you keep needles together in zip lock bags? Just thinkin. You could label the bags in sizes and put DPNS all together in them. I might give this a try myself. Keep Long straights in a long tall vase and DPNS in shorter vase.

  325. I keep my straights in a large glass vase. It’s decorative and you can pretty easily look down at them and pick out the size you want. I have two actually, one for 10″ and one for 14″.

  326. I don’t think that’s too many…..I have a lot of them, too (a possible large percentage of the ones you have!!)…..and a roomful of fabric and another roomful of quilting and knitting books and another roomful of yarn. Do you wonder where my husband sits or sleeps? we don’t have a large house, either.
    I don’t do drugs, I raised three happy kids, they’ve all been or are done with college and we paid for it!! I don’t do excessive clothes/vacations….I’m HAPPY!!!!
    ps. my husband is happy, too πŸ™‚

  327. Think of all the wonderful knitting mojo that passed into those needles and is now going out into the world.

  328. I have more needles than you, Steph. And I don’t knit nearly as much. I sort of “rescued” some very big batches on eBay – mostly from England. Of course, a lot of those are 14″ which I don’t use. But, you can cut them off and put a bead on the end (glue) and make them any size you want. I shortened some to about 5 or 6 inches and they make wonderful scarf needles. Then there were all the ones I bought and all the ones I scored at thrift stores (and crochet hooks). I’m actually afraid to count mine!

  329. Stephanie, you know you are rationalizing. Stop it. Own the fact that on this one little issue you seem to have some issues of self control. Don’t try to pretend that this is normal (it’s not — trust me — you are talking to a woman who has what many would argue is an unhealthy attachment to lipsticks – but really can you ever really have too many good shades of iridescent plum? — no I don’t think so, oh but I digress). You need to woman up and grab the needles by the horn (so to speak) and clean house. After you do so, you will feel free and know that you have aided those in need. Not to mention that the next time you have more then one project on the needles, you can always pick up a new backup set. Isn’t it nice how these things always work out?

  330. My collection would assure you that you are completely sane (since I am definitely sane). I absolutely love needles and yarn. I own at least 15 sets of interchangeables–seriously, 15 (that’s not counting the DPNs, straights and circulars). If I had started with Signatures, I might not have kept going but I love all the needles and use many of them. Plus, I own them in proportion to the yarn stash!

  331. I do realize that the needles were the point of this post, but, how could you bring up something like “the great frozen box pizza episode of 2010” without telling us about it?? πŸ™‚

  332. You should just say they’re magic needles (kind of like Jack’s magic beanstalk, which grew and grew and grew), and leave it at that. Just make sure not to open those drawers if any psychologically-inclined or empowered people happen to stop by. Unless they’re knitters, they might not understand.

  333. Happy to report that I finally took the first pass at organizing my needles because of this post. I put my dpns in clear heavy plastic pencil cases and then into a binder. Each little bag has a zipper on it, so it is easy to keep everyone in line. Not too many straights to deal with, so very easy there. Circulars got put into quart size heavy duty ZipLoc bags. Once I get more pencil case/bags, I’ll relocate them. Woo hoo!

  334. Thanks for the glimpse into my future, my collection is already quite large (nowhere near yours though). Mine isn’t as well organized though, am going to have to work on that. I keep my dpns in a small cup by the couch, along with a few of my shorter circs and my notions. Seems to work pretty well for now, until I start finishing projects and needles become available, then I’m hosed.

  335. one word for sorting dpns. Micrometer. when they are on sale at Canadian Tire for about $10 to $15.
    and I thought I had too many dpns.

  336. Well, seeing all those duplicate DPNs makes me feel better about how many duplicates I’ve got. For me, it’s lots and lots of circulars – they always seem to be stuck in an abandoned project when I need some, so I buy more, and more, …

  337. I have not been knitting nearly as long as you and my needle collection is–how can I say it–pretty vast…

  338. If you would please send Natalie down to Texas, as I have the same problems with needles. It will take her slightly less time, as I have only been knitting for 7 years now. ( Please put emphasis on “slightly”!) ;>)

  339. you know – 26 sets of dpn’s are just a testimate to how many UFOs you’ve completed. Besides, I’m sure at one time you used them for teaching … I won’t bore you with how many crochet hooks I’ve got peeking out around the house.

  340. There must be something in the air because I too organized my needles. Your collection completely blows my mind away; it completely dwarfs mine, and I see why it needs to be tamed. I just organized mine so I could give my daughter-in-law a list of what I had so she would have some gift ideas.

  341. I have a great idea. You could raise money for charity. When knitters donate, you gift them with a set of your needles & yarn that you have sitting around (I know you must have SOME yarn that you’ll never use!).

  342. Our charity knitting group received a huge donation of needles and hooks (most still in their original package) from a woman whose mother was a hoarder. It was still quite a job to sort them.

  343. Congrats on the organized needles. So… if Natalie is done with yours… and like, gets bored, or something… I have a couple of drawers…. I think they might contain mismatched DPN’s… It’s just a rumor, I’m sure.

  344. Oh, Stephanie! You make me feel better about my own shoe-box of needles; bless your heart

  345. Could you please indicate where the line is? What line you ask? The one that we can line up in, in single file, to have Natalie come to our house for a bit and sort our knitting stuff. I mean, your pile of knitting stuff is impressive, but mine is coming along nicely too.
    Oh and yes, I can totally vouch for it, you DO need multiple multiples of every kind of knitting needle. Why, I once broke (!) one of the only pair of 6mm straights I had (I sat on it, no, not on the long side, don’t ask) and had to plod on with one and 2/3 needle and a couple of rubberbands wrapped around the stub end to hold the knitting on. Not funny. That won’t happen again in a hurry πŸ™‚

  346. Wow! Sorry if someone already asked/commented this but did you keep a record of how many needles you have by size/type? Although the photos speak for themselves.
    I think I would have needed a lot of tea to get through all that dpn sorting, and am inspired by the different coloured dpns…

  347. I agree with Natalie, no more buying dpn needles is necessary for you! And you might not find it necessary if you can now find them easily!

  348. I used to elastic band my dpn by size. Now I exclusively use two circulars, so I gifted away all my dpn. No more needles dropping out of stitches, hurray!
    I organize my circulars the cheap way, each size gets put into a labeled ziploc-type sandwich bag. The brand I buy has a handy white area to write on. It’s cheap and you can fit a lot of needles in one!
    I keep all of them together in a pretty bag with a needle sizer, just to double-check the size before starting a project.
    The sandwich bags also come in handy to stick a sock project in and then to slip in a purse or coat pocket for handy knitting at the movies, etc. without the bulk of a knitting bag. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I hate to leave the house now without knitting, as it seems to jinx me into having unexpected free time that I spend in regret for being ‘knittingless’.

  349. Last year I was given two huge bags of needles when friends were clearing out their elderly parents homes to add to the already excessive pile of needles I’ve been collecting for years. I’m looking forward to having a whole day to myself where I can sit on the floor and sort them out. I will be adopting the idea of using toothbrush holders to sort the DPNs … thanks for that! Brilliant!!

  350. I showed this post to my spouse, just to prove to him that it could get worse in my house. I’m also trying to sell him on the idea of hiring a “knitting assistant” to help keep the yarn in line. He’s on the fence.

  351. so this is my future ? I started knitting 5 years ago and already have quite a needle stash. I hazard a quess purchasing may taper over time, but then there’s Signatures now and then the odd purchase to start a project NOW and gosh those new needles are pretty or gosh those new needles are amazing or…you get the picture….I must prepare.

  352. GOOD LORD, STEPHANIE!!! Someone needs to get you into a 12 step program!
    You apparently aren’t aware that needles can be reused.
    Perhaps you could find a good handyman and build Joe a small garage out of them. >:-)

  353. i have a small can of dpns. this worked fine for 5 years, but now i’m running out of space in the can and a small child knocked it over last week, which made me realize what an enormous mess the can is keeping at bay. maybe i need 2 cans. πŸ˜‰

  354. I’m with Natalie…HOLY COW, STEPH! You realize you could organize a Professional Level Pick Up Sticks game with your DPNs, right? I am so flippin’ impressed with that collection.

  355. My daughter is a knitter and keeps borrowing my dpns and then I can never find a complete set when I need them myself. I have 1-2 sets in the sizes that I use. I’d love to have that many needles–then she could have her very own set! I guess I shall have to start buying more needles…although I know I’ll never catch up w/you. πŸ™‚
    So the big question is…how many sets did you end up donating and how many did you keep? And do you have a new organizational plan?

  356. I want a Natalie!! Your narration sounds like a broken record, being played at my house. I’m constantly looking for a better mousetrap to keep my needles organized. Truthfully, the first couple of pix, compared to my pile, look a little light weight (sorry)–but you totally have me beat in the DPN department!! Wow–I’m with Natalie–you may never buy another DPN. LOL

  357. I have a lot of needles – inherited my mother’s needles, my favorite aunt’s needles, my mother in law’s needles – so my needle pile is full of happy memories – then there was the box from my Father in law’s church he was helping clean out a few years ago – “just take that stuff to the dump” the priest told him but – discovering it was wool and knitting needles he saved it for me and was very pleased when I said “Gosh there must be about $200. worth of needles alone in that box!” Alas someone who obviously never knit – “organized” a lot of them with scotch tape – that residue is almost impossible to get off. I’d love to have a Natalie with a sound knowledge of chemistry to figure out how to get them smooth and clean πŸ˜‰

  358. I have been knitting (and collecting needles) for 45 years and there are still occasions where I have to go buy a set of needles for a certain project. I say you can never have to many needles
    Mine are stored in various size glass vases sorted by long straights, short straights, and dpn’s. Circs’ are in a huge empty pretzel jar.
    Hey! it works.

  359. You are completely sane, and totally justified in having all the needles you collect. Next time someone comments on the overabundance, simply reply, “What’s your point?” (pun intended.)

  360. Congratulations for having so many projects off the needles. My mom used to keep her needles in a sewing bag hanging near the basement steps. She has now moved to a drawer that used to be full of fabric. Growing up I had full access to this bag and now have a few pairs myself. I used to have a very nice inventory, but I’ve lost the ability to count them due to the fear of facing the works in progress. Just remember as a rule of thumb it would have seemed completely reasonable to buy needles in proportion to your stash. (I know, I know, stash is personal. Just keep Natalie out of it.) Buy yarn, buy needles. That’s the mantra of the traveler, which I do believe you are. Still, in the end, we must all face facts and you are to be commended for donating so many pairs to future knitters and knitters in need.
    Thanks again for making me laugh.

  361. Apologies to Waylon!
    I’ve hidden the extent, God knows, I’ve tried,
    But it’s an awful awakening in a capital ‘K’ Knitter’s life,
    To look on the floor in total surprise.
    At the 20,000 needles and the awe in Nat’s eyes.Β 
    Joseph, light of my life.
    Fate could have given you a scrapbooker wife.
    Joseph, light of my life.Β 
    Fate could have given you a scrapbooker wife.
    It’s a measure of people who don’t understand,
    The pleasures of life, stitches in hand.
    I got my first needles when I was just four,Β 
    Well I finally made forty, still wearing jeans.
    Joseph, light of my life.
    Fate could have given you a scrapbooker wife.
    Joseph, light of my life.Β 
    Fate could have given you a scrapbooker wife.
    (sung to the tune, Amanda)

  362. Oh my goodness…well I feel tons better about my little mess of needles. I totally understand how you came to have so many though. So, I am slightly not surprised, just slightly though πŸ˜‰ Love Natalie’s socks too.

  363. Aren’t friends great? I have a similar needle probl…err,…collection, and my slightly obsessive neighbour and friend sat with me and sorted them all. It did slow down needle acquisition for a while (but only for a while).

  364. After reading your post, I was inspired to skip out of work for a little bit and buy another set of DPN 2 and 3. Why work on only one sock at a time?! And of course while at the LYS had to pick up yarn on sale…

  365. Harlot…I need you…please write soon…losing my mind on the prairie! Glad we can post again…hoping to have some comic relief from you soon!

  366. But they are not all Signatures… Just saying. It might be an excuse for a purchase made impulsively when your “buy with one click” finger got the better of you.
    Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  367. I just went through this myself. I’m 54, I’ve been knitting since I was 10, and inherited needles from everyone because I’m still the only living knitter I know of in this geographical location! I’m still at the sorting, cos I don’t have an assistant; but I started to get judgemental about my OWN sanity. So I think we’re on Week Three now.

  368. The only straight needles I have (fortunately) are for giving away when I teach someone to knit. But those DPN… wow… yeah… I don’t talk about them. I keep them in the top of a plastic bin I bought that’s supposed to be for organizing wrapping paper (and let me tell you, if you have enough wrapping paper to be organized, you shouldn’t be talking about me and crazy). The bottom of that bin has circular and the needle gauge. You do what you do, some people collect golf clubs… or fishing lures, why would you need 75 yellow fishing lures?

  369. I think my reaction to this post was a bit odd. I read through it, giggled once or twice and then thought “Hey, Natalie dyed her hair! Cool.”.
    Like I said, odd. Looks good though…

  370. I went away and came back to find your post still open on my desk. So I read it again. I think I must have breezed by the part where you had 26 pairs of size 3 mm, because my brain kind of boggled. That’s a lot of pairs of mittens. The thing is, if your drawer gets messy, it’s easier to go out and buy a new pair than go find another pair isn’t it? I think I collect Size 1 (2.25 mm) and Size 7 US (4.5 mm). Six pairs of 1.5 mm needles is totally reasonable for a professional sock knitter.

  371. PeHere is what my storage method would look like for the straight needles and DPNs (from one obssesive to another, who thinks that is a totaly rational number of needles to have):
    lovely jars (or utensil crocks) for each size with a nice label on the front. Then I wouldn’t have to rummage through drawers to find what I want. It would also make it easier to put them away later. Just plunk them in the proper jar. It is much to easy just to toss things like this in the drawer not properly stowed insisting to myself I will tidy it later.
    I can see vintage vases, canning jars, coffee cans, etc as your recepticals. The difficult part will be where to put them. You are on your own there.
    I have a weakness for pens and use this method myself for them.

  372. Don’t most guys have ten sets of socket wrenches and screwdrivers they can’t live without? They’re considered manly and handy not crazy. Am I right?

  373. I still haven’t found a satisfactory solution for storing circulars. Can you show us a picture of yours and/or tell us more about it?

  374. I like to see someone has more needles than I. It is comforting.
    And a good (cost effective) method for circular needle storage is an accordian file from the office supply store.

  375. I knew that there was someone out there with more needles than I have. Never mind that the fabric, books, magazines, yarn, and craft supplies are running me out of house and home. I loved the pictures. And it makes me feel better about my own needle stash. I have bought them; inherited them; and had them given to me. You never know when you are going to need extra. My ex used to nag back when I had way less of all sewing, knitting and craft items-that’s part of why he’s an ex. And you are right, Stephanie-Natalie is NOT the boss of you!

  376. STEPH! You ARE the Yarn Harlot. You do NOT need to explain the needle situation to anyone! Not no one, nobody, nada, zilch!!! I have come to the realization that I am a yarn ho, a needle ho, a pattern ho and a project ho! And, ho, ho, ho, who cares!!!! It makes me happy! If your needles bring you joy, well then horde them!!!! I also happen to think, especially this time of year, that all fibers, and patterns and needles, too, add much needed insulation to our homes! And, as my hubby says “If you’re happy honey, then I’m happy!” Well, my hubby John and your hubby Joe ~ they must be estatic!!!!

  377. to Jan at February 7, 2011 9:25 PM
    You are not alone. My needles play tricks on me, too. Not long ago, I was looking through some of the boxes of knitting stuff in a futile attempt at organization, and I saw a pair of US 10.5 KnitPicks Options tips. Promptly forgot *which* of the seventy jillion boxes it was in. A few days after, I was working on a WIP and realized I needed that pair of US 10.5s to make the second circular for finishing the hat (the WIP in question). Could I find them??? NO! Spent DAYS looking, redefining insanity as “looking in the same place over and over, expecting different things in the same old box.” The %&*)(* 10.5 tips were playing “hide and go seek” with me!
    As I said, you are not alone. I, too, question my “sanity” on a regular basis, thanks in part to my errant knitting needles.

  378. When I inherited my grandmother’s, great aunt’s and aunt’s needles, I sorted them before they became completely integrated with my collection, and donated the “extras” to the Girl Guides through Guide House here in Ottawa. Some may have been sent off to Gambia (they had a twinning project ongoing at the time) or to another cause, others may have been given to Brownie packs or Guides to start craft projects. I also donated a whackload of old Sayelle and acrylic yarn at the same time.
    It was a great way to limit how much I stored, allowed me to keep my Grandmother’s Aeropins that had bent to conform to her hands over her 80+ years of knitting, and have the rest go to a good cause. I then sat down and made Eleanor socks for my daughter, Eleanor, on my grandmother Eleanor’s needles. I still use them to make socks regularly!

  379. That, Stephanie, is a helluva lot of needles. Makes me think to myself, “Self, you are not obsessive, check out Stephanie’s needles”.

  380. I tried to look at all the postings (more than 500), but I stopped halfway through and thought I might add my 2 cents. When I looked at the posts, pictures, and blog, I didn’t see any mention of needles smaller than 5-0. I went to an extreme once and contacted a friend who tunes pianos and begged him (his wife is a good friend) for some piano wire, so that I could make my own knitting needles. Piano wire is strong, flexible (IF you have the strength of a body builder), length adjustable (you cut with a wire cutter the length you desire), and with a diamond cut file you can round off the rough edges to smooth points. I have no idea what the guage is, but I can say that it ist much, much smaller than 4-0, which is the smallest I have purchased. Admittedly, they are considered dangerous weapons and would require special care to prevent accidental pokes. I got the idea from a web site created by the woman who knits miniatures, some of which have been used in movies like Ralph the mouse. I believe she also mentioned using thread and safety pins or sewing needles to knit with. I’m hoping to develop some sock patterns to use these extra specialized needles. My stash is loaded with 2-ply silk (100%) yarn, 10 g each, bought on eBay, which may work…

  381. Yes, you always need needles. Worst case scenario – went to that big fibre arts thing in the Toronto convention centre of some such about 10 years ago. Oodles of yarn. Bought yarn and a pattern I liked…. but only one place in ALL the kilometres of booths had needles! Fortunately had the right size… and thus my first pair of Addi turbos.
    How could they not have needles??!

  382. LOL. Just did a post about my dpn stash, and I thought I had a lot. I made needle holders for (about half) of my dpns. They work to hold stitches on too, check them out. Maybe you can get your daughter to make you hundreds of them too!

  383. I found that those little tube containers for bath beads work well for keeping my DPNs together. Granted, Steph, you would be buying a lifetime supply of bath beads, but I’m not sure that is so bad…

  384. I feel so much better now. I’ll have to keep this bookmarked to show to the hubster (or anyone else) when they ask the needle question…

  385. What a fabulous glimpse into the true life of needles! I love your sense of humor. Courage to your Natalie — a daunting task. Cheers!

  386. I bemoan the demise of the girdle simply because my mother kept her white plastic (now yellowed with age) straight needles in girdle boxes, some of which I still possess, and these boxes were PERFECT for storing straights and, of course, DPs, too. Since my two sons when small were very big on handing me their used gum wads whenever we were in public, rather spitefully I intend to leave them a mind-numbing collection of knitting needles, especially since I’m a firm believer in the partially-knit project and, thusly, acquire new circular needles with every new foray. Why waste time rooting around (unless it’s two a.m.) looking for the right size? Hell, just buy them when you buy the yarn and, if you’re uncertain which size will give you gauge, buy the size both above and below the recommended one. Knitting is serious business, so why fiddle around? Have your pattern, your yarn, and your virgin needles on hand so that whenever you feel the itch (not unlike eczema I would suppose) you’re ready and able to start, whatever the time or the circumstances.

  387. I have a sizeable needle roll which I got out when my mother-in-law was visiting. She gasped. Interpretation of gasp: “So this is what you have been wasting my son’s hard-earned money on all these years!”

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