Needles in a Haystack

I’m not going to pledge to make all of my gifts this year – I do, after all, have a status-conscious 14 year old brother – but I am hoping to make the majority of my gifts for the myriad babies, birthdays, and holidays between now and the end of the year. To that end, I’ve started a list, and have been trying to pick up supplies here and there. Thus the subject of this post: my quest for size 4 circular needles with a 16 inch cable.

I have an interchangeable needle set that I love, but the shortest cable is 24″. I wish I’d realized how big of an issue this was going to be when I picked this set out, but that’s neither here nor there, and I’ve gotten a good amount of use out of the needles since the holidays, so let’s stop with the complaining on that front. ANYWAY.

My first stop on my yarn store adventure was the Yarn Sellar, a new-to-me knitting store on Riverside in Rockford. The store was packed full of gorgeous yarns and fun projects, and the owner was happy to chat with me about mutual acquaintances (yes, even after 7 years away from Rockford this happens on a regular basis) and my nascent knitting obsession.  No size 4s with the right cable, though.  9″ or 29″ cables were on offer, neither of which would really work.  I left with some lovely yarn (and a discount thanks to viewing their Yelp page), but no needles.

Next stop: Unique Yarns, amusingly (to me) located in the former Computer Renaissance location at Edgebrook.  I think the last time I was in that particular shopfront was in 1998, when I was first dating my ex and still working at Wonderland myself.  It’s a fantastic space for a yarn store – lots of room for a work table, comfy chairs, and a room for classes – plus loads of yarn, of course.  I had been warned that their prices – and merchandise, to some extent – was higher end, but I was mostly excited to see batts and skeins of yarn from local sheep and alpaca farms!  I bought a skein of yarn from Alpacas de Rio Rosa – specifically from alpaca # 30334489, aka Rocky.  Thanks, Rocky!  Unique Yarns DID have bamboo size 4s with the right cable, but the price was a bit steep, so (figuring they were cheaper, which they almost always are) I asked for a set of metal ones and paid without looking at the price.

As it turns out, the price was easily double what I would’ve paid elsewhere, and about 30% more than the bamboo needles.  I shrugged it off – “At least I’m supporting a local business!” – then, when I continued to suffer from buyer’s remorse, asked my mom to return the needles when next she’s at Edgebrook.

Which brings me to tonight’s venture: JoAnn Fabrics.  The only size 4 circulars had a 29″ cable.  Not wanting to make another trip, I just picked up a set of size 4 DPNs for half the price of the needles Mom is returning.  DPNs still make me anxious, but I’m trying to get over it.

And then I got home and discovered that I already had a set of size 4 DPNs.