Monday, July 20, 2009

I am Complete

I feel like I've been firing on 3 pistons the past few weeks - I've been missing 2 of my favorite tools, and I've been bereft.

Somewhere in my ramblings around St. Paul I lost a knitting needle. Not just any needle, but one of my size 9 stilleto-point Signature needles. My beautiful, shiny, size 9 purple needle...

I had not realized quite how addicted I'd become to these needles until I tried to finish my current project with my old needles.

I'm working on the Black Prince Mini Dress, which is chock full of twisted stitches as part of the jacquard stitch pattern, and NO needle will twist a stitch as well as my Signatures.

They're pricey, that's the down side. They're metal, which is not everyone's cup of tea. But aside from those two points, they're the best needles I've ever used.

So I wrote to my friends at Signature (they've become my friends, I'm VERY lucky) and - feeling my intense pain - they sent a replacement 14" size 9 stiletto in the next mail.

And I finished the dress, so quickly my head was spinning!

Sometimes I hesitate to write much about friends' businesses because even though I don't have a financial affiliation, I do have an emotional connection - an investment - in my friends doing well.

So I make obtuse mention of Signature needles, but don't come right out and say, TRY THESE NEEDLES!

Realizing what a difference they made in my knitting when I lost one has encouraged me to toot their horn, though!

I'd always used Inox needles, which I also love, because I love a long, metal needle. I'm odd that way - I realize that many folks like softer, warmer wooden needles. But I wear those out in one project (seriously) so I stick to my metals and knit like the wind!

But the points on the Signatures are so far superior to anything I've found on any other needle.

I write this knowing that each knitter is different, and some folks prefer a blunter tip - we all have our unique likes and dislikes.

Happily, Signature offers 3 tips; blunt, middy and stilleto. I'm a stiletto girl, and it's as close as I'll ever get to 4" heels.

If you're at an event where the Signature folks have a booth, PLEASE give these needle a try! Or if you take a class with me, I'm happy to lend mine out during class so folks can see what they're like.

Block Head
I like to steam block; it's faster, easier, and it works as well as any other blocking method I've used. Better than some! It's true there are some fibers that require care when dealing with heat, but if one is circumspect, anything can be steam blocked.

But my Scunci steamer - my favorite (and I've tried a few) had met with an accident. I dropped it. Many times. And after much abuse the bottom was coming off and it wasn't steaming anymore.

So with regret I put it aside (in the trash) and turned to the internets for a new one. And I found a BLUE ONE!! YAY! I love blue!

So now with my new (used) Scunci and my replacement Signature, I'm ready to knit and block myself into oblivion - hooray!
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posted by Annie at


Blogger shortoldlady said...

I agree whole heartedly about the Signature needles! IMHO they are well worth the $! I have a complete set of 10" and 14" stiletto points. Just another satisfied customer who wished they made circulars too!!

July 20, 2009 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Signature needles intrigue me, as sharp metal needles suit me perfectly. So far I've been pleased with Knit Picks dps and interchangeable circs, but there's always a place for a nice straight.

I'd love to see you demonstrate your Scunci too. I've been using a tailor-type garment steamer and can't picture how to use that little handheld item.

The Black Prince is looking magnificent. Thanks too for your earlier tip about twisting stitches as necessary to make the purl brocade texture really stand out. That will help many a project!

Looking forward to the book,

July 20, 2009 11:16 AM  
Blogger kmkat said...

As soon as the Signature folks come out with circular needles I will buy some. I'm a circ gal from way back. But I love that a knitter (the Signature founder) had a way to manufacture needles, and I love that you promote them!

July 20, 2009 9:56 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Although I've never tried Signature needles (I promise I'll buy a set now that you've told us about them), there's nothing like a good ol' fashioned metal knitting needle.

The wooden ones break so easily when you sit on them, or step on them or the dogs get hold of them and chew them, or you leave them in the sun after knitting in the garden and they either dry out to the point of brittleness and splintering, or you water the needles when you water the garden and they warp. Metal always seems to survive. Always.

July 21, 2009 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

I have only one set of Signature Arts needles--US 8 14" stilletto points. And I love them! I decided to get them after wearing out 2 cheap sets of aluminum needles in that size, and these are still in pristine condition after well over a year. I haven't tried a Scunci--but I use a small travel garment steamer sometimes.

July 21, 2009 8:07 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

As I recall you gifted one of these to Laurie (CrazyAuntPurl) a few years ago and I thought about getting one then. Maybe I'll look for one (used) as the idea of wet blocking the stole I'm trying to finish is daunting with all the rain we've been having. It'll never dry in this humidity (New England 2009 - no summer, just cool rain).

I knit in a rocker or the corner of the loveseat so use circs exclusively. And the cats used to really bat at my needles...

It seems to me that inserting the blocking wires and then steaming would be easier than inserting blocking wires into a wet 66" stole.

July 21, 2009 9:27 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I clicked on the links and only got ads. Weird. I'll open another window and check out the steamer. I have about an hour's worth of knitting to do on a sweater in [mostly] Malabrigo, and one of my knitting friends recommended steaming over wet-blocking. Thank you!

July 21, 2009 10:02 PM  
Blogger evie said...

I bought a pair of Signature needles for my sister and she loves them. I am looking forward to building a set of my own.

July 22, 2009 1:24 AM  
Anonymous Deborah Robson said...

I knit loosely. It's a challenge to find appropriate needles.

I keep thinking a set of Signatures would be nice. I wish they'd make 1.5 and 1.75mm. . . . They do go down to 2.0mm in the DPNs, but not in the straights (2.25 is the smallest there).

Unfortunately, I suspect the market for the tiny needles is not very large. Just me and about three other people.

July 22, 2009 8:49 PM  
Blogger TutleyMutley said...

I love long straight metal knitting needles: apparently I'm a 'pit knitter'!
I've been using 'atan' needles - french knitting needles that I don't think you can buy any more that came in a wonderful array of colours. I think these signatures you recommend might be a worthy successor - and maybe even an improvement as the atans could have been pointier! Thanks for the recommendation.

July 23, 2009 11:46 AM  
Blogger Milly said...

Thanks for the tip on steam blocking. I had thought of trying that but was a little leary. Now I am definately going to give it a try!

July 25, 2009 7:20 AM  
Blogger knitncycle said...

I'll have to give the Signature needles a try. I remember quite some time ago you recommended the Scunci. I promptly bought it and have found it to be the best thing ever for blocking.

July 25, 2009 9:10 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Signature Needles are one of the vendors I'm looking forward to most at Sock Summit--I bought a short pair for myself for Christmas last year, and now I'd like at least one more pair. They're great for lace!

July 26, 2009 7:33 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I'm with you 100% on the Signature Needles - I consider myself very lucky to have quite a few pairs of straights and sets of DPN's - I love them all - so looking forward to the circular needles - and like you, I'm a stiletto girl - they are the best tips in the world :-)

July 28, 2009 2:19 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

completely agree! i LOVE LOVE LOVE signature needles!! we were given a few pair for inspiration when we developed their sock colors and i was so very very sad they belong to beth and not me. i never wanted to knit with anything else again. now i sit here knitting something with a lot of k2togs and cursing every non stiletto stitch :-(

July 29, 2009 9:03 PM  

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