Back in stock: needles and hooks.

Last month’s sale put a big dent in our supply of needles and hooks, but I’m happy to report that this week brought two shipments of them, bringing us as up to date as possible on our supply of those most essential tools for making stitches.

Knitters have all kinds of preferences when it comes to needles. Smooth, slippery, pointy, blunt, round or square… there are lots of choices, and we try to have a little bit of everything, knowing that these preferences differ from knitter to knitter and from project to project, depending upon what kinds of techniques or fibers are in use.

We carry a variety of circular metal needles from Skacel, including Addi Turbo, Lace, and Rockets. They reside in a chest of drawers reminiscent of a card catalog, sorted first by type and length, then by size.

We also carry Knitter’s Pride Zings, a lightweight aluminum with sharp points at a low price.

Our wooden circular needles include Knitter’s Pride Dreamz and Cubics, both made of laminated birch.

Also from Knitter’s Pride are Karbonz, a graphite needle with nickel-plated brass points.

For small circumference knitting, we also carry a wide range of double pointed needles from Knitter’s Pride and Skacel, along with Addi FlexiFlips in metal and bamboo. We also keep single point straight needles in stock, from US size 0 all the way up to 17.

For crochet hooks, we keep Knitter’s Pride Dreamz hooks in stock as well as two types of Addi hooks – straight handled and the ergonomically-designed Swing hooks.

Come by the shop for needles and hooks as well as yarn! We’ll happily talk through the options with you, helping to pinpoint which tools are right for your preferences and project. See you at the shop!

Hello, addi Bamboo FlexiFlips.

Another new kind of needle has arrived here at the shop – meet addi’s brand new Bamboo FlexiFlips!

Addi FlexiFlips offer an alternative to double points or magic loop for small-circumference knitting. They come in tubes of three 8″ needles, and the basic strategy is to divide your total stitch count in half between two needles, then knit with the empty third needle.

For some knitters, it’s far more comfortable than other methods of working in the round on small circumferences for sock- or mitten-knitting. Come by the shop to try them for yourself! We keep a sample set out so you can try before you buy.

So much in knitting is a matter of preference – no one brand or shape or type of needle is inherently better than another, but most of us develop preferences as we knit, and we try to offer tools for everyone’s tastes. The Bamboo FlexiFlips will suit those who love wooden needles, which have a less slippery surface than metal. If you find addi’s metal needles too slick and want more control over your stitches, these needles are worth a try.

Skacel and Della Q have collaborated to produce a needle case designed especially for FlexiFlips – look for them near the FlexiFlips here at our shop!

Hello, addi FlexiFlips.

We’re thrilled to have a fresh bouquet of addi FlexiFlips here at the shop! These new needles from addi offer an alternative to double points or magic loop for small-circumference knitting.

They come in tubes of three 8″ needles, and the basic strategy is to divide your total stitch count in half between two needles, then knit with the empty third needle.

FlexiFlips have been in and out of stock since their debut last fall, on account of their tremendous popularity in our shop and in yarn shops around the world. This popularity begs the question: what’s so great about these FlexiFlips?

As in so many facets of the knitting world, the answer to this question comes down to preference. I know plenty of knitters who swore off sock-knitting until they discovered magic loop, just as many who knock out sleeve after sleeve on two circulars, and still more who delight in their double points. That last group is where I reside, so for me, the FlexiFlips are fine – but I’m sticking with my DPNs, because they’re comfortable in my hands and work well for me.

What’s really great about FlexiFlips is that they offer another option for folks who aren’t crazy about any of the existing techniques for knitting small circumferences in the round. We’ve had some knitters who come in, try the FlexiFlips, and leave elated, with three sets in their shopping bag, but we’ve also had some who try them, then politely put them down, saying, “These just aren’t for me.”

Come by the shop to give them a try and see where you stand – we have some Brooklyn Tweed Arbor on the FlexiFlips for you to play with!

Needles and hooks.

Knitters have all kinds of preferences when it comes to needles. Smooth, slippery, pointy, blunt, round or square… there are lots of choices, and we try to have a little bit of everything, knowing that these preferences differ from knitter to knitter and from project to project, depending upon what kinds of techniques or fibers are in use.

This week brought two shipments of needles and hooks, bringing us as up to date as possible on our supply of those most essential tools for making stitches.

We carry a variety of metal needles from Skacel, including Addi Turbo, Lace, and Rockets. They reside in a chest of drawers reminiscent of a card catalog, sorted first by type and length, then by size.

Our wooden needles include Knitter’s Pride Naturalz and Cubics, both made of laminated birch, and some Crystal Palace bamboo needles. We also stock Knitter’s Pride Karbonz, a graphite needle with nickel-plated brass points.

For crochet hooks, we keep Knitter’s Pride Dreamz hooks in stock as well as two types of Addi hooks – straight handled and the ergonomically-designed Swing hooks.

Come by the shop for needles and hooks as well as yarn! We’ll happily talk through the options with you, helping to pinpoint which tools are right for your preferences and project. See you at the shop!

Addi FlipStix.

Addi has created a new kind of double pointed needle: meet Addi FlipStix.

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Some plant fiber yarns have a tendency to split, and for those, a blunt needle is preferable. Some stitch patterns require the precision of a sharp needle. FlipStix have a blunt Turbo point on one end and a sharp Lace point on the other, so you can flip them over to use the end that best suits your project or yarn. They’re made of high-grade aluminum, colorful and lightweight, a real change of pace from our mostly-wooden double pointed needle selection.

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We carry Addi FlipStix in 6″ length, in US sizes 0 – 10. Look for them in the double pointed needle section, along with DPNs from Knitter’s Pride, Crystal Palace, and Lantern Moon. See you at the shop!

Even more Rockets.

A couple of months ago, we ordered a few sizes and lengths of Addi’s newest circular needle, Addi Turbo Rockets.

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Lovers of metal knitting needles have always had at least two choices at the Hillsborough Yarn Shop: Addi Turbos, with their slippery finish and blunt tip, or Addi Lace, with their resin-sealed finish and sharp point. Some knitters swear by the Turbos, while others swear by the Lace, and each is appropriate for different fibers and techniques, but the Addi Turbo Rockets meet a need neither of those needles can meet: the slippery Turbo material with the sharp Lace point. When Clara Parkes described them in Knitter’s Review as “the best needles Addi has made to date,” we knew we had to try them. Anne and I have both worked with them now and loved the process, and we’re hearing rave reviews from other knitters, too. So, we ordered some more.

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Yep, that’s a box just bursting with Addi Turbo Rockets in 16″, 24″ and 32″ lengths, along with the good old Turbo and Lace needles and a selection of Addi crochet hooks. Needles and hooks may not be the most photogenic new item in the shop, but we are serious about keeping all kinds of knitting and crochet tools in stock as best we can. Have you tried the Addi Turbo Rockets yet? Let us know what you think! And if you haven’t, come by the shop and we’ll show you all the Addi varieties and help you choose the best one for your particular project or preferences. See you there!

Addi Turbo Rockets.

As I’ve written here before, knitters have all kinds of preferences when it comes to needles. Smooth, slippery, pointy, blunt, round or square… there are lots of choices, and we try to have a little bit of everything, knowing that these preferences differ from knitter to knitter and from project to project, depending upon what kinds of techniques or fibers are in use. Addi has recently produced a new kind of needle that meets a need none of our other needles have yet met. Meet Addi Turbo Rockets.

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We’ve always stocked Addi needles, first their slick Turbos, made of nickel-plated brass, and then their Turbo Lace needles, with a sharper point for precision in the trickiest knitting maneuvers. The Addi Turbo Lace needles are also made of brass, but have a resin coating that makes them a little less slippery, which is nice for keeping stitches steady on the needle, especially when using slick fibers like silk. For a long time, that has been the choice when selecting Addi needles: slick and blunt, or sticky and pointy. Addi Rockets, which are nickel-plated like Turbos and pointy like Lace, bridge the gap between the two. For a certain kind of knitter, Addi Rockets are the dreamiest of needles. In her recent post on Knitter’s Review, Clara Parkes wrote, “Addi Turbo Rockets are the best needle Addi has made to date.”

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We got a small selection of sizes and lengths to start with: for magic loop sock knitters, the Sock Rockets, which are 32″ from point to point, in sizes US 0 to 2; for anyone anxious to try a slick and pointy new needle, the Turbo Rockets, which are 24″ from point to point, in sizes US 3 to 8. Give them a try, and let us know what you think!

The circular needle filing system.

Perhaps you’ve noticed a slight change in the shop in the past two weeks. Not a huge furniture rearrangement. Not a cubby full of bright, new yarn. Not a new sweater hanging on the wall. Just a little change in the way we store and display our large collection of circular needles.

We used to keep the Addi Turbos and the Addi Lace needles in separate places–one in the first room, and one behind the desk. They were tucked out of the way because that was where we had room for them, and we’d pull out whatever size you needed when you asked us. Now they are together, the Addi Turbos and the Addi Lace, and filed carefully in labeled drawers so that you, too, can find whatever needles you may be looking for. They are arranged by length first, from smallest to largest, and then by size. Tidy, I think, and easier to access than they were previously.

It’s kind of a mundane thing, a new circular needle filing system, but Anne and I are completely delighted by it. For now, the Knitter’s Pride circulars and the Crystal Palace circulars are still near the desk in the second room of the shop, but we’ve got plans to get all our needles together soon. More furniture rearranging is ahead, as always. Just keeping you on your toes.