I have in my hands a curious little envelope. My mother found it when cleaning out her basement and my sister thought I should have it. Not to use, but just to own. (click on any of the pictures for larger images)
It must have belonged to my grandmother, who would have learned how to knit in the first decade of the 20th century. It’s clear, from a very little examination that it’s not in it’s original packaging, because this needle is about 15″ long, not the 24 -29″ indicated. There’s nothing on it telling when it was made. I’m guessing it was sometime before 1939 because that’s apparently when the patent for circulars with ‘flexible cables’ came out, and I wouldn’t call this a ‘flexible’ cable.
The cable is basically a fine coil of wire. The text on the back which warns not to wind the needle into a circle is hardly necessary for this length, because it won’t really do that, but I’d imagine that if it were the length on the packet it might be tempting to try it. I’m a little bit afraid to cast on to these, I imagine that they would catch yarn pretty easily, but the joins between cable and needle seem smooth enough. Still, my Addis and KnitPicks Interchangables are in no danger of being replaced by these classics any time soon.
There’s nothing on my package telling me who manufactured the needle or when. I’ve found pictures of the 1934 Boye package. The needle itself looks very similar to one sewmuchfrippery sold from her Etsy shop, labeled as “Vintage 1920′s 1930′s Circular Knitting Needle / Pin“.
I have a vague memory of reading about knitting needles like this, the ‘old style’ of cable which were basically unusable. I believe it was in “No Idle Hands” by Anne MacDonald but it’s been ages since I’ve read it, so I can’t be sure. It may have been a comment by Elizabeth Zimmerman, but I don’t think so. I wasn’t able to find very much more about the actual history of circular needles than I’ve already linked to, which is mildly disappointing. I’ll be keeping my eyes open in the future.
In Other Blogs
There’s a great series of posts on photography for yarn projects (and other objects) at Fresh Stitches: 5 Easy Photography Tips, How to Take Great Photos with White Backgrounds and Photography Resources. Anita asks what to name the baby (always a fun topic).
Blog Contests and Giveaways
I didn’t even realize there was a drawing on the FaveFitzgerald tag at Craftlit, and I won it. There’s a second drawing (enter by the 17th?) so you can win your own WWMDfK bracelet!
I didn’t win the Red Heart Yarn of the Month giveaway for March, and am not entering the April Soft Baby Steps giveaway. No official word on BluetoothToaster’s Fandom Yarn giveaway, but I’m assuming I didn’t win.