Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today's 'introduction' might be a welcomed one that you didn't even know was ever an option!  I remember my 1st attempts at knitting - - my size 9 blue metal needles that were about a MILE long (i didn't realize i had any choices then) and some Lion brand Thick and Quick wool in a blue gray color.  Fortunately for me the needle size was appropriate for the yarn i chose.  it was, however strictly LUCK!  it wasn't long, however before i realized how much i enjoyed knitting and soon started exploring the 'options' out there to the knitting community.  I purchased a pair of Clover Takumi needles one day simply because i had a coupon and knitted a scarf on them ... and have been hooked ever since!  There is something simply amazing about the bamboo needles! It is a unique choice for knitting needles and knitters soon discover that there is something special about them after they use them for any length of time.  The Takumi needles have a point that is slightly tapered ... not too pointy so that it snags and separates the yarn, and not too blunt so that you have to work too hard to push the needle through the loops.

If you've ever worked with metal knitting needles you know that their slickness is a perk for some yarns . . like socks, but overall the warmth of bamboo in your hands makes for a pleasurable knitting experience.  Some knitters even boast that they can knit for longer stretches of time without feeling the wear and strain on their hand and forearm muscles.

The bamboo that Clover uses in their Takumi needles is a light yet hard wood that is polished to a beautiful patina.  The polish that is applied to each individual needle allows for the smooth and easy transition of yarn back and forth.  These ease is also noticed, basically because you DON'T notice any drag on your knitting as the process becomes almost mechanical and flowing in nature rather than the tension you sometimes experience when the needles are slippery and you are fighting to keep stitches ON the needles rather than dropping them as they slide off.

The Takumi line of Clover needles comes in Single Pointed pairs, packaged Double Pointed needles in multiple lengths as well as an entire line of circular needles in various lengths.  They ALSO have recently introduced their own line of Interchangable Circular Needles!!!  This Combo set appears to be running around $170 (Yikes!) ... but i did a bit of searching and found that has an entire set of individual circular sizes in a "travel" pack for $39.00  for the 29" length. One Christmas, ran a special and i bought an entire set for 16" for $24.00!  E-bay has also been a good friend to me and i have found some great and affordable prices there as well! (never step in the way of a knitter trying to win a huge set of Clover needles!  I once won 20+ pair of straight and circular needles in various sized and lengths by snagging a deal at the last seconds ... for less than $70)  That's right .. do the math, and you'll see that i paid less than $3.00 for each pair of needles!   And as always, those Michael's and Joanne's coupons come in so VERY handy when i need to replace a single set of needles or just 'need' another set for a different project . . .

Clover's line of circular needles has a wonderful and gentle coil .... for the most part you can use them straight out of the package rather than spend that extra time heating up water and soaking that coil so that it will relax.  Another strong selling point that i like about the circular needles is that the join on them is so VERY smooth.  When working in the round, the stitches flow as the hat grows ... and you almost take for granted just how trusting you are of your circulars .. until . . you work with a bad pair of metal ones that causes so much grief because your stitches get STUCK and then BACKLOG and then SNAG and distort because you find yourself yanking them across the join . . . or even worse .. the coil comes OFF the needle and you soon find your knitting sitting in your lap!

I guess all of the 'bad' knitting experiences have actually helped me learn to appreciate the good things when i find them .... the bamboo moments of knitting when needles and yarn and project all compliment one another and the pleasure of creating becomes the focus!  The therapeutic sensations you find when you hold those bamboo needles and the sensory recall that happens ... the 'click' of knowing you are doing it right!  And thus, you return, time and again to that favorite pair of needles because of they just feel 'right' in your hands .... it's really a simple thing . . to know that rest and respite .... much akin to the restoration i find when i seek refuge with my heavenly Father!  When i find myself fighting through the tasks of the day, trying to handle them on my own, i can easily equate it to a "sock yarn and metal needle" day!  Stitches slip, relationships snag, words fly that never should have been thought of - much less uttered!  BUT when i pick up the Bamboo warmth of my Father's gentle but firm Hand, when i sink into the consistency of His plan, i find that the events of the day flow much easier .. regardless of the yarn 'choice' of events that may occur, His love allows a peace to permeate ..... the high polish of His touch on the knots that i seem to create helps to dissipate the confusion .....and my heart soon knows the Peace that Passes all Understanding .....  and i'm sitting at His banquet table .. enjoying a Fruit Salad!   

Love   Joy  Peace
       Patience    Kindness    Goodness
                 Gentleness     Faithfulness   Self Control

The Lord is my Shepherd . . i shall not want!

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