Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring cleaning

See what happens when you go looking for stuff and dig into highly unlikely boxes just to rule them out? You find other stuff even more unlikely to be in said unlikely box:

I have no idea why I put these needles into my technology storage zone, and I had completely forgotten I'd bought them in the first place. But once I saw them I remembered why I did - it was for the cards.

This is my favourite type of knitting needle, and the kind I learned on because my mother had a few sets and loaned one to me when I started my first sweater. They're not made any more anywhere, and when they were, in the 1950s or so, I assumed they were made in Canada or possibly the UK. They're sized to the now-archaic UK/Canadian system, in any case.

Oddly enough, my mother wouldn't give me any of hers, so I had to go hunting on eBay. And then I kept getting outbid. Finally I got fed up and put up some ridiculously high amount, which won me a huge lot of mixed sizes; the seller was so horrified at the price she wouldn't let me pay for shipping. Now I can match the needle colour to the yarn for any given project, which is very handy when you want a good contrast between stitch and stick.

However, I still didn't know what the needles were called - until I saw an eBay listing for these babies. I already had all the sizes I could ever want but I just had to have them, so I bid in a crazed fashion and got them. And after I'd absorbed the information I'd been missing:

Perfecto Balanced Knitting Needles!
Made in Canada!
Canadian and American sizes given on the card though not on the top of the needle!
French and English both printed right onto the card, implying that these were made only in Canada and not in the UK at all!
Priced at 39-49 cents a pair!

...I slipped them into a plastic bag and stuffed them into the technology zone.

Sure, it's tempting to say I am absent-minded and disorganized, but isn't it nicer to think that I wanted to give myself a nice surprise some day, a gift from the younger me to the older one?


Anonymous said...

Hey, these look amazingly like my beloved charity shop ones (alas, one size, and one colour only). What are they made of? Mine are slightly rubbery (I was wondering if they might be casein?) -

Mary Keenan said...

Definitely similar, but not the same. There were a lot of plastic needles made then - they must have been hugely popular! And they are very light and smooth to be sure. They do warp though, especially in smaller sizes. I have some really teeny ones (in double-point no less) and you might as well be knitting with rubber. The Perfecto ones are solid brown at the top with the size imprinted in a circle there, and they came in only the three colours pictured above. I prefer the red or green to the yellow, which for some reason I have way more of, but the yellow is fab for showing up stitches so I try not to complain :^)