When I was first knitting I made one project at a time and I never had any yarn left over, so the only thing that accumulated was needles. I'd buy the ones specified in the pattern, since I never seemed to have what was called for. Naturally, I never thought to check my gauge (because it was the 80s and it was actually a good thing if your sweater was three sizes too big.)
(Come to think of it, not checking gauge may be why I stopped knitting in the 90s, when things got more fitted... h'mmmm.)
Even after I stopped knitting I still hunted eBay and charity shops for my favourite vintage needles, some of which made it into the photographs for the knitting needle organization project I did last year. Note that casual use of the word 'some'.
I have a lot of needles.
But I've come to realize over the past year that the only needles I reach for are my wooden dpns - especially the KnitPicks Harmony Wood ones - and my Addi fixed circulars. So doesn't it make sense, now that I'm knitting so much and even making patterns and never being able to use the sizes indicated in a pattern, but instead having to swatch two or three different needle sizes to get gauge, that I should have some of those in every size and in all the lengths I'm likely to need?
I know you're all nodding and saying of course, Mary! Why even ask?
So you can understand why I put needles on my list before I went to the Frolic, because sometimes at a big yarn event it's possible to find Addis a bit on sale, which matters because they're usually close to $20 each.
You will also probably understand why I went a little berserko when I found an enormous selection priced at $12 each:
Yes, that's a lot of yarn right there that didn't get bought - and I still managed not to have the size I needed to get gauge for a vest with my new Viola Fancy Lace.
Fortunately I do have a lovely 2.25 lace tip fixed circular that makes a lovely stitch size, and a giant book of Haapsalu patterns, so I can still get my mitts on the Viola pretty soon. Whew!