If you’re Rhinebeck-bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night–details here.

The Seven Deadly Vintage Knitting Needles

Dear Ann,
So last week Cara calls me up. I get the warm ‘Dude!’ greeting that always takes 10 years off my age, and an invitation to come help pack Spin Out prizes on Monday. ‘Dude!’ I said, ‘I’m so there!’ I mean, really dude, after the month I’ve been through, if I can’t pack and unpack a box, I don’t know who can. I can dump out a box, pack the contents in another box, put the box in a stack of boxes, and forget about what’s inside better and faster than any other dude.
I was not worried about the Sin of Covetousness. There would not be any whimsical printed fabrics there. I don’t spin, and I’m allergic to wool. I can look at 8 ounces of your Corleydale, your Wensleydale–any of your damn dales–and it’s all sheep to me. I pack it right up and send it off to a perfect stranger, no regrets. Have fun with that, you spinning nutcase, you. God Bless!
So Cara and her Ann pick me up at Penn Station. We zoomed in style to New Jersey, took in the sights of See Caucus, and set to work.
I was thrilled– thrilled I tell you! — with Cara’s Packing-Tape Tool. Dude, I am so going to Staples today to get one. It rocks! This thing will change your packing experience forever.
So we packed colorful braided rovings and big batts of what I suspected was fiberglas insulation (but whatever), and everything was pretty much sin-free until Ann and I saw the Vintage Needle Set in Bakelite case (scroll down to Prize #3, if you are strong enough). This is the most awesomest prize I’ve ever seen (including the Booker Prize, the Stanley Cup, and the Nobel Prize). A complete set of vintage faux tortoiseshell (tortoise-safe!) needles, in perfect condition, starting with size ZERO, lovingly culled from many eBay sales and reunited in a circa 1940 Bakelite case that says ‘KNITTING NEEDLES’ and has a needle sizer drilled into the lid. Could you die? Could you swoon? Could you gnaw off a limb from sheer envy?
Could you wrestle a mother of two over it? Don’t be fooled by the perfect hair. Ann is a no-mess lady. She totally kicked my butt, no problem. (Yes there was hairpulling. “Not the highlights!” I screamed, to no avail.)
Honestly, we DID mail the needle set to the winner. We lit a candle and prayed that the winner is deserving of the stewardship of a National Treasure, keened and ululated for a few minutes, and moved on.
Later we noticed that Ann was hoarding other tidbits, like one of these these fabby Knit Big t-shirts donated by our favorite publisher, who happens to be Amy and Jillian’s favorite publisher.
Experienced perp that she is, Ann has perfected the Who Me I Would Never Stick Knitting Needles In My Shirt look.
My law enforcement background came to the fore.
Anyway, it was great fun. I still can’t believe Cara and Ann’s little Spin Out idea raised such a huge pile of moola for Heifer International. Can you imagine what the prizes will be next year?
Me, I’m haunting eBay for faux tortoiseshell and Bakelite.




  1. What fun!!! And those needles are awesome! Welcome back…. any pictures of your quilts?


  3. While that needle set is beyond awesome, I would still rather win the Nobel Prize. Just sayin’.
    Tho’ mebbe I’m just sayin’ that because I didn’t win the needle set. Sour grapes and all that.
    And dude, I’m so emailing the link of you-all’s chick-fight to Ian. He lives for moments like that.
    Sad, really.

  4. I KNOW. I saw those vintage needles and Lust nad Greed and Covetousness entered my heart. It was Very Bad.
    However – iffen you haven’t been to staples I will happily send you a tape gun, as we have approximately 11 here at work and only need two.

  5. Oh, if only… I would have loved to have been there to “help.” There would definitely have been a melee.

  6. can you hear me screaming with laughter out here at exit 51?

  7. Lol! you may want to give sit & knit of new buffalo michigan a call – I’ve seen some there before (they have TONS of vintage needles). I’ve always had problems resisting the faux tortoise myself.

  8. I’m going to have to double check with the proper authorities, Kay but I think your not swiping that case of needles earns you a plenary indulgence…or at least a trip to the Purl Patchwork Japanese blues aisle guilt-free.

  9. I knew you guys were having a blast yesterday while I was slaving away at work. Jealous, jealous, jealous.

  10. You guys and your antics – I love it. I miss you all and I’m so happy to see so much fun in yer hood.

  11. Ya shoulda headbutted her!

  12. I cannot believe you mailed those needles out. I’m seriously concerned about your focus.

  13. That Ann! Always up to no good. She has tried to blame me for tons of shattered glass in her house. And toilet paper roll reversals. Da’ nerv!

  14. Nice to hear your voice, Kay. I was present when a set of faux tortoise sock needles found a new home, for some paltry donation to a charity. You know, they’d just snap if you used them, so you’re better off without the temptation. Right??

  15. That looks like a blast.

  16. I guess you & Cara forgot to tell Ann that she was supposed to wear a black shirt?
    What fun to ba able to pack up all those goodies!
    I love the pictures in this post! Such expression!

  17. I love it when Cara calls me Dude, too…for the same reason;-)
    Ann and Cara know how to put on a party but this must be the best yet.

  18. LMAO! Great post, Kay! Can’t wait to get my Knit Big shirt. Thanks for helping with the prizes. That’s a big job!

  19. So glad you’re back – and with such a delightful post. I was worried for awhile that I would have to fly out to New York and help with the unpacking to free up some blog time. I was in Boston a week ago – it could have worked. I know what you’re thinking, sure, tell a person now.

  20. I love how you and Cara are wearing team outfits. But SOMEBODY didn’t call Ann!!!

  21. Great! Now I’ll never win an eBay auction for funky plastic needles. EVERYONE will be bidding. First I can’t get any Peaches ‘N Cream at my local Wal-Mart and now this! Whatever will I do with all the money you are now saving me!

  22. Ok Gotta have those needles – just gotta. Going to ebay- there may be a bidding war if I find them.

  23. I’m screaming over the box! Have you all seen Wooly Thoughts’ collection of vintage needle gauges? Check it out: http://www.woollythoughts.com/gauges/index.html

  24. Dude. There’s packing going on on the LES! It’s safe, too, the pretty fabrics are already boxed up.

  25. What a fun party! And to think the inimitable Kay may have touched the prize I won!!!! Now I’ll love it even more because you three had such a fun pack-n-send party. #7 is mine, and I swooned over all the prizes–the needles too!

  26. Oh where are the faux tortoiseshell and Bakelite?? We wanna see! And you girls were having way way too much fun! Looked like a blast!

  27. I promise I will give those wonderful needles and case a good home. I will cherish them forever. I will build them a shrine and make offerings of colorful handpainted wool. I will (sometimes) abandon knitting socks on two circs so I can use them. I will show them off to my knitting friends at every opportunity. I will put them in my safe if I have to leave town. I will be anxiously waiting for the mailwoman — I hope she isn’t a knitter and/reader of this blog!!

  28. Your blog is fantastic – makes me smile and giggle – what fun you all look like you’re having!! I love the t-shirt! GO BIG GIRLS!! WOO HOO!

  29. You girls are so cute! I wanted to let you know that I just finished my first Buttonhole Bag. It is the cutest little thing! Thanks for the pattern! You can see it over at my blog…I’ve started knitting another one…


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