Saturday, August 08, 2009

Recantation about sheaths holding needles tighly

Several times I have said that the knitting sheath should hold the needle firmly.

Yet, just now I caught myself using a US00 needles in a knitting sheath bored for US1 needles. In fact, I have a whole tray of needles smaller than US1, and all my current knitting sheaths are bored for US1 or US0 needles. Yes, I knit with needles that fit very loosely in the knitting sheath a good deal of the time.

Well, I put a lot of effort in to learning to do that. And, I find that students have a lot of trouble if the needle does not fit firmly into the knit sheath.

I still think that learning to use a knitting sheath is much easier if the needle is held snuggly. It is not necessary, but it is easier. And, it is more important for gansey needles where there is a spring load on the connection between the needle and the sheath.


Luni said...

I just saw your needles mentioned in the fall Interweave Knits. Congrats on that!

Anonymous said...

Have you come across a method where the fit of a sheath is adjustable? Is there some kind of substance that can be used to fill the hole such that needles of different sizes can be used?

=Tamar said...

Thanks for that information. I'd been wondering whether I had to make
a dozen sheaths or could get by
with fewer, if I turned to your
system completely.

Kata said...


I´m curious about knitting with a sheath. I use the continental style - would I have any help from using a sheath? I do mostly socks and stockings at the moment.

Katarina from Espoo, Finland

landgirl said...

Hello, I found your site through links to I am an American ex pat living in the north of Scotland. I knit and have an interest in ganseys--both history and technique. Your blog is a great source of information. Thanks.

Aaron said...

I have seen several sets of knitting sheaths with adapters for different needle sizes. I am thinking about doing something similar but have not gotten to it yet.

A bit of warm wax or "hot glue" can be pushed down the needle hole (with a warm needle.) Or, a bit of fiber (horse hair, combed top, or waste yarn)can be pushed into the hole.

Or you can just learn to knit with the needle loose in the hole :)

Aaron said...

How many knitting sheaths do you need? I can live very happily with just one. I do most of my knitting on #1 needles, and most of the rest on #0 or #00; and can work very well with those needles in a knitting sheath bored for #1 needles.

Aaron said...

Knitting style does not matter.

A knitting sheath gives you leverage to make knitting easier.

While I have focused on ganseys, Rutt's souce on info about knitting sheaths and the terrible knitters of Dent was proud of the lace that she knit with her knitting sheath.