I discovered Etsy several years ago, and it became my favorite spot for buying rosaries and headcoverings. But in the past year, I'm finding myself shopping on there more and more, and I have to admit that I'm quite addicted. I love the allure of handmade items, so I purchase quite a few gifts on there (for items that I can't make myself, like jewelry, soap, belly dance veils, and patterns) not to mention the yarn, my God the yarn. In fact, I have some self-striping Valentine's yarn on its way to me right now from the lovely Laurel of Spinning Fates.
At any rate, I thought I would review my most recent Etsy acquisition, an interchangeable knitting needle case from SouthernWoolies. This is the case that I bought (all photos from SouthernWoolies):
My situation was thus: I have (ah hem) a LOT of knitting needles. I no longer buy fixed circular needles (with the exception of 16" circulars that I use to make hats) and instead have a few interchangeable sets. Ok, *several* sets. So, I have tips in different sizes, and then cords that screw into the tips so that I can make them 24", or 32", or larger, depending on what I'm making. Theoretically, this should save you money, but naturally I have mostly offset this potential cost saving measure by acquiring interchangeable tips in multiple different materials. I have a wood set, because wood needles are my very favorite. But I also have tips in metal and some in acrylic. Each interact differently with different types of yarn, so I like to have options with whichever tip I choose for an individual project. I'm a compulsive knitter, I can't help it. And I love my needles.
My metal set has it's very own case that I tote around with me, but my other needles do not. So what I did last year was head to JoAnn's to find a solution, feeling all crafty and self-sufficient. I ended up buying this large plastic bin for art supplies, dividing it up into labeled slots that would fit my tips, and happily slapping them all in there. I also had some squares that I squeezed my fixed 16" circulars into, plus the other cables. The cables weren't too happy about this, but I told them that they had to manage.
All my tips fit inside.
The cables were very unhappy and uncoiled themselves every.single.time I opened the bin.
The 16" fixed circulars rebelled regularly and stuck out all akimbo.
When I added a needle sizer to the mix the bin refused to close.
The tips rolled around in their slots and made a giant racket every time I got the bin out.
The entire shebang was gigantic and took up precious shelf space in our guest room closet.
"What's that noise? Did it start to hail outside?"
"No, Mommy just got her knitting needles down."
As you can see, the cons far outweighed the pros. And like any good overachiever, I trudged on with my crappy needle bin, resenting it more and more every time I had to wrench it out from amongst my swift, yarn winder, and guest pillows and blankets that sit atop the single shelf in the guest room closet, listen to its grating rattle, and then wedge it back in. I so long for my own "craft room," but that dream is a far, far off one, dear reader. For the time being, I'm sharing space in the single room that is the guest quarters, Mike's office, the kids play area, and our general "not sure where else to put this" space like my belly dance sword, costumes, and our DVD collection.
Finally, I couldn't take it anymore. I turned to Etsy.
Beautiful hand-sewn knitting cases abounded. I found several that I liked, but the ones featured on SouthernWoolies were my favorite, and the listing said that the tip slots were large enough to hold more than 1 set. Bingo! I ordered the fetching lime and black print that you see above.
It arrived yesterday. I immediately pounced on it, unwrapped it, and took out my awful needle bin one last time to get my tips. I slid everything inside.
I fit all of my wood and acrylic tips in, plus ALL of my 24", 32" and 40" cables (of which I have, you know, *many*). There is still more room for additional tip sizes should I acquire them. Even my needle sizer fits in with ease, along with my little tightener to screw the tips into the cables.
And the whole thing folds up, closes with a magnet, looks smashing, and is barely larger than my hand. I tell you, I never thought such a miracle was possible. My cables issued a personal thank-you, slipping into their nooks with ease and staying coiled like a dream. A flap folds down over everything so that nothing will slip out, and it sits on the shelf barely taking up any space at all. I have a small, separate pouch that I popped the 16" fixed circulars into so that they wouldn't look messy in my lovely new case, although they *would* fit if I put them in there. If I wanted, I could *easily* fit this case into my knitting bag and have all of my needle tips with me. Not only is it small, it's super light.
The seller offers iron on size labels which I didn't get (although I probably should have) and she also makes ereader covers and baby hats and bonnets. I'm very pleased with my new case. Definitely have a look at her shop if you are in the market for a handmade case, the prices are more than reasonable and my item is well made with care.
Hurray for Etsy!