Update: It’s been a couple of weeks and it is working perfectly. I have started a lot of different projects in this time, and I can easily find my needles. So far the nail polish hasn’t rubbed off or damaged the yarn. I’ll update here if that ever changes.
I love my Addi Lace Clicks. They are practical in every way except one: the needles sizes wear off after one use. Between that and my DPNs seeming to fit an in-between size on my gauge tool, I was ready to find a way to instantly tell which needle is which.
I started with this hot mess:
If you think it isn’t that bad, that is only because you can’t see all of the needles hidden in the red bin on the left. The first thing I did was decide how many colour groups I wanted. I had 8 distinct colours of nail polish (more on that later), so I decided to make eight groups of needles. The trick is to group unlike sizes together. For those programmers out there: group_id = id % 8, where id is a unique identification number for each needle size. If that doesn’t make sense to you, check out the excel sheet below. I did it this way because it is immediately obvious which blue is size 1 and which is size 7. If I had grouped like sizes, I would still have to whip out the gauge tool.
Sticky notes were required to keep everything straight. And yes, I have a strange number of some sizes. I bought a large bag of unsorted DPN from Good Will. No regrets.
Once I had them grouped, I painted the tips of the DPN with a little bit of nail polish. For my circular needles and tips, I place the paint near the tapered end of the needle, next to where they join the cable. This means you won’t feel the paint as you knit. I tried to make it a light layer for the same reason.
I finally organized all of the DPNs in the case I made (which wasn’t a total success, I designed it for 6″ needles for some unknown reason) and the few straight needles I have in a cheap needle case.
The key to success is that little yellow chart which I have taped up on my Yarn Shelf.
What about those fixed circular needles and DPNs that won’t fit in that case? Well, that is a story for another day. But don’t tell me the ending; I haven’t gotten that far yet.