Needles, needles everywhere...

...but never the needles I need!

How is it that I can have so many sets of knitting needles (straight, DPNs and circulars), yet each project seems to require needles I don't have? I have the same problem with crochet hooks.
Seriously, I have the entire drawer of one end table crammed with my good needles and hooks, while another drawer holds old needles - some mis-matched, most aluminum (I hate the sound aluminum needles make when they cross). The first time my sister-in-law saw what was in the end table drawer, she said now she knows right where to find the good stuff.

When I chose my latest project - the Cushy Smocked Throw from Patons Love Your Home pattern book - I assumed I would have whatever needles it required.

The box arrived, filled with a dozen skeins of Patons Decor in the gorgeous new shade "Mandarin," and the pattern book. I couldn't wait to cast on, then noticed the pattern uses 36" size 7 circulars. I did the gauge swatch on 8s, thinking gauge wouldn't matter too much with an afghan, but the swatch was half an inch larger in each direction. That's and extra inch for every 8 inches of width, which would really add up on such a wide piece. Fearing those extra five or six inches of width would alter the super cool "smocked" effect, I bought more needles. (I realized I didn't have any size 7 DPNs, so I bought those, too.)

This leads me to wonder: How do you manage your needles? Did you splurge for a complete set? Do you have interchangeable circulars? (If so, do they every come apart during use?)



I keep all my circulars in two three ring binders in these cool plastic pouches that I found at the office supply store (here is an example ) Then used a labeller to mark what sizes are in what pouches. Keeps them neat, tidy and right where I need them.