I bought most of the knitting needles I own around the same time, and it seems that they are all going kaput around the same time too.
The interchangeable needles are having this problem:
So I decided it was time for a replacement/upgrade. The same package that brought me a turkish spindle also had this in it:
A shiny new set of HiyaHiya interchangeable circs. I was eager to dive into the project on the broken needle shown above, but as I’m away from home this summer, I didn’t have my needle sizer to figure out what I was knitting on. (In retrospect, I could have just checked my Ravelry project page, but that would have been the easy solution so of course I didn’t think of it.)
What to do? I took some white string (actually some white single I spun a while back and use as a leader yarn on my spindle), wrapped it around the broken needle, and drew a line with a pen.
The pen marks will only line up around another needle if it’s the same diameter as the original.
This idea is related to an ancient form of cryptography called a scytale. People would send secret messages by wrapping the notes around a stick of a certain diameter; only those with a stick of the same diameter could read the message.
I think this is the first time my academic research has informed my knitting – I’m tickled!