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Drat My Bizarre, Metal-Eating Body Chemistry!

How’s that for a title?  ;o)

I bought a set of interchangeable knitting needles from Tuesday Morning several months back.  (Just checked.  It’s been nearly a year.)  They are nickel-plated, Boye “Artisan” line.  I had some qualms about the nickel-plating, because I’ve had trouble in the past with nickel-plated embroidery needles.  (The nickel wears off.)  Well, it was a good price, and I hoped the coating of the knitting needles would be better than those cheap embroidery needles.  Worth a try.

I’ve been using them now and then.  I don’t knit that much, but still, they’ve gotten some use.

Right now, the Frosting cowl is on the size 9’s– and this evening, I noticed that the surface of one of the needles is “cloudy” (the best word I can think of to describe it).  The other needle might be slightly cloudy, too, but the one is much more noticeable.  It’s mostly on the “back” part of the needle, away from the tip, and the bit of metal on the cable seems unaffected.  So strange!  So frustrating!

(One good thing is that– knock on wood!– at least my hands don’t seem to be reacting to the nickel.  Some people get green or black marks or even skin irritation from their nickel-plated needles.)

I’m afraid this is the beginning of an inevitable wearing away of the nickel-plating.  No way of knowing how long that would take.  It might be a while before they start to turn really dark and smell like metal.  And of course one size of needle might be affected long before another shows signs of wear.  Or maybe I’m over-reacting, and it will turn out to just stay cloudy, with no other change.  I’m skeptical, though…

Oh well.  I guess it was still worth a try.  I do know one thing, though.  I will never buy another set of nickel-plated knitting needles, no matter the sale!  I still have my trusty aluminum needles, and they’re fine, but I liked the smoothness of the nickel.  Also, the manufactured 40″ cables (Knit Picks Options cables, which are compatible with the nickel needles but not the aluminum) are nicer than the “hacked” cables we made for the aluminum Boye needle set.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the finish of those nickel needles, and in the meantime, I’m researching other knitting needles.  I wonder if stainless steel needles would react to my weird body chemistry…  Hiya Hiya has some nice-looking ones.  Fixed-cabled needles with long cables (40″, maybe) in just a few of the most useful (to me) sizes… (I mostly seem to knit using magic loop, so 40″ would work for just about anything I can see myself knitting.)  They come in standard and “sharp”, which might be nice to try with lace…

Needs more research, though, and for now, what I have should work. It’s just disappointing that these seem to be “acting up”. 


I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

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