My next present — well, I bought these, so it’s not a present, unless it can be a present from myself to me — was a couple of sets of dpns from Blue Sky Alpaca.

I rarely use straight needles. Circular neeedles work perfectly well for flat knitting, and you don’t have the problems of poking people with your sharp sticks or of losing stitches off the ends. They’re easier to carry, too, and you never lose one.

I like sleeve needles (circular needles of 12″ or so) for small projects and of course for knitting small things in the round. Socks, stuff like that.

However, you can’t get a toe closed off with a sleeve needle, nor finish off a cap or a tam. So you must also have dpns.

I had the good fortune to inherit a wonderful collection of needles from my grandmother, but she was a sweater knitter, almost exclusively. She used large circulars for the bodies and sleeve needles for the sleeves.She had very few dpns.

DPNs are easy to lose and if they’re bamboo, they can also break. That means that I have to buy new ones now and again.

In preparation for my Christmas knitting, I bought a couple of sets of dpns.

These are not ordinary knitting needles, though.

Well, yeah of course they are. They wouldn’t be much use if they weren’t. They are, however, presented with great specialness.

First, they’re made of special woods. The folks at Blue Sky wrap five of them (good, for me, because I use five — many people only use four at a time, so I guess they get an extra) in brown tissue paper. Then they’re packaged in marvelous tins.

Each tin has a slide-off lid with wee alpacas on it. The lids are closed and sealed with special tape. There is no reason for this, as far as I can see. It just makes them more special. The tins are also clearly labeled with the size of your needles, which is super handy.

The tins I ordered from FabulousYarn.com were wrapped in more tissue and closed up with a sticker and sent in present-worthy packaging. Lovely, aren’t they?

I bought 2s and 5s. While I like 0s for socks, 2s and 5s are the most generally useful. In this case, “most generally useful” matters a lot because these are seriously pricey needles.

You can buy dpns for $5 or less. Most of the ones I buy run $15 or so — I believe that it’s worth investing in your tools.

These are $28 a box. Definitely present territory.

I’m paying for the experience. Not just the experience of unwrapping them like a gift, of course. It’s the experience of having these beauties in my knitting bag and knowing, every time I use them, that my knitting — and I — are worth the investment.

But the extra 14 cents and 15 minutes the Fabulous Yarn people put into sending them on to me definitely made a difference to my experience. It’ll make me more likely to shop with them again.

I want our clients to feel this way about us — not that we’re that pricey, but I want us to be a luxurious experience for our customers.

I’ll let you know how these little works of art knit.