Here it is, a picture initially perhaps confusing but hardly alarming. A couple of worms — one transparent and thus nearly invisible — next to the same old boring bit of knitting…

But wait? Is that — a ladder?

It is. Because the worms you see are not worms. They are the broken ends of my knitting needle. One of my ancient needles actually broke while I was knitting. And when I disentangled all the stitches from it and replaced them on a newer size 3 circular, I dropped one. And by the time I got back to it in the course of knitting, it had laddered.

Fear not. I picked the stitch up with a crochet hook — always better if you have a ladder rather than just a dropped stitch — and put it onto a safety pin to hold it till I got back to it in the course of knitting, and now all is well.

More or less. My needle is still broken. It was one of those with aluminum tips and a nylon cable, and the tip simply removed itself from the cable. It is a wonder that I have not had this happen before. Some of my knitting needles pre-date plastic, and most of them are old enough to class as antiques.  But I have never had a needle break before, so I just kept knitting along, wondering what was wrong. I expect you can imagine what happens if you keep knitting with a tip that is not actually attached to a cable. You would probably have caught on before I did.

Brooklyn’s sleeve is now on another #3 needle. One advantage of having lots of needles is that a little contretemps like this is just little — I didn’t have to put it on something else till I could get to the knitting shop or anything. This new needle is a modern one, made all in one piece. I bought it last year for reasons that now escape me. I haven’t used it much, so it is stiff and doesn’t respond as well as the ones that have been knitting for 60 or 70- years.

Yes, my knitting needles are mostly much older than I am, and have been knitting for considerably longer.

Anyway, I would not normally switch needles in the middle of a project, for fear that some little difference would affect my gauge. But since I have switched perforce, I will be interested to see whether it actually makes any difference to the experience, if not the gauge.