When I was five or six years old my mother's Swiss college roommate came to visit in our home for a while. During that time she taught my brother and I how to knit. This was great to learn but soon after she moved on my mother's heavy responsibilities as a farm wife made it almost impossible to keep up the knitting finger training so I did not knit again until I was in 4-H. As an early teenager I learned to crochet then picked up knitting again....making a purple and white striped stocking cap with a tassel which hat was nearly 30 inches long.
Fast forward to young married life. I picked up needles again and made, first project, assisted by an elderly mother/daughter pair at our church, a pair of worsted weight orange cabled "stockings" as Catherine and Florence called them. I do think Dear One wore them once, or maybe twice. Sizing was off. Color was off. He was a kind man even back then and did not turn up his nose at my ill-advised efforts.
Over the years I have gotten excited about blankets, about sweaters, especially cabled or Fair Isle, about socks, about Magic Loop, about Two Socks on Two Circs, about KnitPicks.com, about Ravelry.com, about spinning, about weaving, about skirting fleeces, about natural dyeing, about hand carding fiber. So many things. Each time I became excited about something new, if I had the means, I purchased the equipment.
At this time I have many many knitting needles in so many sizes. So many crochet hooks. A loom (gift from my dear aunt who recently deceased). Two spinning wheels, one a gift from a dear knitting friend who died several years ago but with whom I spent years knitting every Thursday afternoon, and the other wheel that my husband saw at a yard sale and encouraged me to investigate.
Now to the point of this message. Looking back over my fiberly goodness life, and my over-"stuffed" needle satchels, if I had it to do over again, I would buy one 16-inch and one 24-inch circular needle in matching sizes most likely in bamboo or wood until I was very sure of the knitting process then would get the same in slippery metal needles, and only as they were called for in a particular pattern. I do NOT NEED fifty or more needle sets. Almost never do I need longer than 24-inch needles. If I did I would probably purchase a second 24-inch needle and put rubber bands on one end of each set and use them for very long needles.
This would have saved me hundreds of dollars over my lifetime and helped me become organized sooner. Currently the design for a circular storage container has been going through my brain. If it comes to fruition, I will post a picture and instructions.