Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments about the shawl. I hope Charletta gets lots of use and comfort from it as she is moving back to the US after two years in the UK, getting married, moving to Chicago and finding a job. That's a chunk of life changing events all at once.
In preparation for going travelling, Chris has been trying to tidy up the flat. Chris is very good at not hoarding, which is understandable as he is the chief packer and mover/tidier. I am not very good at letting go and have a high threshold for mess around the house. Mess affects Chris's ability to function and more than once I've come home to find my knitting all tidied away (no dropped stitches!). I do like having my knitting tidy, though, so on Monday I announced we would tidy up ready for packing. Really, though, I wanted to properly examine the gift of needles I received last August. My sister's boyfriend's stepmother wanted to clear out her mother's needle and yarn stash. I had a good look (and trying on) of the yarn here but hadn't really looked at the needles except to note that there are many sock needles.
Here's how things looked after some preliminary sorting. Crochet hooks on the left, straight pins at the top, sock needles as the focus. I struggle to use straight pins now so I try to use dpns or circulars as much as possible. With this in mind, I'll send the straights to my mum and sister to see if they'd like any. Several dpns were discarded due to bentness but most were in good condition and came in the cutest packets.
I've never seen this vintage packets before and as far as I'm concerned, all dpns should come in these little cardboard packets. Funnily enough, Ysolda mentions them today. The smallest needles I had before were 2.5mm and now I have 2.25mm, 2mm and some smaller ones which I don't have a gauge for! There were some duplicate sets but due to the bentness mentioned earlier I think I kept most of the small needles. There were larger sets which I won't need so I'll be sending them down to my mum and sister aswell.
Here is my dpn needle collection, sitting neatly in a tissue box, which I think belonged to Chris's mum. The coloured plastic ones at the top only have three of each so I thought I'd hold onto them for teaching children. My circular needles fit on top so the only extra sets I have are 12mm and 20mm jumbo needles. I think these are superflous now - there are plenty of chair legs around I could knit with! I didn't get much further with tidying up though because this took ages so I have a lot more to do.