I should amend my title. The 'this' the sweet needles are made of would be plastic (shock + awe), and there are no backhanded compliments anywhere in their construction. They're freaky sizes, but the Denises knit like a dream. Am using them for Lace Wings, and am cruising through at a good clip - I'm now ahead of where I was before I frogged, am past the halfway point of the 6th repeat, and it's actually starting to look like something. I'd forgotten how gorgeous it is to knit without having to manage one's stitches over the tiny join-bumps that grace so many circulars.
Can you imagine how freaked out a civilian (i.e. non-knitter) would be in reading the above? It's laced (n.p.i. - and that's 'no pun intended', not 'needles per inch') with jargon. Heeeeehaha.
Here's where the backhanded compliment comes in: I'm knitting at St. Clair W., waiting for the eastbound bus, when this woman pauses in her whingeing about the bus not coming soon enough for her liking to say: "Oh! Are you knitting a hat?""No - it's a shawl," say I, wondering who in their right mind would ever consider wearing a hat even remotely resembling the airy confection in my hands. "Oh, well it's just lovely - but those are difficult colours to work with (3rd from the left)." SLAP! Translation: I think the colourway is fugly, but because I'm a well-bred woman I'm going to say something passive about it so you still know what I think, even if I don't have the balls to come out and say so - or, heaven forfend, the self-control to actually hold my tongue and say nothing at all. "I actually find them quite enjoyable to work with, and I like them very much."
So it wasn't exactly high-ranking in the comeback department, but I think I'm still justified in saying SLAPERANG!