When you've spent hours and hours and hours knitting something, the (almost) saddest thing thing that can happen is a big snag in it. (The very saddest thing is to lose it.) But if you wear a handknit—whether you knit it or bought it—things are going to happen. If you're a knitter you know, you DO NOT CUT the loose yarn to get rid of the snag. Now the rest of you have been warned. That's just going to make a hole. If it's a sweater, you can carefully pull the snag through to the back side so that it doesn't show.
But on a shawl or scarf, where both sides are visible the best repair is to work that pulled yarn into the knit. I've always tried to do this with a yarn needle. But when you use one, you must have enough "tail" to turn the needle before working. So I've used a crochet hook to weave the short yarn tail back into the knit.
But some genius figured out to make the eye of the needle as long as the needle itself. I'd never seen these finishing needles until a few weeks ago. This is why I like to stop in yarn shops and look—even though I don't need any more yarn. There are treasures to be found. If I had skipped the yarn shop at the beach, I might not have come across these needles.
You thread the pulled yarn into the needle and then stick that tip next the yarn right into the stitches on the shawl. As you work the needle in and out of the shawl stitches, the yarn snag will slide down to the other end of the needle and you can work every smidge of the pull back into the shawl. Voila! Looks as good as new.
So even if you are not a knitter, you might find the "finishing needle" a handy tool. And my shawl is back is business. Warm weather is coming soon, so I want to wear my knits as much as I can now.
And in case you were wondering, yes, those are two different snags. One on each end. I need to be more careful.