What seems like aeons ago, I wrote a post about knitting needles, the various materials that they are made from, and what I thought of them.
I had to laugh, because at the time, I had not used Knit Pro. Look at what I have since acquired:
Never say never, huh??
In that post, I also talked about CraftCo circulars (our local ‘bog standard’ el cheapo needle) and said how I thought there wasn’t much wrong with them. Well, if you knit moderately, this is true. However, the needles do not stand up to heavy use. After a while the coating over the tip wears away, and you get micro fraying of the exposed metal, similar in effect to a sharpened knife. Yes. Ouch.
Since I wrote that post, I have to say that I’ve also experienced a major swing away from using straights towards circular and double-pointed needles. Straights are ok for some projects, and I especially like them for swatching, but mostly I now find them cumbersome and ‘in the way’. Circulars are good for many reasons:
1. You can knit in-the-round on them.
2. You can knit large flat items with them, with the main weight of the project sitting on your lap. This reduces strain on the wrists because you don’t have to try to hold all the stitches on a straight needle.
3. Knitting in public is also better with circular needles as they take up less space.
4. The shorter needle length allows me to knit faster and with more dexterity.
Today, I’d like to share with you my happiest find since Addi Turbo needles:
I can’t get Addi Turbo, my first choice of needle, in New Zealand. Not easily, anyway. I suppose I could always mail-order them in from somewhere.
One of my local yarn stores stocks Hiya Hiya though. And since they’re easily and readily available, it just seems easier to buy those.
Why do I like them?
1. Like Addi, they have nice tips. Rounded enough not to pierce fingers. Pointy enough to knit lace. From someone who now sports a permanent callous with severe scarring from needle punctures on her left index finger, and possible beginnings of nerve damage, this is a very important point (no pun intended!)
2. They’re steel. That equals fast knitting.
3. They have joins that are smooth and less likely to come apart from the cable than some other brands. It’s a heart-stopping moment to suddenly feel your knitting free-fall off its cable halfway through a 300 stitch row…
4. They’re light.
Last Christmas, the above needle case of size 5.5mm – 8mm interchangeable needles was my treat to myself. Since then, I’ve added to the collection with a few other sizes, but there’s always room for more with this knitter. No matter how many needles I have, it’s a very annoying phenomenon to find I never have the right size when I look at starting a new project! Do you find that?
On a final note, there’s a special category for sock needles. Super fine, I don’t think there is any steel brand that I have tried so far that hasn’t pierced my finger after extended use. The best material appears to be bamboo, and maybe wood. Hearing my complaints about sore fingers, a lovely friend sent me a gift of some 2.25mm Knit Pro wooden DPNs recently. I managed to complete a pair of socks on them without mishap. I’m also loving my Ashford bamboo needles, which have so far also been gentle on the fingers, and strong, despite their resemblance to toothpicks.
I know that there are many other needle brands out there, many of which I have not had the opportunity to see or experience using yet. Which needle brand is your favourite?