|Colour Harlequinn on SPARKLE SOCK at www.sarastexturecrafts.com|
I have been asked if I can recommend or review knitting needles by readers lately and so today's post is the beginnings of that process. I have to preface this by stating that I am not the most advanced of knitters and I haven't yet tried every type of needle available on the market... but I can tell you how my needle choices have changed and progressed over the years, so you know where I am now.
I first learnt to knit at a young age, where between my mother and my grandmother I was taught the basics of knitting. The very first needles I had was an aluminium pair of 4mm, about 20/25cm long... these I still have today and very occasionally use. These warmed in my hands and remained my very favourite needles to use until I returned to knitting back in 2008/9, after leaving it for that late teenage and young adult phase.
As you would imaging before my return to knitting, my project choices were fairly basic... the most ambitious project I knit was a fluorescent orange, cabled mini skirt... and you can guess how many times that was worn! This being so, my needle choices were also pretty basic too... I had a few pairs of aluminium needles and a lot of budget-friendly (and pocket-money friendly!) Pony plastic needles.
Returning to knitting at a later date, where I wanted to progress and learn new skills, I found these needles not really up to the job for me. This wasn't a reflection on the brand, but more a reflection on the way I relearned to knit (circularly) and a change my personal affluence (not quite top a big spender yet, but you never know!)
This made me question which were the needles that would be best for me?
In April last year I reposted an article I had written for another site, where I did some very basic research into the different material content of knitting needles available (Customer-question: Knitting-needle-help), to see if I might be able to get more choice into the shop (please note I no-longer sell needles, which is why I am slightly more impartial at this point). This opened a whole new world of needles to me... so many different materials and benefits for use of.
I invested in some new needles; including metal, wood and bamboo (as well as taking a sample of some new ones from my old stock)... and so here is some of what I have in my arsenal today and what I think about each of them.
|Symphonie Cubics by KnitPro|
Wood Needles - Symphonie Cubis by KnitPro
These are not slick and so great for those delicate yarns that need a little more grab during knitting.
They are also blunt ended which is also great for finer yarn, yarns with a low ply twist and tighter gauges.
The squared shape actually helps me to avoid the hand cramping I have from larger projects, which are heavier in weight... which meant I could knit for a little longer.
What I don't use them for is lace yarn... I find the lace yarn seems to become almost cumbersome in transition from needle to needle. I think I personally prefer a slick, sharp point metal needle for this... but I am aware this is a personal choice, as I am not used to handling lace yarn.
Birch Needles - Basix Birch by KnitPro
These are the cheaper wood option from Knit Pro and are unexpectedly slick for wooden needles, with nice sharp points. They also felt quite strong in my hands, compared to bamboo.
Great for lace knitting and lighter weight, low ply twist yarns.
I don't see myself getting a whole set though... I have one or two sizes for those lighter weights, but I don't feel they are my personal favourite.
|Nova Metal Delux Set by KnitPro|
Metal Needles - Nova Metal by KnitPro
This was my first knit pro circular set and having come from aluminium and plastic needles in the past I found them to be my favourite choice for most projects... Only dipping into my bamboo, or wood needles for lighter yarns that needed more grip on the needle during work.
They have a fairly blunt point by comparison to my chiagoos, but this makes them perfect for most projects.
On the downside... I don't like them for socks, as they tend to make me what to knit much tighter.
Metal Needles - Nova Metal Cubics by KnitPro
I was surprised at how sharp they were compared to the Novas and I loved the square shape, especially for socks. In fact they became my go-to sock needles before I found the Karbonz needles.
They warm to touch, so don't remain cold during knitting.
Even though I love these for smaller projects I don't tend to lean towards these for bigger projects, or gauges... I still go back to my cylindrical Novas, or the Symphonie Cubics.
I also found my set of these tarnished (I do tend to tarnish metal in my hands quite easily).
|Karbonz by KnitPro|
Karbon Fibre Needles - Karbonz by KnitPro
I wasn't sure about the metal tip joins at first... I wondered if the yarn might snag, but surprisingly they didn't seem to affect my knit and the yarn glided over them.
|RED Lace by ChiaoGoo|
Lace Knitting Needles - RED Lace by ChiaoGoo
I have these in a range of sizes from 2mm to 5mm. I use them solely for knitting lace shawls (a rare occurrence).
I love the sharp point and the metal running through the cable... this makes them feel sturdy enough to make the largest of shawls without worry that they might snap! The metal running through the cord also allows the cord to sit flat as you knit, so you don't have your needles twisting and curling as your work, which is a downside to other the KnitPro circular needles I have.
I'm very specific about what I use these needles for, so I haven't tried them for sweaters, even though ChiaGoo do make larger needles widths. I don't know if they would be my first choice even if I did have them... but I do recommend them for lace shawls!
I have personally found that I do have a different type of needle for a different job... I don't think this is something I have been overly technical in selecting, but it is interesting how my natural gravitation towards a particular needle for a particular job has become clearer the more I knit.
I do recommend trying different needles and seeing how they work for you... companies like KnitPro do offer sample packs, where you can buy a selection of different material needles to try. I don't know if this is the best way to go, as I am not sure their sample sizing would fit trials based on my findings above (different materials and sizes for different jobs), but it is worth a mention.
I hope you have found this helpful?
I do plan to get hold of some other needle makes to review for you and to discuss fixed circulars vs. interchangeables, so please keep an eye out on the blog.
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Have a wonderful day... Sara x
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