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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

kitty: finding the perfect tool part 2

"Knitting is NOT about making a garment, it is about relaxing. So we need perfect knitting needles." Hiya Hiya

Finding The Perfect Tool Part 2:

A couple of months ago I posted a review about my collection of DPN's in my search for Finding the Perfect Tool. Well it has become obvious that I am totally 100% obsessed with knitting needles. I find myself trying just about any new needle that I run across. So here are 8 more needles to add to my quest in finding the perfect tool.

A) Kudumisvarras
E) Knit Picks
B) Golding
F) Celtic Swan
C) Grafton Fibers
comp - avail
G) Hiya Hiya
comp - avail
D) Surina
comp - avail
H) Holtz & Stein
comp - avail

A) Kudumisvarras (Estonian Reproduction Knitting Needles from tomb relics from the 13th century) - size pictured is between US 00 & 000 - Previous Post
The tips on these needles are a little insane, to actually knit with them I have to pull out my Japanese leather thimble to protect my left index finger. ( My normal style of knitting is Armenian Throwing) The balance of the needles are really amazing especially for needles so thin and so long. I thought that the unevenness of needles would be annoying, but the reality is I can certainly see the merits of the different lengths. This is particularly nice when you want to stop for the night and need to wrap off the ends when knitting socks.

B) Golding - sized pictured is US 0/pointed/slip finish - I really don't think I have felt needles like these before. The finish is almost sticky. When you rub the needles in one direction the are extremely slick, but the opposite direction has a nice tooth that keeps your yarn on the needles. The points are amazing, but really would you have expected less from Golding?

I am currently knitting 2 strands of lace weight cashmere on them and I haven't come even close to dropping a stitch.

Negative: These needles really feel fragile in your hands. I find myself knitting at about half my normal sock speed because I am so scared of snapping it in half or warping the needle. My clover DPN's will forever be nice bell curves, but make great cable needles. So I guess that is a plus.

C) Grafton Fibers - pictured in a US size 1 - I recently read a review on Caludia's blog about how much she was in love with these needles and I can honestly say I understand why. I would be the first to say needles are a personal thing. A couple of years ago Blue Blog ranted and raved about Comfort zone needles and since I really valued her opinion I bought an entire set. Only to find that knitting a row on them caused sever shoulder pain that lasted for over a week.

The nicest thing about these needles is the fact they are heavy. Even though you are holding a tiny needle they have a nice sturdiness to the needle. The points remind me a lot of the feel of knitting with addi circulars. The surface is very smooth and I haven't had any problems with the needles slipping out. All and All I am really happy with these needles.

Negative: I am not really sold on the multi-coloured texture. I wish I could find them in a solid colour but the availability seems a little hard.

D) Surina - sized pictured is a US1- I really don't have positive or negative feelings about these needles. I just never pick these needles up when starting socks.

E) Knit Picks - sized pictured is a US1- I LOVE LOVE LOVE Knit picks DPN - Bottom line, I like a needle that is heavy, won't snap in half with my grip, and has nice pointy tips that don't draw blood. Those are the qualities that I look for in a needle. Now if it happens to have a textural quality that helps the stitches stay on the needles all the better. I have the full set now of the DPN's and I am very happy with the needles. Is is my favorite stand by for any project.

F) Celtic Swan - sized picture is a US1.5 - The needles are works of art. The tips and the scroll work on the needles are truly beautiful. So, I really wish that I could say wonderful things about knitting with the needles.

Negative: They weigh a ton, if you think Knit Picks needles are heavy these will feel like dead weight in your hands. The tips are too blunt for me to knit with fine yarns. And the biggest problem is, that my hands just stink after knitting with them. I will reserve these needles if I ever need to do a demo where I want the object to be pretty.

G) Hiya Hiya - sized picture is a US1.5 - The points are ok, but the needles are hollow so they lack the balance that I am prefer when knitting. Also they posses the same major negative that the Celtic Swan needles have if not worse, my hands just stunk after I knit with them and my socks also smelled like wet metal. yummmm... not....

I would have to be truly desperate to use these again

H) Holtz & Stein - sized picture is a US4 - To be honest I have never knitted with these DPN's. Since I really don't knit socks on yarn that thick and haven't had a cause for DPN's in normal knitting. So I can only speak to my love of knitting with there circulars.


I would replace all of my circular needles in a heart beat with Holtz & Stein needles if I could actually find them to buy. Oh and there is also that cost element.

I would like to proclaim that I have found the perfect tool, but that would not be any fun. I am a kid on Christmas morning when I find a new needle to try. I certainly have favorites, but I guess I am still looking for that perfect tool

1 comment:

  1. A great review! Thanks so much for this. So, which ones do you actually use all the time? The Estonian reproductions?

    I converted all my H&S dpns to circulars...You can buy a KnitPicks circular, yank out the tip (the cheap glue gives easily), and replace with the H&S dpn. Silly to waste them by letting them just sit there.