Hello knitting friends.
Yes, I know it has been a long while since I have posted. I\’ll give you a few seconds to get over your shock.
Recovered your breath? Good!
While I haven\’t been posting over the past few years, I have been knitting and answering emails. To get back into the swing of posting, I thought I\’d start by addressing some of the more common questions that I receive. The first one is about the knitting needles that I use.
Which Knitting Needles Do You Use?
The answer is: it depends. There are several things to consider when I’m choosing which type of knitting needles to use. The decision centers around what project I’m making and what yarn I’m using.
For this post, I’ll tell you about the needles that I use for knitting dishcloths with cotton yarn.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Knit Picks Options Interchangeable Nickel Plated Circulars
*Pictures from KnitPicks.com.
The Options Nickel Plated Interchangeable needles are my go-to needles. I was fortunate to receive these as a Christmas gift the first year Knit Picks introduced them, and I’ve used them ever since. I have used them for all sorts of projects from hats and scarves, some unfinished sweaters, and – of course – dishcloths. Lots and lots of dishcloths.
The Knit Picks interchangeable tips are a good length. At 4 3/4\” long they fit comfortably in my hands. They are not so long that they are difficult to use; it is easy to slide your knitting around the cables. But they are long enough that you do not feel as though your knitting is going to fall off the end and you have nothing to hold on to. Knit Picks does make shorter tips which are meant for small projects such as mittens and socks, however I\’ve never been able to get used to them and I still prefer to use double pointed needles for those projects.
The nickel plated tips are very smooth and slippery. This makes them perfect for knitting with cotton and wool yarn which can be “grabby” because of the fibers. They also have pointy tips as compared to some needles which are more blunt. These \”sharp\” tips make it easier to insert into stitches and, I think, to knit faster. With the yarn sliding along smoothly and not having to fuss with inserting the needle into the next stich, my knitting fairly flies along.
Another great feature of the Knit Picks is the straight join where the needle screws into the cables. In another brand of needles that I have the end of the cables have an angle to them and the join is awkward. The yarn frequently catches on that angled join, especially the kitchen cotton yarn that I use to make dishcloths. That type of yarn seems to catch on every little thing. With the straight and very smooth join the yarn slides easily and rarely catches. If it has begun to catch it is usually because I did not tighten the tip enough when I screwed it on. After using the needles for some time, the tips will begin to loosen and it takes just a moment to tighten them up. They do not loosen quickly or easily though if I\’ve put them on properly in the first place.
After a decade of use, these needles have held up amazingly well. I’m still using several of the original cables that came with my first set. I’ve also purchased several more which is the wonderful thing about this interchangeable set. If you lose a tip or a cable, you can easily replace them. You can buy only what you need without having to buy an entirely new set. Since I usually have
several many projects on the needles at once, I found it was helpful to have several sets of tips in sizes 5, 6 and 7, the most common size that I use.
I could go on and on about the Knit Picks interchangeable needles, but I want to tell you about another set of interchangeables that I discovered last year.
Knitter\’s Pride Karbonz Interchangeable Long Tip Knitting Needle Set
*Pictures from Amazon.com.
Knitter\’s Pride has a couple of sets of interchangeable needles, but the ones I have been using recently are the Karbonz long tip ones. I just love these needles. They are quickly overtaking my Knit Picks as my everyday needles. Although I find I still use the Knit Picks for dishcloths more often.
It is hard to describe how the Karbonz feel in your hands. They are made of carbon fiber with nickel plated brass tips. The carbon fiber feels smooth and soft but sturdy at the same time. The tips are sharp like the Knit Picks and easy to insert into my knitting. This makes them very speedy to knit with.
When I first began to use them I was worried that my yarn would catch where the metal joins to the carbon fiber but I haven\’t had any problems at all. The joins are smooth and seamless; the yarn doesn\’t catch at all. I\’m using a set right now to knit a shawl with fingering weight yarn and the knitting is a dream with these needles.
Another thing that I love about these interchangeable needles are the color coded cables. Each length is a different color which is sheer genius! The cables do seem to hold onto their curl for a little while but relax as you use them. The ones I\’ve used relaxed after a short time so it hasn\’t been a problem. Another bonus…they are completely compatible with the Knit Picks tips. I have been thinking of using these cables with my Knit Picks tips on a regular basis for the ease of finding the length that I\’m looking for without having to dump the whole mess out onto the table. (Which I did just last week at my knitting group.) It would be so nice to just reach in and grab the cable I need on the first try. The Knitter\’s Pride cables makes this possible. I cannot talk about their durability because I haven\’t had them for all that long, but so far I haven\’t had any problems.
*The above paragraphs contain affiliate links to Amazon for the Karbonz needles. I want to point out that should you buy through Amazon, Knitter\’s Pride does not consider them an authorized dealer and may not honor their warranty. I have not had any trouble at all with my needles, but you should check your needles and cables immediately before the return window closes.
These two sets of needles are all I really need right now to knit with. I do have a set of Knit Picks Options Rainbow Wood Interchangeable Needles. I like them and they are simply beautiful, but I just don\’t choose to use them as often as the nickel plated ones.
There is a third set that I am currently drooling over and have added to my wish list on Amazon. A friend of mine has gotten this set and has let me ooh and ahh over it at our weekly knitting group.
Lykke Driftwood Interchangeable Knitting Needles
I do not own these needles but I have had the pleasure to handle them and try them out. These are some pretty fine needles and I am really wishing for a set. Although I can\’t see why I would need to own another set of interchangeables. But, hey, you can never have too many needles can you?
This interchangeable knitting needle set by Lykke is a set of wooden needles. The name calls them driftwood, but I cannot vouch if they are actually made from driftwood. I have heard they are made from birch, so driftwood may refer to their looks. Either way these needles are a joy to look at and to hold. The wood is smooth and strong feeling with lovely and unique coloring. The cables are flexible with a smooth join. My friend says her yarn does not catch and slides smoothly. They come in both regular length tips of about 5\” and shorter tips of about 3.5\”.
What makes these needles stand apart and makes them truly luxurious are the pouches they come in. They are well designed and sturdy. The pouches hold all the needles and cables easily and yet fold up to a compact size. I think I want as set of the Lykke needles just for the pouch!
I hope this has given you a good overview of my favorite needles. If I had to only pick one, I would say the Knit Picks options. But I would sorely miss my Karbonz needles. They both are great sets and you won\’t go wrong with either one.