Saturday, September 15, 2007

Well, well, look what came in the mail...

I couldn't help myself, when I saw that Knitpicks had new wooden needles I just had to try some. I ordered the 6" dpn set and sizes 4-7 of the circular tips that will fit the interchangeable Options cables. I haven't had a chance to test drive the circulars, so let's talk double-pointed.

The first thing you notice with these needles is the color. They're made from laminated birch wood, and each layer is a different color. Unlike the longer 8" dpns and the circular needles, the colors in the smaller sizes run lengthwise. What this means is that you pretty much only see one color, depending on how you're holding the needle. Keep this in mind if you think you might find swirly colors distracting. To my eyes, the multi-hues are not that distinct, and the needles 'read' as a medium/dark wood.

What do I like about them? Let's start with the point -- these are nicely tapered, pointed enough for lacy stitch maneuvers, but not so sharp that you'll worry constantly about impaling a finger. Here's a photo of the Harmony dpn and one of my Crystal Palace bamboos:

The finish is smooth, but still has some drag -- you'll get speed, but no worries about stitches escaping off the needles. I personally like a shorter dpn, so the 6" length is good for me. Those of you who prefer something longer will not find it in the smaller sizes -- only sizes 4-11 are available in 8" lengths (and only that length).

Needles in the set come in metric sizes 2mm, 2.25, 2.5, 2.75, 3.0 and 3.25mm -- a nice range that should make fine tuning gauge that much easier. For those who only speak "American", the sizes in the set range from 0 - 3, with size 1 and 2 having two different metric equivalents. (And why are we still dragging our feet over the metric system? Are we really too freakin' dumb to learn what little primary school children the world over have apparently very little trouble learning?) Oops, was that out loud? Sorry, that's a rant for another day. OK, focus...

There are 6 needles for each size, which will be handy when one invariably goes walkabout -- and at $6.79US (for the smaller sizes) that's a very attractive price indeed. Compare to $8.50US I last spent for Crystal Palace bamboo, my usual needle.

In short, I found much to like and (so far) nothing to dislike about the Harmony dpns. Others may take issue with their length or color, but to me they're fine. I doubt I'll invest in the larger sizes. I don't use them that often, and I already have most sizes in other materials/brands.

One thing that may prove annoying is that there is no size imprint on the needles. Now, I store my dpns in separate pouches by metric sizing, so not much of an issue for me.
And, in truth, I'm always annoyed by how yarn catches on the size markings on needles that have the size pressed into the needles a la Brittany. Most of my bamboo needles are inked with their size, but of course with use that can fade or rub off. Others may not like the lack of size imprint though.

As always, your mileage may vary, but if your needle requirements mesh with what Harmony needles offer I think they're well worth a look.

13 comments:

knitting by Steph said...

i really like them also! The just feel so nice in your hands!

chappy said...

i love the colors! they feel good to knit with. will be ordering more :)

Maddy said...

WOW

Thanks for the review. I've been drooling for these since I got the e-mail from Knipicks last week. How do you like the join on the circs? They LOOK a bit like the CP join, but I don't think they can do that swivle thing with interchangeable needles, can they?

maddy from the knitlist

Karen said...

Yup, I think Knitpicks has a winner with these! I just hope they hold up well with use. Maddy, I haven't had a chance to try the circulars yet -- too many other projects, so I can't answer that -- anyone else? Bueller?

Barbara-Kay said...

Thanks for the articulate review, and for alerting us on the Knitlist. I am considering the circular tips as an addition to my set. They should be useful as an alternative for slippery yarn.

Arlene said...

We must be twins separated at birth -my order is almost exactly the same as yours - the sock set and tips in sizes 4, 5, 6 & 8.

The dps are already on a sock, and my experience is much like yours. Great sharp tips, no worry about the needle sliding out, smooth knitting. And I've also given the interchangeables a workout, and that join between the wood and metal is totally perfect and invisible. Fantastic!

And yes, the colors do blend as you knit into a sort of dark wood color that isn't distracting at all.

Karen said...

Glad to hear the join is good, Arlene. Word on the street certainly seems to be positive on these.

Susan said...

Thanks for the review. Mine are on order. Many of the double points and needles tips are already sold out until their next shipment. I'm looking forward to trying mine!

Lesalicious said...

Don't you love it when you get neat things in the mail I know I do.
By the way Karen you have been tagged.
8 Things about Me

AlisonH said...

I think I like your pictures better than Knitpicks. Guess what I've now decided I want to go order?...

Karen said...

Alison - I say go for it. Isn't it our patriotic duty to help the economy keep chugging along?

Anonymous said...

I love the colors. I love the points even more. I am working with the zeros aand the threes -- with some regia and some raggi respectively -- and enjoying them.

I want the whole set now.

These feel great in my hands when I work with them.

A good resource.

Caty from the knitlist

Bonnie Thompson Zink said...

Good Day! Thank you very much for posting this review. I have just (on December 20) ordered the complete set of Interchangeables and sock DPNs. They should arrive in approximately 14 business days (I suspect this means the middle of January or so). I did my research, tried out other brands (such as the Denise) and decided to set myself with these needles! They are beautiful and functional and quite a conversation piece for those of us who enjoy stitching in public! I cannot wait for them to arrive!