Thursday, November 29, 2007

Got needles?

I think I mentioned not showing another photo of Plissé until it's finished, but who knows when that will be? Looks closer though, right? At any rate, this isn't about you, Miss Plissé, this is all about the needles.

I've written before about Knit Picks Harmony (wooden) needles. For this project I'm using the interchangeable Options.

The specs: nickel-plated, available in US sizes 4 - 11, cables available in lengths of 24" - 60". Prices range from (US) 4.99 - 7.00 for the needle tips (larger needle = larger price) and the cables are (US) 3.99 regardless of length. You get two cables, end caps and a tightener tool in the cable package. Also sold as a set -- which contains all sizes needles, two cable lengths, 8 end caps, tightener and storage -- cost, (US) 59.99.

I purchased the two smallest needle tips and two different cable lengths for purposes of testing them out. My usual choice when I select a metal needle is Addi Turbo. I find I most often reach for a bamboo needle though, as the lighter weight and comparative warmth are easier on my hands,

As compared to Addi, the Options needles have a similar nickel-plated, slick finish and slightly pointier tips, which I like. What really pleases me about the Options though is the cord -- it's flexible and pliable, and is ready to go right from the package. No worries about removing kinks before use, and no fighting against a cord with a mind of its own while using them -- bravo!

The joins are smooth, and the screw seems a bit longer for added security against coming apart with use. I did experience some loosening of the joins while working. Never to the point of actual separation, and easily fixed, so I didn't find it excessively annoying. Your mileage may vary. I should also point out that I didn't use the little tightening tool -- which may have had an effect. I was switching out cables as the work got bigger, and because I have hand strength issues I didn't want the cables too tight for easy removal. Thinking about it, I realize I'm an idiot -- I could have used the little tool for loosening too. Next time! I should also say that I knit "English" style -- not sure if that increases, or decreases the likelihood of loosening the joins. I've heard reports that some folks have had full separation of needles from cables while in use. That may be, but I find it very hard to understand how they wouldn't have noticed the yarn catching on a loose connection long before the needle would have come apart. In any event, my guess is that loosening would be an issue with any interchangeable set, but as I mentioned, I didn't find it a huge problem.

I liked these needles, and I'll use them again. Loved the flexible cable -- which I believe is also the cable used for the Knit Picks fixed length circular needles. It's nice to have the option of changing points/cables, especially if you haven't (yet) built up an extensive needle collection. I'll plead the Fifth on how many I have. The wooden Harmony interchangeable needles can be used with the same Options cables, which is nice.

So, are they perfect, one size fits all? Nope, but I don't think any needle is right for every yarn or project. Different jobs -- different tools. They are, however, a very nice interchangeable metal needle at a very attractive price. If you're looking for that, you may want to give one a test drive.

1 comment:

FairyGodKnitter said...

Plisse looks so nice, you'll be done in no time.
I use a lot of the Addi Lace needles for non lace knitting. I guess they are close to the Knit Picks and somehow I have bought a bunch of them. My favorite needles are old vinyl ones that I've had since the 80's.