Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Nickel Plated Satisfaction

I admit it. I am one of those people. One of those people who heard about the the new KnitPicks needles, hurried off as fast as they could and bought some. Twin 24" circs, size 0: for socks. I've had this thing about sock needles for a long time. I love working with bamboo DPNs on socks - they develop a nice patina. Perfect for knitting along without drags or snags. However, I hate, hate, hate the fact that they are so easily broken. I've broken several bamboo DPNs mid project by accident. Not even a mostly dramatic or semi-horrific accident induced by twin two year olds or a curious cat. No, more like an inch of my bamboo DPN was sticking out of my bag as I walked out the door. Apparently, I was a bit too close and broke that baby clean in two without even noticing the bump. That of course led to 1/3 of my sock stitches unraveling themselves in the course of the car ride to whatever ill-fated place I was going.

Everyone told me I would love magic loop. But I hate magic loop. It changes my gauge and takes me forever for some reason. That and I have this thing for Addi Turbos - who doesn't? They're the hot celebrity with the sleek body and all the moves of my knitting universe. I can't handle any kind of other circular needle. Bamboo is too slow in a circ, for me. The other metal ones have crappy cables and the metal is too heavy. I like Inox Express, but they just don't compare to the Addis. The thing is, I've been hesitant to try out doing socks on Addis because it means a $40 investment for each size that I'd like. Yikes. I do knit. I do a lot of knitting, but dropping $40 at a sitting for socks is enough to ward me off. I have a yarn budget, and I'd like to spend more of it on yarn and not needles. Since most of my projects are knit firmly in the worsted category, the smaller needles would be mainly used for sock knitting.

Enter, KnitPicks Needles. I am 3 1/2" into my Jaywalkers on size 0 needles. These babies are a dream to work with. The tips are perfectly pointy. I am sliding my way through the KFB and double decreases like they were nothing special. Like I didn't realize that on any other needle that wasn't so perfectly pointy I would be pulling my hair out and struggling. I do admit to a few surprise pokes when I start paying attention to what Mr. N is doing on the computer, instead of the knitting, but I can hardly call that the fault of the needle. I am not a needle pusher for the most part. If you are in the habit of pushing your needle after every stitch - grab a bandaid - these points will get you.

The cables on these needles are a dream. They're thinner and more flexible than my Addis. In fact, it's taking a bit of getting used to, and I'm having to pull the cable through the stitches instead of being able to push the stitches along the cable to the end of the needle. But it's worth it. The cord has no memory - even in the 90+ Iowa heat and extremely high humidity. Nor does it have any drag. The stitches just keep slipping on by fast as I can form them.

But that's not the extent of my new KnitPicks needle mania. Even before my twin circs arrived, I hurried off and ordered the Options package. I had a set of Denise needles at the time, but they were very underutilized simply because they were slow. The needles were slow and the cords were big compared to the Addis. I mainly used the larger needles for felting projects, because I could form the stitches loosely enough that the extra drag wasn't as much of an issue. But other than that they sat on my shelf waiting for me to find a use for them. They now have a new home with a happy college student who was just in the market for such a set. The Options package arrived three days before I anticipated it and well under the projected two week shipping time posted at the site. The binder that it comes in is classy and expandable. You can configure it however you want. You even get a few extra spots for accessories yet to be purchased. There have been some complaints that the needles aren't marked. This really wasn't an issue for me. Most of my Addis are unmarked and I have a system to compensate for it. I simply used a gel pen to mark the sizes on the outside of the plastic sleeve in the binder. If perchance I happen to forget what size I selected for a project, I do have a needle sizer that I can use to easily find out. The Options needles are equally as nice as the circs.

I was a little surprised that the Options pack comes with fewer tools than the Denise pack. There are fewer cables, and not as many needle sizes. Of course, had I slowed down long enough to read this before I hit the purchase button, I would have anticipated this before they came. No worries, though. With the low prices on the optional accessories, I'm sure I'll be able to get my Options package to where I want it to be. At the moment, I'm not even using them, so it shouldn't be an issue. I do love the fact that it's easy to buy multiple needle tips of the same size. Now I can have as many size 7 & 8s as I want and not feel guilty.

If you've been waiting to try out these needles, stop waiting. Go out and get yourself some. You won't be disappointed. Really.

1 comment:

chloesmom said...

Great! Now I have something else that I will be spending money I don't have on! ROFL