(Not sure what interchangeable circular knitting needles are? Check out this post)
I have experimented with a few different brands of interchangeables (Chiagoos, Addi and Knit Pro) and my go to needle set tends to be my Knit Pro Symphonys. I like the firmness and smoothness of the join (when properly tightened with the key – forgo this step at your peril) and I find the Symphony tips a great mix of pointy, smooth (but not too slippy) and light. But I always wonder if there is better out there and I wanted to road test some of the other knit pro tips.
Loveknitting.com kindly agreed* to send me two other types of Knit Pro tips so that I could compare them for you, my lovely readers.
I had an enjoyable half hour sat in front of the telly this morning having a nice little swatch with them all. I took them through their paces with a really slippy and splitty yarn doing a range of knits, purls and a row of lace. Here the rundown and what I made of them:
(Prices correct as of June 2014 on loveknitting.com)
All the tips use the same cables so you can try the different tips without having to get more cables (although you can get a black cable to match the karbonz if you like) and the cables cost £1.79 for a cable (which includes stoppers and key)
Made from: Acrylic
Tip Length: 15cm
Size Range: 3.5-12mm
Cost: £2.45 – £ 3.95 per pair (sizes larger than 5mm are more expensive the bigger you go)
What I thought: I wasn’t expecting to like these much, I normally hate plastic needles and hooks but I actually quite enjoyed knitting with them. The tips are really nice and pointy and well graduated but they don’t hurt when you use your finger to guide the needle tip back (I am a bit of a stabby knitter unless I concentrate hard.) The plastic is really smooth and well polished with no moulding marks or anything else for the yarn to snag on. I think they would be really durable as the plastic has a nice bounce to it. I found these needles were the slowest of the three for me to knit with and gave me the loosest stitches of the three. I don’t think I would switch from my symphonies for these but they are a fantastic budget option.
Good for: Beginners, the budget conscious, people who use their finger to guide the needle back.
Made from: Wood
Tip Length: 10cm of 15cm (I use the 15cm)
Size Range: 3mm-15mm (3mm to 6mm in shorter length)
Cost: £4.95-£11.59 (sizes larger than 5.5mm are more expensive the bigger you go)
What I thought: I always enjoy knitting with these needles, there isn’t really a yarn type that they don’t suit and the only time I ever feel the need for anything pointier is when I knit large amounts of lace or twisted stitches. They are very sharp (they actually have the same profile as the spectra but the material makes them feel pointier and I am sure I’ll develop a callous in time from continually stabbing myself as I knit.) and the wood has just the right amount of slide/grip. I pretty much always get the ball band tension spot on with these needles. In the couple of years I’ve owned them I haven’t broken one yet so they are reasonably sturdy, I do know tighter knitters snap them though. These also win in the looks stakes for me, I love the pretty swirl of the wood grain.
Good for: All round, work horse needles (I may be biased here!)
Made from: Carbon Fibre with nickel plated brass tips
Tip Length: 10cm or 15cm (I tried the 10cm)
Cost: £8.35 – £9.95 per pair (sizes larger than 3.75mm are more expensive the bigger you go)
What I thought: I am always up for trying out the top of the range product to see if its worth the upgrade – after all, I knit A LOT. I find them enjoyable to knit with but they are grabbier and pointier than I am used to and I’m not entirely sure that is a good thing. I don’t feel that they speed my knitting up like I hoped they would. My tension was slightly tighter with these needles so they may be a good option for looser knitters. They do feel indestructible, I can’t see these breaking easily. I think where these would come into their own is at the smaller diameter where wood is more likely to snap or for very slippy yarns or lots of lace and twisted stitches as the point is really nice and precise. I have already ordered a couple of tips in the smaller diameters for just these reasons but I don’t love them enough to move to them full time.
Good for: Looser knitters, lace and twisted stitches, those whose knitting style or lifestyle causes lots of broken tips.
I’d always recommend taking needles for a test run before you commit to buying a whole set. Knit Pro sell taster packs of the different needles which seems like a good bet before you invest.
New customers to loveknitting.com can get 10% off using this link (and I’ll also get a thank you gift card from them for referring you)
*loveknitting.com provided two pairs of needles for review, all words and thoughts are my own.
Which needles have you tried and loved? What makes you love them?