Monday, June 3, 2013

Double pointed knitting needles (plus yarn)

What a time to be looking for double pointed sock needles!

Hello, my name is Dancing Waters, and I would like to be your friend.
Yep, more sock yarn arrived from Knitterly Things.  I am falling behind on club yarns again, and I've signed up for the next club already, so the pressure is on to find the perfect set of double-points.

I just know you'll love knitting with me.
The criteria for 'perfect' varies from knitter to knitter, but what I look for is not readily available in spite of not being much to ask.  To recap, those qualities are:

5" length
round (love the squares, but their sizes don't correspond precisely to rounds)
slick surface
a tip that's not too pointy
a material that doesn't make my skin react
an actual size 2.25mm (not 2.5mm calling itself size 1)

Yep, get me wound into a pair of yarn cakes and I'm ready for socks.
Of course, I am still plugging away with the Signature double points I've been auditioning, and they are just not close enough to end my search.  I've been shopping (I ended up with WEBS this time), and with luck the next round of candidates will turn up in my mailbox this week.

Hellooo! Over here!  How are you resisting my splendid colour scheme?
Okay Dancing Waters.  You're killing me - believe me, I'm shopping just as fast as I can.

Interpreting knitting tool reviews

What I love about shopping for tools online is reading other random knitters' feedback about them.  Sometimes even a negative review will tell you the tool in question is exactly what you're looking for, so it's not just a matter of following blindly along.  You have to be creative and think about how you work, and what falls into your personal priority camp.  It also helps to read reviews from a lot of different sites - I like to check all the major online craft retailers, plus Amazon, as well as Knitter's Review for expert comparisons.

Dreamz double pointed needles (thank you, Leslie)

Knitter's Pride makes these wooden needles, and though wood is not known for its durability especially in a small-size knitting needle - they can snap and/or go dull at the tips - or for its slickness, these are generally reported to be slick enough.  Admittedly, by knitters who have been burned by superslick needles falling out of their stitches, but still, nobody's flagging actual burrs.  They're also inexpensive as dpns go.  Even if they turn out to be nearly identical to KnitPicks Harmony Wood, I figure I still have a chance with them of getting a better tip than with the KnitPicks ones I had to sand upon delivery.  I bought two sets so I can get through a pair of socks concurrently.

Nova double pointed needles

Nova is another Knitter's Pride product, this time nickel-plated for superior slickness and strength.  The trouble for me with metal needles is that I'm allergic to some of them - I still don't know what material causes the problem, exactly - and my palms get hivey and itchy.  It's no fun knitting with hivey itchy hands.  The reviews I found on Nova do not include the words 'hivey' or 'itchy', so I thought I'd try them... even though one reviewer did note that her set was not as slick as anticipated.  Sigh.  Two sets again, and we'll see how that goes.

Pony Pearl double pointed needles

I had never heard of these till I spotted them on WEBS.  They're made from a wood-based plastic that is supposed to be lightweight, though one reviewer complained that they most certainly are not.  Since I'm buying one of the smallest sizes I think I can live with that reviewer being right, should that be the case.  They've got a blunt tip and they don't sound especially slick, but again: new to me!  And also, not expensive, so I thought I'd try two sets of these too.

Karbonz double pointed needles

These ones, I'd heard of - Clara Parkes made a lengthy review of them and apart from the reference to the nickel-plated tips which I guess I'll just have to experience first-hand, they sound pretty great.  They're made from carbon composite like the original carbons, Blackthorn, which I opted not to try because the tips on those are supposed to be crazy pointy; the Karbonz needles are more rounded, apparently, which is probably a better choice for me.  They are more expensive, so I only bought one set in case I don't like them.

(even so, buying all these needles cost about the same as the single set of Signatures I'm trying now.  gah!)

Still killing you?
Yes Dancing Waters, you are still killing me.  I sure hope WEBS ships fast.

And I hope the rest of you had a great weekend!  See you tomorrow.


Leslie said...

I love the Dancing Waters colorway pretty. I've been talking myself out of making "something else" with this particular skein of yarn...a hat, a cowl...a shawl. I'm really drawn to the latter...a triangular starting at the top (short side) and working down...trying to imagine how that would knit up. With a wavy lace pattern. It's calling to me that way, but I'm ignoring it right now :)

Mary Keenan said...

Waves definitely look great in these stripes Leslie, but I'd be interested especially to hear how a shawl works for you. I tried a scarf once in Vesper and just could not get the drape right; in the end my friend Karen (KnitGeekery) suggested that perhaps the twist is too tight? Luckily, that makes it perfect for socks ;^)

Leslie said...

I knitted a shawl using Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Socks that Rock (lightweight) yarn last year and it looks wonderful. It has a very tight twist, too. I knitted it on a size 7 needle, though, in a real lacy pattern, so that may be what happened. I'll think a bit and let you know!