Today I'm taking another idea from comments left on my first blog post for the month of Blogtober, where I asked for some ideas on what to blog about this month to give me some ideas to help get me through. This one stuck in my mind and I've been meaning to get to it, except I never have any photos to go with it. Today, while the rain threatened I quickly took some, so please excuse the crappy quality of them!
So what am I talking about?
Knitting needles, of course!
I almost exclusively knit with circular needles.
The exceptions to this would be when I work a tubular cast on (worked initially on straights) and when I knit a scarf, such as my Paula's Scarfette. I actually own a couple of sets of Art Viva needles that I use specifically for scarves.
I have two sets of interchangable needles, a set of Knit-Pro/Picks (or whatever they're called today) and a set of Addi Lace Clicks. I've had my Knit-Pros for quite a few years, but only purchased my Lace Clicks in the last year or so. I chose the Lace Clicks over the regular Clicks as I prefer quite a pointy needle tip, and I had heard the Lace Clicks were pointier.
In nearly every way, I prefer my Addi Lace Clicks. The tips are a smidge less pointy than the Knit Pros, which I really like as I've had quite a few finger puncture injuries from the KPs. And that really really hurts, I'm telling you!
The cables are much nicer to work with and seem to be a degree more flexible. I prefer the red of the Lace Clicks to the KP's purple cables as well. I've managed to pull a few of the KP cables out of the join, which when you're in the middle of a ridiculously long round of the edge of a blanket, can be a wee bit annoying! This hasn't been an issue with the Lace Clicks, they seem more stable and well rooted in their cable.
The Lace Clicks are much easier to join the cable and tip as well, as the name suggests it's a simple click mechanism that joins them together. I really like this as I must admit that sometimes
Having the two sets works well for me, as I am definitely one of those knitters who has quite a few projects on the go at once. I have bought additional tips for the KPs, mainly 4mm as that is the needle size I use mostly. I've bought a few of the KP wooden tips but given I often leave my knitting sitting around and have small inquisitive kids, they've broken so often I generally just stick with the nickel now. The only exception to this is when I'm knitting cotton, then I must knit on a wooden tip.
Ironically, the one thing I don't prefer the Lace Clicks for is knitting 4ply yarn for something like a shawl. Despite the better joining mechanism of the Clicks, the join itself is not as smooth as the KPs and I've found that the smaller weight yarn tends to snag on the join, where there is a little 'hop', and can be difficult to move over it smoothly. This 'hop' in the join has also been a bit of a nuisance for any stitch pattern that tends to tighten up the stitches as well, such as the daisy stitch I use in my Anne patterns.
I took a couple of close up photos of the tips so you could see the differences. The needle on the left is the KP and the Lace Click is on the right. These are both 4mm needles. You can see that the Lace Click is considerably shorter. This is another drawing point of the Lace Clicks; with the shortest cable length you achieve a 40cm circular.
While the KPs have what effectively becomes a 40cm cable, you can't use it with their regular tips, you need to buy their shorter tips. I have a number of these in the wood, but not the nickel. I have heard rumours of the KPs nickel short tips but haven't seen them in person, nor actually really sort them out since I got my Lace Clicks.
The difference in the cable and the joining mechanism can be seen below. The cable on the left is the KP and the Lace Click is to the right.
The case that the Lace Clicks come in is quite lovely and very compact in comparison to the hefty little folder thing I originally received with my KPs. I can't take a photo of that as it has long since left this building and been replaced by a beautiful handmade one (which I've momentarily misplaced but I'm sure will turn up once the house is fully restored).
So which of the two sets would I recommend?
Taking all that into account, and if money was no object (the Lace Clicks are considerably more expensive) I would recommend the Lace Clicks.
I knit mostly with dk/8ply weight wool using 4mm needles, and for this they are just perfect.
Apart from the generally superior knitting experience, I also really appreciate that Addi Needles are manufactured and produced in Germany where the working conditions are far superior for the average worker than where KPs are manufactured. This does obviously play a part in their higher price tag...think about it.
Does this make them more of an ethical choice? You be the judge.
Additionally, to these two sets in my knitting needle stash my other essentials include:
- Addi Turbo 40cm in a range of sizes ~ These were my first "good" knitting needle purchase and they are still going strong six years later!
- Addi Turbo 30cm circulars in most sizes ~ I love these so so so much, they are just perfect for working sleeves as well as longie legs. I refer them in my patterns as they are my choice for small circumference knitting. I actually have two sets of the 4mm.
- Addi Turbo 20cm circulars ~ these are great for knitting socks (yep, think about it!) as well as gloves for the smaller folk, and me really)
- Hiya Hiya 23cm circulars ~ these are used for pretty much the same thing as the Addi 20cm circs
- KP fixed 40cm in 3.25mm and 4mm. I used these sizes for my Wildflower collection, so hence have a bit of a double up of these sizes.
So that's what I use and prefer.
What about you?
What do you use to knit with?
What's your favourite needles?