Saturday, April 07, 2007

Needle Talk

I'm not picky about my needles. I prefer wood, but a simple bamboo of almost any kind will do me just fine. I barely notice the difference in feel from one wooden needle to another and am pretty happy with anything I use. If I experimented with a wider variety of needles, I think I might find myself developing stronger preferences for some, but I really don't need another knitting-related obsession right now. As it is, I feel as though I buy new needles for every project, despite the fact that I have around 9 million in my possession already.

Today, I picked up a new 32-inch circular #5. I'm not entirely certain, but I think this is the size I'll need for the ripple afghan I'm planning on starting soon. The needle I selected is an addi Natura. I have a few of the addi Turbo's but I haven't seen the Natura's before. It's a lightweight bamboo, which is my preference, and it has a very pliable cord which appeals to me. I'm sure it will be fine, but perhaps I'll try to pay more attention to the needle with this project to see if I can pick up on anything noteworthy. I'm amazed at some of the needle reviews I've seen online. Unless a needle falls apart in my hands or splits and snags the yarn, I really don't have much problem with any of them.

I have, however, had a problem with this:

This is a set my husband bought for me a couple of years ago. It was such a thoughtful gift that I will always appreciate purely for just that: the thoughtfulness on my husband's part. The gift itself is a big lemon. The set has 4 circulars of different lengths along with 6 sets of sizes 5 through 10 points to interchange.

Like all interchangeable needle sets, it sounds great, right? The problem with this set, you ask? Well, I'll show you:

This happened with the first circular within days of using it for the first time. I've tried every type of glue imaginable but after any length of time knitting with the needles, the glue unseals and the damn thing comes apart again. Two of the other three circulars have also now come apart in this same way, rendering the set entirely worthless (unless of course you are seeking to use it to torture a knitter, in which case you've got yourself a winner with this set!).

I wish I could warn you about the brand, but I've long since tossed the original box it came in away and it has no labeling on it.

On the topic of needles, I also have this rather bizarre photo to show you:

This is one of my frequently used sets of sock needles. In this case, they're #2's. You'll clearly see in the photo that one of the needles is significantly bent into an arch shape. This is so strange to me. All of my sock needle sets eventually end up looking like this. The bizarre thing is that it is NOT all of the needles in one set. It is always just one. This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. As we all know, the needles are cycled through the sock, each coming into play as a lefthand stitch holding needle, as well as as a righthand live needle. Why would just one of every set bend in this way? Yes, I can see one bending if I'm grasping it too firmly or holding my hand in some odd way, but why only one needle per set? It is one of the great mysteries of life that shall never be answered.

Enough needle banter for today. Time for me to get some knitting done!


DebbieKnitter said...

HAHAHAHA OMG Deb, I have the SAME problem. It weirds me out ALL the time. Hey, I thought of a great idea,we should take all of the bent double points out of each set and then make a full set out of THOSE. So all the bent needles would all be in one set:)
I never have figured out why those needles do that.

Kitty said...

I LOVE the Addi Naturas. The cable is very flexible and the needle is just right in the point and it's not too slick.
My sock needles do that, too. Very strange.

anne said...

some of my sock needles do that too, though to a much less extent. most of my sets are straight and stay the at way, but the number ones and zeros get the bends (hahaha!). i never used to be fussy about needles at all til i started knitting lace all the time, and then i tried some other choices. then i was a goner . . .

Kristen said...

As far as performance goes, I don't have much preference for one needle over another. The only exception would be the Boye DPNs, which are so affordable but pretty inconsistent. I've noticed within at least two of my sets that one or more needles has a different finish, like a coating, and it makes a spine-grating "skritch" feeling with each stitch. Other needles in that set will have a glossier finish and be smoof like satin, but when I knit around to the skritchy one, it's like chewing tin foil.

Mostly, my needle preferences are borne of convenience. I like knitting socks because they're portable, and when I port them I don't want my needles getting lost or broken, so I mainly knit them on Magic Loop with either Addi Turbos or Knitpicks Classic Circs.

AmysBabies said...

I have some Clover Bamboo straights that are doing that. Just one needle is bending! It is so weird.

Faith! said...

I've found a few great sets of vintage dpns at thrift shops that must be made of iron- they're unbendable! It makes knitting socks seem much less dainty somehow.

Lynne E. said...

Do you replace the set when one needle bends? It could be that the weakest needle is bending, and that the others will, too, if you go on using the set. (Don't mind me, this is probably another of my cockamamie theories--of which I have a lot.)

Debbie said...

I'm knitting socks right now with 0's and one of them is bent!!! Glad to know I'm not the only one this happens to although I can't figure out why or how it happens.

KnitNana said...

Yup, me too with bamboos (and my Colonial Rosewoods did the same thing - till one BROKE!).
I have no idea why...I'm not an especially tight knitter...and not all of them bed.

~Tonia~ said...

I have the same bent needle problem. I think that there are some strange forces that we don't understand at play. ;)

I have never tried the Natura Addi's all I have are the turbos. My LYS doesn't carry the Natura so I have never seen them in person. If they are anything like their Turbos then they will be good needles.