Enter the Mind of BeanKnit…Part 1

This is the first of a ‘series’ of posts where I reveal things about my knitting and spinning that you never knew were on my mind.

Whoo… where to start? How about needles and my insane quests with them.

Let me point out that this is by NO means a comprehensive review of the needles I discuss, just my personal thoughts.

I’ve tried many of them. They all serve varied purposes, along with the ability to hold your stitches. For instance:

Denise: I purchased this interchangeable needle set about 3 years ago, not long after I fell headlong into knitting. The good thing about it was, naturally, the interchangeability of the tips to various sizes without having to buy EVERY. SINGLE. SIZE. and. LENGTH. circular needle. The cons? The tips didn’t go down to the tiny 1s and 2s I so loved to knit socks on. Especially when I’d just completed my first pair of socks on the Magic Loop. I’ve since managed to lose EVERY single tip of the set. I could KICK myself, letting little hands get on stuff. I still have the 50″ cord with two stoppers for trying on sweaters and such. At least for that, it came in handy. At some point in the future I’m getting another set.

Addi: Oh boy. I started doing the Magic Loop on these, to make what would become many pairs of socks. This was the needle recommended in the book. The pros? Very flexible cords and super smooth joins. The cons? Price. The Turbos are a dream to knit with but the tips leave much to be desired. In recent months, Addi introduced Lace needles in sizes 4 and down with much sharper tips. I have yet to work with these since there are comparable alternatives for much less money.
When I started the ML I went out and bought sizes 1,2,3 and 4. Got home and realized, the 4 was an Addi Natura, their bamboo circ. Again, a very nice cord but the join isn’t all that smooth like the metal Turbos.

Inox(regular): I’ve had a few of these too. They annoy me. They’re bent right by the damn join! WTF? The surface isn’t nearly as smooth as the Addi’s I so love. But the price seemed right and they actually come in a 2.25mm which for me, makes all the difference when it comes to gauge. It took me a year maybe before I realized the size 1 Addi I have is NOT 2.25mm but 2.5mm. I own a size 0 2.0 Addi and there IS a difference with that .25mm, to me, at least.

Inox(express): Now this is a true Addi competitor in my eyes. No, I’ve yet to work with one but I once met someone who did and for all intents and purposes it was a cheaper Addi. The thing that gets me is that it DOESN’T come smaller than a freakin size 4US. WHY???? *cries*. These needles have the super flexible cord and smooth join I need and Inox makes a 2.25mm in their other needle so WhyTF don’t you make it in this too?? *sigh*. Again, a good price for the quality of the needle.

Crystal Palace: These are some sharp bamboo needles. I like them for that. But damn if the joins don’t suck. Majorly. These are prettier than another leading brand of bamboo needles, Clover, which I’ll discuss next. The cords will loosen fairly with immersion in warm water, but they’re not as flexible as other needles. And they’re not cheap either.

Which leads me to Clover(Takumi?): These are the cheap knitter’s bamboo needles. Nice pricing and a decent finish to them, though not as shiny as the Crystal Palace. The cords hate me. They never really seem to relax enough. Combined with the not so hot joins(though better than the CPs), and this is a disaster for ML knitting. I’ve tried. It can be done, but with much cussing and tugging of yarn. I will say, I love these for cotton knitting the most, and we all know how I feel about cotton knitting, but that’s another post. šŸ˜‰

I’ve also tried Susan Bates SilvaLume and Quicksilver:These are aluminum needles. A bit heavy on the wrists, especially as you get to the larger sizes. The cords? Not so hot, as they don’t relax all that well either. But nice and smooth for knitting as far as the needletips themselves go. For fast-moving inexpensive knitting I’ll go with these in a pinch.

Throw in the Suzanne rosewood circ I have which seemed odd to me at first, with its 10.75mm sizing(this needle reminds me of a CP in terms of shine and the joins), and that pretty much rounds out my Circular needle collection. Then there are the buncha DPNs I have in almost every size, length( I love those 14 inch Bryspuns!), and material and we have needle storage madness. I’ve gotta work on that too.

*I did not make comment on the Knitpicks Options needles because I haven’t knit with them yet. I’m still in the process of scoring a few. Because they are Addi-like I expect to like them. We shall see.

Up Next: Part 2: Knitting; where I’ve been and where I’m headed.

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4 responses to “Enter the Mind of BeanKnit…Part 1

  1. Ok, here’s a question for you- what’s the best, easiest way to learn Magic Loop? Is there a particular book that’s especially good? A video? Is it best to sit down with someone else? I’m sure I’d like knitting socks much more if it didn’t take so loooooooooong!

  2. Cool series. I can’t wait to read the rest.

    As far as needles: You may as well just nix the Denise’s and get the whole KP Options set because you are going to HEART them! They’re fantastic. Addi definitely has some competition there! Plus since they’re so sharp.

    But I still love my Addi’s too don’t get me wrong.

    I get them usually from kangaroo.uk.com – get about 3 for like $15. Heh!

  3. Inox Express does make sizes smaller than US4 – I have a few of them, just for socks because I’m a big Magic Loop fan too. But the 2.25mm does seem hard to find now. WEBS carries sizes 2 and 3 thought. or try the new KP or Hiya Hiya needles…

  4. You should try the Addi lace if you get the chance. (borrow them from Val if she has them) I really like them and I think that the cords are even more flexible than the Addi Turbo needles. And the tips are so pointy! YAY! They make them up to US size 6, not 4.

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