Friday, January 22, 2010

Perhaps something useful?

So, this blog is named... Fascination with Needles... because its true... I am~ fascinated with needles!! I've been wanted to write this particular post... or at least bits of it... for months~ but I've been putting it off... because I wanted a picture of all my needles in one place... and really I don't have the patience to hunt down all the needles from their various cubbies for a photo shoot... so you'll just have to take my word for it... I have a lot~ from very very cheap... to quite pricey... to very new quite old (possibly older than me)... I love them all- not equally, but still its love. I see tons of posts on Ravelry about which is the "best" needles or which are the most cost effective needles... and really my opinion is- they all are, but for different reasons~

here is my personal mini review of 3 needle sets:
The Options Harmony Wood Interchangeable Needles
KnitPicks Options Harmony needles~

Needle sizes are 4-11, 9 needle pairs, 4 cables included 2- 24" and 2-32"

What I really like about these needles, are the sharp points and the smooth shaft of the needles. I really like the versatility of the length of the cables available and the cost of buying additional needles/cables is not prohibitive. I received these needles as a gift from my buddy Steve. They are my "go-to" needles- I start off most if not all projects with these needles.

What I don't like about these needles/set is- sometimes the glue holding the metal to the wood of the needle comes un-done and this can potentially happen in the middle of a super tricky lace project. It hasn't happened to me- personally- yet- but it could (knock on wood for me please.) Also I've had defective needles where the metal of the needle was too wide, so the cables could not lock in (the cable insert just keeps spinning around eventually becoming undone.) I've also had the little lock holes in the needle ends be too narrow for the key to fit into- I've had to used a safety pin to lock the needle to the cable in these cases.

This being said- Knit picks has great customer service- they have been very prompt and courteous in re-placing my broken or defective needles.

KA Switch Interchangeable Needles
Needle Sizes are 5-15, 10 needles in the set and 7 cables of various lengths

I purchased these needles about a year ago at my Local Yarn Store- Knit Knacks in Maplewood, NJ (I did not purchase them from the link above... I just google the needles, so you could see them as sold)

What I like about this set, is the packaging, I like the compact nature of the packaging which really is conducive to traveling with these needles in tow. I also like the cables- the joins from needles-to-cables is quite smooth. In general the cables are not as stuck in coil mode as some other circular type needles. I like the fact that these needles are bamboo, and therefore possess all the positive qualities of bamboo needles.

What I don't like about these needles, is the packaging!! The needles fall out of their little pockets, and the protective top flap doesn't always keep them in the case. I've had situations where all the needles fell out, and were swimming in my bag. Also, I'm not a big fan of the tips on these needles, they are blunt and using them against each other (maybe I'm the only one who knits this way) but the tips scratch each other leaving little scars. I'm also not a big fan of the fact that there are different cables for different needles. While it allows for a smoother more custom join, it also means more cables to sort through to find the right cable to fit the right needle, which is also the right length!

I'm happy to own these needles, because really, I'm happy to own all needles. However, if I had to do again, my life wouldn't be worse for not having purchased these.

Hiya Hiya Interchangeable Kit- Small sizes

I purchased these needles from Eat. Sleep. Knit late last year. They come in a cloth (kimono type fabric) in sizes 2-8, 7 pairs total, and 4 cables.

What I really like about these needles is the packaging! Seriously this time! The packaging is flat, compact, and it actually works. The needle stay inside the pockets, there is a separate zippered compartment for the cables and extra pockets- and the best part is that it all stays relatively closed, even without making a knot in the front closure. The needles are light and pointy, the cables are supportive and bendy without remaining coiled or limp. They are excellent needles to carry about with me, when I'm not quite sure which needle size I need to start a new project and you never know when you might want to change cable lengths or needles sizes!

What I don't like about this set is that my hands sweat when i knit and it seems to cause the needles to become discolored? and slippery. The discoloration is only evident if you look really really closely and inspect them (which apparently, I've done.) I also don't like the fact that as you work with the needles- the joins slowly become undone, causing a gap between the needle and the cable. I have issues with this because my knitting falls into the gap and getting the stitches out of that space can potentially cause damage to the fibers of your yarn (wild guesses as to how I know this?) So its a bit annoying to check the joins before starting each round/row~ though not prohibitively so, but annoying none the less~ I've mostly used the smallest sizes for knitting socks (on 2 circ's.)

Overall, I really like this set, and am likely to purchase the larger set of these needles if I were to come across them at a yarn store (which I haven't.)

Hopefully, this post was... interesting or informative? These were just the points that stuck out in my mind- as I write this at 2am! If you have any questions~ leave a comment, or text me like ya'll usually do~

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone~
My blogging kinda died down at the end of last year~ and one of my resolutions this year is to try and post at least once a month. Its not always my 1st thought when thinking about this blog- is that people actually read it! Its really a bit shocking! But thanks for all your comments.. texts and such... I'm always thinking I should post- I just don't often get around to it.
Despite everyone's concern- Yes, I've still been knitting... probably just as much~ Although I feel like I haven't been getting anything done? Which is weird because I have finished a few FO's mostly holiday gifts~ wellz most everything I knit is a gift~ and I've been buying yarn (lots of yarn)~

My 1st FO of the year... matchy match vests for Rosie's Twins~