Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Good Thing About Sick Days...

Just a little while ago I was sitting in my living room home sick from work, feeling rather miserable, and watching Anne of Green Gables, when the doorbell rings. It was the mail carrier with a package for me - my new KnitPicks Options Needle Set! Here's the quick rundown of my first impressions (Sorry for the strange photo formatting...blogger is being weird, as usual, so I had to use flickr for some of the photos):

What I love:

  • The case is adorable - sleek and useful. It even has a place for a pen. Only thing is I wish it wasn't black as even 30 minutes after opening the box, there is now cat hair on it.

  • The case is expandable so that you can add more pockets. Perfect so that you can carry with you all those extra knitting accessories. Plus there are interior pockets that can hold a pattern or notes as well as a zippered pocket for all those stray little doodads.

  • CIMG14151The tips are exceptionally pointy. Perfect! I did a quick swatch using Rowan Calmer (I'm using it for my next project) and the points were terrific for the slightly splitty yarn. I cannot wait to knit some lace with these bad boys.
  • The needle shafts are a great length. Very comfortable for my hands (long fingers and slightly larger hand).
  • The general heft of the needles is great. I use my Denise needles for a lot of my knitting, but I never liked their lack of substance. These new KnitPicks needles have a weight to them that is very nice - not too much, but not too little.
  • CIMG14261The join is very nice and smooth. Again, comparing this to the Denise set, I have snapped a couple Denise needles at the join before, especially during a large decrease or increase section or while using yarn with less give (cotton, hemp). Of course, they are fantastic about replacing the needle, but it's a bummer when it happens. Well the KnitPicks needles have a very smooth and secure metal join and especially I use the included tightening key I doubt I'll have any trouble with these joins snapping. The yarn also pulled very easily over the join - another big plus.
  • The cords are much thinner than the Denise cords. These are more like addi turbo cords - hooray!
  • I really like that I can easily order more sizes of needles and cords as I need them. I use size 4 and 5 a lot so I'm sure I'll be ordering a couple extra sets. Very convenient.

Things I don't like so much:

  • You cannot create custom cord lengths like you can with the Denise set. This is a bit of a bummer as that is really handy when you want to try something on for sizing, but you don't want to move it all to waste yarn. Hopefully they will add some connector pieces to the kit soon.
  • The needles are not numbered with their sizes! This is a little annoying. Luckily I ordered the number tags you can buy separately. I'm just going to keep them in the pocket with the corresponding needle. I'm a little surprise they didn't think to add a little stamp or something. Oh well, it's a small annoyance.

CIMG14171Overall, I'm very happy with this set. I'm about to start my first project with these needles and I'll let you know how it goes. I also got a couple sets of the double point needles (1's and 0's). I'll use them on my next pair of socks and report back. My first impression of this set is that it's a great value and I'll be using it for years to come.


Karin said...

That set looks pretty cool. I never would have seen it if it weren't for this blog!

Kaitie Tee said...

Thanks for the review. I have a Boye Needlemaster and I get annoyed by how short the needles are. Looks like this set might be better.

aija said...

Wow, the outside of the case looks really cool. I wonder why they don't have a pic of that at KP?

...hanging on for your review of the dpns-- those are on my covet list :) I worry they'll be *too* pointy for me (I'm a needle pushing knitter! Bad habits die hard...)

Thanks for the pics!

knit chick said...

I got my set today, too. You know that I liked that it was a black case :) I held back on getting the other needles, though. Can't wait to hear how the DPNs are.

My camera battery died, so that just means more time for me to check out my new toys.

I think we got sets in time... they're backordered at KP!

trek said...

I saw on Quickeye's comments that your cat brought you your sock bag - who would have thought - a cat that fetches.

tonni said...

Great! I was hoping for super pointy tips! Thanks for the review... maybe my order will arrive today :)

insaknitty said...

thanks for the great review! I'm still waiting for my set. I think it's kind of dumb, too, how the sizes aren't printed on the needles and that you can't make a super-cord like with the denises... but they still seem terrific!!

Mary said...

Oh, I just got the KnitPicks catalog with those needles on the cover, and was wondering how they were to knit with. So, you like them? As good as Addi's? As good as Denise's? Are they pointy enough? Are the joins smooth enough?

Mary said...

Okay, I read your complete post and see that you answered a few of my above questions - thanks! ;-)

Another question - are the DPNs labeled with the needle size? To me that's a deal killer if they're not labeled, so I think I may wait and see if they can label the circulars as well, otherwise, that will drive me crazy. I do like the tags, for storing with swatches or whatever, but that's not good enough for when you're actively knitting. Do they throw in a needle size guide or are they standard and will fit the Susan Bates one?

Sharon G. said...

Thanks for the review...bummer about not being able to adjust the cord length. I heart my Denise set, but I'd like something a little pointier.

Mary, the dpns are not marked. I just got a set of 1 and 0. I've yet to use them, but they feel good.