Wednesday, 3 November 2010

New Knitting Needles

Well kind of, they are interchangeable circular knitting needles but you get the idea.  I started to learn to knit a few months ago mainly because I kept seeing things I wanted to make but couldn't because they were knit.  The thing is I used to be able to knit as a kid but never carried it on and for the life of me couldn't remember anything.

So off I went and in my usual style was in search of a book to teach me, although to be fair my mum knits, but she is left handed and I'm not.  After some digging I was told that buying a book was pointless as there were many on-line resources to learn from and I was directed to

So that's where it began, after some more research I decided to try to learn continental style knitting as it fit in with my existing crochet skills.  So far everything is going fine, I did have some problems with the purl stitch but that's another post :) 

So having discovered I can knit I figured I could go ahead and buy some more needles in different sizes and went off to do some more research.  I found out that a lot of people use only circular needles,  this has a few advantages.  You can use circulars for flat projects as well as in the round, small diameter when using the magic loop method and you don't poke people sitting next to you when knitting.  There's bound to be more but that's all I can think of right now. 

More googling followed and i decided on Knitpro, mainly because they were interchangeable but partly because they looked so pretty.   The next problem was which ones to buy, they come in three different types, plastic, metal and wood.  In the end I decided to buy one pair of each type and 3 cables, these arrived in the post yesterday.

The look wonderful but I was surprised at the cable lengths, the shortest one was a lot shorter than I had thought but that's not a problem.  Putting the cables on is easy they just screw in, there's also a hole for a "key" to go in to help tighten it up (I say key but its really just a bit of wire).   Each cable comes with end caps so that the needle tips can be removed and the caps put on so that your knitting doesn't fall off, I reckon these would work as stitch holder too.

So bearing in mind my little wench was around I couldn't do a proper test right away but I did manage about 5 mins with each type before she decided to help.  I cant quite put my finger on it but I didn't like the acrylic ones, maybe cos they squeaked or maybe they felt too light, not sure.  The metal tips were ok but were quite pointy, and I use my finger to push on the point sometimes so this bothered me.  The wooden ones, they didn't actually feel like wood, I liked these.

So my initial thoughts were that I liked either the wood or the metal but I was leaning towards the wood.  However someone on-line warned me that the acrylic ones needed to be used for a while before deciding as they had a coating on them.  So I grabbed some scrap acrylic yarn and started a stocking stitch sample and did about an hour or some with the acrylic tips,  that took me until the end of the Wench's nap.  Last night I got the metal tips on and managed about half an hour before my impatience got the better of me so I switched to the wood ones.

When I look down at the sample its a lot neater than normal,  an awful lot, so much so I was very very happy.  If I'm honest this could be for a few reasons, the new needles, that I have finally found "my" way of purling.  I don't care though my knitting with all 3 tips was consistently neat and even so I would happily use all of them for that reason.  The thing is I want to buy a deluxe set of these so I need to figure out which ones I love best and it still looks like the wooden ones.  Don't get me wrong, I could happily knit with all three types, but for me the plastic feels too plastic-y and the metal is just a bit too pointy.  This isn't me saying they are bad its me trying very very hard to find any reason, and I mean even a tiny one, to pick one over the other.  I'm quite sure that I would get used to the points on the metal tips and the plastic would be fine once I had used them a while.

So I'm still left not sure which set to get,  if there isn't much in it then I may just get the acrylic set for now and save up for the wooden set, especially as the wooden ones are the most expensive.  However if my heart is set on the wooden ones then I'm best getting those.  Sigh!  The wooden set would be about £50 plus postage and the acrylic set would be about £30 for the pink set and £35 if I wanted the rainbow acrylic set.

So what am I going to do?  Right now I'm going to buy wool so I can be doing something, and as I'm buying Stylecraft that should be a good amount of wool.  After that I reckon I will save up for the wooden set but slow time, right now its not essential as the set I have will do me for a while.  What I might actually do is buy some more cables, cable connectors and maybe one set of dpns inn 4mm so I can make an attempt as silvers sock class using DK wool.

Oh and just to throw something else in they do a special edition rose wood set thats about £70-£80 depending where you look :)