Thursday, February 18

On knitting needles.

Most of you probably know this, but knitting needles come in a large variety of sizes and lengths, circular and straight. It can get expensive when every new project needs a different size of needle.

When I first taught myself to knit, I was lucky in that I had just inherited quite a variety of straight needles from Granny (Will's grandmother). I don't think I had every size, but I had a good mix of sizes for a beginner. I could make worsted weight scarves or chunky ones. (Back then I really gravitated towards the chunky!) And scarves were pretty much all I made for a few months so I wasn't worried about circular needles.

Eventually I moved on to hats and started purchasing the circulars. I always bought the Clover Takumi Bamboo circulars because they are readily available at hobby stores like Michaels and Jo-Ann. And I fell in love with the bamboo versus the aluminum straight needles that I was using. The Clover brand is also affordable so they fit my budget.

I loved making hats and over the years, I ended up having most of the needles sizes in the 16-inch circular length. And because I loved the feel of the bamboo needles, I picked up a few sizes of straight needles. (Plus some of Granny's needles were pretty worn down so I felt like replacements were justified.) Then, a few years ago when we visited my aunt and uncle in San Diego, I was sent home with my grandmother's knitting supplies. So I have doubles and maybe even a few triples of straight needles. In other words, straight needles are covered.

Of course as my passion for knitting grew, I realized that I wanted to make something besides scarves and hats. So I'd pick a pattern and find that I didn't have the needles required. Right now I have a few 24-inch circulars and a few 36-inch, but nowhere near what I need for any given pattern, especially now that I am (tentatively) delving into sweaters.

For the next sweater, I need two new circular sizes which probably amounts to $25 to $30 if I buy the Clover Takumi needles. Not too bad, but what about when the next sweater needs different sizes? Or if I do a gauge swatch and realize I need a size up or down? That's another $10 to $15 and another $10 to $15 and so on. It adds up pretty quickly.

So. (And yes, I realize I lost most of my audience awhile back.)

I started looking at interchangeable circular sets. I know a few people who have the Options Interchangeable Harmony Wood Needles Set and really like them. I get a good bit of my yarn from KnitPicks and that set is so very pretty, so I was leaning in that direction. It's a decent range of sizes, gets okay reviews, and again, so pretty! But around the same time, I happened to pick up some KA bamboo needles at Tutto. They are totally affordable and I ended up really liking both the straight needles and the circular that I bought. They are so smooth and nice.

So when in my interchangeable circular set research, I discovered that KA makes a set, I was interested. Slightly more expensive than Options and a different set up, but bamboo, which I love, and such a cute little cloth case!

I went back and forth over the two choices for days and finally decided to go with the KA set. So yes, I spent $99 on needles, but in the long run, it is way more cost effective that buying the needles singly. The KA set amounts to 39 different combinations! So that's $99 for 39 sizes versus $35 or $45 for 3 sizes. See, makes sense, right?

When my set arrived the other day, I was thrilled! Look how cute!

And I realize there is no perspective here, but it's a bit smaller than a Moleskin journal. And on the inside...

needles all in their own place plus a little pocket on the back for the circular parts. It is so compact and awesome. A good investment, for sure. I think I am set for awhile.

1 comment:

  1. I totally do not understand this foreign language you are speaking, but the needles look pretty and I am glad you found an easy solution to having to get a different set for every pattern. Cant wait to see more sweaters!


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