Friday, June 5, 2009

Squaring The Circular

This week I had the opportunity to 'test drive' one of the new SQUARE circular needles by Kollage Yarns. Now, I wasn't entirely convinced to begin with. After all what could square needles give me that round ones couldn't? I decided to give them a go though to find out.

Starting to knit with square needles was really mostly a mental adjustment. Square needles and round stitches just don't quite seem to go together, but actually I was pleasantly surprised. I started knitting with a Us 5 24" circular and it was a bit like holding one of those triangular shaped pencils that you can get for small kids. Holding the needles was a breeze and after a while I completely forgot that they were square at all.

I found that the best part was the point. P3tog can sometimes be a bit of a struggle, but with square needles it's really easy. Somehow the flat edges of the needle open the stitches up more than round needles do, which makes it so much easier to slip the tip of your working needle into them.

People with arthritis or other hand maladies swear by these needles and I can see why. They are light weight yet strong and make the act of physically holding the needles much easier because you have something more to grip on to.

The only problem I have found though is with the cable. Although it is made from modern materials and, as advertised, "won't kink, kurl or knot," I have found the join to be inferior. It is driving me mad having to manually slide my stitches over the rather ragged join at the base of the needle. I am working with worsted weight yarn and, to be honest, I dread to think how damaged my yarn would be if I'd chosen anything lighter.

So, although I've enjoyed experimenting with Squares, I won't be rushing out to build up my collection unless they improve the needle join. For now I'll stick with my Knit Picks Options and my all time favourites, the Addi's.

Have you tried these needles? Tell us about your experience in the comments. I'd love to know what you think.


Alyson said...

I tried these out at Great Yarns a couple months ago and had a similar response...they're fine, but I wasn't terribly impressed. I like my Addis too much to switch. You make a good point about P3tog (or other difficult stitches) being a little easier to maneuver. Hadn't thought about that aspect. They're extremely lightweight, too, which I'm sure some people really like.

knittingqueen said...

Hi Jane--
We sell those needles at the shop. And frankly, they're not great. We have had several returned because the cord broke away from the join--not good!

Personally, I didn't like the cord--too floppy for me. I'm partial to my addi turbos and knit picks. One employee did think it made her stitches more uniform. I'm tempted to try the double points for socks, but haven't had the chance to do so yet.

As for the P3 issue, I would be much more inclined to use the addi lace needles or even the darn pretty needles. They are both nice and sharp!

Rudee said...

Addi lace are definitely superior, but I like the pointy tips of the KP Options. What I don't like about the Options is that on more than once occasion, the cable has come apart at the join. Not good when knitting lace. Ugh. The interchangeable Addis don't have sharp tips like the Options. It's a beautiful set, but I like my pointy tips.

Jane said...

Well, I'm beginning to think that they're overpriced too. I've only used this pair once and already the copper plate is coming off. I'll save my money for Addis in future.

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