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akornblau
12-08-2011, 12:09 PM
Greetings,

I could really use some advice from this wonderful knitting community on your experience with bamboo circular needles.

Currently, my go to needles are the interchangeable Knit Picks Harmony Wood. Although I am very happy with these needles, I have a very strong desire to knit with bamboo needles.

So, after some research, I bought the bamboo KA Mid Switch Exchangeable Circular Needle Set -- beautiful needles. The problem is that the longer cords (40" or longer which I need for Magic Loop) do not fit on the smaller needle tip sizes. To remedy this issue, I also bough the connector that would allow me to connect two cables together for the length I need for Magic Loop.

However, each time I switched sides using the Magic Loop technique, the stitches bunched up around the connector, and I had to take extra time to smooth out the stitches over the connector to be able to free up the cable length I needed to continue. After trying to make this work for quite a number of rounds last night, I realized this was just not working for me. I started my project over on the Harmony needles, and Magic Loop was a breeze.

I also realized when switching to the Harmony circular needles that my hands felt more comfortable -- the Harmony needle tips are longer than the KA needle tips. Also, it was easier to put the Harmony needle tips into the stitches and the stitches glided over the Harmony needles more effortlessly than the KA needles.

Through this experience, I have a better idea of the type of bamboo interchangeable needle set I am looking for.

Could anyone recommend an interchangeable bamboo needle set that has longer needle tips, sharper points, and a smooth/slick surface (similar to the Harmony needles if you are familiar with these)? I would also need the set to come with a 40" or longer cable that would fit all of the needle sizes without having to join cables together.

Thank you,

Amy

suzeeq
12-08-2011, 01:19 PM
Why do you prefer bamboo over the Harmonies? Seems like they'd be similar.

Jan in CA
12-08-2011, 03:01 PM
I think my friend has the Clover Takumi bamboo interchangeables and loves them. The cable is much different than the ones you buy singly in stores like hobby lobby. I'll ask her if this is them -
http://www.clover-mfg.com/en/products/combo/

akornblau
12-09-2011, 09:57 AM
Why do you prefer bamboo over the Harmonies? Seems like they'd be similar.

You are right. Wood and bamboo have similar features. Mainly, I like that bamboo is eco-friendly, and I want to support that as a consumer. I also prefer to knit with organic, fair trade cotton yarn. I think the bamboo needles and organic cotton yarn would make a very nice combination.

Best regards,

Amy

akornblau
12-09-2011, 09:58 AM
I think my friend has the Clover Takumi bamboo interchangeables and loves them. The cable is much different than the ones you buy singly in stores like hobby lobby. I'll ask her if this is them -
http://www.clover-mfg.com/en/products/combo/

Thank you for checking with your friend, Jan.

Best regards,

Amy

suzeeq
12-09-2011, 10:51 AM
Some people find cotton difficult to work with on bamboo needles as both the yarn and needles are 'sticky' rather than smooth or slick. But the bamboos do get a little smoother as you use them.

While bamboo might be a fast growing renewable wood source, and organic cotton sounds ecofriendly, consider the processing of both these products. Some methods might actually cause more harm than the processing of other products. For instance, not many people realize that the manufacture of solar energy panels causes a lot of water pollution.

akornblau
12-09-2011, 11:12 AM
Some people find cotton difficult to work with on bamboo needles as both the yarn and needles are 'sticky' rather than smooth or slick. But the bamboos do get a little smoother as you use them.

While bamboo might be a fast growing renewable wood source, and organic cotton sounds ecofriendly, consider the processing of both these products. Some methods might actually cause more harm than the processing of other products. For instance, not many people realize that the manufacture of solar energy panels causes a lot of water pollution.

Hi Sue.

You raise a very important point. For instance, bamboo yarn is not actually eco-friendly. It takes a significant chemical process to make bamboo into usable yarn. The company I use to buy organic, fair trade cotton yarn is wonderful about minimizing the carbon footprint regarding the products they offer. And, of course, fair trade is so important regarding protections against child labor and ensuring good worker wages. The company is Ecobutterfly Organics (http://www.ecobutterfly.com).

Best regards,

Amy

akornblau
12-09-2011, 12:55 PM
Hi Sue.

You raise a very important point. For instance, bamboo yarn is not actually eco-friendly. It takes a significant chemical process to make bamboo into usable yarn. The company I use to buy organic, fair trade cotton yarn is wonderful about minimizing the carbon footprint regarding the products they offer. And, of course, fair trade is so important regarding protections against child labor and ensuring good worker wages. The company is Ecobutterfly Organics (http://www.ecobutterfly.com).

Best regards,

Amy

I also meant to thank you for your advice about the using cotton yarn with bamboo needles. I am definitely interested in a smooth, more polished bamboo surface, in addition to pointed tips, and a longer needle to hold for comfort -- in addition to a least a 40" cable to work with all of the needle sizes for Magic Loop. If this set doesn't exist, I will happily continue to knit using the Harmony set. I just wanted to explore the possibility of a bamboo set which I also find to be beautiful in addition to their other qualities.

Also, I just wanted to clarify that I do knit with other yarn as well as the organic, fair trade cotton. My preference is to knit with the organic cotton. I'm certainly not trying to take a stand on what yarn/needles people should knit with. I was just trying to answer why I was interested in bamboo when I already have a set of Harmony needles.

Best regards,

Amy

suzeeq
12-09-2011, 10:19 PM
I have the fixed circular Clovers and while other people complained about how tight cotton was on them, I didn't have a problem. Though since I always knit with a loose gauge, that may have alleviated it. But they did smooth and slicken up after using them too.