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View Full Version : KnitPicks needles... I'm torn and would love some advice


chixdilla
12-10-2011, 05:06 PM
So my dearest, most wonderful boyfriend decided to surprise me with the full set of acrylic interchangeable needles for my birthday. :inlove: I found the package on our doorstep last night, so the surprise was ruined, and I begged him to let me open it a week early. :mrgreen: The funny thing is, I had ordered myself the Try-It set the other day, which I just received today. So I was planning on returning that one and maybe exchanging it for a couple of extra cables and the size 13 tips which I really want. Now the reason why I'm torn is because I decided to try out the nickel plated needles that came with my Try-It set and I'm kind of in love with them. The acrylic ones are nice too, and I love that I don't have to be afraid of my stitches slipping off the needles, which I tend to do quite a bit on needles that are more slippery. But since I'm a tight knitter, I'm finding that my stitches aren't gliding as easily as I would like on the acrylics, but they slide like a dream on the nickels. So I'm debating whether I should just return both sets of needles in exchange for the nickel-plated ones, or stick with the acrylics, learn to loosen up my knitting (which I really need to do) and get a few extras instead. And if I keep the acrylics, I don't have to go needle-less for another couple of weeks while the new needles arrive. Soooo I really don't know what to do!

But now that I've rambled enough, what would you guys do? I clearly have trouble making decisions. :teehee:

Daylilydayzed
12-10-2011, 06:15 PM
When I first got my Knit Picks Try it set I used the acrylic needles and the cord to knit a cotton shopping bag. As I was inserting the tip of the needle into a stitch preparing to knit it, the very tip of the needle snapped off. It left a flat spot on the needle tip. I was still able to knit with it bu the yarn kind of dragged on the needles. I tried the Harmony wooden needles and the yarn just slide across the needle very smoothly. The nickel tips made it slide very fast but smoothly. Keep your acrylics but get several nickel tips and wooden tips. I am in the process of getting the Harmony set a few pieces at a time.

Jan in CA
12-10-2011, 07:19 PM
There are knitters who prefer each one of the types for various reasons. I knit 99% on the nickel plated because that is my preference. If you really think you'll like the nickel more then by all means go for it. Give them all a good practice on different types of yarn and see what works for you.

BTW..nice boyfriend!! :yay:

justplaincharlotte
12-10-2011, 07:50 PM
What an awesome boyfriend you have! :happydance:

It's incredible what knitting with that Try It set will make you contemplate doing, isn't it? ;) I'd say to go with whatever set you're most comfortable using in the long term...

suzeeq
12-10-2011, 10:40 PM
FWIW, I like the acrylics and haven't had a tip break, but I have a 7mm and an 11, so they may be more prone to breaking in the smaller sizes. I've uses other brands of metal needles and like them too.

chixdilla
12-11-2011, 04:52 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions! I think I've decided to just send them back and get the nickels (I've decided about 5 times now.. lol). I was knitting some mitts I'm making my sister for Christmas, and they're squeaking horribly on the acrylic needles. I'm guessing it's because it's acrylic on acrylic, because the mitts were knitting up like a dream on the nickels. And I'm also knitting a wool hat for my boyfriend on the acrylics, and they're fine with that yarn. But since I work mostly with acrylics, I think I should just go for the nickels because the squeaking was driving me crazy. It's too bad I probably won't get them for another few weeks and I'll have to go without my cool needles!. :pout:

suzeeq
12-11-2011, 07:02 PM
I use acrylic yarn on the acrylics all the times, but as I mentioned, they're in the larger sizes so it's a pretty loose gauge.

Freyja
12-11-2011, 10:33 PM
I bought two sets of acrylic needles, 4 & 5, just to use with slippery yarn like silk.
I put some silk on them and still dropped some stitches.
No where near as much dropping as with a metal needle so I am happy.
Moral:
If the yarn isn't slippery, I wouldn't use these suckers!!!!!:wink:

AJT
12-12-2011, 02:25 PM
If you are a tight knitter, I would not recommend the acrylic needles. I am quite a loose knitter, but the pattern that I was working on had several K3 togethers..... with lots of 2 YO's to make up the decrease. Much to my horror, my acrylic needle snapped in 1/2..... dropping all of the stitches from that row. It was very difficult to recover

chixdilla
12-12-2011, 02:31 PM
Oh no, that's terrible! I've had moments with decreases where I thought my metal needles that I bought at Michael's were going to break because my stitches were so impossibly tight. I'm glad I decided on returning them then. I just ordered the nickel-plated ones over the phone this morning so I'm hoping I won't have to wait too long!

Jan in CA
12-12-2011, 02:43 PM
I've heard of that happening with wood as well. As far as I know it happens only with the small needles.

Teach yourself to knit looser first of all and that kind of thing likely won't happen. It's also easier on your hands and the yarn if you aren't strangling it and your stitches will be more even.

lenaznap
12-12-2011, 07:27 PM
I love my KnitPicks interchangeable needles, especially because I can buy additional tips and cables as my budget allows. I have several of each type. If I ever came into some unexpected cash I would get more wooden tips for sure, but I still use and like the others.

One problem with the nickel though ... every time I knit with one of my nickel plated tips I see some sparkly flakes of the plating in my knitting. This is usually not a huge problem, but on the ones I use the most I do notice that this flaking has made the needles much less smooth than they once were, and so the yarn sometimes feels like it is catching a bit (at first I thought it was the join that wasn't screwed in all the way, but after checking that a dozen times I realized the join was still perfect, it was the needle itself where the plating had flaked off that was catching the yarn slightly).

Has anyone else had this problem?

Jan in CA
12-12-2011, 07:41 PM
No! I've never had that problem nor have I ever heard of it. Most of my knitting buddies at our social knitting group have them as well and I've never heard that. :??

suzeeq
12-12-2011, 08:28 PM
I've never had my cheap aluminum Boyes flake off into my knitting. I've had a couple of them for years and years and while the color has worn off a little bit, they're not rough at all.

lenaznap
12-13-2011, 01:30 AM
Very strange then.

If it was just happening to one needle or one pair of tips I would just assume it was a defective product, but since it happens to all of the KnitPicks nickel needles I have I am surprised I am the only one this has happened to.

Now, it is not like they constantly shed plating, but when I look closely at my work, like when I go to count rows, I see a few little sparkly flakes. Though the flaking happens with all of them, it has only flaked to the point of slightly catching the yarn on one, so it is possible that just that one is defective. However, it would make sense that as I use the others more and they flake more the same will eventually happen to all of them.

I have a Susan Bates (Velocity?) nickel plated circular as well and this never happened to those, but they aren't really long enough for magic loop so I use them much less than the KnitPicks. This has also never happened to any of the aluminum straight, circular, or DPN I've used (but I think the finish is baked on or something different than plating with those so I wouldn't expect them to wear the same).

chixdilla
12-13-2011, 08:36 AM
Are your needles still under warranty? If that was happening to mine, I'd call them immediately. For the price, I'd expect much higher quality.

Jan in CA
12-13-2011, 01:49 PM
Yeah, I would contact Knitpicks and tell them about it. They may replace them for you. Their customer service is excellent. :thumbsup:

Laura, they are actually considered a relatively inexpensive circular set. Addi Clicks are about $170. The Signature (http://www.signatureneedlearts.com/products/circulars/) circular set is over $300. The Clover Takumi Combo (http://www.clover-usa.com/product/0/3683/_/Takumi_Combo_Set) is about $170. When you think about the relatively few problems we have with KP for the price it's pretty amazing. Even those expensive ones have problems. I guess what we do with them is pretty hard on them sometimes. :teehee:

chixdilla
12-13-2011, 01:54 PM
Haha yeah, I guess I'm just super cheap because I'm used to paying like $4 for the cheap Boye aluminum needles. And even less if I use Michael's coupons! When I saw that each needle tip on KP is like $7-$10, this was me--> :noway: whaaaaat?! Lol.

$300 for knitting needles?! ...*speechless*...

Jan in CA
12-13-2011, 02:06 PM
Haha yeah, I guess I'm just super cheap because I'm used to paying like $4 for the cheap Boye aluminum needles. And even less if I use Michael's coupons! When I saw that each needle tip on KP is like $7-$10, this was me--> :noway: whaaaaat?! Lol.

$300 for knitting needles?! ...*speechless*...

Yeah. I have a couple friends who have them and complain regularly. The joins catch or the needle isn't smooth. I accept that my needles may have an issue now and then, but with KP customer service it's all good.

BTW...don't remember if I suggested you use a grippy shelf liner square for tightening them, but definitely get some. I keep a ziploc of squares in my knitting bag to hand out or replace an old one. My needles never come unscrewed. Always tighten and loosen carefully by holding the metal parts and not the cable, too.

ArtLady1981
12-13-2011, 02:37 PM
I've never had a problem with the flaking on the NP tips. I think it's an unusual glitch, and KP would undoubtedly be quick to replace the tips.

The acrylic tips (Zephyr's) are not as slick as Harmony's and NP's.
Someone mentioned that they wouldn't be a great choice for "tight" tension knitters. I AGREE with that 100%.

The Zephyr's have a squeaky quality. They are grabby. They would be exceptional when you are knitting loosely on a lace project with slippery yarn and big stitches.

My favs are NP's. I reach for metal needles first, no matter what brand.

The Harmony's are the nicest wooden needles on the market IMHO. Their finish is like glass, very smooth! Warm. They are almost as fast as NP's.

I would reach for my Harmony's before my Zephyr's.

I rate the 3 needle tips like this:

1a) Nickel Plated 1b) Harmony
2) Zephyr

NP gets 1a) only because I prefer metal over wood. They are both excellent needles!

Zephyr's are nice, and I think it was great that KP produced such an affordable set! I always recommend it to newbie knitters. They aren't laying out a lot of money for an interchangeable set. Later, they can add NP and/or Harmony tips.

chixdilla
12-20-2011, 10:20 AM
I'm glad I decided to go with the nickels then!! They arrived on my doorstep the day before my birthday, so I had a happy, happy day! They knit like a DREAM! I am SO in love! :inlove:

BTW...don't remember if I suggested you use a grippy shelf liner square for tightening them, but definitely get some. I keep a ziploc of squares in my knitting bag to hand out or replace an old one. My needles never come unscrewed. Always tighten and loosen carefully by holding the metal parts and not the cable, too.

Jan, I actually have a grippy jar opener type of thing in my kitchen that I just transferred to my knitting bag because I can't get the needle tips on and off without it! Thanks for the tip!

justplaincharlotte
12-20-2011, 02:57 PM
I'm glad I decided to go with the nickels then!! They arrived on my doorstep the day before my birthday, so I had a happy, happy day! They knit like a DREAM! I am SO in love! :inlove:

They *are* awesome, aren't they? Congratulations!:muah: