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globaltraveler
01-16-2009, 11:29 AM
Hi all - I'm a fairly new knitter (ie: since New Year's Eve), and I'm traveling. Marria suggested that I get a set of circulars so that I always have the right size of needle regardless of what yarn I find to buy! (And I've found plenty to buy -- no wonder people end up with stashes overflowing out of entire rooms!) I've been looking around the forums, and people keep saying "I like THIS sort of needle for some things, and THAT sort of needle for other things", but no one says what things or other things...and I don't have enough experience to know what to even look for!

In the LYSs I've found around here, I have a choice of Denise (the guys at I Knit said they're supposed to be airline safe), Addi's (which seem to be the top of the line, and certainly the most expensive), and Harmonies. I don't mind spending money if it's really worth it, and I'd prefer to buy only one set of interchangeables for quite some time, if possible.

What are the things that people like and dislike about the various sorts of interchangeable sets, what are their strong points (er, sorry), what do you like about them in certain situations and dislike about them in others? Would you suggest one set over another? If you have an opinion about what the best overall general set is, I'd love to hear it!

I have maybe a week to get my knitting gear figured out, as after that we disappear into the wilds of a seaside English town, nowhere near a yarn shop, so after that it's mail order or a trip back in to London!

dustinac
01-16-2009, 11:42 AM
Here (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57276&page=3)is a thread that that kinda discusses everyone's pros and cons. Although as you can see it becomes a matter of personal choice.

I have used Boye's, Denises, Options, and Harmonies. I have since sold the Boye's and Denises, the only ones I use are Knit Picks. I use the Options more 'cause they are slicker and I love the tips, the harmony tips are good as well. I haven't tried the Addis yet but I'm going to wait till next year and let them get the first year bugs out and maybe they will drop the cost.

At this point I'm really happy with my Options and Harmonies so dont' really have the desire to rush out and try them...so I can wait :teehee:

Interchangeables I find are good to have, I use them for everything and :happydance:

suecq
01-16-2009, 11:45 AM
A point to remeber is that the wood Harmonies and Options metal needles fit on the same cables. That allows you to have both metal and wood needles in the same interchangeable kit.

Plantgoddess+
01-16-2009, 12:34 PM
It does come down to personal choice as to which interchangeables you get. The main thing is is to get a set of whatever brand. They are indispensible if you do a lot of knitting. I have most of my cables in use right now. I've already had to buy duplicate of the smaller needles sizes since those are the ones I use most. I love my caps and just used them to hold my work while I tried on a top down shirt I'm working on. I currently have the Harmonys and love them. I have the Options sock dpn set and I plan on adding Option tips to my Harmony collection as well as a few more cables.

Jan in CA
01-16-2009, 01:07 PM
I own the Denise and Options set and I have several Addi and random other needles. The only ones I knit with anymore are Options. I ♥ them!

As far as the airlines are concerned... they mostly allow any needles, but sometimes overseas travel can be iffy. What I did was to take one cable with 2 needles and my project attached. The other needles were in my checked luggage. That way if they did take them I would only be out one set and I can buy one of those from KP.

They always suggest taking a self addressed stamped envelope, but be aware that not all airports have mailboxes.

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

globaltraveler
01-16-2009, 02:34 PM
This is all very useful, thanks, ladies. Thanks especially for the link to the older thread, I don't know why that didn't show up when I searched!

Has anyone actually used the new Addi Click set? I'm particularly curious about whether the connections are good. I do love the Addi circular needles I have, at least with the Cascade 220 that I'm working with right now. How it'll do on the mohair...I wonder if the tips will be sharp enough for me?

As I think it's very possible that I may end up doing some lace work, I suspect sharp tips will be a requirement, does that sound about right, oh you who know? That sounds like either the Harmonies or the Options nickel plated, yes? I can pick up the Harmonies most easily, though I could manage to get the Options plated by negotiating with my agents in the US and having them sent to me. :cool: Or I suppose I could just buy a few Addi lace circular needles for when I need really really sharp tips, and get the Harmonies set now, and get Option metal tips when I'm back in the States, because I do seem to prefer metal over plastic or wood... Oooh, my head is swimming.

I did read, however, that wood is an advantage in lace knitting because the rougher surface makes it easier to manipulate the yarns.

Comments on any of that?

reeny
01-16-2009, 02:45 PM
I have the options set, and I also have one pair of harmony tips (size 6). To me it seems as if the harmony tips are sharper than the options--although I prefer the nickle (I like the speed). But for doing lace I think the harmonies probably would be better because of the sharper tip, and the friction.

I love my options, and will most likely invest in a few more harmony tips when needed, but I'm glad I got the full set in nickle.

knitpurlgurl
01-17-2009, 01:45 PM
I own the Denises and the KP Options (nickel-plated set) needles. I ordered the Addi's, but then cancelled the order in favor of buying more KP circs.

Here's my own personal take:
Denise Interchangeables: Not a bad price. I bought the pink set for the cause. I LOVE the ease of these interchangeables (the join,) that the needle tips are marked for size, and the lightweight feel. I don't care for the plastic feel, the inflexible cables, the absence of smaller needle sizes, or the thickness of the cables.

KP Options: LOVE that they are slick and have the feel of Addi Turbos. I really love the flexible cable. The price is also prety good. I don't like that they don't include sizes for sock and lace knitting or that the needle tips aren't marked. I also hate having to tighten the join as much as I do.

Addi Clicks: These ARE nice, but are SO pricey and only come with 3 cables to get you started. $140 for this set is TOO EXPENSIVE IMHO.

globaltraveler
01-17-2009, 03:07 PM
Well, I've bought the Harmony set, to do lace etc. with in the future, and am going to order the Options Nickel tonight on eBay, for everything else -- knowing that they're a lot like the Addi needles sells me, I love the circular Addi's I have.

Hopefully that ought to hold me for a few years. Oh, I also got the Harmony sock needle set -- six to each set, whoa!

Thanks for all the input, it really helped me feel more confident when spending lots and lots of money...

globaltraveler
01-17-2009, 10:32 PM
There...I've ordered the Nickel 8 tip set. Phew. I have spent altogether too much money today. Time to pet my new needles and think about crafting and selling a few items to make up for the knitting expenditures...

Coming clean, I also bought the book "French Girl Knits" (a book that contains 80-90% projects I adore? buy it!), and a selection of various non-wool balls to see if any of them can be tolerated by my no-wool-at-all partner... I plan to knit up some little wristlets in each and have him try them on to see if any of them are okay on his skin. Any wool content at all makes his skin crawl...

Knitting_Guy
01-17-2009, 11:50 PM
Just go with the Options, ya can't go wrong. I love em.

Cynamar
01-18-2009, 12:18 AM
I just got the Options set and LOVE it! I'm giving my sister the Addis I've accumulated.

globaltraveler
01-18-2009, 08:36 AM
Yes, but WHY do you love them, guys? Details, details, I want details! :)

I think I'm going to be glad that I went ahead and got both. The wood Harmonies feel very different in my knitting from the metal Addi needles I've been using, and I can see where they'll be very useful for slippery and thin yarns. I may keep working mohair on the metal tips, though -- I haven't done much with the mohair on the wood, but it might be TOO sticky for a grabby yarn like mohair! I'll have to experiment.

TrishL1975
01-19-2009, 10:17 AM
TBH, I haven't used more than three sets of needles. (!)

I grabbed a 3-pack of acrylic straights for a bulky alpaca-acrylic blend scarf. They were okay, but now I'm wondering if I just didn't know any better.

I started my boss's BB in acrylic on them, but switched to some aluminum circs from Jo-Ann's. The metal was nice, but the cord... Argh!! I posted in here about it. So I broke down and ordered the Options, because at $59.99 for all the sizes it was less expensive than the $7.99 fixed circs. LOVE them. The cable is close to unnoticeable, the join is smooth, and the only problems I've had with the cable coming undone from the tips was when I was lazy and didn't use the key for leverage when attaching them. The tips aren't super pencil-lead sharp, maybe a little bigger than a ball-point pen - plenty small enough to do fiddly stuff in smaller yarn, but blunt enough that my fingertips aren't complaining. Did I mention the cables? Totally flexible, no fighting with them...

Now I'm looking at Options fixed circs in a size 3, 12, and 13, oh maybe some more cables... I'm a lost cause here.

biztec
01-19-2009, 11:18 AM
I'm not a fan of metal and have used mostly wood (bamboo). However, I find that the slight "stick" of the wood was good when I was first learning because the stitches didn't slip off the needles so easily. The downside is that it seems to make my hands tired more quickly. I purchased the Denise needles yesterday and like them a lot so far. They seem to have the right mix of "stick" and "slip". I love that you can add an extender to make the cable longer while still on the work. The slight "give" from the plastic is actually a bonus in my situation because it seems to cause less stress in my hands. I could easily see myself collecting other sets down the road, however. As far as which needles are best for which kind of work, I have been known to switch needle types while swatching because I don't like the feel of a certain type with a particular yarn. There's no rhyme or reason!

globaltraveler
01-19-2009, 12:28 PM
I love my Lantern Moon needles, but perhaps mostly because they're so beautiful, as well as being very pleasant to knit with. They feel a bit grainy (like most wood needles) when I'm knitting and the needles slide against each other. I haven't had the chance to do anything with my new Harmony set, and the Nickel set is on it's way (I got a notice this morning that they've been put into the Royal Mail and should be here in 3 days or so, hooray!).

But I love my Addi needles. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll love the Options Nickels just as much.

I'm working on a fine cotton right now (Rowan Fine Milk Cotton), and started the project off on Harmony wood DPN. The cotton is prone to splitting all by itself from sticking to the needles a bit, much less with the needle point, and finally in aggravation I switched to Addi lace making needles, even though the cable is long for the project and keeps getting in the way. MUCH easier, and it's like I'm not on 2.5 mm needles at all, almost as easy as working on 4.5 mm needles. So if the Options don't work as well as the Addi for me...I'll be selling them on and gritting my teeth to pay for the Click set of Addi circulars...

Cynamar
01-19-2009, 08:08 PM
I love them because I get everything that is important to me in one needle--slick surface, pointy tip, and flexible cable. With Addi you can get either slick or pointy and not both at the same time. I have a few Addis and am only keeping the lace ones. Options are also so inexpensive. You can't get that many Boyes for the price!

globaltraveler
01-19-2009, 08:28 PM
Ooh, fingers crossed on the Options nickel! I really, really want to adore them as much as I do the Addi! :) I'm thinking that'll get a set of DPN in metal as well, either Addi or Options if I like the latter. I'm definitely seriously thinking of getting a full range of sizes under 3.5 in Addi lace making points, as the longer I work with this cotton on the Addi's, the more I love them...

Whoof. At this rate, I'd better become a REALLY serious knitter...

globaltraveler
01-21-2009, 08:22 AM
They're here, they're here, they're here! Whee! Must find something to try on them...!

Newbie2Knitting
01-21-2009, 11:06 AM
For now I only have the Denise interchangeables. It came down to price for me. The Denise joins so easy! Just attach and twist til you feel a slight click. They also have a wide range of tip sizes and, since you can join more than one cable together, have a lot of length choices, moreso than other interchangeables. That being said, the cables are thicker and a bit stiffer than other circ sets I've used. I don't do magic loop so that hasn't been an issue for me. Also, I do have to admit that I'm not a big fan of how the resin feels. I much prefer the feel of nickle or wood but til I break down and get some KP interchangeables, I'll use my Denise.

globaltraveler
01-21-2009, 06:39 PM
Hooray! I love 'em! They're almost like Addi's, indeed. I've only done one swatch with them, but so far I'm very very very happy! Thanks, everybody!

Plantgoddess+
01-21-2009, 10:07 PM
Glad to hear they meet expectations so far. I was nervous ordering the Harmony set, but once I cast on and started knitting I was in love. I then bought the Options dpn sock set and I love them every bit as much. It took about an hour to get used to the shorter length as I had been knitting with 7" needles, but I don't even notice it now. The socks just speed along and I find I almost always have a pair on the needles now.

globaltraveler
01-21-2009, 10:12 PM
yeah -- I wouldn't be disappointed at this point if I'd never gotten the Harmony set...but it won't hurt me to have them. :) Thanks again!

SqueakerDoo
01-21-2009, 10:30 PM
I thought this might be a good place to post this...My mom sent me a set of Harmony Options for my birthday and they came today!!!! I am so excited!!!! Yay!!! I wanted to share with you because my DH cannot quite understand why I am so giddy. This is my first set of interchangeables! Yay!!!

Plantgoddess+
01-21-2009, 10:46 PM
Congratulations! Having good tools makes the work so much easier.

globaltraveler
01-21-2009, 11:00 PM
Yay! :woohoo:

Honestly, I'm not sure that non-knitters or other non-crafting people can understand unless they also have some kind of craft they do that relies on good tools to give the user an extra edge. :)

I've started likening it to giving a beginning violinist a really awful violin-shaped-object. Most people can understand that one if they've ever listened to a beginner trying out a bad fiddle. It just means pain to everyone involved! :)

ETA: Actually, non-knitting computer geeks can generally understand it if you ask them to imagine trying to get the job done on a computer from 20 years ago... :)

TrishL1975
01-21-2009, 11:31 PM
Hush your mouth - I *was* programming 20 years ago.

Of course, I can't program now.... we're worlds away from Apple BASIC and LOGO.

globaltraveler
01-22-2009, 05:08 AM
Hey, tell me I'm wrong, Trish. ;)

globaltraveler
01-22-2009, 08:10 AM
Okay, here's a definite downside to the KP -- I can just barely squeak this sleeve onto the smallest cable. They have GOT to get a smaller cable out!

Did someone say that there's a way to cut the cable and glue it back shorter?

TrishL1975
01-22-2009, 08:30 AM
Hmph.

No, you're not. It's just kinda sad that my former-computer-geek-self (BASIC, Pascal, COBOL, C++) is so far behind the times now. Similar to my Arabic skills - but those were never stellar to begin with.

btw Zina, do you ever sleep? Given that you're 5 hours ahead of me, your energy is astounding.

globaltraveler
01-22-2009, 08:46 AM
I'm actually in bed as I'm not feeling well! :) Knitting, of course. What else is there to do? Well, read, I suppose, and surf the Net. Right now, with new yarns to play with and swatch, knitting wins.

My partner works customer support for the States, so we're generally up until about 3 am, and then I sleep until about 10 or 11 to try and get in the full 7-8 hours. (Without which, I am a zombie.)

reeny
01-22-2009, 09:26 AM
I don't know if cutting the cable and regluing it would work. The reason they don't make the smaller sizes is because it doesn't work with the size of the tips. However, I always use some version of the magic loop when I knit in the round, lately. If you have too many stitches for a full magic loop then just slide the stitches on your right hand needle down onto the cable to relax your stitches a bit, and then knit around.

biztec
01-25-2009, 09:33 AM
I love my Lantern Moon needles, but perhaps mostly because they're so beautiful, as well as being very pleasant to knit with. They feel a bit grainy (like most wood needles) when I'm knitting and the needles slide against each other. I haven't had the chance to do anything with my new Harmony set, and the Nickel set is on it's way (I got a notice this morning that they've been put into the Royal Mail and should be here in 3 days or so, hooray!).

But I love my Addi needles. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll love the Options Nickels just as much.

I'm working on a fine cotton right now (Rowan Fine Milk Cotton), and started the project off on Harmony wood DPN. The cotton is prone to splitting all by itself from sticking to the needles a bit, much less with the needle point, and finally in aggravation I switched to Addi lace making needles, even though the cable is long for the project and keeps getting in the way. MUCH easier, and it's like I'm not on 2.5 mm needles at all, almost as easy as working on 4.5 mm needles. So if the Options don't work as well as the Addi for me...I'll be selling them on and gritting my teeth to pay for the Click set of Addi circulars...
I reaalllyy want to try lace knitting, so I'm glad to know there are needles made especially for this purpose. One of these days I need to pull the trigger.

globaltraveler
01-25-2009, 09:47 AM
It seems like a lot of lace patterns mainly call for very thin gauge yarns on medium-ish sized needles. I believe what's mainly important is a fairly sharp tip, which you can find on a number of tips, notably KPs and Addi's, and a grippy feel to the needle (usually best found on wood or plastic, which is why the Addi lace needles have a special coating on the tips). (There's a KnittersReview on Addi lace needles here (http://www.knittersreview.com/article_tool.asp?article=/review/product/070215_a.asp).) Nevertheless, I've gone ahead and collected the smallest Addi circs, especially in lace needles, I can find, because I've found them to be so useful. I had some problems with a particularly sticky coating on only one set of Addi circs, but I'm assuming this is a bit of a fluke, because the others don't have the same sticky feel.

I like knitting fine gauge yarns, so far, although they can make a project feel snail-paced. Sometime soon I want to order some cashmere cobweb yarn (http://www.colourmart.com/eng/cashmere_silk/100_cashmere/cobweb_weight/100_cashmere_cobweb_weight) and experiment.

globaltraveler
01-25-2009, 08:47 PM
Okay. I've had a chance to sit and work with all of my needles on the same yarn (a ribbon yarn, a bit difficult to work with, catches on everything including sharp points, my fiddle callouses, etc. -- I'm going to wear this, how? ;) ), as I work on the different bits of the Louisa project (http://www.flickr.com/photos/21233759@N04/3202838810/).

I actually wrote this on another thread (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1199355#post1199355), but will duplicate it here in the rather unlikely case of someone being interested in how I've made out so far with the needles.

I'm working between different sets of 8mm/11 needles right now on the same yarn (doing different bits of the lace tunic). The KP Nickels are the slickest, which is making it easy to move this rather difficult ribbon yarn about, in fact, almost too easy for control as I'm still a beginning knitter. The Addi's are a bit more grabby, but the points aren't as sharp -- useful, because this yarn doesn't so much split as catch on anything it can. The Harmony set is the grabbiest of them all and so are taking a bit more effort to knit on, but the sharp points are lovely and it's quite easy to control the yarn.

The Harmony needles are a lot slicker than my Lantern Moon needles, which are very grabby and have a grainy feel to the knit. The LM's will be useful, I think, when I need complete control over the yarn and can deal with the blunter tip.

Gertie
01-26-2009, 12:48 AM
pull the trigger.

:teehee: That's a new one on me. It's also how I feel about buying my first set of interchangeables. Haven't made up my mind on which set yet. Must check into the Click set of Addi circs.

biztec
02-02-2009, 08:50 AM
:teehee: That's a new one on me. It's also how I feel about buying my first set of interchangeables. Haven't made up my mind on which set yet. Must check into the Click set of Addi circs.
I love my Denise interchangeables more each time I use them. Another benefit to me as a continental knitter is that the tips are softer, so I don't get a sore finger from pushing the stitches off the left needle. Also, since I didn't learn to knit until after I developed some arthritis in my hands, I find that the stitches move more easily along the needles than with the bamboo ones I used to use. However, metal needles move so easily for me that I have to grip them more to keep the stitches from falling off, which hurts my hands after a while. I envy you younger knitters who don't have to deal with arthritis yet!!

globaltraveler
02-02-2009, 11:56 AM
One thing that made it much less painful for me on metal needles was to learn to push, not on the tip of the needles, but on the side of the tip of the needles, pushing towards the other needle rather than down, so that the angle of the tip would force the needle down, rather than pressure on the tip of the needle pushing it down. I suppose you could call it "working with the ergonomics of the needle".

twoxover
02-03-2009, 09:50 PM
Biztec-
i'm with you! i really do love my denise set....i bought it this summer, right after i knit my first scarf <g>. for me, it was a matter of a very good lys owner showing me how they work, and why she liked them...and then letting me knit with them in her shop. being such a newbie to knitting, i didn't quite trust mail ordering options, as i had no idea what to look for.

so far, i'm very pleased. perhaps in the future i'll buy a set of options, but haven't seen them in person to eye ball them yet!

betsey