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Old 03-04-2008, 03:36 AM   #1
lactosefree
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yet another inquiry about knitpick options
For the past month or so I've been hemming and hawing over whether or not to purchase the Harmony interchangeable set from Knit Picks.

I did a search on this forum for 'options' and 'harmony' and just spent the last hour reading archived threads regarding the interchangeable needle sets.

I have come to conclude the following:

1. People it
2. The interchangeable do not come in 16" circulars
3. Must buy the fixed 16" separately
4. The joint between the cable and the needle do not spin
5. The cables are very flexible
6. You have to purchase dpns separately
7. Knit Picks has a reputation for great customer service

I definitely would want 16" circulars, and I absolutely love using dpns. I can't part with dpns despite all the hype about the magic loop method. With all this in mind, I did a 'trial shopping' run on Knit Picks:

In the shopping cart:
The Harmony Interchangeable Circular Needle Set
Additional cables in size 40" and 47"
Additional tips in size 13, 15 and 17,
16" Fixed circular needles in sizes 4-11
The 6" dpn set (sizes 0-3)
8" dpns in sizes 4-11

The total for all of the above is $275.75 before tax. That is an absolutely fantastic deal $ wise. I don't think I can find a complete set like this anywhere else for this price.

With that being said, I am fully aware that nearly $300 is no small change. I am putting the bulk of my tax refund towards my student loans, but would love to treat myself to a nice set of needles before doing the responsible thing.

With all this in mind, my number one concern is regarding the cables. I absolutely adore the Crystal Palace Bamboo Circular Needles with the 'New Design' because the joint where the cable and the needle meet fully spin and is not as stressful on the joints/hands/wrists when working with circulars. I've had repetitive stress injuries on my forearm and carpel tunnel in the past and prefer to use needles that are easy on the hands, so to speak.

Has anyone compared the Crystal Palace - or any other brand that has the spinning joint - to the Options?

I'm thinking if the Options cable is really that flexible and comfortable then you won't need the joint to spin?

Any advice/experience with the spinning joint vs Options or experience from people who've had repetitive stress and used Options would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-04-2008, 06:28 AM   #2
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I don't own any of the KP circs, but I've heard nothing but good things about their cables. They're supposed to be about the best, comparable -- or better! -- than Addis, from what I read.

Where I would hesitate is on getting the Harmony instead of the Options. I have heard many stories about the Harmony tips separating from the metal piece and of the wood itself splitting. I hear the KP customer service is excellent, but it would make me nuts if I kept having to have tips replaced.

I've never used any circ with a spinning join that I recall.
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:10 AM   #3
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I haven't tried the Crystal Palace circs or any with a spinning cable, but it certainly hasn't been an issue for me with the Options or Harmonies.
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Old 03-04-2008, 09:51 AM   #4
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I can't quite envision why it would be necessary to have the tips spin. I have the Harmonies and Options and have used Boye aluminium and Clover Bamboo circulars, and while the bamboo frustrates me, the problem is the stitches not sliding. The Boye cable is thicker and less flexible, which tends to annoy me, but the Knitpicks needles (both) allow the stitches to slide and the cables just there...they don't "hang up" in any way, and I don't have to do anything to situate them periodically, except occasionally when doing flat knitting with fairly small numbers of stitches and lots of turning the work, I might on occasion reposition them--perhaps that is when a spinning needle would be helpful? Maybe?

At any rate, I can't imagine anything being more convenient or easier to work with. I'm thinking you're going to be quite satisfied. However, is there anyone close to you who has them so you could "take them for a test drive" before you purchase? Or maybe by just one of them and suck up the shipping cost so you can check it out before spending the entire $300? Spending an extra $5 or whatever on shipping might be worth it if you're uncertain about how you'll like them.

Just a few thoughts.

Oh, and I haven't had any trouble with the Harmonies.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:11 AM   #5
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Thanks Lisa I appreciate your thorough answer.

I hate using the clover bamboo circulars. It's so hard to work with and I thought it was because there is no give at the joint where the cable and tip meets, but I never considered that it may also be because the stitches don't slide as well. I end up having to push my work down the needles and when the joint doesn't spin it's very tiring on my wrists since i'm constantly adjusting my work.

The Crystal Palace ones don't stick like the Clover ones do and since the joint spins I haven't found it difficult to work with. Maybe since all bamboo needles tend to have the yarn stick a little more, the spinning joint was Crystal Palace's way to ease the process...? I've been using bamboo as my medium since it's a bit more flexible with some 'give'.

I would love to 'test' drive the Options before purchasing but unfortunately I don't know any one who owns any. I never heard of them until I started reading this forum. Buying a test one may be the way to go.
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:42 AM   #6
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Just wanted to say that I'm glad you started this thread. I am also REALLY considering the Harmony set. They're just so pretty. The options seem too slippery to me (I hate dropping stitches) so I want the wood ones. Decisions, decisions. It is pricey, especially since I am a new knitter, but I think may be the best in the long run.

Why oh why don't they make a 16" cable too? It seems like everybody wants one!
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Old 03-04-2008, 11:45 AM   #7
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Love my Harmonies
Hi, All! I'm a Harmony newbie, in that I just got mine in mid-February. I love them, they are so smooth and pointy, and I've not had any problems (so far) with the cables unscrewing from the tips or just falling off, but I've also been working mostly on the same thing (cotton tank top) since I got them. I have also done some swatching with them, but that's about it...I'm not one to have 7 projects going at once, I guess...

At any rate, for me, here's my pro's and con's:

Pro:
  • Lots of needles for not a lot of money
  • Cables are really flexible - tried magic loop on a wrister, and it works well on the 32" cable
  • Pointy needles make stitching with the smaller yarns and acrylics easier
  • Working larger items on circulars helps carry the weight of the item nicely - keeps my wrists from getting too sore (I have tendonitis in both wrists).
  • Whatever I want to work on, size-wise, I am ready to go in just a couple of twists.
  • Can change needle size within the project really easily (say, after finishing ribbed hem)
Con:
  • Nothing shorter than 24" cable (probably OK once I get more comfy with magic loop)
  • Considering the lack of size info on the needles themselves, the Harmony case is terrible. I haven't taken my tips off the *&^$$ card, just set the card inside the case, because I won't be able to tell which needles are which. (the KP Harmony case would make a lovely cosmetics bag, probably...)
  • I'm finding that I'm a tighter knitter working flat on the Harmony needles than I was on my straight needles. Could be a coincidence, and I will note that I have not yet tried the same 3-4 yarns on straight needles to see whether I've just suddenly become a tighter knitter. (I'm a tight crocheter, so it's possible) This is my action item for this week, to swatch some of the same yarns on my straight needles.
  • And the final con - now that I have the set, I want MORE!!!
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Old 03-09-2008, 02:16 AM   #8
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After much thought I have finally decided to purchase the Nickel Plated Options interchangeable set. Yay! I'm so excited for my purchase.

I have one question though. For those of you who have bought the Options Set, what size box did it come in? I'm wondering if it's unobtrusive enough for me to have it sent to my work - technically we're not supposed to have personal items sent to us, but I can never get packages delivered at home.
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Old 03-09-2008, 02:37 AM   #9
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i just got mine for my birthday yesterday!!!!!!! i was quite suprised by how small it was! It wasnt even a box really, more like a cardboard sleeve? Im not sure how to desribe it, but i thought it had a book in it before i opened it! lol if you want a more detailed description just let me know
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:46 AM   #10
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And I'd like to add one tiny little bonus feature of the Options (either nickel or wood) that I love: the ease of putting in lifelines.

If you're like me and sometimes put in a lifeline to save you if you need to frog back to a point, with the Options you can just thread a thread through the tiny hole in the needle base that is used to tighten the needle tips onto the cable. Then knit normally and your lifeline is pulled behind you through the stitches automatically. I LOVE being able to do that and miss the ability when I'm working with their 16" fixed needles.
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