Monday, July 17, 2006

Needle Review - KnitPicks' DPNs

One of the recent hot topics on Socknitters' has been KnitPicks Options Knitting Needles. In addition to these well-received interchangeable circulars, KP also introduced 6" metal dpns. Oddly enough, I haven't seen any talk of the dpns on Socknitters'... so I decided to order a set and give them a try. At a very modest $3.99 for a set of 5, I figured it was practically my duty to sock knitters everywhere to review these new needles.

Despite concern over backorder and lag time issues, my needles (ordered on a Thursday) arrived last Monday. My first impression was a twinge of disappointment that the package didn't state the needle size. Turns out that it does - on the UPC sticker. The packaging is, well, cheap, but that's fine with me. I don't want to pay extra for fancy packaging that in all likelihood I'll throw away, as I tend to keep my dpns in a case by size.

The six-inch-long needles are pretty, shiny nickle-plated and feel substantial compared to my usual bamboo needles. The points are perfect with a taper measuring just under half an inch ending in sharp tips. The size 1 is a 2.5mm, though, which is often classified as a US size 1.5.

I immediately started using the KP needles in my current sock (in Wool2Dye4 Supersock) but gave it up after a few rounds - they were just too slippery. Also tried with Regia and Paton's Kroy with the same results. Not to be daunted, I dug into my stash and found some Sockotta. Perfect! The cotton content which would make knitting with bamboo less than fun makes using these needles just right.

I seem to be knitting rather tightly, but am quite pleased with the resulting fabric. An odd thing, though, is that I did notice while working the short-row heel - my tension is much looser on the purl rows. Not unacceptably so, however, just a thing for me to keep in mind with the next socks....I may want to knit a flap and gusset instead of short row.

The only thing I would change about these needles is the length - I much prefer using 5" dpns. Otherwise, they're pretty terrific!



At 12:13 AM, Blogger Tonya said...

My only question would be is the 6" the only length?
I prefer 8" because well I have big hands....
I think the pro's versus con's
was done quite tactfully...
Thanks for checking them out for us.

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous Shirley said...

Thanks for the review of Knitpicks new Options dpn's. I also ordered the new circular needles and was pleasantly surprised considering the low price ($4.99/circular). I would say the quality is close to Addi Turbo, but not quite. One needle is slight "rough" at the join but enough to cause yarn snags. I will buy more of the Options needles as long as they remain at their current price.

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Abigail 1870 pearl said...

Thanks for sharing about the needles. I was wondering how they would work.

I think I'll stick to my trusty Susan Bates sock knitting needles. Not to slick. Not too dull. Nice and pointy. Just right.

Thanks for stoppin by my blog:D

At 6:36 AM, Blogger CateK said...

Thanks for this review. I ordered and really like a pair of their circulars but was curious about the dpns. I was hoping they weren't too slick but it sounds as if they might be. It's so hard to find a good quality SMALL dpn. I keep breaking wooden ones but the metal ones are too slick and I lose stitches. I'm wondering if I could "tacky" them up with a bit of very fine sandpaper? They are so inexpensive, it might be worth the experiment.


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