Time for a review and another giveaway, I think*. Let’s talk about knitting needles.
KnitPro (that’s Knitter’s Pride in North America) are busy expanding their range even further. They sent me samples of two of the new products to review: small (2.25mm) short-length fixed circular Symfonies for socks or sleeves, and this splendid set of Royale interchangeable circulars:-
But let’s begin with the Symfonies. Many of you will have knitted (or crocheted) with Symfonie needles or hooks at some point, or at least have seen them with their subtly multi-coloured wood. They’re attractive, affordable, and versatile (lots of sizes, medium-grippy). Fixed circulars are nowt new for them, but they’ve just introduced some shorter length (25cm/10″) small needles for knitting socks and sleeves. Sizes go right down to 2mm (US size 0). Here’s the 2.25mm (US size 1) beauty, fresh out of its packaging:-
I have to say, though, that I was nervous. I’ve owned 3mm Symfonies before, and most of them have sadly gone to the great needle caddy in the sky because they snap rather easily. Or perhaps I’m just an exceptionally violent knitter. May they rest in peace. (For the small stuff, I use Karbonz these days.) So when these even smaller needles dropped through the letter box, I approached them with a certain
terror trepidation. BUT you don’t get to be a knit blogger without fearlessly wrestling the tigers that others wouldn’t dare approach, so in the name of science, I steeled myself, took a deep breath, and picked up the needles (very carefully). And I knitted some socks. And the needles survived. They survived the knitting, they survived the marauding twinnage, and they survived being carried around in my handbag. Being tiny, they were perfect for knitting on the Underground when I popped down to London:-
Knitting underground. See that sock yarn? I have some VERY exciting news about it coming within the next couple of posts.
And they DIDN’T SNAP. They’re shorter than regular Symfonies, and y’know I think this is an advantage in the not-snapping department.
They were a joy to knit with. You’ll know the feeling if you’ve used Symfonies before. Made from hardened laminated birch, they’re a lot smoother than – say – those cheap bamboo needles at the back of your cupboard, but not as slippy or as cold/hard as metal needles. Their medium-grippiness makes them fine for pretty much any yarn. They’re nice and sharp, too, which helps in fast and accurate stitchery. The joins from needle to cable are smooth, so even though you might feel the tiniest jagging and snagging as your yarn crosses the boundary between the cable and the metal base of the needle, it’s not enough to be a problem.
It’s always difficult to review needles and hooks because personal preference is such a huge part of the equation. But unless you have a total aversion to circulars, I’m willing to bet half a skein of merino that you’d like knitting with these. Mini circulars for socks are an increasing ‘thing’ these days, much to the joy of anyone who dislikes the knitting ninja of DPNs, so these are bound to do well, and with good reason. Just be careful not to sit on them, OK?
*whispers* See this sock yarn? ‘Tis new! Here are two shades of the fresh-released Stylecraft Head Over Heels range (75% wool, 25% nylon), REVIEW COMING VERY SOON!
So let’s talk about the Royales. They’re rather beautiful, don’t you think?
Like Symfonies, they’re made from hardened laminated birch so feel warm to the touch and medium-grippy, but unlike Symfonies, the tips are metal. This set of interchangeables comprises four pairs of needles (3mm, 3.5mm, 4mm, and 4.5mm), with three different cables – each length a different zingy colour – and packs of cable connectors and cable stoppers. Look!
Even the case is pretty:-
Royales – whether straights or circulars – are colour-coded by size for easy identification (and prettiness!) I do like the combination of sharp metal point and warm wood needle. The metal points are the same sharpness as those on the Karbonz needles, great for fast-and-furious accurate knitting.
Oh, and you know that annoying experience when the size marking wears off your needles after you’ve used them a couple of times? Well KnitPro has wisely addressed that by etching the size into the metal as well as printing it on the wood:-
…AND as you can see from this photo, the join between metal and wood is pretty smooth.
The only downside is that unlike the Karbonz, these needles have a teeny tiny little hole on one side of the metal tip. (See the first photo in this blog post, near the bottom of the pink needle.) And even though it’s little more than nought-point-nothing mm across, I somehow managed to jar the tip of the other needle on it almost every flippin’ stitch. This is a very minor gripe, because it’s just a momentary sensation and the hole isn’t large enough to cause a significant problem, but it did interrupt the smoothness of the stitch motion very slightly. (Jeez, I’m nit-picky today. At this rate I’ll be criticizing these beasts at a molecular level.)
You’ll like these needles if you like the warmth and colour and grippiness of wood, but want the speed and precision of sharp metal tips. The colours are pretty and muted. Royales are available as straights, circulars, and DPNs so there should be something in the range to suit your knitting.
Shall we have a giveaway? Yes?!
OK, who’d like to win a set of Royale interchangeable needles worth £40, just like the one pictured in this post? You would? Well here’s your chance.
To win a set just like THIS:-
…all you have to do is leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
For an additional entry, ‘like’ TheTwistedYarn’s Facebook page RIGHT HERE and comment under the post there for this blog post with some way of reaching you (e.g. Ravelry username).
Giveaway is open… ready… steady… NOW!!!! …and the final whistle will sound at 12.00 midday (GMT) on Sunday 18th September 2016.
Competition is open worldwide!
When the contest closes, I will use random.org to generate the number of the winning entry, and will contact the winner for their address so that KnitPro can send out the prize.
*Usual disclaimer: I didn’t pay for these needles, so my fickle little head has clearly been turned by a freebie. But just for the record, pretty much every knitting needle I own is KnitPro, so I’m happy to say that I love their products even when I’m paying for them.