Recently, Knit Picks sent me some new needles to try, before they became available to the public. They sent me two sets of their new Reflections stainless steel interchangeable needles, one in US sizes 4-11, and a new lace and sock set in US sizes 0-4. Borrowing this picture from their website because I forgot to take pictures!
My usual go-to metal needle is the Hiya Hiya stainless steel interchangeable. The new Reflections needle tips are very similar. The points are perfect, not too pointy and definitely not dull. I love them! The join between the cables and the needle tips are very smooth, and that’s important for me when I’m working stitches with multiple yarn overs.
Right now all my projects are on US4 needles, so I did a deep dive on the US4 from the lace set and the regular set. The points are the same (perfect). The lace set and the regular set have differently sized cables, because the lace set has smaller sized needle tips. US 4 needles are in both sets, with different cables/joins; this is where the sizes overlap. I prefer the skinny cable on the lace set to the heavier cable on the regular set because it feels more flexible. Since my work is topping out at a US 4 right now, I can choose between the two.
The 24” cable for the regular set combined with the longer needle tips made the circle of the circular feel a little tight, because it doesn’t curve right at the join. Like the cable on my 16” US 7 Chia Goo needles, it wants to make a pear shape instead of a true circle. The 24” cable for the lace set was paired with a shorter needle tip, and it’s a pleasure to work on.
The new regular sized Reflections needles will work with all of Knit Picks’ regular interchangeable cables. In which case I’d probably use the nylon cables from my other KP wooden interchangeables rather than the newer coated stainless ones. I’m glad I have choices.
When I sent my feedback, I asked if KP would consider making cables for a 20” interchangeable circular. Apparently that’s my new favorite length! I’m doing a lot of 20 to 22” cowls, and they’re just a little too small to fit on a 24” needle. Same for hats for big headed people. I know I can knit these items on a 16” needle, but I like having a little more room to stretch out. And yes, they’re considering it as an option for separate purchase. Yay!
Do you have a favorite needle? For me, it depends on what kind of knitting I’m doing. Sometimes I need to balance a slippery yarn with a more grippy needle, in which case I’ll use wood. But when I want my stitches to fly, I really like stainless steel.
I watch videos of people using wooden needles/hooks and can’t understand it: yarn can’t GLIDE over wood. My favourite crochet hooks are Clover Amour, and I have almost the entire set but for a few of the weeny ones.
I can add only that for interchangeable needles, anything PDXKnitterati uses must be the best !
With the right finish, wood glides, too! It’s especially helpful if you’re working with a very slippery yarn, like silk or rayon. Or even some super wash wools!
What I like about my birch double pointed needles is that they don’t slide out of my work.
Oh you damned expert knitters ! – you know everything about needles and yarns. I used to have trouble every time I went back to a project remembering what I was doing. Especially, Michele, with brioche !!!
wooden or bamboo needles are great when you are knitting something tricky and you don’t want the stitches to fall off the needle. For steady knitting I love my ChiaGoos.
And you would know, Marilyn, since you knit ONLY tricky things ! 😀
I love the idea of a 20″ circular. I too frequently find 16″ not long enough and 24 a little tight. I’m working on a cowl now that would be perfect for a 20″.
A few weeks ago I bought Hiya Hiya 20” circulars in US 4, 5, and 6, just to fill in that spot! I had completely forgotten that 20” circulars existed, because I use either a 16” or my interchangeable sets where the shortest cable makes a 24” needle.
But when I was at Good Fibrations in Canada (via Vogue Knitting cruise), I was looking for a light colored 16” needle to demo brioche (having discovered that the dark wood needle I was using wasn’t contrasty enough with my yarn in my classroom). And the owner there said she didn’t carry 16”, just 20”, because adult hats are great on the 20”. Once I started using the 20”, I was smitten!
I love my Dreamz wooden needles that are different colors for the different sizes. I just enjoy using colorful needles. I still use my very first set of Knit Pick acrylic needle tips that are different colors. I just bought and gifted a set of these to a new knitter. I do have the Chia Goo needle tips but I find metal ones boring.
Good in-depth review – thanks for sharing!