Tag Archives: knitting needles

Match your yarn to your needles

I don’t mean by color. In fact, it’s helpful to have a contrasting color needle so you can see your stitches! Although I do remember the time I knit a black tank top on ebony needles. Good thing I knit mostly by feel.

When I was at Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat, I took a class from my friend Carson Demers, author of Knitting Comfortably. Carson is a physical therapist, and specializes in ergonomics. One tip he gave was this: If your yarn is slippery, you might want to choose a grippier needle so you’re not fighting for control. I do love my HiyaHiya stainless steel needles for most knitting, but this skinny Schmutzerella Spectacular superwash was a bit challenging on them. I was more comfortable using my Knitters Pride Ginger wooden needles for this project.

In this picture, I’m moving my knitting off my metal needles back onto my wooden needles. I do love both kinds of needles, depending on the project. I had been using the metal needle as a stitch holder so I could borrow the wooden one for something else.

I’m not saying you should never use metal needles with superwash; I don’t usually have an issue with them. It may depend on your yarn content, or yarn size. Choose what is comfortable for you while you’re swatching (or starting over because you’re not comfortable…) PS: Don’t change needles mid-project; that can change your gauge!

Do you have a favorite type of needle? Or does it depend? What are you knitting with right now?

Hiya Hiya Interchangeable Needles review

I bought some new tools when I was at TNNA last May. These are Hiya Hiya Interchangeable Needles, in the small sizes, regular tip stainless.

Hiya Hiya 1

Inside this pretty case are four inch needle tips sizes US 2 through 8.

Hiya Hiya interchangeable

In the zippered pocket on the back of the case are cords to make interchangeable needles in 16, 24, 32, and 40 inch lengths, as well as rubber grips for tightening the tips to the cords.

back pocket

I’m using size 4 tips to make a 32 inch needle. This is just right for my current design project with this gorgeous Knit Circus gradient yarn. So far, they are knitting just as smoothly and nicely as my fixed length Hiya Hiya stainless steel needles. I like Hiya Hiya needles for the smooth join between the needle and the cable when I’m working with lots of yarn overs. The yarn overs glide right up and over the join.

Hiya Hiya interchangeable

These needle tips are 4 inches long. I think they’re too long for a 16 inch needle, because it’s hard to comfortably bring them around into a circle with long tips. But I like these tips just fine for the other needle lengths, and I wouldn’t like them to be shorter. The needles are also offered in a 5 inch tip, but that’s too long for me.

I kind of wish I had chosen the sharp tips option, but these are sharp enough. I’m enjoying my project so far.

Do you use interchangeable needles? What do you like?

Right tools for the job

I’ve been working slowly on my XOXOKAL Fern Shawlette, and I finally realized that I don’t like this yarn/needle combo. The yarn is Louet Gems Fingering, and the needles are Signature circulars. The needles are just a little too slick for this particular yarn. I’m switching back to my Lantern Moon ebony circulars, which is most likely what I used when swatching with this yarn before submitting it to Knit Picks for their Under 100 collection.

kntting needle swap(Slightly grainy pic under incandescent light, sorry.)

Ahhhh. Better. The ebony needles are a little grabbier than the metal, so I no longer feel like my stitches are slip sliding away. I normally love my Signature needles for lace shawls, but not with this yarn! One size does not fit all. I love my ebony needles, too, but not on a project with multiple YO’s that have to scoot from cable to needle. The Signatures were a better choice for those (Aloha Shawlette, Sophie’s Rose). And for the Criss Cross Hats, I’ve been using Hiya Hiya stainless steel circulars, either regular point or the sharps. I like them both, but probably like the sharps a little more. It’s a good thing to have a lot of needles to choose from! I bought several more needles because I’ve been leaving them in my projects as samples for some of my classes.

Do you have a favorite needle?