Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bamboo Review

I've been wanting to review these needles for a while as I got them, gosh, months ago, but wanted to use them a bit before I did.

I've always loved bamboo the best. Most don't have the best cords or the joins to the metal which always stopped up the knitting, for me at least. Probably as I knit tightly.
The entire lot!
Switch X-changeable Circular needles by KA. Sizes US 5-15.

Cords are hidden
They are kept in this cool case, and you can see at the top where the cords fit in. Very portable!

Bamboo X-changeable tips
What I love is the entire needle is bamboo. The end part is brass. Some others have smaller tips in the larger size, which I find annoying to knit with. I only have the metal in those sizes 11-17, but I have to say the shorter length is harder to knit with for me. So for me, this was the selling point. They screw on pretty tightly, and I've only had a couple instances where it's been loose, but not fallen off. Mainly when knitting chunky wools. With any interchangeable, I find myself always making sure the joins are tightened.

That being said, if you love knitting with bamboo like I do, they are very nice. Not too pointy, but for most work, just right.

Another selling point was the cord lengths, 16"-53". However, what I didn't realize, until I got them, is the thickness of them.
Cable Sizes
You can see above, the very top cord is thicker and used basically with the larger tips. The bottom one with sizes 5-9.

Interchangeable bamboo Needles
You can see them in action here! I've annotated where the join is, you can barely see it, and the transition is pretty flawless IMHO. They work great on hats, and small knits, but in the lower sizes the thinness of the cords can make an adult sweater harder to knit. They just aren't that strong at the joins, in my opinion.

You can't join them to extend the length, just like the other pairs I've mentioned. You can't use the thicker cords with the smaller tips as the brass end pieces have different sizes for each size needle. Quite the bummer there too.

However, that's why I have a few backups when needed for those types of knits. Mainly why I got this as a companion set, not my go to set for heavy duty sweater knitting. Which ain't happening here any time soon as it is!

I got mine here! They don't show the same case I got, I think this was one they had in the early days selling of it. It was present to myself after a bonus at work, one can't spend all the $$ on yarn...which I didn't as just after I placed this I had an interesting time, on my trip to Charlotte.


turtlegirl76 said...

"What I love is the entire needle is bamboo. "

Huh? How is that different than the KP? I don't understand the difference from the Harmonies.

Bezzie said...

Sexy Kinki needles!!

Harmonies aren't bamboo right? They're laminated birch. That's not all bamboo...I imagine (since I've never knit with KP Harmonies) that the bamboo is a different feel than the laminated birch??

gilraen said...

Very different looking!! I particularly love the brass look :)

Kim U said...

Cool, thanks for sharing your review of these.

Sonya said...

Those look like wonderful needles! I got a few of the Harmony tips and they are growing on me.

sgeddes said...

They look like great needles. Did they come with that case or did you make that one too?

DPUTiger said...

I bought my set used via Ravelry for a song. I was knitting my current sweater project with them until I realized that the yarn was crocking and turning my pretty KA US10s blue. :( Love the KA fixed needles. Happy the interchangeable are just as good! (and that you love them too!) Your case is cooler than mine, though. Mine's brown. :)

weezalana said...

Thanks for sharing your review!

IrishgirlieKnits said...

Thanks for sharing!! I'm still addicted to my Options but can appreciate the bamboo needles for certain yarns!

thegabbyknitter said...

Beautiful needles! I'm very far behind on blog posts but I read through yours and you have some beautiful projects going on and as always gorgeous yarns!

Knit and Purl Mama said...

I carry KA products in my shop, it's great to see a review on their products!

christinemm said...

I bought this set six months ago and love it.

My set sometimes snags the yarn at the join especially with bulky wool yarns. As I knit some of them loosen a bit making a gap that the yarn snags in. I just make it a point to tighten them periodically.

I was a new knitter when I bought these and had never worked with circulars before.

My #8 needle broke right off, the bamboo at the metal join after not much use (a few hats and a scarf and partway into a sweater). I am working with my LYS to see about a replacement.

I was in the middle of knitting a sweater when it happened and ran out to buy a regular circular set in #8. That made me realize two things.

First the needle length is shorter than the Clover needles so it was quite different to get used to the longer Clover needle. When I switched back to this brand I realized this brand's shorter needle fit differently in my hand, going into my palm (in a good way) and I was using the movement of my hand to push the needle forward (making it easier). Clover with its longer needles relied more on fingers to move it (harder to do). I don't know if this is making sense.

A good thing is the fixed circulars by Clover twist and it is a pain to deal with. I have to keep moving the knitting around to keep it in alignment. This brand of circulars by KA lets the plastic cord rotate on its own so the knitting does not get twisted or bound up.

A con is when I am knitting tightly sometimes the stitches have to be moved up and along the needle rather than smoothly gliding up from the plastic cord. The move from the thin plastic up over the thicker metal is not automatic and sometimes has to be done by me by hand.

The needles slide out of the pouch and into my knitting bag. After losing a couple of needles and finding them much later I am going to put it a zip top plastic pouch.

This company's pouches come in different colors. Mine is black with polka dots.

I love this set despite some of the negative things I've said.