Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

knitter's opinion needed

I need some input on sock needles (this is where non-knitters may want to move along).

I need some new sock needles. I have mad love for my 5" Lantern Moon sock stix but the cost and the brittleness of rosewood has made me look for alternatives. I've used several different brands of DPNs (Lantern Moon, Brittany, Boyle, some unpronouncable European brand, Crystal Palace, Lacis bone needles, possibly others that I don't remember; tried out Hiya Hiya) and they each have their pros and cons.

I've done some looking online and I think I'm going to order a set of Brittany 5" DPNs. The Brittanies I've used before aren't quite as pointed as I'd like but they meet all the other criteria I have for sock needles: the size I like, lightweight, easy on the hands, flexible without breaking, inexpensive, just the right texture, and they're pretty (not the most important criteria, but it helps).

I'd like to know if any of you have opinions on sock needles and/or DPNs. Are there brands that you like, especially ones I haven't considered? (I've looked at the Harmony needle website, and kinda ruled them out because of price.) I haven't made any firm choices yet.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
If you're not totally anti-metal needles, I'm a big fan of my Inox's. Aside from a couple pairs of Brittanys (which are also lovely), all my DPNs are Inox.
Jan. 15th, 2010 08:41 pm (UTC)
Ah, that's the brand I couldn't remember! I have several sets of larger gauge DPNs and I like them quite a bit. They've proved to be too heavy for a lot of my smaller projects, but I like their texture. I'll have to poke around and see if I can find some in a length I like.
Jan. 15th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
I converted some time ago from using DPN's (of any sort) to two 24" circular needles--one each addi Turbo and Lace so I can tell front from back, by preference. They're metal (so I'm not sad if I sit on one), will make any narrow tube I like (including I-cord) and, taken one at a time, obviously can also make wider tubes and flat things.

Somewhat higher initial investment, sure, but lower maintenance cost.

By contrast, I bought a set of Lantern Moon Sox Stix in pretty pretty ebony so I could knit at an SCA event, and by the end of the event I'd lost one and broken another. >.< Switched back to my circs as soon as I got home.

-- Lorrie
Jan. 15th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I hadn't considered breaking out of the DPN box. The project I'm doing may be helped along by switching to circulars; I'm making the Labyrinth Socks from The Enchanted Sole book and colorwork goes smoother for me on circulars. I tried out some Addi needles and I think I could grow to like them but they didn't do it for me when I handled them last.

I'd also have to learn a new technique, but that's a plus.
Jan. 15th, 2010 09:28 pm (UTC)
*nodnod* The watchwords of socks on two circs are thus:

"One needle works while the other rests": in the normal passage of things, stitches from needle A will never be on needle B. As you first learn this technique, you may screw this up once or twice (I did!). The major exception to this is at the Turning of the Heel: where you would have used one DPN and worked back and forth for the heel flap, now you use one circular there instead, with the instep (plus gusset, depending on pattern) on the other. The minor exception is that when your pattern says stitches ought to move from one needle to another, they still may.

If it's a pattern intended for three DPN's, then it's Knitters' Choice whether two DPN's worth goes on one circ and one DPN's worth on the other, or, if pattern permits (e.g. a fairly narrow motif), the stitches might be spread evenly across both circular needles.

If this daunts, do not stress: it's not as hard as me talking three sides around the square just made it sound. If you're comfortable with fudging patterns for changing conditions, this is more of that.

Two circs, like Magic Loop (sock on one loooooong circ), allow one to commit a simultaneous pair of parallel socks. I did this once to prove it to myself, but haven't gone back.

IMO, two circs is roughly half the fiddling of DPN's, and Magic Loop is as/somewhat more fiddly than DPN's. YMMV, etc. 8-)

-- Lorrie
Jan. 15th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
I've considered learning Magic Loop; the knitters at the LYS are divided on the technique. Some swear by it, others swear at it. If I'm going to learn a non-DPN method for socks, I think it would be using two circulars. The "which brand of needle" dilemma still stands, though. I've been eying Hiya Hiya circs for a while. If the LYS has the right kind in stock I might purchase those.
Jan. 16th, 2010 12:42 am (UTC)
HiyaHiya has the benefit of being less expensive than addi, so that might be a good idea!

-- Lorrie
Jan. 16th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
The only socks I've done (well, started...) so far are toe-up magic loops on long circulars. That said, I've got 2 pairs of HiyaHiya's (1's and 2's). I love how they feel, and because the bamboo is impregnated with resin, they are silkysmooth and really strong. I don't know if they're as unbreakable as metal needles, but they have been sat on, stepped on, mangled, and otherwise abused. Once, when I was dragging my purse from a tight spot behind my car seat, the itty bitty size 1's punctured my purse and didn't break. HiyaHiya's are love!
Jan. 17th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
I've been leaning towards Hiya Hiya circulars and DPNs. The DPNs I handled aren't the length I like for socks, but maybe I could learn to adjust. The only trouble is that if the LYS doesn't have them in stock, they can take a looong time to arrive. I want to get my sock project started soon(ish) so I guess if I want to chose any Hiya Hiya's I better place an order soon.

Did you get my message?
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )