Interchangeable Needles?

Asbjörn's picture

I am considering buying a set of interchangeable needles but I am still unsure about which set I want to choose. I instantly decided against the Boye Needlemaster set since I started knitting on Boye aluminum needles and really don't like them, I also decided against the KP Options Nickel set since I just don't like metal needles and I have a nickel allergy. This leaves me thinking the Denise set or the KP Harmony Options might be the way to go. I'm a bit worried about the KP Harmony as they are still quite new, the set is pretty skimpy in comparison to the Denise set, and for the money you spend on it they give you a crappy plastic pouch to store them in, (might as well just throw them in a Wal-Mart bag). The other thing that scares me is that reviews written about the KP sets are always fabulous, glowing reviews that are conversely dotted with observations I would consider quite negative, (e.g. cables constantly coming unscrewed, cables getting screwed so tightly into the join that they can't be removed without snapping the needles, needles just snapping), oddly I never hear anything of this sort about the Denise set, though somehow it seems like the Denise set is less trendy and therefore has a more quiet following. Any input, pro's-con's etc. from owners of either of these sets would be much appreciated. I'm at the point that I'm thinking it would be best to order a single set of tips and one cable from each set so I can try them out first.

MasonM's picture

I really like my Options,

I really like my Options, but don't have any allergy issue. I have had one cable pull out of the connector, and KP is sending me replacements, but this sort of thing can happen with any product that is mass produced. I know of one person who experienced a similar issue with her Denise set.

The Options won't come loose if you use the key tool to tighten them. I use that and a one of those rubber things to open jar lids to grip the needle and they always remain tight.

Mason

Linux: because a PC is a terrible thing to waste

BuduR's picture

hahahahahaha Thanks

hahahahahaha Thanks MasonM, I dyed yarn for the first time today and was spending the day feeling smart til I read your post and recalled all the swearing I was doing the other day trying to figure out how to grip that stupid needle while tightening it. such a simple solution. When I read your post I ran into the kitchen and grabbed my rubber and tried it, works beautifully. I knew it would, but deep in my heart I was hoping it wouldn't, so I wouldn't feel so absolutely stupid. The worst part, while I was trying to tighten it, my daughter come out with a jar of pickles to be opened, (isn't it always pickles?) and I took it to the kitchen, grabbed the rubber, opened the jar, put the rubber away, walked back, sat down and proceeded to swear some more.

*hangs her head in shame and wonders how much bleach it will take to dye the roots blonde*

KilgoreTrout's picture

Well I also don't have any,

Well I also don't have any, always thought about it, but this post is making me want to get interchangeable needles too!!

gardenguy42's picture

I've been very happy with my

I've been very happy with my KP Options nickel set. I have all the tips, from size 4 (US) to size 15 (US) and all the cables lengths along with the all the other accessories. I even bought the Options circulars in the smaller sizes for lace work and they are fantastic too. All in all the best value for the money, in my opinion.

I've never had a problem with them at all. I imagine at least some of the problems users might encounter are due to the fact that they don't use the tightening key. If you follow the directions and tighten with the little key, then the join is smooth and undetectable to me.

I've used everything from sock wool to alpaca to bulky Merino and never experience catching at all, whether making a sweater, using magic loop, or making knitted toys. The price can't be beat and I have also used them as flexible singles on a few projects with the screw on end caps. I think they're wonderful!

There are also 2 bamboo interchangeable sets, one called KA Switch with 10 sets of needles (by Kinki Amibara)and the other Bamboo Sister with 5 sets of needles (by Plymouth Yarn) you might want to look at if you like bamboo. The KA Switch set is on my wish list right now because I love to use bamboo needles.

Here's the link for the KA Switch set:
http://www.spinblessing.com/item.php?art=4973180017648

Here's the link for the Bamboo Sister set:
http://www.plymouthyarn.com/index.php?nav=Needles.main

Let us know what you finally choose. Good luck!

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Asbjörn's picture

I'll definitely let you know

I'll definitely let you know what I finally choose. I just have to go through my usual, painfully obsessive decision process. By the way, that Bamboo Sister set is so cool, I love the tiny size of the kit. I wish they would all just give me a free trial so I could calm this fit of OCD.

scubasinger's picture

I've been using the metal KP

I've been using the metal KP Options for about a year and really love them. Personally I haven't had any trouble with the needles coming loose as long as I use the little 'key thingy' to tighten them. Actually I think I do remember one instance of a needle loosening...I was doing some cable thing that put a lot of torque on the needles. But I caught it right away so no problem.

I just got (yesterday) a set of #9 Harmony tips to try. I can't say I'm wild about the clown colors, but the needles seem to be fine. What I've always liked about the KP needles is that their tips are quite pointy...good for digging into sts if you're doing k3tog or some other stitch where you need to slip the needle in easily. And the metal ones are nice and slippery so sts don't grab. And the Harmony needles also seem fairly slippery, though I've only got about two hours worth of experience on them.

Asbjörn's picture

It's good that you pointed

It's good that you pointed out that the Harmony tips are sharp and fairly slippery. I don't know that I really need anything super slick as I am not a speed-knitter by any means, really I sort of subscribe to the "slow and steady wins the race" theory of knitting. Were the colors distracting or is it just a matter of personal taste? The wild colors are what got me to look at them in the first place AND they have purple cords, they really suckered me on that one.

scubasinger's picture

>>>AND they have purple

>>>AND they have purple cords, they really suckered me on that one.

But the color combination of the purple cord vs. the multi-colored needles...!!!???? Sorry, the gay fashion-diva is coming out to play, but it is NOT pretty, in my estimation!!!

That being said, and from a technical knitting viewpoint...I do find the colors on the Harmony needles a bit distracting. Or maybe I should say a bit hard on the eyes. Right now I'm working with a deep purple colored yarn. Against the solid metal Options points there's a nice contrast. Against the multi-colored Harmonys the purple is a bit hard to distinguish. The various colors almost create a camouflage effect that loses the yarn against the needle. And I'm doing lacework at the moment...I need all the contrast I can get.

That being said...I'm loving the feel of the wood vs. the feel of the metal. I just wish KPs would put out a line of interchangeable tips in some nice hardwoods: rosewood, birch, etc.

Bottom line is that I feel the aesthetics of knitting are as important as the final product. I enjoy the process more when the tools I'm working with work for me. Wood is better than metal, but good color is also important. The Harmonys are wood, but of a hideous color (in my opinion).

So I guess I'd just have to say: take a deep breath, realize that life is annoyingly imperfect and take your best shot. All of the options you're considering are good products. Each will have advantages/disadvantages. Buy one and then realize you can always save up enough to buy something else. Then you'll have two options (or four, or six)...

Personally I like that when a pattern calls for me to knit on straight (flat) needles at size 8 I can say: "Okay, my KP Options metals, or would this yarn look good/ work good with my Lantern Moon ebony size 8's. Or should I go with aluminum straight needles? Or bamboo...? Or what about that hand-turned set of birch needles? They're a bit 'grabby' but this yarn is kinda slick so maybe I'll use those..." etc.

Asbjörn's picture

Clownish colors and purple.

Clownish colors and purple. Hmm... yeah, ok... maybe the mid 90's club kid in me was coming out to play. Haha!

BuduR's picture

wouldn't it be completely

wouldn't it be completely awesome if they glowed really cool under a black light? ok not so hot for the eyes, but it would be cool!

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

tomanyt's picture

I use the Boye Needlemaster

I use the Boye Needlemaster and have no complaints. They work well.

Serge664's picture

I also love my Denise set,

I also love my Denise set, and have also ended up getting accessories for it, but on the opposite end of the spectrum with longer cords and fatter sizes.

Please remember: I have a collection of needles and a history of violence

Asbjörn's picture

I like that they have the

I like that they have the larger needles too. I don't see myself doing lace work or *magically* having a baby any time in the near future so tiny needles really aren't an issue for me.

BuduR's picture

I tried the Denise set, a

I tried the Denise set, a friend had them, I just didn't like the feel of them at all. I don't have the Harmony needles, but I do plan on getting them. I have bought the nickel set and one thing for certain is that KP has excellent CS. One thing you will also notice in those conversations about having had something break, if they called KP about the problem, it was replaced without charge and without question.

Asbjörn's picture

What was it about the feel

What was it about the feel of them you didn't like? Was it a weight issue or texture issue with the resin tips? I'm just curious since I have seldom seen any description of what reviewers didn't like about them.

BuduR's picture

the tips weren't as pointy

the tips weren't as pointy as I would have liked, they were hard to use if I was k2tog, I didn't like the feel of them, and the join wasn't smooth, my yarn kept snagging when I passed it over the join. I don't have that problem at all with the KP needles, the join is so smooth I don't even know it's there. Also, when my friend did have a problem with one needles, she was basically told they were very sorry, and offered to sell her a replacement.
I haven't had problems with the KP needles themselves, but I have had problems with yarn, and my binder didn't close properly, and they replaced bother quickly and no charge whatsoever to me.

Wow Frank...I am not even

Wow Frank...I am not even considering a set but you may have sold me!

purlyman's picture

I've often thought I should

I've often thought I should work for Denise...

purlyman's picture

Terry, I got the Denise set

Terry,

I got the Denise set about 5 years ago as a gift (from Matt) and I love love love them! I suppose some people might think that plastic is bad, but they are great!! They snap together and I've never had to replace anything except one needle that one of my cats chewed on. I used to live in Charlottesville, home to the owner of Denise needles and one of my best friends is a very close friend of the woman and she's a wonderful person with a great story. I've never had the cables snap, never had a needle snap, never had any problems. The smallest size needle is 5 however, so I've had to buy some 1s and 2s to supplement it. Maybe Denise is less trendy, but that might be a good sign... they've been around for a long time and there's still a following so. I think you'd be very happy with them.

Frank.

Asbjörn's picture

I'm really leaning toward a

I'm really leaning toward a Denise set, I just keep reading too many "red flag" comments about the KP set. I don't want my needles constantly coming unscrewed and I don't want to be on the phone with the company ordering new parts because their product broke, got stuck, whatever. I have two posts on Ravelry about this as well so I want to see what they say.