Has anyone used birch knitting needles? Or any other type of wood? I have seen glass ones too. Has anyone ever seen or used them?
I love the warm feel of bamboo and birch needles. I find aluminum a little too slippery, although I can see how once could knit faster with them.
I love, love, LOVE my Clover bamboo needles!!! They're pretty much my first choice when buying new needles. I do have a set of Brittany birch DPN's that I bought because the shop didn't have the size I needed in bamboo, and I do have to say that I like them very much too. They're very light and delicate feeling. I may try the birch in another style, maybe a straight needle, next time I need to buy.
I bought a set of No. 1 Clover needles last weekend and spent a little time knitting a swatch with them and casting on for a hat. At first I thought it was going to be like knitting with barbeque skewers, but the needles seem to absorb some of the oil from my skin as I handle them and become easier to work with. I'm taking this project with me on the train to New Mexico so I'll have plenty of time to break them in.
I have a few wooden needles which I inherited from my grandmother and great-grandmother, but I rarely use them because they're all 14 inches long and/or sizes 9-10-11. Of the aluminum and plastic needles I do use, I mostly prefer the aluminum, though the quality of these does vary. I haven't tried bamboo needles, but may have to buy some since I keep reading how much people like them.
I use a lot of bamboo needles, Crystal Palace circs and dpns mostly but I have some Brittany birch dpns as well.
For sock knitting, and I *always* have at least 1 pair of socks on the go, I use Brittany #1 birch dpns. They are wonderful, not as slippery as metal for sure, but this is not a bad thing as it means the stitches don't fall off them. Socks are my carry project so they tend to get tossed around in my briefcase stealth knittng bag. Brittany needles come with a warranty. When I broke a couple back in October I emailed them from the website and they sent me 4 replacement needles, no questions about where or when I bought them or anything. Very nice people to do business with.
My all time favorite needle is a snakewood circ (size 10 IIRC) made by Tom Diak of Grafton fibers (www.graftonfibers.com). He makes the most gorgeous spindles, needles and crochet hooks.
I haven't had the chance to try glass needles yet, but I would never give up my wooden needles. Never.
Hmmmm...I'll let you know how I like the birch. I like the feeling of the wood, but as you say, the wood isn't as slippy as the metal. Thanks for you thoughts. PS I live in PA also.
Only bamboo for me; and I have to say I am less than impressed. Maybe it was the type of yarn I was using (100% cotton), maybe it was the size of the needles (#5), but the yarn just doesn't slip on them as easily as it does on my far less expensive aluminum needles. I have a birch crochet hook that I have the same problem with.
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