Last week I introduced you to some top metal circular knitting needles that all work well for lace. This week we’ll look at three specific characteristics of those needles – the tips, joins and cables.
Left to right: Signature, AddiTurbo, HiyaHiya, Karbonz, Chiaogoo, Nova
The pointiest tips were those on the signature, followed by HiyaHiya tips, then the Chiaogoos. All had a very smooth tip and needle shaft. I was actually surprised by the HiyaHiya needles, to the point where I might order some more. I was also surprised that the AddiTurbo tips were blunter than the HiyaHiya and Chiaogoo. Don’t get me wrong, they are still pointy, but not as much. I was not impressed with the Nova Platina or Karbonz from Knitter’s Pride. Not only were the tips blunter, but on the Karbonz the join between the brass tip and carbon shaft was not smooth. Also, the Karbonz was not as tapered as the other needles.
Top to bottom: Signature, AddiTurbo, HiyaHiya, Karbonz, Chiaogoo, Nova
The join is the point where the needle shaft connects to the cable. It should be smooth and not catch the yarn when stitches are moved from the cable to the needle shaft. Most of the joins were smooth, although the Chiaogoo’s were better at not catching the yarn. That may be due to the stiffer cables. The noticeable exception to the smooth joins was the Signature needles. The yarn and stitches consistently got caught at the join. I also have concerns, as is with any interchangeable needle, that needle shaft could twist out of the cable.
Cables seem to be a matter of personal preference in terms of how stiff cables are. None of the cables had so much memory the cables kinked. The Signature, Karbonz and Nova needles all have what feels like a coated rubber cable that is very flexible, almost to the point of feeling flimsy. The HiyaHiya and AddiTurbo needles both have a very smooth plastic or nylon cable. The HiyaHiya cable is especially lightweight. The Chiaogoo cable is nylon coated steel so it feels more substantial but is also heavier. Personally, I like that because it feels like is supports the in-progress knitting better.
I rated each needle for its tips, joins and cable and noted each needle’s price. Interestingly, I found the less expensive needles to be my favorites, and not just because of the price. Prices are stated for the 32-inch circular with size US 5. These are my opinions and I recommend you try out different needles to see what you like best. My testing included working through a several rows of a swatch with each needle, including some commonly challenging lace stitches such as kfb (knit front and back) and k3tog (knit three together).
My two favorite needles as a result of the comparison are the Chiaogoo and HiyaHiya, which also are the two cheapest needles. The joins on the Signature needles are a major detractor – I really wish they still sold the true fixed circulars. That combined with the high price of the Signatures make those needles a no-go for me. The Nova and Karbonz are both widely available in yarn shops but the price combined with the tips and cables, made these just “meh” for me. The AddiTurbo needles were comparable to the HiyaHiya and Chiaogoo needles, but the higher price made HiyaHiya and Chiaogoo the top two the winners.
Review Disclaimer: These items were not provided to me for review – they are ones I purchased independently. Although I accept free products for review, I do not guarantee a positive review and will share my honest opinions. If you have a product you would like reviewed please contact me at floofymoose [at] gmail [dot] com.