True Plies: To The Point

The products up for review this week? Six different brands of DPNs used for sock knitting. Admittedly, Knit Purl doesn’t carry most of these needles, but they all deserve to be reviewed just the same. The ones with asteriks* are brands we offer for sale. To keep this fair and unbiased, we’ll look at each of these products in alphabetical order.

Brittany Birch 5″ DPNs

I like these needles because they’re made in California, using sustainably harvested Birch wood. They come in 3 lengths and a variety of sizes. For the purposes of this review, we’re going to focus on the sock sizes (US 0 – 3). Personally, I don’t use the smaller gauge Brittany needles for socks. I tend to knit tightly and worry incessantly about breaking them. But, I love the smoothness, softness, and ecological qualities of this product and use them for lace and baby garments instead. I must admit that the Brittany’s are guaranteed, without exception, for 10 years. And have known more than one knitter to take advantage of their exchange policy. That said, Brittany DPNs can only be a good investment.

Clover Bamboo 5″ DPNs

These needles are perfect for wooden needle enthusiasts. Smooth but not slick and incredibly durable (don’t ask how I know this), these are great for beginning sock knitters and the more experienced who prefer to take things slowly. The type of bamboo the company uses tends to be very strong and withstands most attempts at bending or warping (you don’t want to know how I know that either). Clover DPNs come in 2 different lengths, 5″ and 7″. For sock knitting, I prefer the shorter needles, but know of some sock knitters that like the longer needles. To each their own.

Direct from the Japan, as well, these needles are tough but a little more springy than their Clover cousins. While Crystal Palace offers two DPN lengths, the 8″ needles aren’t feasible for sock knitting in my experience. Maybe Christmas stockings… Anyway, I really like the fact that these are slicker and have a more tapered point than the Clovers. I’d have to recommend these for intermediate sock knitters, just because of how slippery they can be.

Kinki Amibari Bamboo 6″ DPNs

KA needles are different from the Crystal Palace and Clover lines. These are definitely my favorite bamboo needles of all time. But, be warned, they’re very slick and incredibly pointy. I’ve gotten wounded from these things. They come in 3 lengths but, like the Crystal Palace DPNs, only one length (6″) is useful to sock knitters. They’re made from 3 select breeds of Japanese bamboo that don’t have to be polished or varnished, and for good reason since varnish would probably slow these speed-demons down. My only complaint with them is how bendy these are and, for tight knitter, easy to permanently warp.

Knit Picks Nickel-plated 6″ DPNs

Shiny and sharp. Specially designed for sock knitters at 6″ long, these are niiice. There are 8″ DPNs available, but only in larger gauges. Very much like a metal version of the KA’s, these are great for speedy knitters who don’t worry about dropping stitches. Still, I’d recommend a point protector for these, so they don’t poke holes in your knitting bag!

Elegant and stylish, these are the luxury needles of the knitting world. Handmade by a Vietnamese co-op, using only the finest materials, Sox Stix are more than worth their elevated price. I’ve met many a knitter who has sworn off all other DPNs but their Lantern Moon beauties. The only concern I can relate is for tight knitters, these lovelies can and will snap. Luckily, Lantern Moon guarantees all their products and will exchange any faulty merchandise, free of charge. These needles will always be worthwhile, when one considers the quality and economic factors of the company that makes them.

As you can see, there are many, many options available to sock knitters. In fact, I only touched on the more common and popular needles intentionally. If I hadn’t… well, just imagine how long this review would have been! Rest assured, each of these needles is a good buy and they will serve you well – so long as you take into consideration your wants and needs.

Happy knitting!

Next week?, I’ll let you know how I’m liking a Very Special Yarn.

The post True Plies: To The Point appeared first on Knit Purl Blog.

January 15, 2008 by Sara M
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