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June 05, 2005

How knotty are your needles?

I recently purchased a pair of Bryspun Bry-Flex Circular Needles. It was my first time seeing them, but I didn't realize that this entire line is brand new! Well, in an effort to help and inform the knitting community, I decided to write a little review.

I LOVE these needles! How much do I love these needles? Enough to try them out, then call the store* and order four more sets in different sizes.

Now, I break down my review into a few categories:

Availability and price: As far as I can tell (this is a brand new line, bear with me), Bryspun circular needles come in four lengths: 16", 24", 29", and 40". They come in whole US sizes, 3-15. The cost is (roughly) $7-9/set depending on size and length.

Composition and general look: Bryspun circular needles are made from the same material and have the same look as Bryspun double-pointed and single-pointed straight needles. Knitter's Review tells us that the dpns are "highly recommended by knitters with arthritis or other hand-related problems, these needles have a warm feel and are flexible to the touch," which is true for the new circulars as well. The highly-defined tip which makes Bryspun straights so comfortable and popular is maintained in the new line of circular needles (yes!).

Feeling of the needles: Bryspun circulars are feather-light. For folks like me who are used to some needle weight in our hands, this may take a bit of getting used to! My size US 5, 24" Bryspun circular weighs 5.3 grams; for comparison, my size US 7, 20" Addi Turbo (the one and only Addi I own) weighs 5.8 grams. The needle part of the circular is wonderfully flexible. At least for me, the lack of flexibility where the needles meet the cord (approximately where my hands end and my wrists begin) is often a source of discomfort and cramping. Bryspun circular needles have enough "give" to follow the curve of my arm and not put my wrists in an unnatural position.

Feeling and flexibility of the cord: Often the trademark of circular needle "goodness," Bryspun circulars' cords are amazingly flexible. They remind of Denise Interchangeable Needles cords - sort of like a flexible filled straw - except Bryspun cords are thinner and even more flexible. I can tie the Bryspun cords into knots, and they stay that way, or I can wrap them around my pinky into a coil. When I'm done with my nonsensical tests, the cords relax back to their original state with a gentle tug.

  

Knotty needles!

"Join": Really, there is no needle-cord join to speak of. The two meet with a small step or bump, but in a completely seamless transition. I tried them out on my lace scarf, because, to me, lace knitting (and unknitting) is the ultimate test of good join construction. I found these needles to have a very smooth join that did not catch the stitches at all, and allowed the yarn to slide over very fluidly.

Smoothness and speed of knitting: These needles are very smooth and allow yarn to slide across the needle surface very quickly. I do believe they have a bit more grab than Addi Turbos, but not nearly as much as even other metal needles like Susan Bates and INOX. Bamboo needles are in a league of their own on this one - not even comparable, and likely suitable for completely different projects and yarns. The famous Bryspun tips boss around even the splittiest of yarns in my stash.

Conclusions: Go get some! I do not yet (6/5/05) know of any online retailer except Oregon Trail Yarn on eBay, which is selling these needles in the 16" length only.

*The store where I purchased my Bryspun circular needles, both in person and over the phone with shipping service is: Wild & Woolly, 7A Meriam Street, Lexington, MA, (781) 861-7717, wwoolly@aol.com.

Posted by Kathy on June 5, 2005 12:58 PM

Comments

That's a great review, thanks! I'll keep my eyes out for them at my local shops.

Thanks for the review! Maybe this will be a good needle to look for instead of getting the canadian Bernat Aeros which I've read about on Now Norma Knits 2.

Also, as an addi join freak, nice to find needles with good joins.

I just read on their forum that elann will be carrying them too -- how perfect is that? :-) Thanks for the detailed review!

That's crazy how you can tie the cord in knots! Thanks for the review. You are super thorough, and I feel like I know all about these needles just from reading this!

Great review - thanks for letting us all know about these needles.... I'm definitely going to have to try them!

I just ordered four of the Bryson Bryspun needles from my Oregon LYS (but since I'm in Virginia right now, had to resort to their website):
http://tinyurl.com/dzh9v

They have them in 16 and 24 and 29-inch lengths! I can't wait to get them so I can use them for the lace project that I have on making-me-crazy needles -- the fine yarn keeps hanging up on the needle join. Good review!

I am definitely going to get some of those. I need more 5s, 6s and 7s. Field trip time!

Tks for taking the time to fill us in about these great needles! I live just outside of Chgo and haven't seen these needles yet, but plan on keeping my eyes posted!

Thank for that review. Did you make it up to the sale? I heard it was very good.

Wow, thanks for the great review, Kathy. I haven't tried these but will definitely try to pick up a pair! I get so frustrated with tips that aren't pointy enough sometimes. Bad news ... did you know that Knitpicks carries straight bryspuns? ($3.75. One more temptation to reach that $30.00 mark.)

I wonder if they're going to make sock sizes too eventually? Practically all the needles I have are 0's or 1's, and it looks like those would be great for socks if they make them small enough (hint, hint, Bryspun!)

Since I'm thinking of making some lace this summer, though, I will have to get some of the larger ones to use. I have some vintage circs that are all of a piece like these, and I loooove them!

Thanks for the thorough review...I love the way you tied the cords in knots.

Great review! Now I *cough* need more needles : )

Very cool. Thanks for the wonderful review of the new needles. I'll have to see what I can find online and try them out.

Great review! You've definitely made me curious. And I'm totally coveting your new yarn as well.....I love the color!

Oh thanks for the great review, I'll have to keep my eyes peeled and try them out myself.

Ooh, it looks like they changed the needles from the beta test! There was a bit of a curve where the needle joined the cable that made it difficult to move the stitches around, other than that, all the girls who work at the shop agreed they were good needles!

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