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July 23, 2006

Weighing in

So many have reported on the new KnitPicks needles, and I see no reason to board a ship which has, by now, clearly sailed. As I wrote a few days ago, "I agree with everything you've read so far - they are pointier than Addis, the cord is nice and flexible, the joins seems smooth, the needles themselves are smooth, they're as cheap as dirt, the size isn't marked, the packaging is flimsy... But I'm not a convert. For a reason that I have yet to see someone mention!"

Oh, the suspense! What caught my eye now? ;)

My friends, I have a drawer full of scientific instruments, and I'm not afraid to use them. In fact, what I'm about to tell you is not a matter of opinion, it is undeniable scientific evidence.

Needles mentioned here, in order of appearance (so I don't have to continue providing links): KnitPicks dpns, INOX aluminum needles (circs and dpns), Susan Bates Silvalume dpns, KnitPicks Classic circulars, Hiya Hiya circulars, KnitPicks Options circulars, Addi Turbo circulars, Aluminum Boye circulars.

Let's start with the KnitPicks dpns:

  

Set of 5 KnitPicks dpns, size 0/2.0 mm, 6" long weigh 12.0 g.
Set of 5 INOX aluminum dpns, size 0/2.00 mm, 6" long weigh 5.8 g.
Set of 5 Susan Bates Silvalume dpns, size 0/2.0 mm, 7" long weigh 6.9 g.

What do you think about that?!?

Let's looks at some chunkier dpns:

  

Set of 5 KnitPicks dpns, size 1.5/2.5 mm, 6" long weigh 16.3 g.
Set of 5 INOX aluminum dpns, size 1.5/2.5 mm, 6" long weigh 8.5 g.
Set of 5 Susan Bates Silvalume dpns, size 2/2.75 mm, 7" long (so, a little bigger, and a little longer) weigh 12.7 g.

Okay, how about those Classic KnitPicks circulars?

  

Size 0/2.0 mm, 24" long KnitPicks Classic circular weighs 4.7 g.
Size 0/2.0 mm, 24" long Hiya Hiya circular weighs 2.0 g.
Size 0/2.0 mm, 32" long INOX aluminum circular weighs 2.5 g.

Fine, I get the idea. The Options line must be lighter, right?

Out of curiosity, I did buy one Options needle, even though I said I wouldn't go there because I'm pleased with what's available in sizes US 4 and up. So, we all get the benefit of the weight comparison.

  

Size 4/3.5 mm, 24" long KnitPicks Options circular weighs 9.9 g.
Size 4/3.5 mm, 24" long (closer to 23", to be honest) Addi Turbo circular weighs 6.0 g.
Size 4/3.5 mm, 29" cheapo aluminum Boye circular weighs 6.6 g.

I'm not sure how to conclude this exposé, other than to tell you that the heaviness of these needles is blatant. It was the very fist thing I noticed about them when I finally got around to opening the package. Purly can vouch for me - she was "there".

But that's just me. I find that heavy needles make my hands very tired, very quickly. If needle weight wasn't so important to me, I'd stop my whining and knit all my lace on straights, trust me.

Tomorrow I'll be returning the dpns and Options to KnitPicks. I'm holding on to the Classic Circulars only because I've reached a certain level of desperation when it comes to metal circs in the US 00-3 range. So I'm willing to give anything a try at this point.

I leave you with a question - do you notice how light or heavy your needles are? Does it make a difference to you in terms of speed, hand fatigue, ease of use?

Posted by Kathy on July 23, 2006 06:27 PM

Comments

Haha, it's interesting, I do notice it, but I tend to prefer slightly heavier needles. My Denises feel too light for my tastes, and I have Inox circulars in the larger sizes where they make them out of plastic instead of metal which have the same problem. (Though in that case it could also be the fact that I don't really like large needles.) So as weird as this sounds, after reading your review I'm even more tempted to try the KP needles - funny how that works! (I still like the weight in my hands though, so circulars are much more preferable to straights.)

I notice hand fatigue only when using heavier straight needles, not heavier circular needles. But it's doubly bad when I'm knitting on heavy straights with a heavy yarn like bamboo.

I haven't ever noticed. I don't like knitting big wide things on straights, but it's more because it's just awkward for me. And when I notice weight, it's when I have something big and heavy on the needles, not the needles themseles. With sock knitting (on DPNs), I've never noticed needle weight. I usually use bamboo because I carry around my socks with me, and the stitches are more likely to fall off in my purse when I use metal needles.

Hmmm, I can see the weight thing being quite fatiguing over time. The actual weights don't seem like much until you compare to others! Then wow, thats quite a disparity!

I don't know that I would have noticed a difference in weight when it's that small .. a difference between a few grams doesn't really seem noticable to me, especially when knitting. And in fact, I think I prefer a heavier, more substantial needle in my hands ..

I think weight is KEY. I also prefer very pointy needles, but given the choice between not so pointy light needles and heavy pointy needles, I'll bick the light ones every time. Do you ever use bamboo circs? I really like bamboo needles, but I can't find any with a join that doesn't snag.

I have found that with dpn's I do notice the weight but it's not a drawback to me. I actually *feel* I go faster with heavier but that may all be in my demented head!

Kathy - I definitely notice needle weight. That's one reason I like using wood - it's lighter. I go way faster with lighter needles, but the wood ones slow me down, so it's a trade off. My hands get tired faster with the heavier metal needles, and they get cramped really fast if the needles on the circulars are too short (with the really short addis, the needles are TOO short for me). Thank you for the post about the knit picks needles. I was thinking about getting some, but now I won't.


ps. I finished my first jaywalker today! Those socks are so cool. I'll send you a picture when they are both done. Thank you so much for that pattern, it's awesome.

I can't say I've ever noticed -- except when going from my Boye Needlemaster set to Addi Turbos. Then I really notice the weight. I don't know where I'd fall in the heavy or light needle debate, but I'd guess I'd fall into the heavier camp. I like my pens to be heavy and fat and I write a lot and it doesn't seem to bother me.

Weight and give are both important to me. Heavy needles make my hands tired, and really hard needles hurt my fingers.

The Denise circulars are perfect for me because they are light and (unscientifically) feel softer in my hands than metal needles. Their surface is just smooth enough to let my yarn (usually wool) slide nicely without slipping right off.

Thank you for your detailed reports with real evidence. You are a very refreshing voice in the knitting world.

Weight is certainly important to me. I decided to try the Options, and have started a blanket with them. Big project with 3 ply merino, I have been so thankful for the pointier tips, the smooth join, and the 32" cord of my choice. I'm sure in my head, I'm expecting heavy because it's a blanket. I'll have to see if I notice it on a different project. In terms of dpns, I prefer bamboo - more control/less speed, but find they bend, so I need to remedy that issue for myself.

So is it safe to say it's cheaper to produce heavier needles?

you know, i have never thought about it before. i have noticed that if i use long straight needles, they hurt my hands... i bet that has something to do with weight. that's crazy that some of those were DOUBLE the other's. you should have sent them copies of those pictures. LOL

I thought I noticed that my needles were a little heavy yesterday when I got them. It doesn't really bother me though, and the options are nice enough that I've been converted - I used to hate circs with a passion.

Despite my bad wrist, I think the difference between the heavier tips and the metal straights that I'd be using otherwise won't make much difference. I like being able to control the cord size, too. I'm such a sucker. lol

I hadn't noticed the weight different at all, so weight must not be an issue for me (needlewise, that is!). However, I not only bought the dpns (sizes 0 through 2), but being happy with those, I bought the Options package. Although happy with the needles there as well, I find the join keeps unscrewing as I knit. I used the little tool they provide, but don't see how that helps. I asked my husband to look at it (maybe I did something wrong?), but he said it looks like the tool is only to provide a "handle" of sorts for screwing the needles tips on. That's my only gripe. I couldn't care less about packaging. Even though I save my dpns in their original packaging, I can live without it for saving a few shekels.

Funny, I'd never thought about relative weights until I read this, but now that you mention it...I suspect that's why I tend to prefer bamboo needles to metal ones. I notice the metal ones cramp my fingers more quickly, and I'd bet that's why. Love the fact that you have a scale for weighing by grams. You're probably packing a micrometer, too. Heh heh - it's BatKnitter to the rescue.

I have exactly the same complaint about the Knitpicks needles. When I opened the Knitpicks package, I immediately noticed how heavy the needles are. Like lodestones! I too find that heavy needles tire out my tiny hands; this is why I prefer bamboo or birch, which are probably lighter than any kind of metal needles. I was really hoping to find light, smooth needles that wouldn't snap (I've come to regard bamboo zeros as a one off deal). I haven't knit with the new needles yet, though. I think I'll give it a try before I barter them for some wood needles. I love, though, how decisive you are about yours. So wonderfully Grumperina!

I absolutely notice it, and I'm glad someone else has too! I'm sticking with my INOX Express from now on - THANKS for the exposé!

I notice needle weight more in the dpns and the straights than I do the circulars. The steel Inox dpns feel heavy to me.

I can't say that I've noticed weight differences in circulars quite as much. This is probably because once you get a bit of knitting done, you're supporting the weight of the work (and the needles) on your lap.

I think the weight is a very insignificant issue, for me. It won't keep me from buying needles if one metal set is heavier and pointier, and the other metal set is lighter but with a blunted tip - I'll go for the sharper point every time. The affordable cost is yet one more reason to prefer the KnitPicks needle, in fact I'd buy them at Addi prices for the tip alone.

I've never noticed the weight, but then, I've never had the luxury of noticing. I buy needles as I need them, and I tend to only work on one or two projects at a time, so I only have one set of each size.

I think that statement is going to horrify a few people. But on my humanities-grad-student budget, there's precious little money for yarn, let alone fripperies like light weight dpns (when my mom's old metal ones -- whatever they weigh, whatever brand they are -- work just fine).

So there you have it. I'm poor and I have crappy needles.

I definately notice, and I am so glad you posted your scientific findings. My hands get very uncomfortable if there is too much weight...I even avoid most bulky yarns because after a few inches they are just too much. Maybe there is strength training for wrists, hands, and fingers?

Ms. Grumperina, Thank you so much for having a scale and weighing the needles! I definitely notice the weight of needles and prefer lighter ones. On the other hand, I will probably purchase some of the new KP line just to test them out and because they're so darn cheap.

Now, can you recommend an affordable, reliable scale? Every single time I finish a sock (which has only happened a few times) I want to compare the weight of the completed sock against my remaining yarn (my feet are bigger than the "average" size that most patterns are written for). Thanks!

I actually notice the heaviness/ bulkiness/ difficulty to work with of the yarn more so than the needles. I just finished a yarn made out of Noro Kureyon, in a chevron pattern for parts of it, and my hands got really tired from wrangling the yarn. Once blocked, it 'feels' lighter than when I was knitting it, but I needed more breaks than I do on the soft, silky, lightweight alpaca yarn I'm working with now, even though the needle size and gauge are similar.

I generally prefer heavier needles, although I would not return a set that was too light or too heavy. The only time I have a problem with the weight of my knitting is when I try to use long straights - it apparently causes enough strain on my wrists that my arms start to hurt after a short time. I don't notice anything like that with any type of circular.

I do notice the heaviness of my needles, but I don't think about it that much. For me, the material is the most important when it comes to speed and general happiness. I love metal needles--I like them as slippery as possible and that's why I still love addis even with their blunt tips.

Sometimes I notice a difference in weight but it doesn't affect my knitting or fatigue. I'm more affected by the material, the pointiness, and the cord in circulars.

I definitely notice weight when it comes to DPNs, and for me, the lighter the better. I hate heavy DPNs. I can't say that I've noticed weight issues with circs, but I tend to use bamboo in the "larger" (for me, 4 or 5 and up) sizes, and have a feeling that it's more difficult to notice weight differential between bamboo and, say, Addis, when I have a whole sweater weighing down a size 1 or 2 circ.

I'm jealous of your fancy digital scale. My scale is a plastic piece of crap I got for $6 at the grocery store. Fractions of grams? I'm lucky if it's accurate to within 5 grams. It must be replaced!

Yup, weight is important to me. Unfortunately there's not much to choose from in the way of needles here in NZ, but I do have a set of Denises I got on Ebay and my friends great-aunt's needle collection that I inherited. That has given me quite a good collection of light circular needles. I don't knit anything on straights if I can help it as my wrists end up hurting too much. I wish I could though as I have some beautiful hardwood needles that I am trying to knit with, but all I can manage is a few rows at a time, then I put it down for another month...

Eeerrrrrkkkkkkkkkk!
That's me, putting on the brakes. Thank you, Grumperina, for saving me the trouble of ordering and then returning those needles.

The one thing that keeps me from trying these metal dpn's is that I have skin (contact) allergy to nickel (the material they are made out of)....so I generally stick with wood.

Interesting analysis regarding the weight!

Not only does the weight matter, but if the needles are too stiff or too flexible my hands start to ache. This probably isn't a fair observation to needle makers because I have M.S. and I'm overly fussy. So far only one of the brands of bamboo dps work for me. I should donate all of my metal, plastic and wooden needles to charity. If I can find one that would take them... hmm, maybe they'd take that crappy acrylic Red Heart that someone gave me too!

I can only knit with Addi Turbo circulars. The lightness of these needles are very important. I can't knit for very long if I am using heavier, pointier needles. My wrist starts to hurt and I have to give knitting a very long break. With the Addis I can knit for as long as I want without any pain. As for dpn, I prefer wood. They're just easier and lighter for me. I never use straight. They are used for decoration in my house.

I'm so glad I read your review before splurging on a set of these needles. I've converted to circs all because knitting with heavy straight needles makes my hands tired.

Love your scientific approach - it warms my own scientific heart.

As far as needle weight - I'm really more bothered by needle size -- i.e. too long DPNs or the really big and bulky straights in the giant sizes (15 and up). Weight of circulars or DPNs isn't usually an issue for me, but then, I haven't yet tried the KnitPicks needles. I may have to purchase a test set, and perform my own experimentation.

On a sorta different topic - have you knit with the ChiaoGoo DPNs? I really like that they come in shorter lengths - 5".

Hm, I haven't thought about it much, but I do like the lightness of the bamboos. Good for you sending it back.

For me it seems to be the length of the needle and the degree of "give". Long aluminum single-point needles: ouch. Short bamboo needles: fine. Bryspun 5" double-points: sweet!

I'm waiting on tenterhooks to hear if a friend who will be visiting the country next month has been able to find the Denise set as she promised...I found trying to knit a simple baby sweater on my metal straights was turning my hands into claws. I'm hoping the circulars will solve that problem...I have an issue with Boye crochet hooks for the same reason, they're so darn heavy!

I notice the weight of the needles and choose Addi Turbo circulars for most projects because they are light, and the weight of my knitting project sits in my lap rather than being "carried" as it would be on straight needles. I have been looking at the lighted knitting needles (two types) and my first objection is the weight of the batteries on the end of the needles. Thanks for the scientific comparison of the weights of the needles.

I notice needle weight and prefer a light, very fast, metal needle, so Inoxes have been my needle of choice. As you've said, they're not perfect, but right now they seem to be the best I can get.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I was thinking about trying some out but now that I know how heavy they are, they're not even an option anymore. I am extremely picky about the weight of my needles - I haven't knit anything on straights in years! Thanks again for the tip!

Double the weight in some cases. Well, I'll give them a try and pay attention to that. I'm a sucker for the inox point and the addi join, so I was hoping that these would work out for me. Thanks for pointing it out and introducing the Hiya Hiya needle.

I've thought that the needles in my Boye Needlemaster set were a little heavier than most. I attribute this to the fact that the set used to be my Grandmother's and she bought it in the seventies. It does wear out my hands, but I find that my hands are worn out just as easily if I'm using smaller needles. All of that clenching can do a number on my fingers.

Wow, that is really surprising - that they are THAT much heavier! Just for reference, do you know what the average bamboo or other woody needle set weighs? I never thought about weight or mass before.

When I opened my KP DPNs I did notice that they felt a bit hefty.. I thought it was a good thing though because they didn't feel cheap or flimsey. I've had too many cheap (Boye.) alluminum needles bend and dent. I haven't used them for a long enough time to notice whether they'll make my fingers tired or not.. so I guess I'll find that out later. Mostly I'm just in search of DPNs that I actually like using.. I don't have the assortment that you do : P

I'd never thought about the weight of the needles... but now that you mention it... I'll pay more attention in the future :) x

Yes, needle weight matters. I'll take the lightest ones I can find! Been giving one brand of plastic straights "extreme makeovers": snap off the ends, pull out the metal innards, and replace the ends with handcrafted polyclay beads. Right now, my favorite "fun" needles are chopped-to-custom-length 8's...with *glow-in-the-dark* polyclay ends. "Light", indeed, in more ways than one! ;-)

I'm a newish knitter and have only used bamboo needles. Now I feel like I'm missing something since I didn't know so many needle types existed! Reading this post, and Wendy's post about needles was a real eye opener!

i definitely noticed the heavy weight of these needles immediately. i got mine in the first wave of deliveries and i haven't used them since. however a friend of mine LOVES them, so i gave them to her . . .

I have definitely noticed hand fatigue when I use circulars that have a short needle section ( I don't know the actual term! ). I prefer circulars because of other reasons but sometimes the shortness just gets to me.

I really like the Options - like having all of the sizes, like being able to take off the points and screw on the holders, it's saved me on my latest project (Lara), and I like the pointiness.

I love your needle reviews, btw!

Totally agreed - heft and weight are Important for me, and especially in DPNs. Socks are extra-nice travel knitting because even lugging around a knee sock doesn't wear you out the way a cotton sweater on aluminum circs can, so even a little additional weight, um, sucks.

So even with as cheap as they are, I was sort of hanging back and waiting to order these, and I've been asking all sorts of "But what about the weight?" questions of people who've tried them. This "weigh-in" pretty much definitively lets me know that I'm not very interested in these needles. Thanks!!

I'd gladly take them off your hand you know! ;o) Heading up that way soon too

I have a huge variety of needles and yarns and find that I often change the needle BECAUSE of the yarn. I don't know that weight factors in to the decision, but I will be thinking about that from now on.

What I DO notice on circulars is the balance between the size of the needle, the length of the needle, and the type of cord and join. Most often I prefer my Denise needles to anything else, for straight or circular knitting. I only use the Addis on HUGE yarn and non-think patterns because I find the tips too blunt for finer work and too slippery for intricate work.

I LOVE bamboo, but as someone else mentioned, most of the joins are not as smooth as you would like.

ps the Denise needles are FANTASTIC for mobius knitting because you can use a smaller size on the left needle and just zoom along.

I would be willing to accept a bit more weight in DPNs if they are actually stronger. I bend silvalumes. I would like some sock needles that I won't bend so quickly. Of course, learning to relax could help me with that.

What about wooden needles? like bamboo? These feel pretty light, and I like the feel of them in my hands a lot more than metal. I think wooden needles are beautiful.

Weight is an important consideration, just after the pointiness of the ends. I consider myself a Goldilocks in needle weight - it can't be too heavy or too light; it has to be just right. What can I say - I'm fickle!

I've been using a KP Option circ set for a while now, and I can't say that I notice the additional weight. But then, I'm knitting a shawl, and by the time I get a couple of 50g skeins on the needles, the extra 4 grams isn't going to make a lot of difference to me. I haven't tried the fixed tip circs, because they don't make long enough cords for magic-looping me; it might make a difference there, but still, it's a whole 4 grams out of the 50 for a sock. Guess I'm not Princess and the Pea material. ;-)

I never even noticed needle weight. Then again I don't have any *good* needles (ie Addi's), so maybe all my needles are uber heavy anyway. I have no idea.

Kathy, weight is totally important to me because I knit a lot and my wrists will complain about it. I really like Plymouth double points in bamboo because they are very pointy and yet smooth enough to not hold the yarn in muggy weather. You have not mentioned these. They are a bit long at 6".

i haven't noticed that heavy needles bother me. honestly, i don't pay as much attention to my needles as ; perhaps, i should. i like my circs to have a longish straight !! shank..,that's about all i notice needles wise. but; pointer points? doesn't that count for a lot?

I don't believe I notice weight... I haven't knit long enough to truly tell, but I read in an earlier comment that needles can actually feel good due to their heft, and I think I agree. For me, the fact that the tips are so pointy and they are available for so much less than addis is the reason I'll be buying more.... It also pleases my dh and our bank account, lol.

I wonder how they compare with Addi circulars as far as weight goes in the smaller (0-3) sizes?

I don't use DPs, only circulars, and I like some weight. The Denise are too light, and in the smaller sizes too short. Long straights kill my wrists. I like the weight of my Addis, but the light, flexible cable on the KPs hooked me. Whether working on size 10 or size 3, the KPs have better balance in my hands.

Geez! Those are some heavy needles. You just helped make up my mind. Needle weight is definitely important and something that no one has mentioned before. I may buy one needle for when I work with lace for the pointier tip but otherwise I'm going to stick with the needles I already have. Thanks for the review. This was very helpful.

Ha! I suspected it was the the weight - I did notice, and tend to notice as heavier needles obviously put more stress on hands, arms, etc. But the thing I did like is that they don't seem to spill out of my knitting. I've never used the Inox dpns, and am normally fond of bamboo for socks anyway, but I like the super pointiness, so I'll use them reasonably often enough.

"Weighing in" - ha! Very punny!

You have very excellent timing as I was just about to send KnitPicks some of my birthday money. Weight is important to me but moreso with dpns and straights than circulars, and I'm really excited about the prospect of such a flexible cord for magic loop work.

Why is it so hard for the needle manufacturers to make the "right" needles for the masses? I just don't get it. I bought sized 1 and 3 in the KP Classic Circs to knit socks with. The most important thing was pointiness and smoothness. So the slight weight difference didn't really matter. I have bought almost every needle out there I thought that I could afford (11 bucks or less a needle price range) and tried them. I like the warmth of the little hollow needles. But oddly enough in DPNS I don't. I want my dpns to be super super light. And I just haven't picked up any dpn that is better than a bamboo 6 inch dpn yet. Just my humble opinion though.

But for those knitters out there that haven't or cant afford Addis I think the KP classic circulars in the 0-3 sizes will be a blessing.

OMG--that is quite a large weight difference. I have to say that even if you don't notice it at first, it will make a difference in the long run. Especially if you are working on a particularly hard stitch pattern or with some difficult yarn. I will definitely not be buying KP needles after this informative expose!
I prefer plastic or bamboo needles, but for those out there who like metal needles, i can see why KP needles are an affordable alternative. but geez...16g?! thanks for the post.

The weight really wasn't an issue for me, but I'm glad you brought it up. I find long straights to be too heavy, but I think it's more yarn weight actually. I'm a waitress, so I have pretty strong wrists and arms, which helps in my knitting endeavors!

RE: KnitPicks DPNS: I have yet to knit socks with wooden, size 0 dpns, because they are reputed to snap easily. I love the gray-coated INOX needles for many things, but I find that the INOX dpns - in ANY size - are too sticky for nylon + wool or superwash wool, so despite their strength, I haven't gotten size 0 dpns in INOX either. ... So, I am looking forward to trying the size 0 dpns I just got from KnitPicks for socks. Love the points, love that they are smooth, love that they won't snap even at size 0. In addition, they DO have some "bend" or "give" to them! They won't curve/warp to your hand shape like wooden ones, but they do flex a little bit! This also seems promising.

I received the print catalogue a few days ago and noticed that the copy for the new needles states, "Nickel-Plated Brass: 10 millimeters of nickel plating make the surface smooth as glass. The hollow brass tube is extremely lightweight for hours of comfort". It struck me as odd that they would use millimeters as a unit of measurement for how much nickel they are using on the needles. I'm happy with the needles I have so I'm not likely to buy any new ones soon, but I appreciate Knit Picks effort to offer a new product.

Interesting. Very interesting. I'm really surprised that they weigh so much more than Addis. I would have expected them to be similar. Thanks for the very scientific tests.

I wrote to KP about the nickel alergy thing. And suggesed they do bamboo, wood, or even plastic (you can see where my preferences lie). They said that they have that in development (which one though!?) and they will be coming out with them in a year or so. I wonder how they will stack up?

I totally vouch for her! I was "there" when she opened them, since I nearly forced her to open them cause I wanted to know what she thought. She immediately noted the weight.

Where did you get that balance? I need one for dyeing purposes.

I hadn't noticed my Classic Circulars being any heavier than any other needles that I have; honestly, I don't think that I *would* notice, due to the fact that I love these needles for lace so very, very much. I might notice it, though, on the Options line, considering how much larger the metal tips get when you get into the bigger sizes. I don't think it is going to stop me from purchasing them, though. I tend to work on projects for short spurts in the evenings, due to an active toddler and household needs. I don't get enough solid knitting time in to notice the weight of the needles.

Strangley enough, I feel the weight in my pinky finger on my right hand. I'm a continental stitcher with "Arthur-Ites" as my grandpa says, so I always try to use the lightest needles I can find! Thanks for the warning about those needles! Wonder if they will do something to take away some of the weight!

Yes. Weight matters. I have Lupus and fibromyalgia, and I feel it especially in my hands, wrists and shoulders. I'm using bamboos these days, partly b/c they are warmer, partly because they are lightweight. When I began to knit lace and socks, going to smaller and smaller needles, I realized that size matters, too. The bigger the needle size the more my hands hurt (that goes along with weight, too, doesn't it?) :)
Thank you for the scientific evidence! I will consider the single circulars, for the same reason you are. But otherwise, I'm keeping to my Addi Naturas, and maybe trying the Holz & Steins, if I can save up the money! lololol!
hmm...if Knitpicks does bamboo or wood? Well, I'd consider that purchase!
(((hugs)))

Brilliant deductive work. I never thought abour needle weight before, but now that you pointed it out it makes me wonder if I prefer circs to straights because they feel lighter in my hands. Thanks for the info! I was on the edge of my seat all week waiting to hear what you had to say about the KP needles.

Huh, aluminum Inox DPs must be very light indeed--or I'm just used to heavy ones, since until recently my only double-pointed needles in fine sizes have been a couple of sets of Inox and Addi steel ones. I got a bunch of Susan Bates aluminum DPs last week and was downright unnerved at how light and bendy they were by comparision.

All this is to say I don't think I'd be bothered by the extra weight of the KP needles, though I do find it interesting--if anything, I'm more comfortable with a heavier needle. Now I shall have to search out a scale and find out how much my steel needles weigh...

Can't say I've ever noticed needle weight, and I knit an awful lot. Weight only ever gets to me when the fabric starts to build up and at that point needle weight is a negligible proportion of the overall weight, so I don't think it factors in. I just like 'em pointy! Oh, and to make a good clicking noise when I knit. That adds an important sensual component. Speaking of sensual, I got to hold (just hold, not use) a rosewood needle the other day. Seriously se*y.

Oh I wish I'd been more patient! After all the reviews, I ordered Knitpicks DPN's last Friday because I liked the idea of 6" metal needles. But the weight! Yikes! I hate heavy needles. I can't use the INOX DPN's as they cause tendons in my pinkie finger to scream and I break the bamboo and wooden ones. My favorite needles for socks are the older Boye aluminum -- yes, those that others hate. I love the bright colors and the really sharp tips and they don't break.

Thanks for your review. Yes, weight is important to me!

One thing I noticed is that you did not weigh any Addi DPNs vs. the KnitPicks; you only compared them to other aluminum DPNs. However, this would not explain the difference when comparing the circular needles.

I am still planning on getting some size 0 DPNs since I am always happy to have spare sets and want to try these out. Using aluminums smaller than size 1 can get 'bendy' and I want to try out the KP nickle set. I have a feeling they will still bend a bit, but I doubt that the weight will be a problem for me since I don't have the time to work at my socks for hours on end. My knitting time is pretty limited.

Thanks for sharing your findings!

I have noticed that weight has a huge impact on how well I am able to use a needle. I am very dissapointed about the knitpicks needles, because they were the first affordable option in needles that wasn't Susan Bates. I love my wooden needles, but I am a little too good at breaking them. I may order a trial pair anyway to see if I can handle the weight- but it is unlikely that my wrists will handle the fatigue of heavy needles. Thanks for you weigh in!

The thing is, you are talking about a difference of a few GRAMS. That is such a small amount of weight that I cannot see it making that much of a difference.

Mandy - I was able to find a decent digital scale at Bed Bath and Beyond for about US $25. It isn't nearly as precise as Gumperina's - it only measures to the gram (or 1/8 oz).

But that's fine enough for most of what I'm going to be doing. I can split a 100 gram ball of sock yarn, for example.

hope that helps.

Oh, my God, yes! I love Addi Turbos. I love Brittany DPNs, too. Heavy needles make my wrists ache...And even if your needles are tiny, like 000 DPNs, why burden yourself with extra weight? Anything that causes your body to work harder when doing something repetetive is going to wear those tissues down faster. Not only do I like to knit comfortably now, I do what I can to make sure I'm knitting comfortably when I'm 90.

Maybe if I used the bigger needles (11s) a lot weight might be an issue, but since my faves are 6s and below for lace, the issue of the pointier needle is a much bigger issue for me. I have been using the KP size 5s a lot over the past few days and for me, the weight hasn't bothered me, but I love the pointier tips (especially for the k7tog!). Thanks for sharing your findings!

I love my digital gram scale and am always excited to see a knitter using one to its fullest advantage. I use mine for weighing mail too, do you?

I certainly do notice the weight of needles. Back when I first started knitting, I liked heavy needles, because they felt less likely to get away from me; I felt as though I had more control. Now I prefer light needles, for the same reason you mentioned- tired hands. I also feel I can knit faster with lighter needles. I'm so glad you posted this review! I was all set to buy some of these needles because of the points, but I'll look elsewhere.

Addi turbo circulars are what got me to not hate metal needles. They are light, and the cable attaching them is KING. For sock knitting I very much prefer bamboo needles because I love light and bendy.

Weight of needles definitely matters to me. I like to have the resources at hand to enable me to knit for HOURS, not just a few stinkin' minutes ;)

That's a kickass scale. I don't notice how heavy my needles are until they're diving out of their stitches.

My preferance is for heavy, pointy, nickel-plated and *long* circs with light, flexible cords. I find that (for better or worse, probably worse), I rest my hands on the needles, so I want substantial, inflexible needles to hold the weight of my hands, and they have to be long enough that the edge of my hand doesn't rest (fatally) on the join. I find that the only time weight makes my hands/wrists/arms tired is when it's a heavy cord or, of course, straights. (Or for that matter, a really heavy knitted object!)

So, naturally, I'm looking forward to the day when I can afford to order a fairly complete set of the new KnitPicks needles, as they seem to be perfect for me. Flexible needles bend unrecognizably after one project for me, and my Denise interchangeables have almost worn out much too soon because the entire weight of my hands rests precisely on the join. The one pair of expensive ebony needles I got on sale once broke after using them only through a few inches of a cardigan back, because of the weight resting on the elegant but fragile join.

In any case, the main factor in needles for me is the price. I find that using a different kind of needle with every project lessens any problems my hands might notice in any particular needle, so in the past I've gotten them on sale, or cheap in foreign countries (Russia, usually), or on Ebay. So I'm ecstatic to have ready access to needles I can afford that have even *most* of the features I like best. That so many sizes are available with interchangeable cords is enough to set me dreaming about them at night (I actually have dreamt about them - I'm not even kidding).

But -- and this is the interesting part of this comment! -- it occurs to me that the wide range of preferences expressed in these comments might be a function of hand size as much as taste and knitting style. Someone who disliked the heavy needles mentioned that they were painful for her "small hands." I like weight, and I have huge hands. It's hardly a scientifically-established connection, but maybe we should do a survey -- of those who actually prefer heavier circs, do you have medium or large-sized hands? And those who prefer lighter ones (aside from those suffering already from hand/wrist problems) -- do you have small hands? I'd be interested to know. My hands are too big for any women's-sized gloves, but too narrow for men's sizes. They measure 4" from the bone at the base of the thumb to the edge of my hand, and 7.5" from the tip of my middle finger to the base of the hand.

So, Grumperina, as our resident knitting scientist - can a study be done on the subject of hand size and needle preferences? The conclusions, if strong enough, might lead the wonderful folks at KnitPicks to offer an alternative ultra-light line of Options next year, but leave the current ones available as well (that would be my ideal!)

I also appreciate the comparison. I was trying to decide how to do an upcoming order for a sock dying workshop I am doing. I usually order my sock yarn from KP.

Now also being a science person, do you tend to notice what type of balance people use and the precision? I noticed that a couple people asked about where to get good balances. I have gotten several for my lab from http://www.myweigh.com/index.htm. I have been pleased with their performance, they are abused often, and their price. I bought several ones under $100 that have a precision of .01 g. It is comparable to a $300+ Ohaus Scout that I also have, but I won that as a door prize. They have all types of balances for all uses and in all price ranges.

Oh yes, I would also get excited about reading a book about organic chemistry (from a picture from way back).

What I've always wondered about is how they can get tolerances so close that a 3.75mm needle really is .25mm bigger than a 3.5mm needle, but not as big as a 4mm needle. A mm is not big, I'm sure not a lot of expertise is expended in the knitting needle manufacturing business...
I know there is variance from one make to another, but do we really need 3.25 mm needles...and why aren't there 5.25 mm needles?

I noticed that they were heavy and thought that they were also BIGGER because of the heaviness! :o)

Weight of needles is more important to me then the points! I spend too much time knitting and I can't do that if I'm using classic long needles because they're too heavy and make my wrists and shoulders (yes shoulders) hurt and I don't like heavy dpn because they are "ladder prone" where something nice and light are not- I prefer plastic or wood/bamboo for all dpn over size 5...because of the weight.

I'm oh so glad I saw this post before buying the options needles! Thanks!

It depends on what I'm using the needles for, and the gauge I need to achieve. My stitches per inch change dramatically depending on needle composition, and for some projects I need a pointy needle. I get different needle types for specific projects, so will try the Options needles when the furor dies down and they have them in stock again.

Has anyone actually knit real yardage with Options needles yet? I'm curious about whether or not they need to be tightened frequently.

It doesn't make much of a difference to me (well, at least that I have noticed) in circulars. I hate excess weight in DPNs (it seems to make you lose sts when they're in the knitting bag), however, so I am really glad to know that the circs will work for me, but the dpns won't.

Weight of needles is very important to me and I notice it almost immediately, for this reason I prefer bamboo and light wooden needles to metal almost every time, although addis are OK sometimes.

I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue so anything that makes knitting easier on my wrists is very welcome.

I like your scientific bent!

Ok, so I know I'm a little late "weighing" in here, (couldn't stand it.) but if you look at our good ole american system, rather then metric, 16 grams (the heaviest pair) is only about 1/2 of an ounce. And although I do think weight sometimes matters, when you are getting into numbers that small in size, i wonder if it really does add strain on your wrists or it is because you are mentally used to knitting with the way a certain needle feels. I mean, from one person to the next the weight in our hands varies, knitting is just not holding the needles, but also the yarn and the weight of your own fingers. With all those things considered does 1/2 oz really make the much of a difference or is that if you think it feels heavier, it's going to strain your hands like its heavier. It could all be mental. Hmm. I wonder.

Yes, weight is a huge issue to me with my needles and I'm glad to know about it. I wasn't considering purchasing the Knit Picks needles simply because I'm happy with the needles I have right now, but if I hadn't known about their weight, I may have tried them down the road. Thanks for the warning :)

Yes, needle weight is a huge issue. I rejoiced when I discovered bamboo dp's as I no longer had heavy slippery metal needles sliding out of my stitches. I am sorry to hear that the needles are heavy, tho that was my first thought looking at the dp's. I might go for some of the small circ's too - I have Aero's that I like very much that are pointier than a witch's hat, but wouldn't mind even sharper little ones! Cheers to you, Grump, for doing the math.

does any one know the weight on Addi DPNs? i thought they felt eavy, i do not have any other metal ones to compare weight.

I noticed the heavier weight. I have just finished knitting a sock with my Knit Picks dpns and the slipperiness of the needles meant I knit much faster than usual. Soooo, I don't mind.

Have you looked at the Pony Total needle system?
http://www.yarn-store.com/pony-totals-knitting-needles.html
The black needle ones are very fast and have a good point and are easy on the hands. Though they look like circulars they are not and are for straight knitting, the cord takes the weight of the knitting and the hands are left with nice small needles to move with. I really like them.

Bless you, how refreshing to run into real, live facts! I find I love the KP needles for lace and even plain knitting with very fine yarn. I hate the knitting-with-your-thumbs feeling Addis give you! The KPs give a wonderfully secure feeling; the yarn *is* caught, and really is going to make a stitch. Oh, joy! I find the weight in these small needles negligble. My hands are relaxed for sheer joy of the secure stitch. It's a trade-off I'm happy to make.

I'm with you, Kathy. Weight matters. I have a set of 5 shiny INOX needles, size 2.0 mm, 20 cm long that weigh in at 24 g! I never use them unless it is to use one for picking up live stitches or some other such temporary manoeuvre.

I might consider the very small sizes of the KP circs for lace knitting, since the weight of yarn is so much less and would hopefully compensate somewhat for the weight of the needles. For now, I will stick with my Aero's. If only the joins were smoother...

I don't seem to notice the extra weight, but I couldn't stand the light feeling of my denise needles and sold them on ebay. I do prefer the flexible soft cords on the knitpicks over the addi cords. The join is smooth and I like the pointy tip for lace knitting. But since they don't have a size 1 circ with a 40 inch cord for magicloop, I'll stick to my addis for socks. My ideal needle would be an addi with knitpicks cord.
Gail

I've tried out the knitpicks needles on a felted bag, and two sweaters. I currently have a colorwork sweater on the needles and really love the pointy tips. I haven't noticed the weight at all, but really appreciate the tips. I did a test by knitting one sleeve of the knitpicks kimono sweater on an addi and the other on knitpicks options. I got the same gauge with both, the joins both felt smooth and the cords were both nice and flexible. The only real difference to me was the point of the needle and I never even noticed the weight. I'll keep using both types (and my inox grey coated ones too). What I especially liked, since I tend to get startitis was being able to switch my needles tips around and change the cord length. I have an older set of the denise needles and hated having my tip come off of the cord in the middle of a project.

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