Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Knit Picks Harmony Needles

While I was working on the Hemlock Ring Blanket I realized my 29” Circular needles that I am using are not going to be big enough. What is recommended is 40”. I considered using two 29” circulars, which I have, but I fear stitches may fall off one while trying to knit with the other. I couldn’t find my Denise needles, which I’ve had for over 20 years. I didn’t think I had an extra long cord in that set anyway. Soooo…..what a good excuse to order the new Knit Picks Options Harmony Wood Needle Set. Since I didn’t get one for Christmas, I’d thought I’d treat myself to a set.
They arrived today. I was so excited. I carefully attached the Size 11 Needlepoints and tightened the cable with the tiny tightener, and started transferring my 300 stitches on the new needles. As I was halfway around, the stitches got more crowded and to my HORROR, as I was sliding the stitches down the cable, IT CAME APART and stitches were dropped. I wanted to scream!!!!! And cry!!!! Apparently the glue they used to join the plastic to the metal attacher screw is not very strong. I was however, able to push the plastic cable back in and now am carefully pushing the stitches along, trying to avoid a repeat of this. I have heard that other people have experienced the same problem.

On the aesthetic side, they are very colorful. Since I am knitting with a solid cream color, these needles are beautiful but the multicolors make the point difficult to see, at least at night. Thankfully, I can knit by touch so this is not so much a problem. I do fear, however that there might be sensory overload when I use a variegated sock yarn with these needles. It may be hard to find the needles in the explosion of color.

I don't mean to sound so negative. I am having a bad day. On the positive side, the colorful needles are lovely in daylight. The more I knit with them, the more they kind of grow on you and are likely to become my favorite needles. As I knit along long stretches of stockinette, they keep my mind occupied as I contemplate each color on the needle. I can feel those neurons working and the synapses connecting.

The needles are a little heavier than the bamboo, which takes a little getting used to. I believe they are birch which is a solid wood. The metal attachments connecting the cable to the needle also add to the weight. I'm not sure how they will perform when knitting fine laceweight yarn, as at times the screw sometimes loosens, if they are not tightened properly, and are likely to snag.

On the whole, I think I'm going to like them, especially their interchangeablility and portability. A whole set of circular needles for $70 is a real bargain.

Edit: Sadly, a new flaw with these needles. I was trying to cast off and realized the wooden needle that is beautifully cut on the bias or slant of the wood, and colored so beautifully, lifted and was snagging my yarn. These needles are made with a coating in order to prevent splintering but this didn't protect my Size 7 Harmony needle. I was very surprised that this happened with birch wood, which is a harder wood than others. I will need to contact Knit Picks for this one. I hope they will replace it as this Size 7 is one I use often. :(

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