Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Options have landed

Upon arriving home from work last night I discovered a package from Knit Picks...my order had arrived! Woohoo! I've spent a good bit of this morning trying them out, so let me go over what I think of them. Here's what my order consisted of:

- 1 set of 24" needle cables which also includes 4 cable cap screws and a cable key to tighten the joins
- pairs of needle tips in sizes 4, 5, 6, and 13
- two of the Classic circulars in size 2 (the Classics are a one-piece, non-interchangable circular)


Cable Ends



The cable ends seem very sturdy. The area where the cable joins the metal is smooth and will withstand a vigorous tug. The length of the post with the threads on it seems like it will add a lot of stability to the join.


Cable Key



The cable key is rather unexciting, but that being said, it does exactly what it's supposed to do. I found that the pieces can be screwed together about 90% of the way by hand, but you really need the key to finish the last bit. Which is good because it makes for a tight join.


The Join



The join itself is very clean. This is a trial piece that I knit this morning just to try out the size 13s with the 24" cable. I had no snagging and no loosening of the join.


Cable Caps



Here's an example of a "straight" needle made by using one needle tip and one cable cap end. The caps screw on just like the needle tips


Takumi Bamboo Vs. Options Part 1



I've used the bamboo circulars before with no problem, but in trying the Options I must say the the join is even better due to a smoother and longer taper.


Takumi Bamboo Vs. Options Part 2



The Options win out here, too, due to the extra amount of needle length (4.5 inches from join to tip). The short needle on the Takumis made them a bit akward to handle and was my only real complaint about them at the time. However I now have another complaint which is illustrated in the picture above. The Takumis have a very tight cable. I couldn't get it to straighten out any more than it is. The Options cables are very soft, pliable and easy to work with.


Takumi Vs. Options Part 3



This picture shows the difference between the tips of these two brands. The Options tip is much pointier! I don't know that I have a preference as far as that goes (yet anyway), but I thought I'd show you how they compare for your own reference.


My Sock!


I've transferred my sock over to the two Classic circulars (size 2). I had it on a set of bamboo DPNs, but figured I'd not only try out the new needles but a new technique (for me)...a sock on two circulars.


And this last pic is a shot of the sock in progress on the new needles.

So though I've only had them a day I'd have to give them a thumbs up all around. They are comfortable to use, attractive, fairly inexpensive and seem like they have been made well with a lot of thought put into them. I'll continue to use them and give one last post about them in a week or two as a follow up. But if you have been looking at them and trying to decide whether or not to take the plunge, I'd say go for it!

LISTENING TO: MUSE - "Black Holes And Revelations." Anyone who has listened to Muse in the past and thought of them as mere Radiohead wannabes, take another listen. This is one kick-ass album, adding in some Middle Eastern and Latin influences...even a little funk. But have no fear, the signature Muse sound and Matthew Bellamy's trademark vocals are in place.

9 comments:

Chris said...

Hey Ken!

The set looks nice. I was wondering in your comparison to the needle tips if you find one has a tendency to be prone to splitting the yarn? Thanks for the review.

Hey, now you can, if you want, join the clog-along. I promise I won't 'badger' you into it.

Take care,

Chris

Ken said...

Chris, I think that it's possible that the sharper tips may split the yarn a little easier, but I didn't really notice a problem with it so far.

Go cloggers!

Dave Daniels said...

Thanks for that review, ken. The needle length is something that's had me concerned. I find that the shorter circs gave me hand cramps, so the longer tips will be better. Woohoo! Thanks for that honest review. (I got the DPNs I'll be reviewing.)

Jason said...

Ken, thanks for the photo intensive review! They really look and sound like a set of needles to get. I wonder if they will introduce smaller tips in the future? If the needle in your Cable Key photo is a size 4, maybe there's still room to size down the needle? Just thinking aloud.

Still loving your music review! I enjoy those little bits of info you add in.

TrickyTricot said...

Ken-

Thanks (again) for the great Needle Review... I'm not used to such detail! What I'm most attracted to based on your feedback is the pointiness of the tips - this is especially good for lace... so I might be investing in a set!

best,

michael

Paul said...

KnitPicks should pay you to endorse their needles! What a great, detailed review! I may need to do a little investing in some more needles! Thanks

Ken said...

Hi Paul, I thought about that after posting. I certainly didn't want it to sound like a commercial for Knit Picks. And I'm not getting any kickbacks...damn! But if there's a great product out there I have no problem recommending them to my fellow knitters. Hope that if you try them, you like them just as much!

Kenny said...

Thanks for the review

Frank said...

Wow! Ken. That needle set is impressive. I've just been using a set called Denise Needles... been using them about 4 years now and am pretty happy with them. http://www.knitdenise.com/. Very nice... the KnitPicks. The Denise Needles company is owned by a woman in Charlottesville, VA, where I used to live so I heard about them there. Keep up the knitting!! Frank.