When I started knitting I used straight needles and collected the sizes I needed as I worked different projects. I slowly moved to basic circular needles (most of them are Pony ones I think) again building up the collection as I needed different tip sizes and lengths. I’ve quite a collection now (more than 20) but still don’t always have every combination I’d like. A lot of the time I’ve been making do with a close size or doing things like working ribbing flat because I hadn’t been willing to make the plunge with a full set of interchangeable needles (they were on my Christmas wishlist though). Why it didn’t cross my mind sooner I have no idea but a couple of weeks a go I decided to just buy a couple of the tip sizes plus cable combination I needed to try them out. It’s been 40cm (16″) circulars that I needed (for hats and little sweaters) so I purchased 4 and 4.5mm short tips and the 20cm cable to join them in the Knit Pro Nova range.
I’ve since used them a bit on a sweater project I’m working on for Wee Man and apart from one incident of them trying to unscrew I’ve found them to be really good. I’ve only used the short cable so I’m not sure if the longer ones are tangly but I’ve had no problems so far. The tips are really light, they’re short at 10cm each but I’m not finding that a problem and they’re plenty sharp enough. At the moment I’m planning to expand my collection as I need different needle combinations and will possibly try out some of the other Knit Pro tips as they all fit the same cables (though I’m quite keen on the idea of a matching set). It’d be nice to get rid of my big collection of needles (I should probably just get rid of my straights as I can’t remember the last time I used a set other than the shorty ones I’m using on my sock yarn blanket.), to have a more compact selection.
Speaking of needles, a month or so ago I purchased a 20cm (8″) circular for working socks. I normally work on double pointed needles for socks but they’re not so great for on the go knitting as it’s a bit awkward to put down without tidying them up a little bit. I’ve done some using magic loop but didn’t get on with the method at all and would only use it in the future if the sock construction required it (like with Skew). There are a number of brands which make a 9″ circular but I wanted an 8″ as my socks are generally less than 9″ around so I went with Addi needles in 2.5mm. The cable is really short and it’s a bit awkward to work but I can just drop them without worrying about where the needles are. The tips are not as sharp as the Knit Pro Nova tips but they’re not a problem either. The join is smooth and I’ve no problems with the flexibility of the cord. I started a pair of socks (after working the toe on double points) and although I haven’t got very far up the sock I’m not finding them to bad to work with. In a settle position I’d still probably work on double points by preference but wouldn’t avoid these like I do magic loop. I’m also thinking that they’d be quite useful in patterned socks (though I have done many of those lately) as you wouldn’t have to worry about where the pattern repeats lie. Maybe I’ll give them a go with the stranded socks I’m planning on starting when I get these off the needle (eventually as they’re kind of back up knitting at the moment).