Thursday, November 12, 2009

more needle reviews: Hiya Hiya fixed circulars, Addi Lace, Addi Clicks

For a long time, I was resistant to buying circular needles with tips longer than 3.5". Any longer, and I found that knitting triggered my tendonitis issues due to the angle at which I had to hold the needles. This limited me to Addi Turbos (and the occasional Inox) that were 20" or shorter.

When I was just knitting toddler-sized items, this wasn't a problem. But this year I've been much more interested in expanding my knitting repertoire. I bought some Hiya Hiya needles over the summer because I needed some longer needles to make Delphine, and I didn't want to drop a bunch of money on Addis only to find that my tendonitis was going to keep me from using needles with 5.25" tips. I was really happy when I found that I could use the Hiya Hiyas comfortably. I liked them--a little pointier than Addi Turbos, but not so much that they hurt my fingers. Not quite as slick, which was a slight downside since I had to spend more energy and time getting the stitches to move where I wanted them to, but the join was smooth and the price was right.

My LYS had a 30% off sale on the Fourth of July, so I splurged on a couple of pairs of Addi Lace needles. I've been pretty wary of sharp-pointed needles since poking a hole in my finger with Addi Turbos a couple of years ago (there was blood and everything), but apparently I've modified my grip and technique enough since then to safely use pointy needles. These needles are really lovely: they have that wonderful Addi slickness and join, and the points really do make it easier to work with thinner yarn.

I also tried out the 9" Hiya Hiya fixed circulars. They took a bit of getting used to, but I finally figured out that I could prop the base of the tip against my ring finger of my right hand, and that eased my death grip on the needle tips, which had been causing tendonitis flare ups. They aren't my ideal solution for sock knitting, but they are definitely faster than using DPNs.

Then Addi came out with their new case for the Clicks a month or two ago, and I finally caved in and bought a set. I had been buying unusual needle sizes in Inox (locally available, unlike the HHs, and at a similar price) for one-off projects, and it had been irritating me to have all these random non-matching needles lying around. Plus I had been holding out for the HH interchangeables, but after hearing that they came unscrewed during knitting, I didn't want them anymore. That had been my major problem with the Knit Picks Options interchangeables, and had driven me wild.

The Clicks are a dream to work with. They haven't come loose while knitting, not once. I can just knit without having to think about it at all. The join is perfect. (That was my other beef with the Options: even if the tip didn't unscrew all the way off, there would be enough of a gap to catch and snag my yarn.) I haven't tried magic looping with the Clicks yet, so I don't have an opinion about the cable flexibility. But given the projects that I've got lined up, and the huge variation in needle sizes, I think the Clicks are worth the money.
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