Thursday, June 25, 2009

I am a lucky, lucky girl: Signature Needles

I was recently gifted with some sets of Signature double-pointed needles.

I've been reading about how much people love them, and have heard a few personal testimonials; as a result, as an avowed dpn-user, I've been quietly lusting after them for a while.

And some generous people who must like me very much came through.

I knew they were in the mail, and I stalked our mailman until they arrived. And then I dropped everything I was doing and transferred both of my current sock projects to them, and starting knitting.

Wow. Seriously. Wow. They are everything I'd hoped for, and more.

They're colour-coded, so that at at a glance I know which size they are. (The green ones are 2.25mm with Noro Silk Garden sock, and the purple ones are 2.5mm, with Colinette Jitterbug (the colourway is the fabulously-named Vatican Pie)). And the size is even marked on them. So not only do you know at a glance that you're using a matched set, you know what size they are. Don't underestimate this. I have a lot of sets of dpns. And since 2.5mm and 2.25mm and are my most frequently used sizes, I have more than one set of each. And when the damn things are labeled, and they are so close in size, I'm forever having to size them to figure out which is which. There are two knitting projects on the table beside me right now - one on 2.5mm and one on 2.25mm. If one of the needles gets separated from its project, in the old days I would have had to dig out my ruler and measure it. Annoying. A very popular brand of needles of which I'm otherwise fond suffers from this major drawback.

And then the points - my god, the very appropriately named stiletto point! They are the pointiest points I've ever used on a set of knitting needles. For someone who loves all sorts of insane pattern work - lots of cables and lace - the points are a godsend. And it's not just that they are sharp - but they're also very slick. That silver point is very smooth.

They are making Silk Garden Sock an absolutely pleasure to work with. It's a horribly sticky yarn, and it moves like butter on these needles.

But the Signature people are very clever. Very slick needles means you risk the knitting slipping off. So they've indented slight grooves around the body of the needle - the coloured portion. Your stitches stay very firmly put when you're not working them.

The slick/grooved combo is the best possible mid-point between the benefits of metal and bamboo needles - which would be worth it anyway. But then add the points. And the colour coding.

I am a total convert!

Now, that having been said, there are things to consider. I wouldn't call them downsides, just things to be aware of. These needles are tough, and aren't very likely to break. And the grooves means that your knitting won't slide off them when you're pulling them out of your knitting bag... but you still need some sort of device to keep them together and keep the points covered - I like the cardboard tubes, and those little rubber stopper thingies are good too -- because they're actually sharp. You risk poking a hole in your knitting bag, or scratching yourself. I've already got a couple of holes in my GoKnit bag. And you really wouldn't want to risk losing one.

And although, at least in North American and Europe, knitting needles are considered plane-safe, I wouldn't dare take these on a flight. I'm pretty sure they would grab the attention of the security personnel - and I'd hate to have them confiscated.

I will be honest that they took a few days to get used to - I've made a slight adjustment to how I'm working with them -- I'm tending to keep my stitches more bunched together, and moving them less.

Yes, they are expensive - but they are lifetime needles. And to help mitigate the expense, you are able to order precisely the number you need. I have sets of four because that's how I roll. Or you can order a set of five - knitter's choice. Or just one, if you (gasp!) lose one.

So yes - absolutely. They are as good as you've heard. And they are worth every penny. Thank you so very much to the gifters!

(On a totally different note - I was having a pre-coffee moment this morning, and couldn't remember the name of the GoKnit bags. So I googled "nylon knitting bag" and found this. I know that Italians do knit, but really... ? Dolce & Gabbana?)

1 comment:

MavenKnits said...

Thanks for this. I have been looking at needles for a while now... Have you ever used their straights before? How do they compare to other straights you've used if you have?