If you are a knitter, you probably have some pretty strong opinions about your needles. Most of us do. I myself love metal needles for their speed and durability, and dislike wood and bamboo because they are kind of fragile, and are ssssooooooo ssssllllllooooooowwwww. You may feel differently. Feel free to share your needle preference comments below. However, I am finding that I need to start branching out a bit from my beloved metals. My hands have started to hurt at some points, so I am exploring. So far, the best alternate – in my opinion – are Karbonz. They are pretty smooth and don’t slow down my knitting anything like as much as the alternatives. And they are pretty friendly on my hands. Plus, they are made of stealth plane material!
I have had mixed results with plastic. It is definitely a hand-friendly material, but a lot of it is kind of “grabby” and really slows me down. Probably the best option in the plastic world I have found are Marblz, but it’s entirely possibly that I’m giving them a bit of a pass because they are really pretty. Which they are.
However, I recently became aware of a new option – Neko curved double point needles. They are a very innovative take on knitting in the round.
They come in a good range of size, from US 0 to US 17, in regular and extra long lengths. Suggested uses are socks, sweater sleeves, hats…basically anything tubular. I got a small set of the 1.5s you see here, and a set of 8s. First impression is they have a reasonable amount of give to them. They warmed up quickly and felt nice in my hands. Particular as I got into using them, I found myself holding the two working needles with the curves against my palms, which was very effective for working with them. The plastic is slick and did not slow me down in any meaningful way.
So how do you use them? The picture on the packaging shown above pretty much sums it up.
Here are some pictures from my brief test run with them.
It takes a minute or two to get used to working with them, but it’s pretty intuitive. If you are used to working with 3 or 4 double points, I suspect these needles will present no technical challenge to you. Stitches slide along them easily, and it is easy to fold up the work for storage and transport. I found that they have all of the benefits of plastic needles (warmth, flexibility) without the problems(slowness) that can sometimes plague them. The design makes it less likely that you will have the needle sliding out of your work, as can sometimes be an issue with dps, so that’s a bonus as well. Overall, if you generally like using dps but have some difficulties with them, you might want to consider giving Neko needles a try!
I got my sets from Maker’s Mercantile, a LYS/online shop based in Kent, WA. So for those of us in Anchorage, your package will get here in good time! It looks like you can also purchase them directly from the company, which is in Germany. They may also be available from other shops elsewhere, but my extremely casual online search did not turn up any other likely candidates.