Actually, I should call it ‘Swatching 1, 2, 3’ since that is what I am going to do. Knit one yarn with different kind of needles and show what it looks like. An experiment, yet not really because I already know that I do knit differently with different materials like metal, bamboo or wood. Let’s see how it turns out. (It is absolutely possible that this post doesn’t prove anything but the fact that I have waaaay to many needles the same size, if different materials…)
I am going to start with the most slippery needle (addi turbo) and go step by step less slippery. Of course all the sizes will be the same – 5.0 mm (US 8) and I am using 100% Cotton. Reason for this is that knitting with a yarn like cotton makes for the most visible differences knit up with different needles.
1. addi turbo – the most slippery needles of all! They are nickel plated and are slick and have no grip whatsoever, their tips are quite blunt.
(very loose, 14.5 sts/4″ and 4.5 rows/1″)
2. Hiya Hiya stainless steel – slightly less slippery, yet a favorite of mine for wool. The tips are slightly more tapered than that of the addis.
(loose, 15.5 sts /4″ and 5 rows/1)”
3. Knitter’s Pride Karbonz – I count those as metal, since the tip you knit with is metal, the rest of the needle is made out of carbon, which has more grip. Their tips are a bit more pointy than the Hiya Hiya.
(less loose, 16 sts/4″ and 5 rows/1″)
4. Knitter’s Pride Dreamz – made from laminated wood. Less slippery than the carbon needles, slightly more slippery (slightly!) than bamboo. Nice pointy tips. I seem to knit more evenly with less slippery needles, reason might be that I can’t knit as fast!
(slightly more than 16 sts/4″ and 5 rows/1″)
5. Clover Bamboo – I do not have a Hiya Hiya Bamboo needle in 5.0 mm – the material is absolutely comparable. Hiya Hiya needles have a pointier tip and more flexible cables. Otherwise the knitting experience is the same. Bamboo needles are slightly more grippy than the wooden ones.
(16.5 sts?4″ and 5 rows/1″)
6. Knitter’s Pride Acrylic needles – I chose to use these next, I do think the grip is slightly less than for the last kind (Denise). The needles have a nice pointy tip and are the same category of grip as the bamboo, they have a lot of grip.
(17 sts/4″ and 5 rows/1″
7. Denise Interchangeable needles – made from plastic, with quite thick, a bit less flexible cables. Slightly less pointy tip. Lots of grip – in my opinion the least slippery needle I know.
(17 sts/4″ and 5 rows/1″)
As you might have realized, stitch gauge is prone to change more/sooner than row gauge. This is true for my knitting, yours might react differently!
This little experiment has confirmed for me once again what I already knew: I do prefer knitting cotton on my wood or bamboo needles, depending on looseness of gauge even acrylic! More than ever I am convinced that having the perfect tool is the most important part of my knitting experience. It is just so much more enjoyable when the match of needle and yarn is well, perfect. However, any combination of yours is based on personal preference, not on what I do like best – so when you have doubts about your match of yarn and needle, try something else and you might be pleasantly surprised!
Happy knitting, as ever!