Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Self Indulgences

One on impulse, the other after some thought.

The impulse buy was that cute little tin with a hinged lid at the upper right. I was in The Sow's Ear yesterday, and they had a small basket full of these in different designs. It could hold stitch markers, tapestry needles, even a little folding embroidery scissors. I don't really need it for this purpose, but it was only $1.99, and so cute.

I thought longer before ordering the larger indulgence. It's a Hiya Hiya convertible circular needle set. These had been calling to me for a while, but I'd put off ordering because I already have a set of Denises and a Boye Needlemaster. I like my Denise set a lot, but 1) the needle sizes don't go any smaller than US #5, and 2) the cable lengths don't go down 16". I'd like the Needlemaster just fine if it weren' for the really, really stiff cables (and I think the shortest one is longer than 16" though I would have to go check for sure).

So I went back and forth in my mind for several months, then finally splurged. I was a little hesitant to order these without every having actually handled a set, but so far I am very happy with them. The super thin cables (like heavy fishing line) are lightweight and flexible. The needle sizes range from 2 - 8, with a very slick finish. The joins seem extremely smooth. The tips are not stiletto sharp, but aren't bad. I haven't given them a a real heavy workout yet, but so far I haven't had a problem with the connections loosening up in use.

I rarely use a needle larger than a size 8, so the size range is sufficient on the upper end.* If anything, I wish they could go down to 0, but that would be smaller than the connector. I would like to have some stoppers for the ends of the cables, so I hope the Hiya Hiya folks come out with those. I might like to have connectors to join two cables together, though as the longest one is 40", that really might not ever be necessary. A person can cram quite a lot of stitches onto 40"

I didn't find a lot of sources for this set online, but the wonderful Little Knits has them. The only problem with shopping there is the temptation to stock up on sale yarn at the same time. Aside from a ball of Opal (kinda bright color, but 70% off) I resisted.

*According to the Hiya Hiya website, larger needle tips are available, but it looks as though they require a different set of cables, presumably because the connector size is different.


Anonymous said...

How do the tips compare for sharpness with KnitPicks Options and Harmonies? I wouldn't mind having an interchangeable set that went down to size 2.

betsy said...

I want to know your needle satisfaction rating in about 2 months....