Last week I shared the various materials found in interchangeable knitting needle sets. If you're new to the IKN, check out parts 1, 2 and 3. This week, in Part Four of the Interchangeable Knitting Needle Guide I will be talking about the Knitter's Pride and KnitPicks Interchangeable Knitting Needle Try-it sets.
Before you make a big investment on a full set of interchangeable knitting needles, you can buy try-it sets to see which kind of needles will work best for you. This is especially important for the Knitter's Pride and Knit Picks Options sets because there are so many materials to choose from -rosewood, regular wood, cubed wood, acrylic and nickel plated brass. Plus, Knitter's Pride and Knit Picks Options are made by the same manufacturer. Knitters often wonder what the differences are between the two lines and whether one might be better.
What better way to figure this out than to purchase both try-it sets? At $20 each, it's not necessarily cheap. However, with each set you end up with three knitting needles sizes, two connecting cords, and end caps. When you think about it, a try-it set is quite a deal when comparing it to buying three pairs of fixed circulars. With the two sets, I may have an abundance of size 6, 7, and 8 knitting needles, but those are the sizes I use the most anyway. It will just be that much more maddening when I can't find a size 6, 7 or 8 knitting needle because I know I have a whole bunch of them.
Looking at the two sets there are three things that pop out to me that can help you to decide which set to try out. The Knitter's Pride set has the cubic needles and offers a 40" connecting cord. If trying cubic needles or trying a 40" cord is important to you then the Knitter's Pride try-it set is the right one for you. If trying out the acrylic needles is important to you, you should get the Knit Picks Options trial set. However if you're like me and you want to try them all out, you'll have to get both sets. The Knitter's Pride set comes with a little plastic holder for your trial needles and there's enough room to hold both trial sets, which is great because the Knit Picks set does not come with a holder.
There is one other major difference between the Knit Picks Options and Knitter's Pride sets and it's a big deal: the Knit Picks Options do not have the sizes printed on the needles, or the cord length printed on the cords. This makes finding the needle you want to be slightly more difficult than with the Knitter's Pride needles, which have the sizes printed on them. However, the Knit Picks set has purple cords, which is a nice perk for those who love purple.
There's one other hidden variance between the Knit Picks Options and the Knitter's Pride wood needles. The Knit Picks Options Harmony and the Symfonie Dreamz are both wooden needles. It's easy to see that visually the two sets are different. The Knit Picks Options feature a multi-colored paint job, while the Knitter's Pride needles are each color coded according to size.
However, there's another difference between the two sets that you might miss if you're not looking closely. If you take a simple glance at the needles you might miss it, but the joins are different. The Symfonie Dreams join is about 1/8th of an inch longer than the Knit Picks Options join. I'm not sure what kind of effect this has on the knitting per se, but the Symfonie Dreamz do feel a little bit heavier in the hand. It's not a big enough difference to really affect anything except perhaps one's perceptions. The heavier feeling feels a little higher quality to me. It might not for you.
But how do these needles act in the wild? Does that longer needle join make a difference? We'll explore the Knit Picks and Knitter's Pride interchangeable knitting needles and how they behave with actual yarn in the next installment.
Have you worked with the Knitters Pride and Knit Picks needles? Which ones do you like and why? Did you buy a trial set before choosing? Let me know in the comments.
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