Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Smooth Operator

Not too long ago, I needed to make a few swatches of worsted weight yarns. Size 8 US is my usual tool of choice for tasks like this. Although I'm not exactly suffering from a dearth of circular needles, I find the stitch consistency of the straights are key when gauge swatching. If you're dealing with wool or similar fiber, in my opinion aluminum straights seal the deal.

Easy-peasy, right? Unzip needle case, remove my trusty old (as in, had them since childhood) blue size 8s and begin casting on. Except I hit a snag. Literally. Next comes the purple invective and not a little anger as I recall my needle being pressed into service as a plumbing implement by my family. The tip of one of the needles had been scraped against a pipe as my brother tried to retrieve a fallen gasket. Grrr.

Fast-forward to last week's Knitter's Review article on Signature Needles: colorful, customizable aluminum beauties that promised a sleek finish and a lifetime warranty. Momma wants.

Signature Needles
These are size 8 US with the stiletto tip and a bell end cap. The needles are also available with either a middy or blunt tip, as well as two other styles of end caps.

I knit a sample with these babies this morning. Talk about your precision instruments. A little stockinette, a little garter plus a center panel of left and right decreases and yarnovers were no match for these smooth operators. Priced from $28 to $32, they're most definitely spendy, but if straights are your thing I'd say these are worth the investment.

And the next time someone wants to use my tools for unintended purposes, you'd better believe they'll get a resounding, "No Way!" from me.

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Blogger Courtney said...

Mmmmm, plus, they're purdy! Thanks for the review!

4/08/2008 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Two Cables and a Frapp said...

What Mamma wants, Mamma must have !!! What beautiful knitting weapons !!!

4/08/2008 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

Beautiful !!! Also, stop by my blog. You were one of my main inspirations to getting back into crocheting. Thanks !!!

4/08/2008 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger cici said...

really purty... the points on those babies look good to me... I guess I will have to try them...Thanks for sharing

4/08/2008 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger noblinknits said...

mmmm, yummy and shiney. I don't tend to use straight needles as I had a bad experience a few year's ago with them but I guess aluminium ones are pretty light, right?

4/09/2008 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger bellamoden said...

Are we clones or something? I didn't buy mine last week, but mine are size 7s......

4/09/2008 06:51:00 AM  
Anonymous colleen said...

I guess that these are like Addis for the people who do not do circulars

4/09/2008 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger monica said...

Those needles are so sexy! :)

4/09/2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Opal said...

those needles deserve a "jazz hands" introduction! ;-)

4/09/2008 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Those needles really look like a work of art - and I always use circulars. Beautiful.

4/09/2008 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

You can do the job without the right tool - beautiful needles!

4/09/2008 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger KarenJoSeattle said...

Beautiful tools, even though straights are not my preference. Enjoy them. Maybe they'll jump start the knitting for you.

4/10/2008 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger sweetfigs said...

Momma knows best! Those are some gorgeous knitting needles.

4/10/2008 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger a friend to knit with said...

those are some gorgeous needles. i use circular, and am very tempted to just buy them in order to hold them!

4/10/2008 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Oh my gosh. I was reading along and when I scrolled down to the pic I literally gasped! They are so exquisite!

I like straights for scarves, especially lace ones. But not bus scarves, which usually aren't lace anyway.

4/10/2008 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Ack! I can't believe they'd use a precious knitting needle for plumbing. They would have been in big trouble at this household, and the perp would have bought those fancy new needles for me out of his own pocket. Gorgeous needles, those, btw.

4/10/2008 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Plumbers don't use knitting needles to plumb and neither should any of us.

I do like the replacements though. I've oggled those needles for a while. I don't use straight needles though. They get in the way when knitting on the bus.

4/10/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

Boy, knitting tools get no respect from others. My family always ask to borrow a needle. I have learned to ask "what for?" before giving it up. No way would I give up one of those beauties.

4/10/2008 05:36:00 PM  
Anonymous meg said...

I hope your brother bought those for you ;-> They might have me if they included all the tips and ends in the package . . . variety is the spice, eh?

4/10/2008 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger WandaWoman said...

Those are beautiful needles. I'm glad to hear a review of them. I may want to check those out!

4/10/2008 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Bonne Marie said...

Gorgeous tools!

Nothing like some *stiletto* to bring it...

4/11/2008 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger Monika said...

Those needles just look good all by themselves. Are they heavy? It's incredible, that there is always something new out there, a knitter wants/must have! :o)

4/18/2008 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger YowlYY said...

How shocking! I would have been pretty ****ed off if anyone would have dared to do the same with my old aluminium (they were my mom's)!! Your new needles, however, are a worthy replacement - I too saw the article on Knitter's Review and made a mental earmark to get them at some stage. The price is higher than for some, but then with the favourable exchange it's not too steep...and then they will last forever! Happy knitting!

4/19/2008 01:12:00 AM  

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