Over the last few months, I've become increasingly annoyed with my knitting needle situation. I was lucky enough to receive a set of KnitPicks Harmony interchangeable needles for my birthday 2 years ago. I've used them everyday since then (approximately 26 months or 771 days, if you're keeping track). They are a great starter set of needles, or they were.

KnitPicks Harmony Wood Interchangeable Needle Set, Picture Source

Within the last few months, I had a needle splinter on me (and embed some wood in my finger - OUCH), I've had numerous cables break at the join, and I'd accepted the fact that my cable would come unscrewed while knitting on a daily basis. KnitPicks has been great about sending replacements whenever I've called. But I noticed that the replacement cables felt cheaper - the threading wasn't as smooth on the join, the join itself wasn't smooth and the cables were really stiff. So, I pretty much stopped calling to ask about replacements. I know they switched to a new manufacturer last year and in my opinion, the quality has suffered. My other huge complaint about the KnitPicks needles is that despite tightening the cable and needle tip with the provided key, they still managed to twist apart while knitting...a lot. In short, I wasn't happy.

So, I set out on a quest to replace my set. Knitting needles are a really personal choice and everyone values different things in their needles. Personally, I loved the wood of the Harmony needles, so I started looking into bamboo sets. I have a list of requirements for a needle set - extremely smooth joins that stay tight, cables with no memory, and a very specific grip (or drag) to the needles. A nice bonus would be a set that comes with it's own case. Another huge pet peeve of mine with the KnitPicks needle set is the lack of labeled case. The needles come on a cardboard card, but that got ratty after only a few months.

My LYS has a ton of needles set aside for customers to try out. I sat down a few weeks ago and got to swatching. I tried out the Addi Naturas, which I didn't like. The join was not smooth and the bamboo felt cheap. Not what I expected for $180. I also tried the ChiaoGoo Twists, which I liked a lot better, but the bamboo felt too grippy. I was assured that as I used them, they would smooth out some. I left, undecided, but leaning towards the ChiaoGoo set and vowed to continue my research.

Over time, I realized that all of the bamboo sets I tried were too grippy. It was only then that it dawned on me - the Harmony needles are birch, not bamboo. I tried to convince myself that maybe I could learn to love bamboo, but that didn't happen. Then I reluctantly started over.

I scoured the forums on Ravelry, read reviews, asked friends and even ordered a few sets of tips and cables on eBay to test drive. It was only then, after weeks of research and test driving that I was able to confidently make a choice.

Stay tuned for Friday's post where I reveal which needles I picked. I'm still surprised by my choice.


  1. I had a similar falling-out with my Knitpicks needles. Although, I'm a metal needle kind of girl. I'm excited to see which set all your research has lead you to!

    1. I'm sad (but also a little relieved) to know I'm not the only one not feeling the KnitPicks love lately. I would love to know what you think of your new DyakCraft needles!

  2. I also have the problem of cables unscrewing mid-knit. I only use them if I absolutely have to for hats, huge blankets or similar projects. I'll be interested to see what you chose.

    1. I'm a die-hard circular needle fan. I can't stand straights or DPNs, so I had to figure something out. One tip I read is to use a grippy pad (like what you'd use to open a sticky jar) to hold the needle tip, while tightening the cable with the key. I haven't tried it yet, but it's got to be worth a shot!


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