I distinctly remember, back when I was a new knitter, wondering why on earth people had so many knitting needles. I could understand having different sizes. Though I secretly suspected that you could probably make size 2 act like size 1 if you just pulled extra tight or like size 3 if you just kept your yarn a bit loose…I mean how much difference could a half a millimeter really make? (Hint, new knitters, if you’re reading this, the answer is ‘a lot.’ Half a millimeter makes a lot of difference. Save yourself the headache and be smarter than I was.) But I truly could not understand why anyone would have more than one set of needles of the same size.
But the more I knit, the more convinced I became that needles were hugely important. The texture matters. The tips matter. The shape matters. Sometimes even the color matters. So when I heard about the new FlipStix from addi, I pretty much had to try them out (erm, and it seemed important to try them in 3 sizes…for science you understand).
The idea is kind of genius. DPNs with one pointy tip and one blunt tip so you can use whichever end is the best fit for the yarn and project you’re working on.
I totally love the idea, and addis are always marvelous quality. I adore aluminum needles because they are light and comfortable in your hands, and these have the perfect amount of grip in the finish, grabby enough to hold the yarn but slick enough not to slow you down. But there are a few tweaks I wish I could make.
The first and most important is the points themselves. Take a look at the pointy and blunt ends of the 1.5s .
There isn’t really as much difference between the two as I’d like. The blunt isn’t too far off what I’d pick for a blunt tip if I had my very own magic wand. But the pointy end isn’t really terribly pointy at all. It’s more what I’d consider normal. To be fair, I like a very pointy needle. For reference, the stiletto point on my signature arts needles is almost as pointy as I’d like. But since the difference between the pointy and blunt ends is sort of the whole point of these needles, I’d expect it to be a bit more dramatic. As it is, it was pretty hard to tell if I was using the blunt end or the pointy end.
My other concern is the colors. I love the idea of a set of differently colored needles. But I wish they’d chosen a more distinct range of colors. You get a light and a dark blue, a light and a dark yellow, and a red. If they’d gone with red, orange, green, blue, purple I’d be delighted. I’d probably buy a bunch just for the color (I’m a sucker for rainbows, shameful but true). But the two blue, two yellow, and red thing just feels odd.
So, as much as I was excited by the idea, I have to admit I’m sort of bummed by the execution. I love the weight and the finish. And if the pointy end were pointier and the colors a bit more differentiated, I’d buy a zillion of them. But as it is, I don’t think I’ll find myself needing any more.
How about you guys? Have you tried the FlipStix? Do you have strong opinions about needle tips? Know of anyone else doing double tips or different colored needles within a set? Is my perfect needle lurking out there somewhere waiting for me? Because I think it’s probably best for all of us if I avoid trying to make my own…