Reported by Amanda Talbert
I have covered many different crafts for Craft Critique, but at heart I am a knitter. Last summer at CHA I was given the opportunity to meet the lovely people at the Clover booth. They showed me, and even let me take home, something very exciting. It’s their Takumi Bamboo Circular Knitting Needle in a 9″ length.
For the readers who don’t know, circular knitting needles are used to knit in-the-round, for things like socks, sleeves, collars, anything that needs to be knit in a seamless cylinder. There are several methods for knitting in-the-round for small diameter knits like socks and sleeves; double pointed needles (also called DPNs), the Magic Loop, two circular needles worked together. Until I tried Clover’s 9″ circular I thought those were the only options.
I was very excited to try this circular needle because I have never been very good at knitting with DPNs (double pointed needles). I always experience laddering at my needle transition points, and when I tighten up to fix it, I get spots that are too tight and hard to deal with. I’ve tried knitting socks in the other methods as well but never taken to it. This extremely short circular needle solves all of my problems.
I knit a pair of yoga socks for my dancing daughter and was amazed at how quickly I could work in-the-round with this circular needle. I used the US2-sized needle with sock weight merino wool yarn and it took me 3 days of light work to get this sock made for my 10 year old’s foot. Her ankles aren’t very big around so I wasn’t sure if the circular needle would work. When working in-the-round on one circular needle I had to worry that I would have to stretch the knit out too much to get it to go all the way around the needle. Even when working in a tightly pulled in 1×1 ribbing the 9″ circular needle was small enough to give me a great knit fabric.
The next worry, after deciding that the circular needle was indeed small enough to give me what I wanted, was the fear that it would be too hard to use at such a small size. I shouldn’t have worried. The needle was very easy to hold in my hand and use. I didn’t have any problems with my hands or fingers cramping. The small needle and the flow of working in the round made for a very fast knit that was easy and carefree.
Clover’s Takumi Bamboo needles are known for their smooth wood finish, and these small needles were no different. The bamboo was smooth and warm in my hands and didn’t give me a single snag. The smoothness of the bamboo did not ruin the slight grip of using wood needles rather than metal. I like that grip, it helps me keep my stitches on the needle and not in my lap.
The join, or the area where the plastic cable is connected to the wooden needle tips, is a worry for many knitters. I dislike having to fight with a circular needle that snags my yarn as it moves over the join. Even worse than a needle that snags is a needle that falls apart halfway through a project. This needle didn’t do that.
- Smooth needles with a sturdy join
- Small circumference for use in knitting socks and sleeves
- Easily transportable projects
- Can be hard to find in stores
- At $14.50 MSRP it would take a lot of money to buy as many of these needles as I want
- Don’t come in US00 or US000 sizes (most likely because they are wooden and wouldn’t hold up to use)
I loved knitting with these needles and can hardly wait to cast on another project. Do you have any suggestions for what I should knit next?