Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Getting Knitpicky

Tonight I want to express my opinions about my experience with Knitpicks. I hope that no one takes any offense to anything I may say, for they are simply my own opinions and no one else's.

I've been knitting now for a little over 3 years and last year at Christmas I was graciously given a set of Knitpicks interchangeable needles in the Harmony Wood. I asked for the wood because at the time I was used to knitting with bamboo and thought wood would be very much the same. I have faithfully used this set ever since, hardly even picking up straights or dpns any more; I love them to death.  Recently, I've noticed they are starting to show their 'age' with me. The joins are getting a bit rougher and I swear there are times when I get afraid one will break. 

Maybe it was just the excessive knitting I did over Christmas Break, but I also noticed my wrists beginning to hurt after using these a lot. I recently purchased some size 1 and 2 fixed circs from them in the nickel, because they were cheaper, and I really do like them. I may continue to purchase the nickel in the future.I also am in love with the cables and smooth joins!

Something else I want to mention about Knitpicks, and it's something that kind of frustrates me, is the fact that most of their yarns are just 'rip offs' of other brands.  It reminds me of how Hobby Lobby has been selling their brand of LYS yarns lately. A great example is Chroma, which to me is just their version of Mini Mochi.

See the similarities?

I have personally never knitted with any of Knitpicks' yarn, because I like my LYS too much to bother with shipping and such from an online retailer, but many people I talk to agree that Knitpicks is just a cheaper alternative to many name brand yarns. 

I will admit I like their spinning roving though, but maybe that is just me being a pretty novice spinner. The Stroll roving that I used last semester for my Spinning Drawings (if you haven't seen my spinning drawings, please click the link, it's definitely worth your time!) spun up really well in the end, but I would probably never use it for more than just experimenting with spinning and dying: it's cheap enough I don't mind 'wasting' it.

Kool Aid dyed Stroll Roving

I will give them credit though, when it comes to knitting accessories, they have a great selection and quality. I love their needle caps as well as the prices they have on books and they seem to really know what knitters need in terms of supplies. If I had to rate them overall, I'd give them between a 6-7, just because the yarn thing and quality of some of their products drives me crazy. As a 'broke' college kid though, I love the prices on supplies!

So now it's your turn. What do you think of Knitpicks? Do you have any first hand experience? What's your go to brand of needle/yarn/supplies? I'm really interested to hear what all my readers have to say!

And once again, the views in this blog are simply that, my views, and no one else's.




  1. Over here in the UK we call them KnitPro - I have snapped two of my wooden needles now - and I don't think I am a rough knitter! I've replaced them with metal tips, but am finding them tricky to tighten so am catching stitches in the joins :(
    I love the look and feel of these needles but, might try another brand too....The double pointed KnitPro needles I've bought are fantastic - I can't complain about those :)

  2. I love my Knit Picks Harmonies set(I bought them 3½ years ago here in Australia when they were still called Knits Picks). I have not had any problems with them, and have since started adding the metal tips in my most often used sizes. Recently, I gave the Spectra Flair tips a try (simply because they're are pink) and love them too!

    From reading the Rav forums, I think people either love or loathe KP...there doesn't seem to be any grey area ;)

    1. I must be the first then, because I am definately in the grey. I like some things about them but not others.

    2. I forgot to say that as much as I love their circs, I don't like their cable needles or crochet hooks. I bought a hook, and it catches on the yarn. The cable needles have notches in them, which I found made them not so easy to use.

  3. Heehee, I was wondering when you would blog about this. You know I like Knit Picks a bit more than you do, but I have to admit that some of what you say is so true. I didn't know that they made good needle caps, I might have to get some, I mysteriously lost mine.

  4. I came really close to purchasing the Knit Picks circs set. In the end I decided on Addi. The price will kill you, but I looked at it this way: I am going to knit for the rest of my life, I might as well do it on needles that I love. I never have to worry about the joins coming loose and it feels like knitting with butter- it sounds strange but that is the best way to describe it.

    I've only ordered their yarn once. It was some sock yarn, and I remarked to my husband that it felt and looked like Walmart yarn. I love their low prices, but I agree, you can find almost the same stuff at Hobby Lobby. If you get it at HL you don't have to wait for an eternity of shipping as well! Maybe it was just me, but they took their own sweet time to send the yarn.

    I've never tried their roving. My LYS carries roving for about $10. Knit Picks roving is cheaper but the shipping equals out the cost.

    Boy, this post sounds so negative towards KnitPicks, I really don't mean for it to sound so bad. I don't hate them, I just don't love them either.

  5. I'm like you, I like knitpicks for certain things. I love their harmony needles and use the DPNs almost exclusively. I like the sharp tips and how they're not as heavy as metal or as grippy as bamboo. The yarn is hit-or-miss. I've only tried a few things and when there are other alternatives of similar yarn, I usually use the other yarn. Like their basic wool, wool of the andes, doesn't impress me. My first pair of socks was knit with their stroll sock yarn and while they get super soft with wear and can handle washing really well, the yarn itself wasn't lively or highly twisted like I like my sock yarn. However, the city tweed, cotlin yarns, and shimmer lace (alpaca silk) are all pretty nice. And I agree, as a broke student their prices really help me out. Their customer service is also amazing. I had a needle tip come out of the metal bit that screws to the cable and they sent me a new tip right away. When my ball winder broke after a year of use, they sent me a new winder no questions asked, even though I'm pretty sure I should have stopped using it when it first started making funny noises, haha. So yeah, mixed bag. I'm quite picky about what kind of yarn I knit with (I like what I like!) so I don't buy yarn from them much, but buy a lot of everything else.

  6. I have never ordered anything from KnitPicks. I did get a gifted a book from them though. Their shipping was quite quick.
    I have been tempted to try an interchangeable needle set but I have so many needles, mostly hand me downs from my mother and grandmother, that I see no real need to buy them.

  7. I agree, KnitPicks is great for certain items, and not so great for others. I personally LOVE their 32" fixed metal circulars, which I use exclusively for knitting socks magic-loop. The join can get a little catchy after awhile, but I found a way to keep it smooth: I use one of those three-sided nail buffers to gently sand down the snaggy part, then buff it so it's totally smooth and shiny. Works like a charm!

    Yarn-wise, I'm a bit on the fence. I've knit two sweaters with their yarn - one with Wool of the Andes, one with Capra - and even after extremely minimal wear, they pilled so much that they looked terrible. Knitting with the Capra was definitely a treat, though, and I still wear that sweater like crazy because it's so soft and warm.

    And I like their sock yarn for shawl-knitting, but it doesn't have quite enough twist for knitting socks, in my opinion. Some of the colors are really gorgeous, though, and the price is definitely reasonable.


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