I’ll level with you. I don’t like sharp-tipped knitting needles.
Do you know why? I’m a pusher:
That means that I push on the tip of the needle as part of executing my knitting stitch. A sharp tip means a major ouchie.
But, even I’ll admit: there are times when you need a sharp-tipped knitting needle.
When to use sharp-tipped knitting needles
Some folks love using super-pointy needles all of the time. These folks will tell you that every knitting project is the right time to use sharp-tipped needles.
But what about those of us who have a knitting style that makes using sharp-tipped needles painful? When is it really helpful to use a sharp needle?
Here are a few cases where I reach for my sharp tips:
- when working with a yarn that’s fuzzy (for example, containing mohair)
- when using a lace-weight yarn (the tips help you navigate a super-thin yarn)
- on any pattern that calls for ‘big’ decreases (like k3tog, common in bobbles), since the tip helps you get through all those stitches at once
- any other time I’m having difficulty manipulating the stitches, perhaps passing one stitch over another
Selecting a sharp-tipped needle
For those of us who don’t love pointy needles, selecting one for occasional use is a pickle. You want a nice, quality needle… but since it’s only going to come out of the cupboard infrequently, you also don’t want to pay too much.
A few that didn’t make the cut…
When I first started knitting, I made my sister-in-law a lace mohair cabled scarf. It was impossible to knit with my regular needles (do to the lace-weight and mohair combo), so I bought a pair of Addi Lace needles.
I absolutely adore Addis, but I sold this Lace circular on ebay the minute I was done with them. Why? The smell of brass as I was working (that was also left behind on my hands) was too much for me to bear.
I’ve also heard fabulous things about the Stiletto tip on Signature needles. Very pointy! But, these needles are an investment… and to get your money’s worth, these needles are best suited to those who like a sharp-tipped needle for everyday knitting.
Knitter’s Pride Karbonz
Just the other week, the perfect solution happened across my desk. Knitter’s Pride’s new line: Karbonz.
They meet my criteria for a lovely needle: they’ve got a good feel, a smooth join and they’re reasonably priced. And they’re available in circulars, double points and straights. At around $15, they’re a fabulously high-quality needle that’s not out of range for (my) occasional use.
I can’t say for sure whether sharp-tip-lovers will find their new favorite needle in these, but my suspicion is that they tick a lot of boxes. They’re very lightweight (made from carbon fiber), have more flexibility than other metal needles and are warm to the touch.
Downsides? At current, they’re only available in sizes 0 to 4 (but are available in the myriad of half sizes in that range, have a peek here to see the full line). And while the surface of the needle is slick (and certainly smoother than most wood and some aluminum needles), they’re not quite as slick as the nickel-plated Addis.
So, if you’re like me and need a sharp-tipped needle for occasional use that won’t break the bank, give Karbonz a try. And if you like sharp-tips and want a warm light-weight needle, then give them a try, too!
Enjoy the remainder of your weekend, everyone!