Knitting Essentials Interchangeable Set
Brand: Knitting Essentials
Product Type: Interchangeable Needle Set
Price: From around £40 upwards in the UK and $30 upwards in the US.
Made of: Aluminium
This is a well-stocked interchangeable needle set. The needle tips are made of coloured aluminium, and there are 40 pieces in the set. Besides the 13 pairs of needle tips which range in size from 2.75 mm to 10 mm and the 4 cables in lengths of 50, 60, 75 and 90 cm, you get 2 cable connectors for creating longer lengths, 4 end stoppers and 2 cable keys for securing the tips. All of this is packed into quite a nice little zippered case.
THE REAL DEAL
Ok so you get a lot of things in this set. That’s a plus. The case is quite nice and keeps everything tidy and I have to say is better quality than you get with sets from some other brands. That 1970’s beige however is so not my cup of tea! One issue I have though is that these needles are only sized using US sizing, although they are being sold worldwide, and that means reaching for a conversion chart if you are not familiar with the US sizes.
The needle tips themselves I don’t have any problem with, the quality is not outstanding, but acceptable. The tips are made of aluminium, which makes them one of the more user friendly types, for me personally, since I have a nickel allergy and quite a lot of metal needle choices can be nickel plated so that’s something I like about them. The bright coloured metal is really pretty. These needles are definitely not the sharpest and the taper is more of a rounded square at the end than I’m used to, which I don’t mind for the smaller sizes but for the larger ones it makes them really too blunt for me.
I tested the needles out on a little experimental piece I’m working on (ignore the “reminiscent of a cauliflower” shades, it’s just leftover yarn!). The tips do knit quite smoothly. They are pretty long though. I’m using them here on the 60 cm cable, knitting in the round. It’s doable, but I really can’t see it being too comfortable to use them on the smallest cable. And speaking of the cables, this is the part I found a disappointment. The cables are way too thick, stiff and inflexible. They seem poor quality and really let this set down. It’s not great if you like to work magic loop or make anything needing a supple cable. I secured the cable tightly using the key provided, but the unyielding nature just seem to make it want to work its way loose. I have had to retighten several times working on this piece you see here. So I’m not totally impressed, considering the price this set seems to retail at. I did get mine very cheaply (I actually found them discounted at TK Maxx), so I didn’t pay full price, and for me they will do me for spare needles when my others are occupied.
PROS: Nice case, reasonable tip action, lots of pieces in the set.
CONS: Very stiff inflexible cables, overall rather low quality for the retail price.