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bamboo knitting needles - thoughts

(16 Posts)
motherpeculiar Wed 18-May-05 09:23:07

saw bamboo k needles in Jl yesterday - thought they must be quite nice to use - anyone use them? are they nice?


teeavee Wed 18-May-05 09:27:25

my mum only uses bamboo or plastic needles as the others give her athritis in her finger.
She says Bamboo needles are v. pleasant to use.

NotQuiteCockney Wed 18-May-05 09:31:42

I use bamboo needles, and plastic ones (Denise circular). I haven't used metal ones much, I find the bamboo ones much more comfortable. Less clicky.

suedonim Wed 18-May-05 13:46:50

Bamboo needles are nice and smooth so the wool slips along easily. I like metal ones myself - mine are ancient ones with the old sizing on them. I also prefer short needles, can't manage with great long barge poles!

Marina Wed 18-May-05 13:47:52

Tamum is your woman mp, she rates them very highly too - I never seem to be able to get the sizes I want at the time, but hope to try them too.

merglemergle Wed 18-May-05 14:15:08

Bamboo needles are fantastic for the following reasons:

1. The wool doesn't slide so much about so less dropped stitches.

2. They are lighter and less cold which makes hands happier. My clients with arthritis swear by them.

3. They look more glamourous and trendy, I think. More Monsoon, less daisy afgan. This is important to me since I outed myself as a knitter recently (am getting up confidence to knit in the playground, where I will see people I know).

4. I maintain that they are a bit safer if around little kids.

There are IME four drawbacks.

1. They do bend out of shape and stick to kntting a bit when wet. This is a problem for me because I knit when giving ds his bath.

2. They are more expensive.

3. I've found they often, but not always, knit as about 1/4-1/2 mm bigger than metal, so you will need 1/4-1/2 mm smaller bamboo than metal. Most patterns/wools give needle size for metal. But this is good as it forces you to actually do a tension square.

4. The thinner ones, I'd say 3.25mm and below, do break.

I love bamboo needles and would always knit on them. If you want to give them a go without shelling out 3 quid have a look in the charity shops, they often have a selection.

Marina Wed 18-May-05 14:17:08

Wow merglemergle - thanks for that thorough summary of the pros and cons!
Sooo, would you say a sweaty-handed knitter (TMI methinks ) might not get on with them...

tamum Wed 18-May-05 14:25:38


Actually, I quite like bamboo, but what I usually use is birch. How poncey is that. I really like wooden needles best- they're less clicky and slippy than bamboo. I greatly prefer bamboo to metal though, I can't bear the feeling of metal needles (especially with sweaty hands- Marina, we're twins )

Marina Wed 18-May-05 14:35:09

And where do you purchase these perspiration-friendly twigs then Tamum [hopeful, "glowing" emoticon]

tamum Wed 18-May-05 14:39:23

I got most of mine from the US to be honest, but there are more available in the UK now. I have some (nice but a bit bendy) rosewood ones from Scottish Fibres - they also sell birch but don't seem to have many in stock. I've just done a search and these people sell them too, in the UK. They are expensive, I know, but so nice to knit with

merglemergle Wed 18-May-05 14:42:11

A sweaty handed knitter eh? Well, who could blame anyone getting sweaty at the thought of knitting....

Um...I don't think it'd be a problem. Its more when you've got a baby splashing all over your kntting that it all goes wrong. Bamboo might be better than wool as it would absorb the sweat...

I didn't even know you could get birch needles, tamum. I've found some here , they look very lovely.

I'm guessing that using birch would sort out most of the problems with bamboo. Are they expensive and can you get them by mail order in the UK?

merglemergle Wed 18-May-05 14:42:40

Sorry, posts crossed

tamum Wed 18-May-05 14:45:49

merglemergle, they are exactly the ones Brittany birch, fab. It might actually be worth looking up US prices if you were ordering anything else, I bet they'd work out cheaper.

tamum Wed 18-May-05 14:53:53

OK, one more post and then I promise I will stop boring everyone witless about needles. One of the places I got mine from was Elann , who don't rip you off for p+p, and who sell some yarn incredibly cheaply. It's worth looking at because the dollar is so weak. I got a load of lovely alpaca from there for way less than it would have cost here, even after international shipping.

suedonim Wed 18-May-05 14:59:58

Lol at 'glowing' hands! I prefer metal as it keeps my hands cool, though I'm not generally a sweaty person. I'm surrounded by trees round here, which are currently being harvested so maybe I'll have to start making my own knitting pins. I just need to stop a stick lorry and ask for a spare trunk or two.

motherpeculiar Wed 18-May-05 16:20:19

my word - i turned my back for an instant and you all went berserk. i never thought this would be such hot topic! off now to check out those sites and hopefully try out some different needles really soon.

ps. i feel almost like a knitting virgin as i'e never used anything but metal (and plastic when learning to knit aeons ago)

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