Sunday, September 11, 2011

Part Deux

As promised (I know you've all been eagerly awaiting it, after all), here is the second half of my Takumi Clover Interchangeable Bamboo Needles set review. (Word order may vary.):

Yup. They're amazing alright.

The Join:

I really like the join. It comes together easily, and stays together for the most part. I tried the Knit Picks Sampler interchangeable kit a few months ago, but found that I frequently had to tighten the joins while I worked. It was especially frustrating while working with lace, as my yarn would decide it was in love with the gap created between tip and cable and, like head strong teenagers sure that this was the end all and be all of life, it would take way too much frustration and cursing to untangle needle from the yarn. So far, I have only had this issue arise a smattering of times—and only on the needle in my right hand. I’ve found that checking the join every few rows eliminates this problem entirely.

Also, the join is tapered nicely—I’ve had no trouble transferring my yarn from cable to needle, even when I’ve been using the magic loop method. (Magic loop plays havoc with my gauge; I tend to tighten like crazy to prevent ladders, and have had a lot of trouble inching the working stitches up joins in the past. Expect an exasperated post about it at some point.)

The Needle Tips:

Initially, I was very underwhelmed by the tips. As a long time clover enthusiast, I figured I couldn’t go wrong buying their set. I’d read a few reviews that talked about the tips being a little coarse—one even mentioned having to sand and refinish them—but I dismissed that given that most of the negative reviewers also mentioned not being big fans of clover needles in general. For various reasons (namely my own unflappable ability to set my expectations ridiculously high as well as a few product descriptions that described “silky” finishes and “finer grains”), I thought the needles would fall somewhere on the spectrum between the regular Takumi needles and the Velvet Takumis. In the interest of full disclosure…I also forgot which set was the nicer of the two types; I mistakenly thought that Clover was the designation for the nicer needle finishes, not Velvet.

As you can guess, my dismay upon opening the case was palpable, but not unrelenting. The needles are a little bit coarser than the regular Clovers—which stinks if you’re expecting Velvets, but isn’t so bad ridiculous expectations aside. So far I’ve worked with superwash merino in a variety of gauges (even lace) and have had absolutely no problem. The needles also smooth out after a few hours knitting, so I recommend breaking them in on something like cotton if you are really worried about them snagging more delicate yarns.


Overall, I’m happy that I bought the set. It’s not as fantastic as I hoped it would be, but for a hundred bucks I feel like it was a good deal. These needles will last me for at least a few years, and it will ultimately be cheaper than buying individual needles. If you are interested in getting a set of your own, I highly recommend purchasing them from either Amazon or Nancy’s Notions, as both shops provide a sizeable discount—and frankly, given the finish on the needles, I don’t think they are worth the full price.

Whew…that was a whopper of a review—I promise future attempts will be a bit more streamlined. (And hopefully quite a bit funnier. I found as I wrote the review, most of my jokes tended to be based in innuendos and inappropriate puns, so I figured I would spare you. All two of you.)

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