Thursday, 3 April 2008

When Five Become Four...

One of my Brittany 2.5mm needles has snapped.

Over the course of the past week it has become progressively more bendy . Then at I Knit on Wednesday night, I bought those little rubber needle end thingies, to stop the second sock from escaping before I have properly finished stabbing it to death.

On the train on the way home, I was extracting the needles from the rubber needle thingie and the bendy one snapped. It's not fatal yet as I have been working this sock over 3 needles rather than 4.

However, my question is, does this snappage enable me to join the ranks of real sock knitters?! Or does it not count because I was not actually knitting at the time of breakage?

Or does this simply demonstrate my deep ignorance of sock knitting tools and in fact, count against me in my quest to become a fully qualified sock knitter? (Just because any sock knitter, worth their salt, would know that you simply don't use those rubber needle end thingies with wooden sock dpns?!)

So, out of curiousity, what is the usual life expectancy of a wooden dpn - is it more than a single pair of socks? Should I be getting twitchy that another needle could snap at any moment?!

I didn't like working with the bamboo dpns very much, the Brittanys are much nicer to work with but if I decide to invest in another set of sock dpns, which ones should I go for (not keen on metal, too slippery and I have seen many metal dpns fall out of sock WIPs much to horror of the knitter in question).

So, Lantern Moon Ebonys? Or something else?


Dotty said...

I have no experience with the wooden ones that you mention. But my track record with bamboo is poor. My first set of Crystal Palace dpns chipped at the tip. I exchanged them for another set and one of the dpns chipped in the middle. I bought a set of Clover ones and they seem a lot sturdier but several of them have bent at alarming angles. I used all 3 sets of needles to knit just 2 pair of socks. I've never used them again. I have several sets of Knit Picks Harmony dpns. One tip has developed a split after knitting half a mitten (I'm using sock yarn). I'm sticking to metal dpns.

Louise said...

Don't forget that Brittany birch come with a 5 year guarantee so if you email them, they should send you a replacement :-)

Robynn said...

In general, yes, life expectancy of a wooden needle is much longer than the socks they make! But they are pretty fragile things, at least in sizes under 3mm. Birch is flexible and less brittle than bamboo (so less likely to break); ebony or rosewood are *in general* stronger, but can be brittle, and you'll still sometimes encounter an individual needle that is crazy bendy or weak, especially with ebony. (Differences between different parts of the tree seem to be dramatic.) Birch is more consistent.

So the important point is to know your guarantees. Lantern Moon and Brittany both replace without question. Obviously you don't really want to be in a position of snapping your needles all the time and waiting for replacements, and I don't think that has to happen, but occasional breakage is likely - especially at first. You need to get used to them, they need to get used to you.

Roobeedoo said...

If you are not trying anything too fiddley, Lantern Moons are fab. But once you get into cabling or ktbl scenarios in a sock, I have come to the conclusion that metal is the way to go. Depends on your tension too - if you are a tight knitter you will snap more especially at 2.25mms or, oh horror, 2mm needles!

yogicknitter said...

Snap (LOL) my brittanys broke on holiday this week while knitting Carls socks. I have stuck to my knitpicks for the moment. Need to get the brittanys replaced as it is the second one to go while knitting. I like the length of the shorter brittanys.