karbonzNot long ago Stefanie from Stitchcraft Marketing asked if I’d like to review some needles.

Of course I said yes.

I tend to prefer pointy needles. And fast needles. I tend to do a lot of designs that require various stitch manipulations, and pointy tips help.  And when you’re knitting to deadlines, self-imposed or not, anything that helps me knit faster is a boon.

Most of my knitting is done on US4 and smaller, with occasional forays into US5-7, and very very rare ventures onto even larger needles. Stefanie sent me a Knitter’s Pride Sampler Set that included US2.5 Karbonz interchangeable tips, US4 Bamboo tips, US6 Nova Cubics tips, and a 24″ and 32″ cord.  She also sent a 24″ US2.5 Nova circ.

I’d like to talk about the Karbonz needles.

I’m currently knitting a stole for The Wild West: Lace 2 (due out end of August) in Verdant Gryphon laceweight Mithril on the Karbonz needles. My yarn is a black and dark blue semi solid, and I’ve not had any problem with the dark yarn against the dark gray needles, though that would be a consideration if I was trying to knit in low light without my reading glasses.  (Not that I really do ANY knitting in low light without my reading glasses!)

Fast needles aside, I do like something with a teensy bit of grab when I’m working on lace, and the Karbonz texture suits quite well.  Addi lace needles grab a bit too much for me, so to me the Karbonz has less grab than those.

The tips are nice and pointy, and I’ve not had any issue with k3tog or p3tog (the biggest decreases I’m currently using in this project) or the 1/1 left and right crosses.

I get an occasional snag with the laceweight yarn on the transition from the steel ends to the carbon fiber body, but not anything too noticeable, and certainly not annoying (this — snags at the juncture between end to body — happens to me with virtually every needle I’ve ever used, including my Signatures).

The transition over the join from the cord to the tips is nice and smooth as long as you tighten the needles with the cord key (or whatever you have handy that fits into the little hole) rather than, um, just being hasty and trying to simply hand tighten them.  I’ve not had the join loosen after tightening with the cord key.

I’m enjoying these needles quite a bit, with one caveat: the cord is, to me, very inflexible, to the point I had to switch from the 24″ to the 32″ for flat knitting.  The cord on the Nova circs, on the other hand, is thinner and more flexible.  I think, if you were working on a project in the round that was of greater diameter than the cord plus tips, that support from the cord would be nice; but I wouldn’t want to try Magic Loop unless I had a very long cord.

Overall, though, these are great needles that are a good addition to my needle stash.  I’d be interested in trying out the fixed circ Karbonz to see if that would take care of the too-stiff cord issue.