Remember last week when I went on a tiny little online spending spree? It was my birthday week, after all, and once I had my credit card sitting next to the computer one thing led to another and I’d ordered a couple things from a couple places.
One of the things I ordered was definitely an impulse purchase – after clicking the refresh button for the 10,000th time on the Bobby Awards voting page (I lost, by the way, to the awesome fair isle pants). But one of the those times when I was indulging my little thankfully-now-over obsession, I happened to notice an ad at the bottom for some double-point knitting needles. They looked interesting, so I clicked on through. I have to say, this must be the first time I’ve ever bought something after clicking through on an online ad. hm….
Anyway, the ad was for Comfort Zone needles, made out of flexible plastic and available in a variety of colors for each size.
Now let me back up a minute and rave about my very favorite double-point knitting needles in the whole wide world, at least as far as I know. I absolutely adore Pony Pearl double-points for several reasons. They, too, are made of plastic, but reinforced in the smaller sizes with metal on the inside so that although they bend a bit and spring back, they are still nice and firm. I love them because they don’t break (at least, I haven’t broken any yet, and I use the size 0s all the time). I love them because they are warm in my hands, unlike metal. I love them because they are nice and slippy, unlike the wood or bamboo. I love them because they are not super-pointy like most wood and bamboo needles.
Now, I know that many, maybe even most, knitters out there prefer sharp tips because they think it’s easier to decrease or something. I find this not to be the case for me, and in fact the sharp tips are more likely to make me split the yarn and also they hurt my fingers as I’m knitting because I push at the tip to move the stitches along. Pony Pearls have nice roundish tips. The Comfort Zone needles, on the other hand, are pretty pointy.
I opened the package of needles and knew pretty much right away that these would not be for me. They are also a couple inches longer than my favorite Pony Pearls, which are 6″ – the 8″ Comfort Zone ones are a little excessive. I find that 6″ is just long enough to keep the stitches from falling off most of the time, and short enough to keep me from spearing things on accident.
Still, I had to give them a try after having ordered two sets at $7 a pop and paid shipping to boot! I pulled out a sock in progress and started knitting off the Ponys and onto the CZs. It was like trying to knit with a pointy spaghetti noodle cooked al dente. You know how in the Harry Potter book, the teacher accidentally removes all the bones from Harry’s arm, and it is left dangling there all floppy? This was like someone had taken the reinforcing out of my lovely Pony needles and simultaneously given them sharp, ouchy tips. I only lasted for 16 stitches – one needles’ worth onto the needle, then knit around using my Ponys and knit the stitches back off the abominable thing.
Sorry, Comfort Zone! I can’t recommend your needles. However, knitting needle preference is such a personal thing. I bet someone is out there reading this review and saying “Gee, those sound like *just* the needles for me! And since I have two sets (which handily come in sets of 6 in case you lose one) the first two people to speak up and ask for them, and who have not already won something from me in the last year or so, are welcome to them. Put a note in the comments and let me know whether you want the minty green or the purple, and make sure there’s a way for me to contact you for address information. Postage is my treat this time.
On the positive side, I have to affirm once again that Pony Pearls are the best double-points out there. If you haven’t tried them yet, go get some – they are a little hard to find as not every store carries them, but I did find them here and if you’re in the Twin Cities, the Yarnery usually has them in stock. For that matter, the Yarnery is now doing online sales, and while I don’t see the Pony Pearl needles listed on the website just yet, I know they’d ship some out to you if you call and give them credit card info over the phone. Yes, I work there, but I’m only mentioning this because they are my
pushers suppliers of quality needles.
I also have to admit that I like to encourage people to try Pony Pearls because I love them so much and they are not all that popular, which leaves me constantly worrying that one day the shops will stop carrying them and I will no longer have a supply. I do tend to lose a double-pointed needle now and then, you know. This fear leads me to buying new sets all the time whether I need them or not, and even though I have a coffee mug full of them I still feel the nagging fear. Ayup. I’m a crazy knitter!