Prym Needle Review
I don't often have a need to use straight knitting needles any more, but I have to say I was rather excited to try these new fangled ergonomics needles from Prym.
I didn't think that there was a lot that you could do to revolutionise the humble knitting stick but it turns out I was wrong, because Prym have found a way. They've taken a fresh, modern and technologically saavy eye and given this modest implement a once over. It turns out there were a few areas up for improvement.
First of all, the shaping. We're all familiar with the standard circular style, and that's how these needles start out too. But then the needles change and the shaft becomes triangular. It makes for a nice easy to hold needle and has the advantage of making the stitches really easy to move too.
Next up, is the tips. Now we all have our preferences on sharper or more rounded needles, but what do you make of a 'hook' tip? Actually I'd describe the tips as more tear dropped, but whatever name you give it, it's something we haven't seen before.
Intriguing isn't it?
So, let me tell you how I got on...
I was able to try both the straight needles and a set of double pointed needles, as those are the first on the market. Circulars will be following, probably in summer.
The packaging is well designed and gives the look and feel of a quality product. The sizes are clearly marked and although it does contain some plastic, it is mostly cardboard and recyclable.
The needles themselves are made from a 'high-performance synthetic material' which I assume is fancy talk for plastic, but I agree that it feels like a 'quality' plastic if that's what it is. They have an almost satin feel which is nice to hold and of course, not being metal, they are not cold when first picked up.
The sizes are nice and clearly printed on the triangular section. Being printed rather than engraved, there's no fear of snagging stitches and I can confirm that the stitches run along the needles beautifully but like any printed sizes, they will probably wear off eventually.
They do also feel quite flexible when they are used. Being used to metal needles, I found this a little worrying at first but I did quickly get used to it and I guess all in all little malleability might be no bad thing. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who has sat on needles before!)
It was the tips that I was most interested to put to the test though. What would they feel like? How different would they be?
Well, at first I wasn't sure they made a difference at all. I cast on, and if anything, found the rounded ends a slightly more tricky to get into my tight cast on stitches. Only slightly though and it's hard to explain but there is a very satisfying sort of feeling when they go over the initial bump of the ends and sort of 'engage' in the knit stitch position.
So I knit merrily away and didn't notice an awful lot of difference until I started to do a little shaping. I had a go at a few different stitches, k2tog, ssk, ktbl, psso...
Now this is where I think these tips come into their own. Any time you want to manipulate the stitches at all, you lift them with the very end of the needle and they sit in that little dip just behind the 'hook' (or teardrop) and feel like they are not going to go anywhere at all.
I especially noticed the difference when working and ssk, or psso, or casting off. The stitch is caught up onto the needle and feels lovely and secure while you attempt to move it to where is should be. Yes, that is a very nice feature I think.
I've popped a couple of close up's in down below, I hope they help show you what I mean.
The other new feature that I really like on the straight needles is that either end is especially shaped with a kind of scoop. It sounds a little odd but it means that when you stop knitting, you can snap the spare needle neatly on top of the working needle and they both lock firmly together.
I think this is such a clever little design idea because it means not only are your stitches definitely not going anywhere, that spare needle can't go for a little walk about either. I love that!
So, the sixty million dollar question... would I recommend these needles?
Well, yes I rather think I would.
It would take an awful lot for me to forsake my usual needles as I'm rather a metal circulars kind of girl but I enjoyed using these. They obviously don't have the zippy speed of my beloved metal needles either, but I found the stitches moved very freely and best of all, I really loved working increases and decreases with that tip.
We all have our own personal preferences when it comes down to the needles we use but I would say these are definitely worth trying.
I'm not sure how easy these will be to find online as they are being distributed to retailers rather than online stores, but they will be going into shops like John Lewis and you can check the store finder to find somewhere near you.
I've included this short video from Prym too, it's worth a look as you'll be able to see all the features and the shaping much more clearly...