A couple of years ago, I jumped on the Knit From Your Stash bandwagon that was going around the interwebs at the time. I made my own rules where I couldn’t buy yarn unless I finished a certain amount of projects in different categories, except for sock yarn because we all know sock yarn doesn’t count as stash.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with recycling. I look through my stash of books, yarn, needles and knitting accessories and decide what I REALLY love and use and sell the rest. I then take those funds and recycle them by purchasing OTHER knitting related things.
Take for example my needle collection. When Knit Picks came out with their Options and Harmony interchangeable needle sets, I was one in the first wave of people to buy them. I loved them. The flexibility of the cords, the price, all the different OPTIONS with these sets are great. Like many knitters, I had issues with the needles coming out of their metal casings and all, but I just lived with it. But, I noticed though that when I would cast on for a new project, I would grab one of my addi’s or clover needles before I grabbed my KP. Most of the time, I actually used my Webs bamboo interchangeable set. I was able to snag an incomplete set (it’s missing the 32″ cords) before these were sadly discontinued. Enter the KA Switch. Can you say *swoon* at first sight?
When I read about these on Ravelry, I immediately knew I had to get them. Bamboo interchangeables – my favorites!! So, I immediately sold ALL of my Knit Picks needles and purchased the KA from Paradise Fibers.
Yes, the set was a bit pricey. But, to a lot of us knitters who recognize quality, money is no object (especially when you’re just recycling funds that had already been spent on knitting supplies anyway). Along with the basic set, I also purchased 3 extra tips and an extra set of 8 cords that came with 2 sets of toppers.
The basic comes with 10 tips (sizes US 5 – 10) and 8 cords (from 16″ – 53″ long), all organized nicely in a fabric case with a velcro flap that is quite compact and can fit into your purse or knitting bag easily.
Inside, thick elastic loops hold your tips in place. On the back, the cords are tucked away into a pocket with a velcro closure. This pocket holds my extra set of cords, too, and the case still remains compact.
Here’s the catch: all the tips do NOT fit all the cord lengths. This is what it breaks down to:
- Sizes 5-8 fit cords 16″ – 29″
- Sizes 9-10.5 fit cords 16″ – 50″
- Sizes 11-15 fit cords 26″ – 53″
I understand this is because since the tips screw into the cords, the screws are thicker as the needle size increase, to hold your needle in place more securely without loosening or breaking the screw – ie: a thick needle with a thin screw is bad news. Of course, this is all from my observation of how the needles work.
You don’t need a paper clip or piece of any sort to attach the tip to it’s cord; you just screw it on and get to knitting, as I did last night. Hey, don’t ALL knitters cast on for a new project as soon as they get new needles?
I enjoyed a few hours of Knitters’ Nirvana last night as I knit on a new To Dye For sweater using Knit Picks Suri Dream yarn (ironic that I’m using KP yarn for my first project on these needles, heh). The stitches glided along smoothly on the barely noticeable, very smooth joins. The join on the needles swivels as you knit providing more flexibility, IMHO. (Pictured above is also my gorgeous new DEEP yarn bowl from Knit Witch. You do have one or three of these, right? Cuz if you don’t, hurry up and go get one before she sells out again!!)
I’m following the pattern for the most part, except I’m using the number of stitches needed for my size and plugging it into Elizabeth Zimmerman’s EPS system so that I can knit my sweater in the round as a seamless raglan. I’m using the size 13 tips with a 24″ cord.
Here’s where I ran into a problem. According to the above, I cannot use the 13 tips with a 16″ cord. This is what I would need to knit the sleeves in the round to then join them to the body before knitting the yoke. How am I going to solve this problem? I’m just going to whip out my Webs needles and use that instead.
How would YOU solve this issue if all you had was the KA Switch set? Why, you would MAGIC LOOP!! See, the cords in this set are flexible and long enough for magic looping in the larger sizes.
Now, with all of that said, do you blame me for having sold the KP needles and purchased these beauties? I know the KP’s have their fans out there, but honestly, I prefer to not have to use a thimble to avoid the calluses or cut skin from the sharp points of the KP needles! Give me blunt bamboo any time!