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Topic: Newbie needle question: bamboo or aluminium?  (Read 1597 times)
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astrangeone
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« on: May 15, 2010 10:40:36 PM »

I have two needles of similar gauges - one is aluminium with a coating, the other is bamboo.  I worked with the aluminium ones first, knitting with tee-shirt yarn, and other stuff.  Some of the smooth coating has been chipped off, and now it has a rather "catchy" feel to the knitting movements.  (It's harder to remove the yarn from the needle.)

The bamboo needles are shorter, but they are size 7 US.  They are very smooth and result in a very controlled knit.  (I knit a garter stitch washcloth with it - it's a very good pair of needles.)

Is there any way to refinish the aluminium needles to their prior state?  Or will I have to live with crappy needles?  (I rather not spend more money on another pair, but I will if I absolutely have to...)

And - what do you guys find better?  Bamboo or aluminum?  The aluminum seems heavier, and I get less stitching done than I need to...(I have tiny hands - I still can wear kids gloves...)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2010 10:43:18 PM by astrangeone » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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madannevain17
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2010 05:07:14 AM »

I LOVE bamboo. The extra price is definitely worth it to me. They're smooth, and don't get "catchy". The extra price kind of stinks, but eh.

For your aluminum needles, I've heard about rubbing them with steal wool to smooth them out. No idea if that'll work though!
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Tephra
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2010 08:37:28 AM »

Steel wool or very, very fine sandpaper used lightly on the aluminum needles may help, and afterward rubbing it with wax paper (or a bit of white candle and a scrap of denim) will seal the metal to prevent oxidation and also smooth it out. I have a size 2 DPN that at some point in its life before it came to me got mangled in something (I swear it looks puppy chewed, but it's metal  Huh ) that I made usable by taking a fine emery board to it. Since it's a double point I take care to knit with the non-mangled end so I'm sure the stitches are the right size, but that has more to do with how mangled the other point is than with smoothness.

I prefer metal needles, I'm a tight knitter and tend to use "grabby" yarn so the stitches move better for me on metal. I also like the heft of the metal needle over wood, especially with smaller size needles. We're at opposite ends of the hand size spectrum, mine are mens large or even x-large glove size. Good thing I pick my gloves for warmth over looks because the ladies gloves very, very rarely fit.
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celestya22
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2010 03:28:07 PM »

It really depends on what I'm making. I LOVE LOVE LOVE bamboo needles. They're smoother and I swear actually allow me to knit for longer periods of time before my hands get tired. However for very small works I prefer metal needles because I have trouble getting the bamboo needles into multiple stitches, etc. (and I'm terrified of breaking them).  That's more of a personal issue though I think. I tend to knit very tightly.

I recently bought a set of like 9 sizes of bamboo DPNs on ebay from China for a great price. Only downside was waiting over a month for the shipping. They're great needles though. I'm loving having bamboo DPNs...I'm actually using them a lot now (I always hated DPNs). I've found I have to be careful though. Because they are so smooth the stitches want to fall off the needles if I put them in my knitting bag while traveling.
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graveflowerx
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2010 09:58:37 AM »

I LOVE bamboo needles! they are lighter and easier to use! i do alot of drawing and painting so i use my hands alot, and bcause of that my hands hurt alot and get sore, using these needles make me knit for longer without pain,i wont use anything else after my first pair, now i have bamboo needles in almost every size, they are expensive but worth it  Grin
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astrangeone
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2010 02:56:38 PM »

It really depends on what I'm making. I LOVE LOVE LOVE bamboo needles. They're smoother and I swear actually allow me to knit for longer periods of time before my hands get tired. However for very small works I prefer metal needles because I have trouble getting the bamboo needles into multiple stitches, etc. (and I'm terrified of breaking them).  That's more of a personal issue though I think. I tend to knit very tightly.

I recently bought a set of like 9 sizes of bamboo DPNs on ebay from China for a great price. Only downside was waiting over a month for the shipping. They're great needles though. I'm loving having bamboo DPNs...I'm actually using them a lot now (I always hated DPNs). I've found I have to be careful though. Because they are so smooth the stitches want to fall off the needles if I put them in my knitting bag while traveling.

I saw them.  I'm very tempted, to get them - as Walmart stocks the normal bamboo ones at around $5 each, and they look so yummy, plus I now I have no reason not to have more patience with them.

I have the same problem with those bamboo needles - stitches seem to want to travel off the needle - although I solve it by sticking the needles into the ball of yarn.
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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2010 06:51:10 AM »

My choice of needle depends on what yarn I'm using.  For wool and catchy yarns (like novelty types) I prefer metal needles.  For slippery yarns like silk and cotton, I like catchy needles like bamboo Smiley

I also agree with celestya22 about small bamboo needles...it seems that they would break easily (although I have bent my KP options nickel size 1s!!)

Experiment and see what you like Smiley
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nastij
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2010 12:18:02 PM »

I recently bought a set of like 9 sizes of bamboo DPNs on ebay from China for a great price. Only downside was waiting over a month for the shipping. They're great needles though. I'm loving having bamboo DPNs...I'm actually using them a lot now (I always hated DPNs). I've found I have to be careful though. Because they are so smooth the stitches want to fall off the needles if I put them in my knitting bag while traveling.

Amazon has sets of DPNs for a really reasonable price ($25) - I got some as Xmas gifts. from size 1 up to size 15, 5 needles per size, 70 needles total. They're great - plus, Amazon has them in stock - no waiting, and they qualify for free shipping.

njg
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« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2010 10:23:27 PM »

I'm a big fan of bamboo needles, but they are a little more expensive. My dog got a hold of one of my aluminium needles not to long ago and some how put a tooth mark into it and I was able to fix it with a nail filing sanding block. It made it smooth enough so the yarn wont get caught.
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2010 12:44:35 PM »

I MUCH prefer bamboo needles, mainly because they're not so slippery in my hands. I find the smaller dpns get a bit splintery on the ends sometimes, but I still prefer them over their aluminum equivalents. also, since bamboo does seem a bit "catchier" than aluminum to me, I actually prefer that, as I'm usually knitting a ton of stitches on a bunch of dpns, and they're less likely to slide off the ends.

also, i can't stand the noise that aluminum needles make. bamboo needles let me knit in silence.
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