Since my last post, I decided I would get my knitting mojo back by putting my current projects on hold for a bit and knit up something tedious and challenging and touch no other project until this one is completed. It sounds nuts, but its technique I’ve used when I’ve been in a funk with other things. Just hit pause and find a good challenge.
I cast on the first of a pair of Coffee Cantata socks and got to work. There’s a brain melting amount of cable work but my God are they gorgeous. I’ve considered framing these when I’m done as a joke. Imagine that on the wall as a conversation starter for guests.
When it comes to socks I break out the double pointed needles. Always. I’ve made socks using the magic loop technique before and I don’t find it enjoyable. I use magic loop on plenty of other things like sleeves and toys just not socks.
After casting on these tediously cabled socks I ran into a minor issue with my beloved double pointed needles. I started hitting multi-stitch cables and twists spread between two needles in the middle of sides. It’s fidgity where you don’t want fidgity. Ugh.
I began looking a little more seriously at Addi Flexiflips.
So all of us knitting junkies have seen Addi FlexiFlips appear on the market, and they apparently have been a big hit. They’ve either been unavailable for order, backordered, or when found have had pricing that is grossly inflated. The worst pricing I’ve seen is $45 per set for immediate shipment. It finally looks like after several months these needles are popping up more often with reasonable pricing, but some of the most common sizes are still hit and miss on availability. The concept looks intriguing, essentially they are circular needles with very, short fixed cables as a join.
I located two sets from the same seller in sizes that would be good to have the arsenal, Size 0 and 2.75mm (1.5 or the larger size 1 – it drives me nuts that there are companies out there that are marketing two size 1 needles Addi is one of them) at a bargain basement price of $18 a set. They arrived in the mail box yesterday and once I got in from an evening of shenanigans with friends I worked them into the socks and flew through enough rows to feel comfortable writing a review.
Time to break it down…
The design itself is pretty sound, and will please both magic loopers and double pointed fans alike. It’s an excellent blend of the two.
For double pointed needle fans, you are juggling fewer needles, but absolutely have the feel of four in the sock and one to work stitches. There are only four pointy ends poking out of your sock instead of eight reducing the places your working yarn can catch when you’re in the knitting groove. I can’t quite articulate it, but having the short flexible cable between tips makes the process feel more compact.
For the magic loop folks, yes you’ll have more than two tips to manage but guess what you don’t have to do. The loop dance. You know what I’m talking about, the pull one needle tip, re-folding the cable, and all the fidgeting that needs to happen to switch from one half of the sock to the other. You simply will move from one needle to the next without all the readjusting. Besides the addition of more pointy ends and learning to manage those, there isn’t much change in the rest of your normal knitting process.
These needles will travel well. I’ve used several versions of double pointed needle/sock holders and I can fold these needles up to fit any of my existing holders. Realistically, I could go without these holders once I secure the third working needles into either the yarn ball or the sock itself. Magic loopers will find that the project itself will be more compact and with the loss of the actual loop, won’t have a snag point.
The points themselves…
Addi ment well by offering their dual tip technology on these needles. Each needle has one sharp tip, the other side is a more rounded one. This is great if you’re working a simple sock without a lot of design features. Simply pick your preference and consitantly use it from one needle change to the next. If you’re doing cables (especially without the assistance of a cable needle, the pinching method or drop and shift method) you will be arranging and rearranging stitches on both a sharp point and a rounded one. If you’re working a yarn that is on the splitty side, this can be a frustration point. It’s not a huge issue, but it would be nice to have a choice of all tips being one shape or the other.
The issue I’ve consistently had with every single set of Addi circular needles that I’ve touched…the joins.
If someone at Addi reads this, why can’t you make a smooth join between cable and needle?!? For what would be considered a prestige or luxury brand of needles, having joins rough enough that yarn doesn’t easily slide ir worse yet splits at the join is disappointing.
Overall, are these worth the investment? Yes. They are a great concept, and despite the concerns will get the job done. Are they worth paying the demand pricing for? No, be patient and wait until you can find the size you need in the $18-25 range. These are already more pricy than an individual set of double pointed needles or standard circular needles, but for die hards, a worthy tool. Will these replace all of my beloved double pointed needles? Nope, but they will be a standard fixture on my traveling sock projects. When I have a little money in the fun budget I’ll pick up another size 1 (the smaller size 1 LOL) and a set of size 2 and that’ll be it. That covers the sock gamut for me. I will finish out my current socks on these despite my feelings about those variable tips and intricate cables.
Now it’s time to get some photos in. By mid-morning it was warmer outside on the porch this morning than it was in my house, so the photo shoot was on my porch table, which needs a fresh coat of paint and a good cleaning, so just excuse that. Click on the images for some captions and info.
If you’ve tried these for yourself, tell me what your thoughts are.