Just over a year ago I bought my first pair of bamboo knitting needles, having heard lots of positive tales of how much nicer they are to work with than my usual metal needles. As it turned out, everything I had been told was true and since that time whenever a new size was required for a pattern, I have been steadily replacing my old stock of metal needles with bamboo ones.
The first item I made with bamboo needles was my Cobalt blue top earlier this year and the way in which the stitches slid easily along the needle, made the whole process that much more enjoyable. Also the feel of the needles themselves was so different to the metal ones, being smooth, warm and comfortable to handle, instead of cold and …. well just cold really which is how the metal needles feel in comparison. The needles used for this project were made by Addi and cost around £6 for the pair which seemed like a lot at the time but they really did make a difference to the feel of the project.
The next time I ordered yarn and a pattern, I opted to order two more pairs of bamboo needles, in the sizes required for the garment. However, this time I chose the cheaper Milward needles at £3.40 per pair. The last five or six projects have all been done on Milward Bamboo needles and as with the Addi, they have been a vast improvement on the metal ones I have traditionally used.
However, I am currently working on Eldest Mudlets’ Christmas present (post will be published after Christmas) and this has meant that I have had to use my Addi needles as the primary needles and a pair of the Milward for the ribbing and I have to say that the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ , has certainly be proven with this project. Just by looking at the two different needles side by side, you can see that there is a difference in quality but the real tell is when you handle and work with the needles: the Addi is a delight to work with, being much smoother and yet more tactile than the rougher feeling Milward, although the Milward is nicer to work with than the cold metal needles.
Muds’ opinion is that I should have bought the more expensive pairs throughout, as they look better and if they are nicer to work with, then buying the cheaper needles was a false economy. So from now on, for any other size that I need, I’ll be splashing out on the Addi needles and, in due course, will look to replace the Milwards with them.