Welcome to the latest installment of the Knit Luck Interchangeable Knitting Needle Guide. I purchase the sets or the try-it sets with my own cash and review them because there are so many sets available it's hard to determine which set is right for you. You can read our past reviews here.
The Knit Luck Interchangeable Knitting Needle Guide Review: Knitters Pride Karbonz
Not too long ago Knitters Pride came out with the Karbonz interchangeable knitting needles. These needles are two parts metal and one part carbon fiber. This results in a very light knitting needle with the pointy tips of metal knitting needles. The needle tips and the cable connect with metal, but the body of the needle is the black carbon fiber.
What Does the Knitters Pride Karbonz Delux Interchangeable Knitting Needle Set Include?
- Set of 18 Karbonz Interchangeable 4.5" Circular Needle Tips
- (2 tips each of 9 US Sizes: US 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 )
- 4 Cords to make 24", 40" & 2 of 32"
- 1 Set of size markers8 end caps
- 4 Cord keys
- 1 Cord case packed in attractive black & grey fabric case with see-through vinyl front
How to try the Knitters Pride Karbonz
You can buy the new Comby Set from Knitters Pride which includes the bamboo and the metal cubic needles. The try it set comes with the smallest available size for the interchangeable set, which is a 2.5 mm needle. It's remarkable that these needles are available because it's hard to create a cable thin enough to accommodate the small gauge of such tiny needles.
How Do the Knitters Pride Karbonz Connect to the Cables?
The Karbonz use the same method as all other Knitters Pride Interchangeables -via a threaded screw system. You use a key to tighten the connection once you screw in the needles.
How did I test the needles?
These needles were too small for me to use my typical test, the cotton chenille washcloth, so instead I used some fine laceweight silk/merino blend. I've knitted the Textured Shawl, which requires many increases, which I do in the front and back of the stitch. It can be tricky to do an increase in the back of a stitch, especially with laceweight yarn. Once you knit a stitch you keep the stitch on the needle and bring the needle and yarn to the back of the work and go back into the back part of the stitch as if to purl. If the needles aren't sharp enough you end up having to try to insert the needle multiple times which interrupts the flow of your knitting so I thought this method was a great way to test the sharpness of the needles.
No Yarn Snagging
You would think since these needles have different materials at the tip and the cable connection that this could or even would happen, but I haven't had any problems whatsoever with yarn getting caught on the needle. The needle tips are pointy enough for me, but they aren't stiletto sharp, which is a concern for some knitters. I believe the Addi lace tips are sharper. I've heard that Dyak Craft and Signature Needles are sharper as well, but I haven't yet had the opportunity to try those needles. That said, I haven't had any problems knitting in the front and the back of these tiny stitches and I've had problems doing that with regular bamboo interchangeables.
Cables and Needle Connectors
A note on the cables. In the past I've had some problems with Knitter's Pride and Knit Picks needles. On one set of needles I had, the thread on the needle tip where you connect to the cable became stripped and the needles wouldn't stay on the cable. Even before they became stripped, the needle would become disengaged from the cable and I would have to stop knitting to reattach it. Using the karbonz I haven't had that problem at all. the needles have stayed securely attached to the cables for the duration of this project, which I would guess would be about 6 hours of knitting.
The Carbon Fiber Body
I love the carbon fiber body. It allows me to grip the needles without any bending or splitting of the wood as can sometimes happen with wood or bamboo. Also, metal starts off cold in the hands, but that isn't a problem with the carbon fiber. Sure, if you wanted metal tips, you could just purchase the metal needles, but the carbon fiber provides a different texture experience than just metal. The soft finish, yet hard body of the carbon fiber provides a nice texture when knitting with soft yarns and keeps the stitches from just slipping off the needles when you're not knitting. It also provides a contrast to the metal points, allowing you to understand how much you need to push stitches forward as you knit.
The Karbonz Interchangeable Knitting Needles are my new favorite set from Knitters Pride. The craftsmanship is excellent, using the needles adds to my knitting experience by bringing in multiple textures not just in yarn, but also the needles. I like the lightness of the needles, but also enjoy the hardness of the carbon fiber. These needles do not bend. The needletips are sharp and yarn runs smoothly aver the needles, but not so smoothly that my stitches are slipping all over the place. Furthermore, the needles stay securely attached to the cables. For me they are the best alternative to Addi Clicks for under $120.