Welcome to the latest installment of Knit Luck's Interchangeable Knitting Needle Guide. We buy interchangeable knitting needle sets and test them out to help you decide which interchangeable knitting needle set is the best for you. You can click here to read our previous reviews including the Addi Clicks, Knit Picks, Knitter's Pride and even Lantern Moon. In this edition we're sampling the Knitter's Pride Bamboo Interchangeable Knitting Needles and comparing them alongside other bamboo interchangeable offerings such as the Addi Click Bamboo and the Takumi Bamboo.
Bamboo Knitting Needles in General
Out of all the available knitting needle materials I have always been the most partial to bamboo. Bamboo is lightweight and smooth, but with more traction than metal needles and warm hand feel. I find bamboo to be softer than wooden needles and easier on my hands and wrists when I knit.
One of the downsides of bamboo is that it can splinter with frequent use, or even if the needles weren't properly inspected you can get a splintered bamboo needle straight out the package and have to return it. Also bamboo doesn't seem to be able to get the sharpest needle points. Look at the three Knitters Pride needle points above. There's the Karbonz, Bamboo and the Metal Kubix. Look carefully at the points and you'll see that the bamboo is the dullest of the three. If you're looking to do precision cobweb lace a metal needle is a much better bet. However I've found the charms of bamboo needles to outweigh the downsides and have used them the most in my ten years as a knitter.
What the set contains
- 10 Needle sizes from 2.5 US to 11 US
- 4 Cables - 24", 40", (2) 32"
- Tightening Key
- Green fabric carrying case
Comparing Knitters Pride Bamboo to Takumi and Addi Click Bamboo
This comparison focuses on the offerings of each interchangeable knitting needle set; the quantities of needle sizes, cables, and cases.
The Knitters Pride Bamboo Interchangeable Set is the least expensive set out of the three, but this lower price represents a smaller quantity of cables and a simpler cable join. Knitters pride is the only bamboo interchangeable set that features a 2.5 US size needle -Addi click and Takumi only go down to 3 US.
While Addi Click Bamboo needles have the best quality along with a specially machined join, you only get 8 different needle sizes, which when you're spending nearly $200 is a little bit of a downer, but the carrying case is sleek and cute.
The Takumi Bamboo Knitting Needles include 12 different needle sizes, which is the largest amount of needle tips for any single interchangeable knitting set, bamboo or not. This set also includes 5 different cable lengths allowing for the greatest number of combinations available for nearly any knitting project -even 16" lengths, which usually are not included in most sets.
The Knitters Pride Bamboo in Action
You can see here that I cast on the Maile Cardigan with the Knitter's Pride Bamboo in this post. Usually I use the Flower washcloth with Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille to test out interchangeables, but the needle size I had required a project with a much smaller gauge, so I picked an MCN from Plucky Knitter. Why MCN? The merino cashmere and nylon is so soft that it is very easy for the yarn to catch on to uneven surfaces interrupting your knitting flow. For me, the best way to test out the knitters pride bamboo was to use a very soft yarn in a small gauge. This would make any needle imperfections quite obvious.
Lucky for me the Knitters Pride Bamboo Interchangeable Knitting Needles had no perceivable flaws. The yarn passed smoothly through all of the joins across the cable and past the needle. There were no nicks in the bamboo for the yarn to catch on and all of the metal and cable connections were completely smooth making for an enjoyable knitting experience. My knitting flow was uninterrupted from cast on to lace work to simple stockinette and garter stitch.
The needle points were rather pointy for bamboo. If super sharp knitting needle points are important to you, I would avoid bamboo. I've found that wood or metal is much preferable in terms of providing a sharp knitting needle point. That said, not everyone likes their knitting needles to be so sharp that they poke you and the points on the knitters pride bamboo are some of the sharpest I've found on bamboo needles. I had no problem inserting these bamboo knitting needles into small fingering gauge stitches -and no problems knitting multiple yarn over matched decreases in lace.
The cables, like all Knitters Pride interchangeable cables were flexible and easy to attach to the needle tips with the little key included with the set. These cables are much more manageable than the Denise or even the Lantern Moon luxury interchangeable knitting needle cables.
The Knitters Pride Bamboo Interchangeable Knitting Needles are some of the most affordable in the market and the quality makes purchasing them worthwhile. They may not have the highly engineered Addi Click connection, and may not have quantity of needle tips as the Takumi Clover Bamboo Interchangeable Knitting Needles, but if you're looking for an affordable set of bamboo interchangeable knitting needles you will be pleased with the Knitters Pride Bamboo Interchangeable Knitting Needles -especially if you're looking for a needle size smaller than a US size 3.