There’s been a lot of hype about the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles since they were introduced to the market and aside from a few stitches here and there on friends’ and family members’ needles I haven’t had much opportunity to see what it was all about. I’ve watched numerous knitters around me spring for the Deluxe Interchangeable Set and tons of sock knitters snag one of the 6″ DPN sets and all of them just raved about these needles. I heard a lot of comparison between these needles and the higher end sets which made me — with my inquisitive mind & hands — really wanted to see for myself. I finally got a chance to really put them through their paces over the last couple of months when I got my hands on the Karbonz Special IC Set. Finally, I know what all that hype was about.
Before we go into why this kit is ‘special’, let me tell you about the needles. The main shaft is made from carbon fiber, a lightweight yet very strong material that feels almost like nothing in your hands, but won’t bend or break easily. The tips are made of brass and provide a nice sharp and versatile tip. In practice, these needles feel a bit like a hybrid to me. The brass tips definitely knit like metal needles whereas the carbon fiber shafts are reminiscent of a rosewood — sleek, with just a hint of grab on your yarn. If you are like me, you might be a little skeptical that the extra joins created by using two different materials might cause problems, but I will say the folks at Knitter’s Pride really have perfected joins. At each point where tip meets shaft as well as where the cord in screwed in, those joins are flawless.
What’s special about this set you ask? That’s simple! These tips — each measures 4″ in length — are specifically designed to create 16″ needles when assembled with the two cords with which they come. This means this set is perfect for hat knitters. I mean absolutely perfect. And I know because I’ve knit four hats on them over the last few weeks — here are a couple of my in-progress photos…
Here they are knitting my True Lace Hat for my Craftsy class (as soon as the hats dry, I’ll be telling you about that gem, too!).
And here they are working on my Schwimmen (again, more when the FO is dry). Obviously these tips can manage lace work just fine!
To be very honest with you, I am biased here. I have used both 4″ tips as well as longer ones with other interchangeable sets and in my hands I always am more comfortable with 4″ tips. This is wholly personal preference here, but selfishly I will say I’m very happy Karbonz have this option in the Special IC set. I’m also glad that like all the Knitter’s Pride interchangeable sets, the Karbonz tips are compatible with any of the Knitter’s Pride well-made flexible cords so while they are specially made to create 16″ needles that’s not all they can manage…
This is Zilver a current work-in-progress for which I’m using my 4″ special Karbonz tips with a 32″ cord from a different set. Works like magic.
7 Knitting Needle Tips: US sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10/ Metric Size (mm): 3.5, 3.75, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0
2 cords (to create 16″ needle sets with these tips)
1 set of size markers
4 ends caps
2 cord keys
While knitters of all skill levels would appreciate these fine needles and be lucky to own a set, they are clearly designed with the dedicated knitter in mind. By dedicated, I mean any knitter — beginner or veteran — who appreciates comfort, ease of use, and is interested in making an investment in needles that will last and be a favorite tool for years to come. I think that for these knitters, the Karbonz Special Interchangeable Circular (IC) Set or one of the other Karbonz sets would be a wonderful addition to their toolkit — I know they are certainly a new favorite in mine!