when i ordered the yarn for the latest mystery shawl KAL, i also ordered a pair of blackthorn needles. i got an email notice that they were on backorder (altho when i ordered them, they were still in stock). blackthorns are elusive to come by and not many places sell them, so i resigned that i'd get them a few months down the road. so imagine my surprise when these showed up on my doorstep last week:
what do these needles have in common with the blackbird jet? both are made of carbon fiber composite - not metal, plastic or wood. very light yet very strong.
promptly i exchanged the needles on my cheeky monkeys and knitted away. the needles make a pleasant skritch skritch sound when they rub together. now, i find the sound pleasant, but other knitters dislike it, comparing it to scraping something across a chalkboard (which is interesting becos that's my most heinous sound in the world).
my initial thoughts - maybe i'm spoiled by my signature DPNs, but i do like a pointier needle, and these aren't as sharp as i like. now, they're pointier than, say, a pair of bamboo or plastic DPNs, but i like how pointy tips make my knitting fly. after knitting a few rows in stockinette the needles felt more comfortable but
maybe it's the yarn i'm using, but the needles drag. again, i'm used to my metal signature needles which help with speed. the blackthorns act more like my old bamboo needles. perhaps with a slippy yarn, they are quicker. i also read that you can buff the needles with a nail buffer, a mr clean sponge or a piece of wax paper. i'm not sure if i'm ready to buff up my virgin needles. i need to work with them a little more before making that decision.
lastly - and i'm being picky here - these are 6 inch needles, and i'm used to my 5 inch needles. the makers of the needles will produce custom length needles for you, but since i ordered these from WEBS, i got what they had. if i order another set of needles, i'd get a pair of 1s in five inches.
here's a great point - the makers of the needles stand behind their product, and are quick to make suggestions or replacements if you have trouble with your needles. the blackthorn group on ravelry is pretty active and a good source for information.
an arty shot of my blackthorns with my very berry hibiscus tea and cookie...
...and poor cheeky monkeys got frogged. the sock was knitting up to make a really slouchy sock, and i wanted these to be more fitted. oh well.
i'll find a heavier sock yarn and try my blackthorns again!