Question re: dp needles

I am interested in getting some dp needle sets for sock knitting. In the Knit Picks catalogue there is a set of Nickel-Plated Needles, 6 sizes, 5 needles per size. There is also a set of 'Harmony' wood needles which are laminated birch 6 sizes, six needles per size. There is only a $5 difference in price. I am wondering if those of you who have more experience than I would recommend one over the other. What are the advantages/disadvantages of each type? I would appreciate hearing your opinions. Thanks.


MMario's picture

wood has more "grip", metal is more slippery.
There has been some reported problems with the harmonies splintering or being rough, but customer support on them has been good.

I, personally, would prefer sets of six needles over sets of 5 needles, but that is personal preference, as many people only use 4 at a time anyway.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

After some post about wood vs metal in another post, I have been pondering this too.

Anyone use bamboo?

Celowin's picture

I don't have any experience with the Harmony needles. As much as I adore my nickel plated circulars, I've had some difficulty with the nickel plated dpns. They are fantastic if you have between 20-30 stitches on the needles. Many more than that, and you have to worry about stitches sliding off the end you're not using. Fewer than 10 stitches on a needle and there isn't enough grip on the needle to support it, so there is risk of the needle slipping out altogether.

I was able to work with them, so it probably isn't as bad as I'm describing, but I felt the need to give a bit of a warning.

scenter's picture

I like the bamboo or wood DPNs, the metal ones are too slippery. So that would be my choice.

My 'usual' bamboo ones are Crystal Palace brand, but I have used Clover, both are fine - the sets of 5 are 8" long. I also like Lantern Moon 'Sox Stix', the sets I have are made of either rosewood or ebony - for dark colored yarn and light colored yarn respectively. They work fine for socks, but are too small for other projects at the 5" length.

I am currently making my first pair of socks on two circulars - it goes quickly, and the pull out the wrong DPN problem vanishes! (Almost anyone who has made socks on DPNs has at some time or other pulled out the DPN they thought they had just knit all the stitches off, and pulled out the 'live' one instead -much grumbling ensues as you stare at about 30 free dangling loops)

Collin's picture

I agree that the metal ones are more slippery, but if you knit tightly, they're very nice to have!

I personally hate wood and bamboo. The sound and feel of the yarn against them gives me goosebumps!

RCC's picture

When it comes to socks I prefer wood, bamboo and even plastic over metal. Sock yarn seems to behave better and hold its' place on the needles made of natural meterials..

james's picture

I use both for different things. I'm knitting socks right now that have a stitch pattern that requires some yarn gymnastics. The bamboo needles weren't working very well, so I switched to the Knitpicks metals and they're terrific for this particular stitch pattern. I most often use bamboo, however. For Bamboo, myy favorites are KA followed closely by Crystal Palace. For some projects I use Brittany Birch. For me it depends on the yarn, the stitch pattern, and, probably, a bit on my mood. (FYI--I detest the Blue Sky needles--cute can, horrible needles and WAY over-priced!)

scubasinger's picture

I have the KP set you're talking about. They are nice and VERY pointy...good for getting into small stitches.


As has been pointed out they are VERY slippery. If you have a lot of stitches on a needle, just the fabric expanding can slip stitches off either end. And I once tipped a sock at a weird angle and one needle slid out of 18 stitches!!! That's how slippery they are.

But on the positive side, when you've got them under control you can really fly in terms of speed since there's very little effort required to move the stitches along on the needles.

teejtc's picture

I've knit socks on metal, wood and bamboo and definitely prefer wood and bamboo. When I use metal ones, I often end up dropping stitches off the edge (especially when I'm knitting loosely) and never have that problem with wood or bamboo. The ONLY drawback is that they're easier to break. I've broken several size 2s.... threw one set in a bag and broke one... sat one one once and broke it. Never broken a metal one.

I'm all for bamboo and wood though.

Grace and Peace,

VillageKnittiot's picture

When using DPs (which I hardly ever do) I usually reach for bamboo or plastic as they tend to grab or stay in the stitches more than metal. However, if I need to do small scale circular knitting I tend to go for Magic Loop or 2 circs. Less ladders to worry about and I still get to use my Turbos.

Bill's picture

DEFINITELY...wood or bamboo for learning...the metal Options are MUCH too slippery!

kiwiknitter's picture

Granted, my experience to date with DPN's is nothing I'd care to remember, but just to be different here, I'd suggest that you forget the DPN's and knit both socks at the same time on a pair of circular needles. Cat Bordhi has published a book on this and now there are tutorials on the net. It's how I learned to knit socks and the only way I'll do them.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

ronhuber's picture

Well that just shows to go you!! We all have different opinions about needles. Although I have never looked upon knitting as a race, I sure don't want my sock stitches sticking to a wooden or bamboo needle. I only have, at the most, about 24 little stitches on an eight inch needle - so where can they go. I like the steel ones and the stitches just fly off the needles and no dragging and/or pushing. I also think the whole thing is based on our perceptions. I was knitting socks with five needles when I was about 8 along with all my brothers and sisters and not a soul ever told us it was difficult. We must have struggled at first but it was probably like doing a knot with our shoelaces.