Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Testing the Hiya Hiya sock circular needles

Last year in October I picked up some Hiya Hiya 9" circular sock needles from Brownberry yarns stall at Fibre Flurry in Birmingham. I will be going back this year come October as it was well good!!!! (local vernacular a grand day out). I brought two different sizes in the 9" circular sock needles as I wanted to give them a decent go - the 2mm and 2.25mm. I can see how these short circular needles for some knitters would make a brilliant tool but for me I find them a hindrance due to my weird knitting style.

I had read reviews about these needles and though what a great idea. While enhancing my fibre stash with the Krafty Koala aka Gemma I saw her working super fast on a sock with these needles. I want was the plea and she pointed me in the direction of the Brownberry gals what an enabler... Yes she is bad for my bank balance. 

But Gemma's knitting action is considerably different to mine as she is what I call an English Flicker.  I have some issues with arthritis and I am sort of a wonky gimpy cottage style knitter. Best description of my weird style. Dependant on pain and joint stiffness I adapt my style to suit my circumstances. I also can knit continental and portuguese/greek so I can combo and cross like crazy including backwards for short rows. I have had the pleasure at a John Lewis Rowan class in about 2003 of managing to stop it with everyone distracted by my weird purling technique. What do you mean I dont knit properly?  I dont think there is a special style there are lots of different knitting styles. Can you please stop looking at me it works ok? 

Back to the needles I think that I would probably like a slightly longer needle tips to the circulars and thus would have the leverage I think I am missing and why I have been so slow on the sock I started with them. I have been looking at longer lengths such as the 11" but the tips appear to be the same length as that on the 9" needles, damn. I really like how the project is easy picked up and put down.  Storage of the sock in the handbag was enhanced with the circulars.

Sock being supported by bobbin
Other than my tip issue the needles are well made and the clear plastic cable does not have a join joint which would be likely to catch. I like the weight of the needles as they are very light but they are also a metal needle made out of stainless steel. The finish on the needles are a high shine but they still have some grab for the yarn which helps when using a standard sock yarn like Regina.

The needles also have the size and length marked on the plastic cable which make them easy to sort especially if you are like me you can never find those damn needle gauges that you must have at least 20 of in this house alone. To read the size on the smaller of the needle sizes I had to use the water glass magnifying trick so you could still have some difficult working out what the size of your needles.

Now how am I going to do that toe???
To put them to the test I thought I would do my standard basic sock pattern in the obligatory Regina 4 ply. Well I have really really struggled with these socks. I am still at one sock down and a long way to go to finish the second sock.  This is some 5 months later. Normally I can knock out on a pair of the basic pattern of socks on the double pointed needles in a couple of days. I have really struggled with doing the cast off and ended up using two of my dpns to do the kitchener stitch.