Thursday, 7 March 2013

Geekery: Review of Addi Click Long Interchangeable Needles

Since learning to knit 'properly' I haven't used straight needles, favouring circulars for flat knitting, for one-piece garments and magic loop. I've mainly used wooden KnitPro Symphonie* Interchangeable needles (also known as "KnitPicks") which have served me very well considering they have already had a lot of use.

About a year ago I bought a selection of fixed Addi lace circulars to try out on a few projects (2.5mm and 3.25 mm for socks and hexipuffs and 10mm for a chunky project) and found them very pleasing, in fact I preferred them to the KnitPros... which started me wondering what the interchangeables would be like and how they'd compare. At that point I read one comparison/review with the short Addi Lace Clicks and wasn't  convinced I'd like them due to the shorter length (hand cramps!?) and the thought of such a noticeable join, and so the idea was put to the back of my mind.

Fast forward to a few months ago when the opportunity arose to try out a set of the new longer Addi  Lace Click Long Interchangeables - naturally I was keen to give them a go. They have now been used for a  number of different projects ranging from Aran to laceweight yarns, and so if you'd care to join me in a little needle geekery, it's time to tell you about them. There are comparisons with KnitPro because that's what I know best, and they are very popular so chances are, many of you know them too.

New needles!

The Set:  Inside the clutch-bag style case you will find 8 pairs of Addi lace knitting tips, 3 red Addi lifeline-cords, 1 cable connector (extender), numerous leaflets and a brooch! Needle sizes range from 3.5mm to 8mm and the cords are 60, 80 and 100 cm.

My first impressions were really good - the case is lightweight yet sturdy (and very pink!), it feels nicely made, with well-fitting elastics holding the needles and cable connector in place. Being a sucker for personal service, I admit to liking the little note enclosed, which tells me who put my set together although I don't imagine the Addi brooch pin will ever be worn. I can't help thinking that a shawl pin would have been more suitable.

The Tips: These Addi tips are not as sharp or pointy as the smaller sized Addi fixed circulars I have but this has been of no detriment, even when using Lace 2 ply. As the smallest tips in the set are 3.5mm this seems entirely reasonable and my fingers are quite happy having been subject to a fair amount of abuse from sharper needles. The points are longer and they weigh more than the wooden Symphonies and as one might expect, the Addis feel a lot more sturdy than the Symphonies too.

GEEKERY - weight/size comparison

It's difficult to directly compare the tips of the wooden Symphonies and these metal Addis - there will be yarns which suit one or other better and there is also a matter of personal taste, so I'm leaving that issue aside except to say that I have broken a number of my wooden tips which should probably be a consideration to anyone looking to invest in a set. A couple have broken in project bags when being transported, D sat on another, and I managed to snap a thin one whilst knitting. Luckily they are easy to replace.

The Cables: The cables in this set are different to those in the fixed Addi Lace needles - they seem more flexible and most noticeably they have a handy slit for the easy placement of lifelines. I tried this out using my lace project and it was very straightforward and I can see it would be useful if moving from one chart to another, on particularly complicated projects or simply for separating raglan sleeves onto scrap yarn in a one-piece garment.

Inserting a lifeline using new Addi Lace Click cables.
I definitely like the new Addi cables more than KnitPro cables which feel less flexible and much more 'plastic' which of course is very difficult to put across in writing. I'm not sure whether this picture is very much help, but I think you can see that the Addi cable is happier to be flexed.

GEEKERY - Addi v Knitpro cables

The Join: The 'clickable' join makes attaching the tips a quick and easy  process and there is no need for the small (and therefore easily misplaced) key which is necessary to tighten KnitPros. However, the click mechanism is not without peril to the uninitiated - on the second row of my lace knitting (whilst budging the little stitches together onto the tip) I managed to wiggle and push simultaneously and the cable popped off. Luckily no stitches were lost, but it changed the way this was done on subsequent rows and now, with a little wiggle to the right OR a little push (but NEVER a wiggle to the left and a push at the same time!), I can move even tiny stitches over the join without incident.

The join is much more visible than on KnitPros, but for all practical purposes, I haven't found it any more tricky when knitting - the join on KnitPro interchangeables is equally as noticeable when working with fine yarns (the yarn gets stuck in the groove and I've been known to say it "drives me mad" on numerous occasions) and for the first few weeks I wasn't tightening my KnitPros enough so they came undone too, suggesting there is a learning curve with both brands. Some people - especially those with very tight knitting - might have a problem with any of these joins, and for those knitters, fixed circulars are probably the way to go.

GEEKERY - comparison of Addi Click and KnitPro joins

Summary: Overall you will probably have noticed that I do prefer the Addis (the click, the cable, the 'set' is nicer and has more of a quality feel). In fact, I haven't reached for any KnitPros (wood or metal) since they arrived, despite the Symphonies looking much prettier and more tactile. I like everything about the Addis, except that there are only 3 cables in the pack and as a polywipamous knitter, I need more than that. As I already have LOTS of different tips and cables for the Symphonies I will continue to use them too - I'll have to.

There is not a tremendous difference in the cost - when investing in a set of tools that should last for years, a 'tenner' here or there wouldn't be enough to sway my decision either way.  Ultimately they are all good needles and I have been perfectly happy with the Symphonies for the last 2 years... until I tried the Addis!



If you'd like to try any of these needles for yourself, the lovely folk at loveknitting.com are offering Crafts from the Cwtch readers an exclusive 10% discount off any of their needles, and in fact anything else in their store, until March 14th 2013. Simply use the code CWTCH10 at checkout.
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* I do have some KnitPro metal 'Nova' tips but haven't included those here as I have not directly compared them or used them for as many different yarn weights - maybe that's for another post.

13 comments:

  1. I'm a bit of a needle harlot myself and have got knit pros (both sets) and an Addi click set as well. I like them all but I tend to favour the KPs because my Addi tips are a bit on the blunt side - turbo not lace, I believe. However, my absolute favourites have to be my Chiagoos!!! OMG, you have got to try them. Best join, best cable, best tip, best everything. But they're fixed rather than interchangeable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do have some of the fixed Chiaogoos in my favourite small sizes! They are lovely but I like to have interchangeables for every day.

      Delete
  2. I haven't tried the addi needles, although I have been tempted. I do love my Knit Pros though. Hmm, you've given me something to think about!

    ReplyDelete
  3. ChiaoGoo do interchangeables too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh the temptation! I got the KnitPro Tends interchangables which are nice but if I could choose KnitPros again I would use the bamboos (slowly building a set). I LOVE my Addi fixed cables they are a dream and KnitPros quality isn't even close on the 2.5mm fixed cable but the temptation to buy the interchangables is huge now :)
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm just about to treat myself to some lovely circulars so I was looking forward to your post. I think you've swayed me towards the Addis, although I'm still tempted by the Chiaogoos. I've never been any good at decisions :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well that's me convinced! I've been wavering over getting a set of interchangeables for some time now. Addis it is!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Interesting. Very.
    I have KnitPro interchangables and love using the wood. I do however find that the smaller needles snap but the metal version in the same size are nearly impossible to get a grip on to tighten properly.
    I've bought a couple of Addi fixed circulars for socks and a 4mm, just because... I agree about the cable difference, although would add that I have found there seem to be different quality Knit Pro cables about too - some of mine are lighter than others and some are more flexible (can't remember if it's the lighter ones or darker ones ;)...)
    I think I'd love to try the Addi's because they sound great - but feel bad about ditching my Knit Pro's because they work fine over all.
    Sounds like a great birthday present to mention later in the year!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Really useful comparison Sarah, thanks!
    I have both the Knitpro Symphonie and the Chiaogoo interchangables, but think I may need to try some Addis now too..... Hmmmm....

    I think it's only the shorter length interchangeable needles you can buy individually though? Not sure I can justify buying a whole set when I've got two sets already that are perfectly fine, can I? xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the comparison. I have just started knitting and I am looking to buy a set of interchangables, I was leaning towards getting knit pros but I think I will take a closer look at the addis before I make up my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was wondering before if I should invest in an interchangeable set, but I have so many Clover circs that I ended up figuring it wasn't woth the moola to spend. The purple case is so pretty and glad you found tools worth having and using.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hey there,
    How do you find your Addis now that you've used them for a few months? Do you like them still and would you recommend them? Also, does the yarn get stuck in the "connector" or the "join"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, yes I still really like them and I don't have a problem with the join :D

      Delete

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