Game-changing needles? Prym Ergonomics Review

Sponsored post*. As always, all opinions are my own and completely honest.


When I was contacted about trying out some innovative knitting needles which had been 'reinvented for human hands', my reply with probably tinged with a hint of scepticism. I've tried lots of different needles and already have my favourites, but when I saw the promotional video my interest was piqued. Take a look and see what you think...



It's a good point. Technology has advanced so much since people have been knitting, maybe there could be a way to improve upon our fairly rudimentary tools. I agreed to take a look and a few days later sample Prym Ergonomics needles arrived from Germany. I was sent 6mm single pointed needles (35 cm long) and 4mm double pointed needles (20cm long) to try out.


The needles are made from 'high-performance synthetic material' which makes them light to hold, flexible and smooth. The lack of weight is immediately noticeable so I got the scales out. Each 4mm x 20cm DPN weighs just 3g. Compared with a standard metal DPN of the same size and length at 6.3g, this is quite a difference. Especially when you multiply that difference by five needles, over a long project. This can only be good news for hands and wrists, especially those that are sensitive to repetitive motion. (The 6mm x 35mm straight needles weigh 17.8g, but I didn't have anything to compare those with as I don't usually use straight needles.)

As well as the material, the shape of the Ergonomics is another unique selling point, and the name pretty much gives it away - they are indeed ergonomic. The main shaft is triangular which is very comfortable to hold. It also means that stitches glide very easily, and you don't need to shuffle them along. In my experience, swapping metal needles for (lighter weight) bamboo or plastic usually means plenty of shuffling and 'drag' so this is a great feature. But these are not triangular for the whole length of the needle.


Behind the tip is a rounded section of the shaft - this is where the stitches are formed. The tip has a 'drop-shape' (to me it's more of a teat-shape, actually) which is designed to make the picking up and guiding of the yarn easier. I can see how that would be the case for a new knitter, but as is isn't something I struggle with, for me they just let me knit quickly and quietly - my go-to needles have metal tips and apparently you can gauge my mood by the noise level - beware if the clickety-clacking is loud!

Each section transitions neatly into the next and it all adds up to a very nice knitting experience. When you've finished a row and are ready to put down your knitting, you can clip the needles together to secure the stitches. Why on earth hasn't this been done before? It seems so obvious now!

  
In the title, I questioned whether these might be game-changers, and I think they might well be.  They are pleasant and easy to knit with - the stitches glide easily and they really are so much lighter to use than more traditional needles. When I consider my grandmother who really struggles to knit due to severe arthritis in her hands and wrists, I think these would make a huge difference. I'll be interested to see what she makes of these. I also think they would make learning to knit easier, as they feel manageable and comfortable to hold, although I realise beginners might be hesitant to invest in them compared with the range of cheaper needles available (as with 'cheap' yarn, I consider that a false economy, but I do understand the sentiment).

Single- and double-pointed needles go on sale this week in Europe and circular needles will follow in the summer.  As a price guide, John Lewis will be stocking the needles for between £7 and £13 depending on the size/type. Prices may vary with other retailers. The full range will include:
  • Single-pointed needles in 35cm length between 3mm and 10mm, and in 40cm length between 3mm and 12mm gauge. 
  • Double-pointed needles which are 20cm long and available from 3mm to 8mm. 
  • Circular needles in two lengths (60cm and 80cm) also between 3mm and 12 mm. RRP to follow when they are released.
I'd really like to try 10mm straights to see whether they help alleviate the cramps I often get with larger needles and can't wait to get my hands on the circulars. The cables are steel which gives me hope (my usual brand has coated steel cables and I love the way they function). If these needles prove popular, then I hope it's also possible to make them with a smaller gauge - I usually knit socks on 2mm or 2.5mm needles and would love to try these tips out on a fiddly little project where I think they would really come into their own.

As soon as I have any further information about the circulars I'll be sure to update you. In the meantime, let me know what you think of these in the comments, especially if you've already had the chance to try them.

*post sponsored by VIRAL LAB.

14 comments

  1. They sound great. I know what to get my mum for her birthday in March now as she suffers with arthritis in her hands. The needles clicking together does sound obvious now it's been thought of, what a great idea! I usually use interchangeable circulars, but I think I'll give these a go! Thank you for the review ­čÖé

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    1. Hi Rosy, I definitely think they are worth trying. I hope your mum loves them!

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  2. Great review! Thanks! I am definitely intrigued by the design of these needles. Any idea if these needles will be available in the U.S.?

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    1. Hi. I don't know if they will be available in the States at a later date, only that they are available for European stockist at the time of launch. Sorry I can't be of more help!

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  3. Interesting! I definitely would like to try these out.

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  4. Thanks for that, I have ordered a pair of the straights to try for my next project - I am intrigued!

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  5. Oh those look neat! I'm always looking for my perfect needle...I hope they come State-Side soon.

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  6. I have kind of stopped knitting in recent years so as to avoid the pain and numbness I get in my hands (who's is usually reduced by using circular needles in stead of straights), so I would certainly be very interested in trying these. They are very intriguing and your review (together with the video) have just whetted my appetite more! I really do miss knitting, even though I have found that I prefer crochet, and would love to be able to do so again on a more regular basis. You have written a very comprehensive review, and I wish all craft tool reviews were written this well!

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    1. Thank you so much for your feedback Shelley. I try to include the information that I'd want to read, so I'm glad you found it useful! I do hope you manage to try some and that they are helpful to you!

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  7. Sarah, I liked the review but have a few questions. How are they for knitting cables without a cable needle? And what about lace stitches like p4tog? My favorite needles are Knitter's Pride Karbonz because the tips are pointy enough to manage cabling w/out a needle and fiddly lace stitches well, and I'm wondering how the teat-shaped tips would work with that.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jazz, I am away from home now but plan to set a tripod up later this week and record a little video!

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