Friday, January 14, 2011

Knitting with Square Needles: Innovation or Gimmick?

When I first heard about a new kind of knitting needle on the market, Kollage Square Needles, I thought it was gimmicky. I had just completed my first knitted bracelet with C-Lon Bead Cord and was telling a friend with a lot more knitting experience that the small needles were hard to hold and gave me cramps. She thought these new needles might be the perfect solution and convinced me to try them.

The more I thought about the concept of a square design for a needle the more sense it made. We do not realize when knitting that we are constantly compensating for the needles turning and twisting thereby putting stress on our hands. We then set about trying to locate some to try and had no success at our local knitting stores.

While at Stitches West last year, we found them and I bought 2 sets of needles, DPN US Size 1 and 2/2.25-2.50mm, and two Kollage Square Crochet Hooks, US Size A & B/2.00-2.25mm. I fell in love with them after my first try. I have since used the Kollage Square Needles mainly for knitting C-Lon Bead Cord and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, the heavier weight cord, with beads on a jewelry scale. My friend has been knitting garments with larger needles and various yarns.

Kollage Square Crochet Hooks have become my favorite hooks to do single crochet chains interspersed with beads with C-Lon Bead Cord & C-Lon Tex 400 Cord. The square handle helps to rotate and to position the crochet hook without having look or thinking about it. I hope that Kollage will consider making square steel crochet hooks in the future for bead crochet ropes projects as I love their Rosewood handles!

These needles are recommended particularly for those of us with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and stiffness in hands and fingers. In addition some knitters have found that their stitches are more consistent. As with all knitting projects, checking gauge is very important. Some people recommend going up a needle size to gain proper gauge but my friend and I have not observed this.

Kollage Square Knitting Needles are available in the following types: Straight, Double Pointed and Circular. The sizes are well represented. Two types of cable are available for the circular needles, soft and firm. We decided to carry the firm as they keep their shape and the joints between the actual needles and the cable are smoother.

The concept has been carried to crochet hooks using square wooden handles. The actual hook is made out of anodized aluminum, and the square shape of the handle helps orient the crochet heads at the right angle.

If you are interested got to > Kollage Square Needles

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