Why not me?

June 24, 2009

Lately, it seems, every time I turn around, another knitter has done a review of the infamous Signature needles. So why not me? After I re-confiscated the neon socks from baggage services at the airport in Melbourne, I packed them away until I got settled into the house near Sorell. Then, I put away the offending Clover bamboo needles and pulled out the spiffy new Signature US0 (2.0 mm) needles I bought just before I left.

I swore I would never pay this much for knitting needles. And, given it to do over again, I probably would not. I know, I know. Everyone raves about them. The do have many nice features. Unlike the newer Prym I have used, every needle is the same on both ends. In other words, all the points everywhere are delightfully identical. This pleases me.

I have a set of Inox size 2.0 mm I purchased about 20 years ago, and they too are very similar from end to end and from needle to needle. You can imagine my displeasure with the resident non-knitter sat on them and bent one. He did his best to restore it to a more or less straight condition. Mostly I don’t notice the kink and I guard them very closely now.

More recently (recently being about a year and a half ago), I purchased an ungodly number of Pony needles from Morris & Sons in Sydney (formerly Tapestry Craft). I bought two of every size from 1.25 mm up to 3.0 mm. The ones below size 2.0 are stainless steel and in comparison to the Signatures, I don’t see a huge difference. I think you can get stainless in some of the larger sizes too. I haven’t explored that option yet.

There are some differences, especially at larger needle sizes. Keep in mind, that I’m only looking at 5-needle sets of double points in an 8-inch length in sizes 2.5 mm and smaller.
1. The Pony needles do not have the size etched onto the needle.
2. The Pony points are almost as pointy, but they have a much sharper taper. In other words, they get bigger faster. The more gradual taper on the Signatures makes it easier to work some stitches because you have a little more room for maneuvering.
3. The tips on the Signatures stay just as pointy as the needles get larger in size and the Ponys do not. The bigger Pony needles have blunter tips.
4. The Signatures have micro-grooves along the needle that seem to increase their “cling.” They don’t fall out of the yarn as easily as the Pony needles do.

However, the Pony’s have a huge advantage. Cost. Granted I spent about $110 when I ordered them. However, I got about 16 5-needle sets of the 8-inch double points. Part of the expense was shipping from Sydney to Colorado. I have two of every size, which allows me to work two socks at once. More or less anyway. I like that.

I spent about the same on the Signatures. I have two sets. A 2.0 and a 2.25 mm.

This photo shows the 1.75 mm less-tapered Pony stainless steel (left) vs the Signature 2.0 stainless steel (right).

This photo shows the Pony 2.0, 2.25, Signature 2.25, Pony 2.5 from bottom to top.


Bottom line: If you have the extra cash and you really want to pamper yourself, the Signatures are a great choice. They would be an especially good choice if you are interested in really sharp tips in larger needle sizes. But, if you are on a budget and the needles you use are important, but not overwhelmingly so, you might find some other options out there that will do you good and still leave you with enough left over cash to buy some luxury yarn.

I don’t know. Call me a cheapskate. I’ld rather spend my money on yarn. I guess it’s all a matter of priorities.


One Response to “Why not me?”

  1. Chrissie Says:

    A knitter should always have money left over for nice yarn. And of course it makes more sense to have a larger variety of needle sizes than just two excellent sets of DPN. But reciprocally to an overwhelming amount of yarn stash the willingness to spend money on luxury needles increases ;-))). I think you have not achieved SABEL yet (stash accumulation beyond expected livetime).

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