You may remember I mentioned a while back that I’d been give a pair of Prym Ergonomic needles. Not by Prym themselves, and I’ve no vested interest in reviewing. I’m just reviewing to share what I personally found. I also showed these needles to 3 friends, so I’ll throw in the odd comment from them too.
My point of view comes from someone who usually, but not exclusively, knits on wooden needles that are 5mm or less and a maximum of 30cm long. I like wood because it’s warmer to the touch, less slippy than metal and gentler on your hands. If I have sufficient stitches to need a longer needle than 30cm, I switch to circulars, because this puts less strain on my wrists. I don’t have any problems with my hands, just know knitting can cause RSI, so do my best to knit in a way that’s kind to my hands.
The Prym needles I have are a pair of 35cm x 4mm ergonomics.
They are a plastic needle with a small bobble at the tip leading to a short 4mm section…
… the shaft then becomes slimmer and triangular…
Checking out several dictionary definitions of the word ‘ergonomic’, I found it’s meaning boiled down to two things: Something that is ergonomic is designed to be both efficient and comfortable. Since most of my decisions on knitting needles appear to be about comfort, let’s start there…
(There are no claims about comfort on the prym box)
- They feel warm and very pleasant to the touch
- I and my friends concluded that unless you were knitting something small, the growing weight of the knitting would make them bend and hang uncomfortably. We however think a shorter pair might not draw this criticism.
- I found the triangular shaft – which is smaller than 4mm – needed a tighter grip than a 4mm shaft and therefore increased tension in my hands.
- I also found the triangular ridges annoying. However, the triangular part isn’t all the way to the top, so how you would feel about that would depends on the way you hold the needles when you knit.
Quite frankly I found them a nightmare to knit with, because they bent as I knitted. Definitely not quicker! My friends also found them bendy, but then I tried knitting continental style and they didn’t bend!
The box says that the tips have a ‘hook tip’ for ‘simple picking up and safe guidance of yarn’….
… and the triangular shaft ‘allows stitches to freely slide over the needle’.
Websites selling these needles say these two features make knitting easier for beginners and quicker for experienced knitters.
In my view the bobble may make knitting easier for those beginners who tend to drop stitches and perhaps the slimmer shaft may help those who have incredibly tight tension – provided they don’t try to form the stitches on the shaft. (The section that is the full 4mm isn’t very long and I have read a review from an experienced knitter who said her knitting style formed the stitches on the shaft, therefore creating small tight stitches.)
Personally I’m not convinced that the bobble on the end and a triangular shaft would make experienced knitters knit faster. I would have gone all nerdy and timed myself, but because the needles bend as I knit that slows me down anyway.
And what about knitting lace or socks? I like a very slim smooth point for these. Wouldn’t the bobble hamper rather than help?
I did read at one point that the triangular shaft prevented ‘snagging’ and wondered if the author of the comment normally knitted on twigs.
The clip together heads
It’s a neat idea that the heads clip to the tips to help stop your stitches falling off when you’re not knitting.
Unfortunately the realities aren’t so great:
- The clip doesn’t hold the needles very firmly together and they come apart with the minimum of movement.
- Once they’re clipped together you can’t stick the needles into your ball of yarn, so the ball is free to roam around, unwind and get tangled.
I hate to be so negative, and maybe I would have found more positive in a shorter thicker pair, or a thicker pair of circulars or DPNs?
Have you tried Prym Ergonomics? And if so, what do you think of them?