My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Bamboo Needles

Wow! A lot of interesting observations on bamboo needles over the past couple of days. I can see that people’s experience with different brands of needles varies widely.

And it’s piqued my interest. I have bamboo circulars in three different brands: Addi Natura, Clover, and Crystal Palace. Last night I hauled them out to take a closer look at them all.

Addi Natura

Here is a close-up of the needle tip.


And here is a close-up of the join.



Here is a close-up of the needle tip.


And here is a close-up of the join.


Crystal Palace

Here is a close-up of the needle tip.


And here is a close-up of the join.


I need to get my paws on some SR Kertzer bamboo circulars (called “The Collection”) to give them a try. I think those are the ones Jessica mentioned in yesterday’s comments as being nice.

Liam Progress

Liam is progressing, albeit slowly. I’ve made a start on the front.


I’m made a solemn oath to myself that I won’t start another project until the beginning of the Klaralund-along. Well, apart from some stealth knitting I’ll be doing. A gift for my Secret Pal, doncha know! Tee hee hee!

Lucy is strangely unimpressed.



  1. Angie in E. TX says:

    Ha! My little girl woke me up early today. So what’s the first thing I do? Go to Wendy’s, of course! I was just thinking that maybe all the needle companies may be having trouble keeping up with the demand for knitting stuff, thus causing a decline in quality. I would prefer to think that is the reason, rather than they are trying to maximize their profits by making cheaper/shoddier needles! Has anyone had satisfaction by complaining to any of these companies? I myself have some of each of these, but since mine are old, I think they should be judged by their “new” standards.

  2. I’ll get the information about the Kertzer needles onto my website later today…(HOPEFULLY reinstalling my camera driver will go smoothly: we had a computer crash about 2 weeks ago and had to reinstall several of our drivers since we had to reinstall windows)…

    What a great shot of Lucy’s face, and Liam looks wonderful…

  3. Liam is wonderful! I have a vision of a cute cabled cami in my head that I would love to make but am kind of afraid of the cables–how do you account for the loss of width to a garment when you add cables? is there a rough guidline or is it just a guessing game? Swatching seems like it might help but I would end up having to swatch the entire width of the shirt several times, right? I’m still pretty much a beginner and I’m afraid of making something that will be totally wrong size-wise and being discouraged. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

  4. Wendy, this is why we love you and love your Blog! Love the needle talk and sharing info and expanding my knitting knowledge:)
    Oh, and Liam is divine!

  5. I got some Clover circs the other week, and I have to return them. They’re just too sticky for my tastes! I like working with bamboo, too, but the yarn just likes to stay on these needles too much for me.

  6. I haven’t seen the Kertzer needles in person, but from the pictures I found on-line they look exactly like the Plymouth bamboos. Same join. I find the Plymouths work fine; I’m not a fan of plastic cables, though. Even with the hot-water treatment I find they tend to fight me.

  7. I have some of the needles from The Collection and I found them comparable to Clover. You reminded me about the Addi Natura. I only have them in size 2US and they catch terribly on sock yarn. I also have Innox circulars. They catch a tiny bit, but not nearly as much as the Addi natura. I was disappointed because I like bamboo needles with sock yarn and don’t like to knit with dpns. Addi turbos seem to be the only “catch free” circs in the small sizes (size 2 and under).

  8. There was needle talk at my Knit Night last night as well..coincidence?? I saw the Crystal Palace upclose and they seem really nice–I like the way the needlehead can turn on it’s own. The joins were nice, but not as smooth as the Addi’s. The Addi Natura looks smoother than the others. Thanks for the pictures!

  9. I have only tried the Crystal Palace. When they are good..they are good. But I definitely would try the Addi’s and the Kerter. I’ve trid the Clover and do not love them!

    It’s nice hearing your input on small but important things!! Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I am a fan of the Addi Natura Needles myself. That join on the Crystal Palace Needles makes me crazy. I have on set of Clover that I like but my daughter has claimed it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am eager to give ther Kerter Needles a try. It’s all in the tools we use.

    Thanks for the blog suggestions. I never thought about dark background/light type as being difficult to read but that’s exactly what I had. Now I’ve switched it around and I’ll see if I like it any better.

  11. My 2 cents on bamboo needles.

    I love my Addi’s, but also hate them. I’ve snapped 3 pairs of them already – usually mid project. These were size 1 and size 2 needles. Really pissed me off. They always break at the join to the cord. The larger sizes (6 and above) seem to work fine for me.

    I’ve tried the Crystal Pallace ones. I’m not that keen on them. The points were too sharp and the join snagged like crazy. I was trying out a size 0 set for doing the Magic Loop technique on a pair of socks. NOPE! Guess I’ll have to use them for something else.

    The ones from Kertzer are quite nice. The tip is good, but sharper than Addi’s, very smooth body, and the join is ok. Doesn’t snag as bad as Crystal Pallace, but it does catch a bit. I had to use a set to finish some gloves when my Addi’s broke. Another bonus is they are cheaper than both Addi and Crystal Pallace, and maybe a bit better quality than the Clover.

    Happy knitting and go crazy on Liam! Danny

  12. I have been looking at changing over some of my needles to wooden ones. Thank you, Wendy for your posting on your blog which lead to all of these great comments. It has helped me immensely.

  13. When working with bamboo, which is rare these days, thanks in part to my Denise set…

    I really prefer Crystal Palace, although I do have quite a few pairs of clovers…I’m not as fond of the clovers.

    I think I will try the addi naturas next…thanks for the consumer report!

  14. Cheryl F. says:

    Plymouth. Plymouth. Plymouth

    The plastic is a bit stiff on the circulars (the join is similar to the Clovers), but the DPN’s in 6 in length are great. Of course I have a bunch of the bamboo circs from Plymouth as my used to be LYS was getting rid of them for $2.00/pair, and I just can’t pass up a bargain!

    Cheryl in AL

  15. I got some size 1 Crystal Palace needles to work on my doily with. Big mistake! The tencel yarn that I was using snagged at the spot where the plastic cable met the brass ferrule, and then snagged again where the brass ferrule met the bamboo needle. I finally gave up and switched back to my Addi Turbos to finish.
    Anybody want a size 1 bamboo needle? I’ll probably never use it again.

  16. Some of my Clover circs seem to have more “glide” than others, I think they get better with use. I was given a tip by a knitting instructor… to improve “glide” on bamboo needles, rub with a piece of waxed paper.

  17. Ah, the circ I had that broke must have been clover — that’s definitely the join it had. I love, love, love Liam!

  18. I have one pair of Crystal Palace circs and I hate the join — there’s a rough spot on it that always ends up rubbing that sensitive spot between my thumb and my palm and it hurts! I’ve thought about filing it down, but now I have Denises, so I don’t need to. I don’t think I’ll ever buy CP circs again, though.

  19. I have several pair of the Kertzer bamboo circs, and have to say I’d gladly get rid of them. I don’t like them AT ALL. I like Crystal Palace so far (I’ve just started “collecting” some different sizes so I’m limited to what I’ve used them for). I found the join on the Kertzers to be the biggest annoyance. They seem to catch and split all but the most tightly twisted of yarns. I won’t be buying more.

  20. Clovers are the best for me. The join makes a big difference.

  21. Do you know if its possible to get the Ab-Fab pattern without the yarn? I searched the internet but can’t find it.

  22. Wendy,
    I recently started working on a cabled sweater (a men’s tweed sweater in the new Interweave Knits – my first try at major cables), and have been having a tough time knitting my cables without any large gaps on one side where they meet the background knitting. I’ve tried to tighten up my stitches where those gaps have been forming, but it just doesn’t seem to work for me.

    You have such lovely and even looking cables on your new project – do you have any tips on keeping a gap from forming between cable and background knitting? I’d appreciate any advice!