As I mentioned in an earlier post, the inability to find a set of dpns that I needed led me to the counter at my local yarn store trying to decide what kind to buy. Out of curiosity, I ended up purchasing the Kollage Yarns square needles.
The package promised more even stitches, faster knitting, and less stress on your hands. The needles are supposed to be good for slippery yarns or tight knitters. It says that the needles are "perfect for knitters who have arthritis, carpal tunnel, or stiffness on their hands and fingers."
Side note: The idea of square knitting needles reminded me of my "invention" I made for an elementary school fair where I took a pen and covered the sides with rectangles of foam so that the pen wouldn't roll around when set down. Remember that, Mom?
Now, I am probably not the best person to be reviewing these needles. I am not a tight knitter; in fact, I tend to be a loose knitter if anything. I also do not have arthritis, carpal tunnel, or any other problems with my hands (knock on wood). Regardless, after knitting two full sleeves of a cardigan with them, I feel like I have the ability to talk a bit about them.
I had wondered if it would feel odd knitting with square needles, but I really didn't feel the edges while working with them and I didn't find that I had to "get used to them." Even though I wasn't working with a terribly slippery yarn (cotton), I did notice that my stitches slipped around less than I expected them to on the metal needles.
As far as evenness of stitches goes, I saw no difference. I feel like I got a pretty good comparison too, since the sleeves of my cardigan were done with the squares and the body was done with my regular circulars. That might be because I'm not a tight knitter, but I don't know.
I can't say whether or not I knitted faster with these. If I did, it wasn't a huge difference. I suspect the reason one might knit faster with them is that the needles kind of "settle" in your hands because of the edges, so they don't really spin or slide around. I'd bet that's probably why the package says they are good for people with joint or muscle problems in their hands, but because I don't experience pain when I knit, I couldn't notice a difference in that department.
So my verdict as to whether or not these are worth it: Maybe. I like the idea of them and they look fun (And I appreciate the fact that they've been sitting on my desk a couple days now and haven't rolled around at all. The eight-year-old me was definitely onto something with that pen idea.). Am I going to go run out and replace all my needles with them like the woman at the yarn store said another customer did? No, not now anyway. Maybe down the road if I start having problems with my hands, I'll try using these some more and see if they help.
I'd love to hear thoughts from anyone else who has used these, especially if you have any hand pains or are a tight knitter. What do you think of these?