Karbonz: terrible spelling, fantastic needles

When I was packing for the Knitting Pipeline retreat, I discovered a severe lack of proper size 2 circular needles. This is not surprising, because my 2s tend to wander off with a sock on them at any given moment. It doesn’t help that my craft room is completely torn apart at the moment while I whip it into something resembling order.

After poking around a while, I threw up my hands and declared that surely I would be able to buy another pair at the retreat. And I did! One of the vendors (Ewe-nique Yarns) was selling Knitter’s Pride Karbonz. They were moderately pricey – about $16 – but they were the only game in town at the moment.

Now, dear readers, I have a confession to make. I was intrigued by the idea of carbon fiber needles, but I hate hate HATE the cutesy misspelled name “Karbonz.” It’s a pet peeve for this anal-retentive grammarian. But I have to get off my high horse, I suppose, because these needles are AMAZING. Here’s my rundown.

Karbonz needles

Karbonz size 3 fixed circs, Spud & Chlöe Fine yarn

  • Tips: 4/5 Nickel-plated brass, similar to KnitPicks’ metal needles. I am a fan of this material over straight brass (like Addi) because I bend and dent brass. They’re pointy, too. I’d say somewhere pointier than Addi Turbos, but not as pointy as Addi Turbo Lace or Knitpicks. I would like them a little sharper, but they’re okay the way they are.
  • Join: 5/5 They’re using some kind of witchcraft here because these joins are unreal. I have had zero problems with them. I’d have to try ’em out with laceweight to be sure, though.
  • Cables: 4/5 They seem thinner to me than other needles, but they’re still hearty enough to stand up to knitting and they don’t hold a curl. Yay!
  • Labeling: 5/5 This is a big one for me. Circulars are a tricky beast to label, I know, but I really like to be able to identify a needle without finding a gauge. These needles are labeled on the carbon fiber body in US and mm, and in US in nice big printing on the nickel-plated join. Very nice!
  • Carbon Fiber: 5/5 Here we get to the main selling point. The carbon fiber needle body is in fact a “warm” feeling material (like wood or bamboo)  but slick like a metal needle. I’ve always preferred cool-touch needles for my sweaty hands but this is nice! They  claim carbon fiber is flexible, but I really can’t bend them at all. I’d imagine they’d bend more at smaller sizes – their DPNs go down to 000! – and that would be pretty handy. Me, I’m just glad I won’t dent or break them like I do with every other needle ever.

My verdict: If I have the cash and I can get a hold of them, I would definitely buy these before anything else. In fact, after swatching I did end up needing a set of 3s and oh-so-grudgingly (not really) snapped up a pair.

Just don’t be surprised if you catch me in your LYS with a Sharpie, correcting the spelling on all the packages.

Just say no to things spelled with a Z.

I’m not joking.

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