Square needles seem strange, but claim to be an ergonomic improvement. Are they right for you?
WHAT ARE THEY?
The Knitter's Pride Cubics Needles are just that, square-shaped instead of round. This brand is made of rosewood, and Twisted carries both the double pointed needles and the fixed circulars. Many people claim that the square shape makes them easier to hold, reducing hand strain and leading to a less-painful knitting experience for people with repetitive strain injuries or arthritis.
But... are they just too weird? Twistedista Dawn took a set for a test drive and shares her thoughts below.
Cubics actually do feel nice in your hand. I didn't push it and try to knit for hours on end to determine if my hands would hurt less but, overall, I did enjoy how they felt.
I used US 4 double pointed needles on a hat, and they felt nice and sturdy. I've been known to snap wooden needles as large as a US 3, which means I'm instantly on guard if a needle feels flimsy. These seemed like they'd easily survive even my firm grip.
Last but not least... the absolute best part of square DPNs? They don't roll away when you set them down!
If you don't like wood needles because they are too slow, just skip these. Like any wood needle they definitely slow down the slide of yarn as you work. However! If you are knitting with something slippery like silk, these might be just what the doctor ordered.
Another possible downside is that, since they do slightly modify how you hold the needle (that's the point... pun intended), your gauge could change. Whether that matters or not is between you and your project.
Knitter's Pride Cubics are definitely worth trying! They only thing weird about them is that they can look so odd and feel so natural to use. If you are having hand or arm issues, it can't hurt (pun once again intended...) to try this different style of needle. I doubt it will magically fix all your issues but, combined with other ergonomic tweaks, it is worth a go. All the Twistedistas agree that we're open minded about anything that might keep us knitting more happily more years. Since they're wood, Cubics may also be good for wooden needle fans and projects that use slippery yarn.
If you're local to Portland, you are welcome to test drive all of our needles in the store before you buy them. As long as you have the yarn and the time, the couch is always available for you to sit and swatch to make sure you have the right set of needles. Needles are not returnable - once they leave the store they are yours to love forever.