Monday, August 13, 2007

A Matter of Preference

When I first started knitting socks I used 7" Brittany birch double points. After a time though I realized it would be better to use shorter needles, so I bought what the store had in stock which was 6" Crystal Palace sock needles. I loved them, but have always wanted to try the 5" Brittany sock needles. Recently I bought a set and had a chance to compare the two.

Brittany Sock Needles vs. Crystal Palace Sock Needles
(Size US 1)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Brittany measures 5"; Crystal Palace measures 6". It's only one inch, but I enjoyed the shorter length very much.

Brittany needles have rounded points; Crystal Palace have sharp points.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Brittany is made from birch; Crystal Palace is made from bamboo. I didn't think this would make much difference but there were a couple of things I noticed. I found that the stitches did not slide as easily on the Brittany needles as they do on the Crystal Palace needles. Also, the Brittany needles were more flexible than Crystal Palace.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

In the end, I found that the Crystal Palace needles worked better for me, mainly because I like to knit short-row socks the PG-R way. When working the heels and toes in this method, sharper points and stiffer needles help maneuver the yarn for stitches like K3tog and SSSP. The Brittany needles were too flexible and the points not sharp enough to make these stitches easily. That's not to say they aren't good needles, because they are. After all, the needles we ultimately choose are just...a matter of preference.


  1. The socks look great! I'm glad that you found needles that you like. I like the Brittany birch in larger sizes, mostly for their length. I'm partial to metal dpns and circs for most things, even lace!

  2. i'm with you on the brittany birch dpns -- i love the 5" size!

  3. I liked the shorter length of the Brittany's too, but I use 0's for most of my socks, and I snap the birch needles!

  4. I like the socks you are knitting -- my favourite colours :-)
    I have never tried the Brittany or Crystal Palace needles. I like the metal (Susan Bates) double points and circs and have been using circulars for all my sock knitting. Glad you found ones that work best for you and you like!

  5. I used to be a bamboo girl myself, until I tried the new knitpics sock needles. No more wood needles for this girl, the stitches fly on these great little (pointy) needles :-)

  6. Anonymous1:03 PM

    I'm just a novice at socks, but I think that Lantern Moon's Sox Stix are excellent. They are 5" long, pointy and are made of wood, although I'm not sure what kind. But they are pretty pricey. However, they are also beautiful!

    PS I left John more of the mystery roving for you to have fun with. I hope that you enjoy it!!

    Amy (fellow knitter)

  7. Thank you for review! I am beginning to knit more socks, though I'm still relatively new at it. I want to try the KnitPicks dpns and compare with my bamboo. I was given a set of the Sock Stix as a gift and am looking forward to trying those, too. So many choices!

  8. Well said. Isn't it nice to have so many choices when it comes to needles, yarns, patterns, and every stitch markers? All of it makes knitting such an adventure.

  9. Thanks for the comparision, I never realized before that my sock needles are 7 inches, and I'm always finding that I'm fighting to position the needles in the right place so they don't interfere. Shorter needles never even crossed my mind! I love that you gave all that comparison information, if I ever see them anywhere I think I will pick up a set of the crystal palace, sounds like I would prefer them.
    Great post...I've been re-reading it for a while lol!


Thank you for commenting!