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Socknitters Journal - Yarn

Socknitters Journal - Needles

Brittany


Needle Type Material Length Per Set US Sizes Available
Double Pointed Birch 5 inch five  0, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9.5, 10
Price $6-7/set European Sizes Available 2, 2.25, 2.5, 2.75, 3, 3.25, 3.5, 3.75, 4, 4.25, 4.5, 5, 5.25, 5.5, 5.75

Dawn Adcock  
Brittany makes a good quality needle, and has wonderful costumer service, but unfortunately birch is just not a very strong wood for small size needles. I've broken more than I can remember in the small sizes of 0, 1, and 2. They have nice sharp tips, come in sets of 5, and are pleasant to work with. Good "yarn grab", but not as slick as the bamboo wood needles, so they can slow down your speed a bit. On the other hand, I've never had one just slip out of my stitches, either. A nice needle, but only in the larger gauges for strength.
Janice In Plano, Illinois
I have some of the Plymouth bamboos in the 6" length in 3.25 mm (3's?) that I'm using for socks.  I also have Crystal Palace bamboos in sizes 7 and 8 (8" length) that I've used for hats, and some of the 5" Brittany Birch in 1's (I think).  What I'm seeing in all of them is the tips vary from needle to needle.  Some of the Plymouth's are > real pointy (the way I like them) and some are less so. Same with the Crystal Palace and the birch.  Crystal Palace's seem the most consistent. Crystal Palace and Plymouth both have nice finishes initially, but it's starting to wear off, and they're becoming stickier (which I don't like). The Crystal Palace are supposed to be impregnated all the way through the needle, but I still feel the shiny surface is wearing off and the stitches aren't slipping as easily.  One tip on the Plymouth's has a split or developed a snag. I hate the birches...can't get my stitches to slip at all on them. Among the three, I'd choose the Crystal Palace, but given their price, I'm really disappointed that the finish isn't holding up better.
Linda Nelson In Tijeras, NM
I like my Brittany five inchers. The finish isn't as nice as the Crystal Palace but I prefer the shorter length. The yarn doesn't slide as nicely on the Brittanys but on the up side, I don't seem to split the yarn with them as much and the size ones don't have the tendency to bend as much. I haven't broken any needles either, even in the smaller sizes.
Regina W  in Florida
These needles grow on you. When I first tried these, the stitches "stuck" to the needles, and I felt like the wool was "shredding" from being pulled along the needles. After a conscious effort to knit looser, the situation was better and the stitches still didn't "fall off". (I'm sure my gauge on these is different than on the same size metal needles.} I had a real problem working the heel flap; the points kept sticking me in the palm. After some attempts at holding the needle closer to the stitches and some grumbling, I switched to longer needles for the heel flap. The more I work with the Brittanys, the more I like them (they are very light), but I wouldn't buy the 5" size again.