Hi all, today I’ve got another review post for you, where I will be taking a look at the KnitPro Zing Range! This range of needles released at the tail end of last year and I’ve managed to get hold of at least one set of each type of needle in the range, including fixed circular, straights, DPNs and interchangeable tips. KnitPro Zing needles are a metal needle, offered for an affordable price. Unique to the range (at least as far as I am aware in a metal needle) is the use of colour to indicate size – 2.25mm needles are an amber yellow no matter what type of needle they are, for example. This makes the needles really eye-catching and made me interested in the range because at the end of the day it appears that my spirit animal is a dragon hoarding all the shiny things! I’ve used the Zing needles for a few projects now, so I thought I would give a summary of my thoughts so far. In this post, I’ll start off by looking at each different type in turn and then try to answer the question “are they worth buying”. Let’s go!
KnitPro Zing Straights
Straight needles and I have a habit of not getting along. I learned to knit on heavy budget needles that hurt my hands. then bought a set of budget wooden needles that were, frankly, rubbish. However, I enjoy knitting the occasional toy and other things of a small nature – a situation which makes me all kinds of crazy if I have a circular needle – so I decided to cough up for some Zing straights to see how they did.
The needles in question are 3mm, 25cm long single point needles. They came attractively presented in the same way as other needles, elasticated to a piece of sturdy black card. The first thing I noticed is the colour, which is described as “Jade” on the KnitPro website and, although it isn’t as bright as other colours in the range, it is still quite attractive and is applied flawlessly to the shaft of the needle. The tip and cap of the needles are a bright metal which is a nice contrast to the shaft colour, as well as having the advantage of making it easy to see the tip whilst knitting. A big bonus in my mind is that the size is etched onto the shaft of the needle so it should stand up to a lot of use. This is great because with other KnitPro ranges (such as Symfonie and Karbonz) I’ve found that the size wears off over time. These needles are great to knit with, even when knitting with a yarn intended for bigger needles, such as DK. I’ve made swatches and had a stab at a toy (which needs to be frogged due to a creative interpretation of the pattern) in DK and I’m currently working on some mitts in 4-Ply. So far, the tips have been perfectly smooth, the work flows well and they don’t hurt my hands, which is great!
KnitPro Zing DPNs
I may be something of an oddity because, unless the project in question is destined to travel, I prefer to knit socks and other round things on DPNs. I’m not sure if it’s because that’s how I learned to knit in the round or if I just like the dangerous-looking whirling mayhem of five mostly co-ordinated needles, but that’s how I roll most of the time. However, the DPN range I had was a little… underwhelming. I have a set of Karbonz that I love (which have gone missing), some toothpicks (tiny bamboo DPNs) and some metal things that make my hands sweat because I’m allergic to nickel (let’s not talk about the horrible Pony DPNs I also have *shudder*). I decided to spruce up my DPN collection and went for Zings because Karbonz are eye-wateringly expensive. Initially, I got 2.25mm and 3.25mm sets for specific projects and was so impressed with them that I added the 4mm set later. All of my sets of DPNs are 15cm in length.
As before, the needles are attractively packaged and are really pretty to look at with striking colours that make them easy to identify. Again, the size is etched onto each needle, which removes the bottom of the knitting bag guess work if a needle makes an escape attempt. I first used the 3.25mm set, which comes in a pretty green described as “Emerald” for the Catching Butterflies Mitts. The needles are surprisingly light for their diameter and once I was a few rounds into the knitting they had settled and were enjoyable to use. I did find that if there were only a couple of stitches on the needle then the needle would fall out of the work, but other than that, they performed well.
I then used the 2.25mm set (in an amber yellow) for the Adrenaline Junkie Sock. At this size, the needles felt slightly flimsy when knitting a tight decrease, I think this was caused by them being a bit flexible and once I got used to the sensation it was fine. Speaking of decreasing, the points of these needles may feel a little too blunt for the task, but unless the decrease is extremely tight they perform well. I’m not sure how they would handle something like P3togtbl though!
As for the 4mm needles, they have yet to be used in anger, although they do feel more weighty for their size than the other needles.
KnitPro Zing Fixed Circular Needles
If I’m making something bigger than a toy or a sock, I always use a circular needle. Even for knitting flat and I know some of you will think that’s heresy! I have access to a huge range of tips in different materials and sizes that fit into the KnitPro Interchangeable range, but unfortunately, the Zing range doesn’t have interchangeable tips (EDIT: the interchangeable tips were released later, see below), so I had to go with a fixed circular. This example is a 4.5mm, 100cm fixed circular, which comes in a lovely cornflower blue that the KnitPro site calls Iolite.
I bought these needles to make the Kili Scalemail Gauntlets that I completed a test knit for a couple of months ago. These needles performed excellently and were a pleasure to use from the smooth tip to the beautifully tapered cable join that gave me absolutely no trouble, despite the fact that the Kili pattern is scalemail and thus weighs a lot more than normal knitting. I found the cable to be flexible with little memory which made it simple to execute the magic loop technique I was using for these gloves. Plus, these needles have the size etched on them too!
KnitPro Zing Interchangeables
A few months after the release of the KnitPro Zing range, interchangeable needles were finally added to the family. I picked up a 4mm set to test and at first, I thought they were broken, because I’m used to seeing a chromed cable join, but this size at least doesn’t have one!
These needles are as smooth and light as other needles in the range, connecting almost seamlessly onto the cable and being silky smooth from tip to cable join. I tested them both for knitting flat and magic loop and they were a pleasure to knit with, warming quickly to the touch. I did find that, like other KnitPro needles, these have a tendency to come unscrewed during use, even when tightened using the key. I’m not sure if it’s because I knit continental, but it’s really annoying! Other than that, much like the other needles in the range, I found that the points weren’t quite sharp enough for fiddly lace, but are great for everything else.
So, are KnitPro Zing Needles worth buying?
Historically, I have been a metal needle hater. I hated how cold they were, how unforgiving and how some of them make me itch like crazy. The KnitPro Zing range, however, does everything right. The needles are light and warm up quickly during use. They feel sturdy (even the small sizes, once you get used to them flexing) and the points/ joins of all of the needles feel well made and professional. This is the first range of metal needles I’ve run across where it feels like a passionate knitter was involved in the design, making the needles easy to knit with, even for someone like me who has the approximate coordination of a newborn foal.
My biggest complaint, actually, is the lack of interchangeable tips and I’m hoping these will eventually be added to the range (EDIT – my wish was granted! See above 🙂 ). The price point is just right, they are not overly expensive which means that I can now afford to upgrade some of my older needles, especially the very thin needles where I feel the wood needles I have just don’t cut it. My favourite needles were the Karbonz, but now the Zing needles and the Karbonz have equal billing, with Karbonz being reserved for needles that need to handle extreme abuse (mainly travelling projects, I don’t want any bent Zings!). If you’re looking to add some razzle dazzle to your knitting bag you could do worse than give these a look and they are affordable enough to be a great choice for a size you may not use all the time, although, for my part, I’m now off to replace the rest of my DPNs with Zings!
KnitPro Zings are available in sizes 2mm – 6mm across DPNs (15 and 20cm lengths), fixed circular needles (40 – 150 cm lengths) and single-pointed straight needles (25 – 40cm lengths). The needles are available to buy individually and the DPNs and straight needles also come in sets with a selection of sizes. You can find out more about the range on the KnitPro website and, in the UK, you can buy them from Deramores or Wool Warehouse amongst other retailers.