Colour chart for new Zing range

The new zing range are finished in metallic colours, different for each size. Here's the colour chart:

Metallic colours for each size in the new Knitpro Zing range

These colours apply to the double-point needles, single-point needles and fixed circulars. The size is laser-engraved on each needle. I'm hoping that interchangeable circular tips and cables will be available at some point, but no official word about that yet!

The Zing range is available here.

Which needles are stronger, Zing or Nova? A test to destruction

A recent question about whether new aluminium Zing needles are strong or flimsy got me thinking about doing this comparison.

The Zings are aluminium whereas their Nova siblings are brass. But then the Zings are solid, I believe, and the Novas are hollow. In a recent test I found the Novas are the heaviest of the Knitpro range (at least of the ones I stock).

I also decided to add an Addi lace circular to my death row (because I'm curious). All are 2.5mm diameter. One thing I'd not noticed before - the Zing tips are slightly longer than the others.
Here's the setup; a container suspended from one end of the needle, with the other clamped to the table. I slowly pour water into the container until the needle is permanently bent.
I'm sure you'll remember from your O level physics that when metal starts to bend, it bends in an elastic way, i.e. when you let go it springs back to its original shape (in this case straight). When you apply enough force it starts to bend in a 'plastic' way which means that it bends but doesn't spring back. That point is known as the 'elastic limit' and it's what we're looking for here.  When the needle bends, I weigh the container of water and we have a figure that we can use.

Note the careful measuring above - this is important because as you'll also remember, here we're demonstrating 'moments', in short the distance the weight and the fulcrum (the table) are apart will determine how easily the needle bends. All that matters is that it's the same for each test. 4" of needle protruding and the weight 3/4" from the tip.
So how did they do?

Knitpro Zing 1263g
Knitpro Nova 1607g
Addi Lace 973g
Addi Premium 880g

The heavier Nova comes out on top, but not hugely. Both flexed quite a long way as the weight was added, but as mentioned earlier, if the needle sprung back straight when the weight was eased, then we kept going. The difference is the point that the needle wouldn't spring back.

As you can see, at the eleventh hour I condemned an Addi Premium too (aka Turbo) - the Lace bent so much more easily than the Knitpros (It surprised me - I destroyed the other end as well to be sure). I wanted to see whether there was a difference between their lace and premium needles. But both seem in the same ballpark, and can take around half the punishment of the Knitpros.


The Zings will bend (permanently) a little sooner than Novas, but both take quite a bit of force before bending. Around double that of a competitor. There are plenty of other differences that should also come into your decision - tip taper and sharpness, finish, tip length (noted above), whether the size is marked on the needle and colour of course - users are loving the colours of the Zing range and that's important.

Buy Knitpro Zing needles here, buy Knitpro Nova needles here, and Addi lace needles here and Addi Premium here

Thanks to Mister Percival. I know we gave you a hard time but your efforts weren't wasted. I also notice that I mix imperial and metric units fairly wildly. A legacy for us children of the seventies!

How do Knitpro's Zing needles compare with Karbonz?

In my earlier comparison of the points on various metal needles, I missed out the Knitpro Karbonz - although carbon fibre, they have metal tips.
To the eye, I thought the zing matched the Karbonz (both slightly rounder than the Nova, on the right) but when magnified a little bit it does look as if the Zing comes somewhere between, less sharp than the Nova, maybe a little sharper than the Karbonz

... at least with these particular ones, all 3mm.

How about the joins and cables?
I've not noticed before that the cable is a little thicker than on the Karbonz (these are both 3mm x 80cm) I'm not sure whether the extra thickness will make any noticeable difference when knitting, and whether one would be better. As for the joins (which probably look a little more scary in this extreme close-up than in real life) to the thumbnail they feel just the same. Notice there's more of a taper on the Karbonz down to the thinner cable.
Another positive with the zings is that the size is laser engraved; you can feel it with your thumbnail. The Karbonz have the size printed on, which does wear with use - as you can see from my own needle above.

Zing needles, customer feedback

Here's a mini-review of the new Knitpro Zing needles with a picture that I received by email today from a customer that I shall call Liz.
Zing circular needle and yarn, knitting sock
Knitpro Zing circular

Just a quick update on the needles, I am loving them. The cable is very pliable and I am finding the extra long tips very comfortable. The stitches glide effortlessly and everything is so pleasurable. I think I may have to order another one :-)

These socks are for a KAL that starts today and ends in September but I've a feeling they will be finished way before then.

I feel I shall be a Zing convert, I really love them so far.

I have Zing circulars, double-points and straight needle sets available here

The Clematis spinning wheel that I painted in a previous post is now with its owner and assembled:

Knitted womb

I can post these pictures now that the recipient has received the present. It's now a little bit of a tradition to make one of these for friends or family undergoing a certain op.
The yarn is the cochineal dyed alpaca I made for these wristwarmers. The colour is perfect for this project.
The wonderful pattern is Womb by M K Carroll, free on Knitty.

This is the first full project I've made on the new KnitPro Zing needles. They're lighter than the Nova range as noted in my first impressions but feel more robust and positive. One thing I find difficult with this project is that you initially start working with just two stitches on each needle - it's fiddly and the needles slip out very easily. These not being highly-polished like their Nova counterparts, I think they were a little less prone to slipping out of the stitches.

Spinning cat fur into yarn

After recently spinning some samoyed dog fur and enjoying that, I was pleased to be asked to spin some cat.

Although the mass of fibre felt soft, each hair was only millimetres long, impossible to spin by itself. Blending it on the carders with a little wool of the same colour helped it hang together. I found that really thin punis worked the best.
Some worked beautifully with the long draw - stretching out like chewing gum. others were a little less willing and so some very short draw and double-draw had to be employed as necessary
 The singles weren't as even as I'd have liked. I wanted to make sure that the proportion of cat in the yarn was as high as possible, but the higher the proportion of cat, the harder to spin and the lumpier the yarn. However, plying evened things out a little.
 This is the first two skeins, this is about half way done. When finished, around 350 yards altogether.

Countryfile - sheep theme

Last night's Countryfile was a wool special. It was great to see a focus on the wool industry, about the current difficulties and importance of buying British lamb (it was good to see the supermarkets being scrutinised, who seem to be displaying the New Zealand lamb over British for profit reasons) the revival of mutton, the tragedy that fleece which was once worth its weight in gold is now worth less than it costs to shear (I'm not sure that this is entirely true - maybe it depends upon the breed).

We met Eve O’Neill who demonstrated needle felting. I noticed a few people demonstrating this craft recently at Fibre East. It's good to see that the craft is healthy and maybe growing in popularity.
You can watch the show on the iPlayer shortly and I believe for the next month.

I stock a range of needle felting supplies including several starter kits: