Knitting Needle Review: Carbon Fiber Needles

Knitting Needle Review: Carbon Fiber Needles

by Donna Drachunas

Carbon fiber Needles are perfect for knitting with Kreinik silk and other fine yarns

I'm always on the lookout for the next awesome knitting needles. No matter how many I have, I always want to try out something new because no needles are perfect for every project. In the past, I've had trouble knitting with silk thread on very small needles -- US size 00 / 1.75mm and smaller -- because the steel needles were too slick and flexible. They bent in my hands, stitches dropped too easily, and I could never get the tension I wanted with the slippery fiber on the slippery needles. 

I recently discovered a solution to my dilemma: carbon fiber needles. These needles have some tooth to them! The slippery silk yarn actually stuck to the needles, allowing me to have more control over my knitting, even on size 0000 needle working with fine silk thread. I was able to knit stockinette with even tension and nice, neat stitches, and lace without worrying about dropping yarn overs.

The carbon fiber itself is very strong and does not bend in my hands the way fine steel needles do. In addition, they needles are warm to the touch when you are using them, making them much more comfortable for those with arthritis or for anyone knitting in the winter.

At the last TNNA show, I tried several different brands and found them all wonderful to work with. Here are my experiences with these needles, in no particular order. I used double-pointed needles, but I'll note which brands also offer circulars.



1. Knitters Pride Karbonz
Because of the steel points, these needles are amazing to work with in any size and on almost any type of project. The pointy steel tips make them fast for knitting and the warm, toothy carbon fiber holds on to your stitches once you get them onto the needles. I am tempted to get a set of interchangeable circulars in this brand.

• Steel points except for sizes 000 and 0000
• 6" and 8" lengths
• DPNs, straights, circs, and interchangeables available




2. NewHouse Handcrafted Carbon Fiber Needles 
I think these are my favorite double-points in the carbon fiber needles because they come in the longer lengths. I usually prefer to work with 8 inch dpns, except when I am knitting glove fingers. I find the longer lengths hold more stitches easily and because I knit with 4 needles (not 5), the extra length keeps the needle tips of the two unused needles from stabbing me while I’m working with the other two. This is less of a problem when working with 5 dpns.

• Very sharp points
• Sizes US 0000 to 7
• Lengths from 3 to 15"
• DPNs, straights, and circulars available
• Custom orders
• Prices vary by size



3. Blackthorn from Colonial Needle
These are the original carbon needles, made in the USA from 100% carbon fiber—the material used for the outer skin of the Blackbird Stealth Jet. They aren’t cheap, but they are definitely wonderful to work with, especially if you prefer the 6” length dpns. And the leather case is the perfect accessory if you travel with your dpns. Colonial needle also carries a wonderful variety of other product including bamboo and wooden dpns and circular needles. 

• Sizes 0000 to 4
• 6” length
• Luxury leather zipper case available
• $35 for a set of 5 dpns
• No circs or straights available


By Donna Druchunas, knitting books, workshops, and cruises: www.sheeptoshawl.com and www.storiesinstitches.net

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