The right tools make all the difference

The right tools make all the difference. Yes? I know I’ve mentioned this before – in my opinion, knitting needles can make or break a project in an instant. Grabby wood needles with a sticky synthetic yarn? Ugh, I’m ready to give up before I even begin! Fine lace knit with implements closer to chopsticks than knitting needles? Not now, not ever!

Many of the projects in Knitting New Scarves have common traits when it comes to the knitting process. For the most part, the scarves are narrow but spatially complex, which means only a handful of stitches are being manipulated at any given time. So, whether you’re doing a rib division or some other finagled maneuver, you need your dpn to stay put and hold those two or three stitches as though its life depended on it… all while you twist and turn your work and juggle the other 4 or 5 needles. Ahem.

I can’t say enough good things about Bryspun dpns for this particular task. They are the perfect combination of smooth and grippy – they’ll hold two slippery stitches without budging an inch. They are lightweight – so when you’ve got five of them balanced in mid-air, you don’t feel like you’re working out muscles you never knew you had. They are very pleasant to grip, bending ever so slightly to the curve of your hand, and the plastic doesn’t make any irritating noises as you (don’t) click away.

And saving the best for last, the tips are genius.

Clever little tapers to tackle every tricky situation. Clever, indeed.

Interestingly, the pattern for the Linked Rib scarf calls for six dpns. Try as I might, I’ve never been able to use more than five at any given time. (Which is good, since Bryspun dpns come in sets of five.) And actually, 80% of the time only 3 or 4 needles are being used. But here’s what a 5-needle situation looks like, for curiosity’s sake:

This is an actual portion of the pattern, not just something I made up (where the ribbing is established, if you’re knitting along). Crazy-looking, eh? But only a few stitches later, I’m down to three needles – two holding the stitches, and one working.

Ah! Much simpler to manipulate.


26 thoughts on “The right tools make all the difference

  1. TheBon

    I really want to love the bryspuns, but I just can’t. Something about how I knit makes the scoopy-tips terrible for me, which is sad because they are flex-y and light. The scarf looks great so far!

  2. Jill E

    That yarn is beautiful. Not sure that I want to try 5 dpns either… If I get to this scarf, I hope that I can modify to the magic loop somehow.

  3. KaarenB

    Bryspun straights are excellent also. The tips allow accuracy and the beginner will love the fact that their knitting doesn’t fall off the needles when it isn’t supposed to happen. I have been successful using the Bryspuns whenever I teach beginners. Much easier.


  4. Annika

    Should you find yourself needing that 6th DPN, the Knit Picks Harmony sock needles come in sets of six. I loooove them.

  5. Anna

    My sole complaint about Bryspun is that they don’t seem to come in sizes smaller than US2. I love these DPNs, but I wonder if the plastic is just too brittle for smaller sizes, especially considering the design of the tips. I know my casein needles have snapped like twigs, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

  6. tabitha

    I totally agree that the needle can make all the difference. I don’t share your enthusiasm for Bryspun needles though. I can’t seem to get used to the fact that they bend. Personal preference, I guess.

  7. Cathy-Cate

    Ooh, that’s mind-bending! Wildness.

    I didn’t think about the fact that Bryspun made dpns, since I’m a two circ woman for socks. And I don’t like their circ joins. But I do like their flexibility and lightness, and the tips are cool for certain things.

    I will keep Bryspuns in mind should I need dpns for something (I admit, there are situations that 2 circs are just not as good for). Like that scarf! After your show-and-tell posts from the book, it’s on my to-get list.

  8. PuppyMomma

    I love my Bryspun dpns too, though I can’t decide if I’d like them in truly small sizes. I’ve used some of my grandmother’s old plastic needles and its almost like knitting with cooked spaghetti at times.

  9. Liz

    I love that the Bryspuns come in short lengths! To me that is key when working with only a few stitches. I don’t have to worry about the needles hitting my wrists or getting caught in my bracelet.

  10. Lorraine

    I adore the shape of Bryspuns, but the grip is just too much for me. I wish they had a “turbo” version in a smoother material.

  11. tantej

    OK, must check out the Bryspuns! I tried to work Shag with my Harmonies and it was not working well for me and New Wave demands no special sticky ability. But. I still have Linked Rib, Drifting Pleats and Tricorner to get through!

  12. mari

    I have one set of Bryspun dpns and I love them! They take a while to get used to, especially if I pick them up after using metallic needles. At first they feel like knitting with boiled spagetti! But they are great, warm and flexible!

  13. Debbie

    I love the yellow yarn and the book. I still think about the Raspberry yarn you used awhile back for one of the scarves, and it’s still on my list to make with that very yarn! Also, I don’t recall ever seeing a package of six double points! I guess it exists, though, right? Hmmm.

  14. Deborah

    I, too, love Bryspuns. I’ve used their straights, dpns, and circs – love them all. Their flexibility keeps my wrists from hurting and those *points!* The best! Love the scarf, btw.

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