Monday, June 03, 2013

New Signature Convertible Needles

Hi, Knitters,
First, I selected three winners for the Little Skein in the Big Wool Etsy Shop! Congratulations goes to whitsknits, Sewbaker, and jplantgirl (all rav ids)! I have contacted the winners through Ravelry and also contacted Ann Vally of Little Skein. Ann will be contacting the winners to provide the final details. Thanks to all who entered and a huge thank you to all who visited Little Skein over the weekend. Ann is just thrilled with the response and told me her shop has had thousands of visitors (all of you!) over the weekend and she came home from camping to find tons of new orders waiting for her. She is just thrilled! Thank you!

Ann and I are cooking up a fun project together for the next holiday season so stay tuned.....

Now onto to today's business at hand. A little while ago Signature Needle Arts contacted me to write a guest blog post for them and to see if I would be interested in trying out a new product they were developing. I immediately said yes to both. I have never been given any products or needles from Signature, I found the needles through hearing others rave about them and I have purchased all of the sets I own. I simply love both the circular needles and the double-pointed needles.

I was so excited to see Signature's new needle concept, that I later found out are called Convertible Needles. The Convertibles are different than the interchangeable sets that we are all familiar with. The Convertible needle tips and cords are sold separately. Here is the difference, each size of the needle tips, called stalks, comes with size specific cords, called ferrules. I like this idea a lot. I have, for example, two US size 8 Signature circular needles (24-inch and 32-inch), two US size 7 Signature circular needles, (24-inch and 32-inch). Now I can just purchase one set of stalks and multiple cords to switch out the lengths when needed. I don't need multiple sets of circulars in the same needle size. This makes sense to me.

The cost of a set of stalks is $22 and each cord is $20 so to get a working pair of Convertibles is $42. This is the same price as purchasing a pair of the original fixed circular needles. It is less expensive when purchasing multiple lengths of circulars because after purchasing the stalks, each additional cord is $20.

If you only want one length of circular needles the new Convertibles work just like the fixed circular needles. You could purchase only one size and length and use it as a fixed circular. I am knitting the shawl pictured above, on the US size 7 Convertible 40-inch needles that were given to me to test out for Signature. I am knitting the shawl out of a hearty worsted weight yarn and as the shawl grows it is becoming quite heavy. I have not had a single issue with the join. It is very smooth, just like the fixed circulars, and it has not budged or moved at all since I screwed the stalks and the ferrules together. It is just like working on a fixed circular needle.

In my opinion, the Convertibles are wonderful. This past weekend I purchased three more Convertible needles (US 6, 4, 3 and 32-inch cords) to continue to fill out my Signature circular needle collection. I can't wait to get them. The stalks and ferrules both have lifetime guarantees so if something breaks or doesn't work correctly Signature will replace them for you. 

As for storage, I keep all of my fixed circular Signature needles in their original packaging, a zip-lock type bag with a cardboard information piece inside. I keep them on a book shelf like you would books. I use these needles so much that I don't even like to put them in a case of any sort. They fly off my shelves! I will store the new Convertibles on my bookshelf the same way with the multiple cords for each needle size in the original packaging along with the stalks of the same size. This will work out well and pretty much the same as before.

(photo from Signature Needle Arts)

The great thing about the joins is that there is no tool to use when connecting the pieces. The stalks and ferrules simply screw together and it is recommended not to over-tighten them. It could not be any simpler. This is the easiest join I have ever used and it has stayed put while I knit. The join is as smooth as can be. Signature is working on stoppers to put on the cords to hold the stitches in place when the needles are removed. I will look forward to these as I think stoppers will be useful with this concept.

I had a completely open mind while testing this new concept out for Signature Needle Arts. I didn't have to write a review, good or bad, or at all. The one set of Convertible US 7 circular 40-inch needles is the only thing I have ever been given from Signature and we have no ongoing deal or conditions of any sort. 

If you are interested at all in trying out this new concept, I suggest you do! The Signature needles are a well-designed highly engineered product that I will continue to use in my knitting life. I think they make my knitting faster and more enjoyable. Using Signature needles is like a treat.

Click here for more details on the new Convertibles straight from the Signature Needle Arts website!

best, susie
p.s. In case anyone is wondering, the shawl design I am working on is a really cool and unique project. I am working with an unusual yarn company for an early fall pattern/kit release. It is something different that I am trying out and I am hoping you might be as excited about it as I am when it is released!
p.p.s. Also, the Opal Dragon is done (knit on US size 5 Signatures dpns:). I am still working on the written pattern. It is being released at TNNA through Unicorn Books and will be sold through yarn shops in print copy initially. Eventually I will be selling the pattern for download in my Ravelry Pattern Shop.
Here is a further sneak peak below:


Vicki Maynes said...

I'm glad you like the new convertible needles. But, I would rather they had made them in an interchangeable set. If I bought one set of stalks for sizes 3-9, and wanted four different lengths of chords, I would have to buy 28 chords at $20 a piece! That is a lot of money and a lot of pieces to store. But, if I buy an interchangeable set, I would only have to buy the seven needles and FOUR chords that would fit on all the needles. Much cheaper and easier to store and to keep track of only four chords. I thought I might buy two sets of stalks for sizes 6 and 8 and get the chords for each in all lengths, but by the time I added it up, the cost was around $328.00 and I only had two sizes. Way too much for me. This time we just don't agree.

Susan B. Anderson said...

I understand, Vicki:)

I am just slowly collecting the Signatures here and there. I use other needles, too, and enjoy them just as much, and other interchangeable sets as well.


Vicki Maynes said...

Forgot to mention how cute the dragon turned out! I MUST have the pattern! I'm sure I will be knitting some for Christmas.

Clio said...

Ooohhh, I am deeply smitten with your little dragon!!!!

Penny said...

Love the little dragon! Anxious to see him from the front and in pattern form.

sandyiowa said...

The dragon is adorable. I can't wait to make it.

Suzanne said...

Thanks for the informative review. I have been hearing all over about the new needles but didn't understand why they were being called interchangeables with an asterisk. Now I get it.

barb said...

I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE DRAGON!!!!!! I have 6 little ones that are all going crazy looking at the picture.

Zenitude said...

Signature needles have been on my wish list for a while. I just need to decide which set to try first...maybe a set of DPNs to knit my socks. Good review, thanks.

Stefanie said...

How awesome you got asked. The dragon looks wonderful.

Opal @ Playing with Fiber said...

I've been eyeing Signature needles for a while. I might try one of those convertibles since they have swappable cables, but I do wish they were true interchangeable needle like my Hiya Hiya Steel sharp needles. I love those needles!

Unknown said...

also - how do you know whether to buy the 4 inch, 5 inch or 6 inch needles? and the middy or stiletto tips??? where can you find your dragon pattern?

Ceriness said...

My cable broke off at the join midway through a sweater, but alas 21 days had passed, so. Yes, it's flexible, but the flexibility seems to mean it both stretches if you tug to advance the round and shears at the join.

I used fixed, so no comment on the interchangeables. It looks like the same cable, though. It seems needle companies in general have overlooked this pervasive design flaw in circular needle design, but I expected a heckuva lot more from such an expensive investment.

25 and Changing Diapers said...

Hello Susan,

I found your blog on the signature needles and I hope you can assist me.

My Aunt is a HUGE knitter (she's been knitting since the early 80's)and loves it! She was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and since her diagnosis, she hasn't been herself. However, she still makes it to her knitting group every two weeks. I believe knitting keeps her spirit alive, and is a way to escape.

With that being said, I have read that the Signature Needles are THE needle to have/use, and I would love to buy her a pair for an early Christmas gift; she's having 12" of her colon removed on the 11th of December, and I know this will perk her up (and,.. she'll be the talk of her knitting group)!

This is where I need help. I do not know what she needs. I know she uses the cables, but I'm not sure of the size. My Aunt knits, scarfs/gloves, sweaters, etc. If you could guide me with making the best decision possible, I would be so grateful!!

I thank you for your time and look forward to a response!

Happy Holidays,

Susan B. Anderson said...

Hi, Kattie,
I am sorry to hear about your aunt and hope that everything goes smoothly for her.

I hesitate to recommend needles without knowing what she uses size-wise and the length of the cables she uses. Is there any way someone who knits with her at her group could help direct you?

Or could you get her a gift card and help her order or order with her at your side?

If not, I use 24 and 32-inch cables and I like the 5-inch needles. The size needles is up for grabs, I mostly use US sizes 5-8.

I hope that helps a little:) Good luck with everything. That is a very kind gesture.

Anonymous said...

I have two pair of signature straights and they are lovely to work with (unless you're using a slick yarn) BUT I have to agree with Vicki too much money, too many parts AND they are phasing out their fixed circulars. The cost of Signatures is ridiculous especially in this economy - I bought a set of interchangeable carbon fiber needles - feel great in your hand strong but light and you can order shorter points if needed/wanted. For roughly the price of two circular straights, I have an entire set that I can use any size needle with any size cord. Sorry, I cannot agree that these are a good purchase nor are they made for the "average" knitters I know

Ayn said...

I'm glad that you enjoy knitting with SNA needles. They are lovely. I have, however, met many, many people whose cables have failed. For a time, they abandoned their lifetime warranty on their needles. Additionally, these products are designed in such a way as to fly in the face of common sense.

An entire set is cost prohibitive. If you buy an entire set, they do not come in a nice caddy, presentation case, or even a zippered case. They do not make small circulars for magic looping socks or gloves.

They have such a luxurious feel but they are more trouble than they are worth. How could anyone keep up with that many cords in a tote: Especially those of us who travel.

Bad buy. I have to disagree with your assessment. Although, I can appreciate how you were first smitten with a love of these.

Unknown said...

I also agree about the inefficiency in not having interchangeable cables. Also the cable design seems bad. I bought 2 size 5 cables, 24" and 40", and the metal join on the cable is NOT smooth. I was unable to do magic loop with them, as the stitches would not go over the join. I just sent a note to the company, we'll see how they respond.