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!
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: