At the end of Winter Quarter I decided to purchase myself a gift. Usually these end-of-quarter gifts are skeins of yarn or other little things that are on my knitting lust-after list. This time I went spendy and purchased the Hiya Hiya Sharp Interchangeable Needles. The Fiber Gallery started carrying them around the holidays and I like the pretty packaging but hadn't heard much about the needles themselves. The packaging is slick; a small brocade case (different colors are available) with the Hiya Hiya logo and a loop with ties to keep the flap closed. Flip up the flap and you get a black lining with slots for the needle tips. This set comes with US sizes 2 through 8 which is great for me because I rarely knit with anything larger than Worsted weight yarn these days. There is also a larger set that has US sizes 9 through 15. Just above the needle slots is a zippered pocket that contains the rubber grippers used to tighten the needles to the cables. There is also a little flap with velcro (you can see it on the left side of the second picture) that covers the exposed part of the needle tips and keeps them from sliding out. The back of the case has another zippered pocket with small plastic bags containing the cables. The bags are labeled and have the common 16, 24, 32, and 40 inch length cables. The really great thing about the needle tips and the joins for the cables is that they're labeled with the size/length so if you have either one floating around your house you won't have to dig out a measuring tape or needle sizer to figure out what it is and where it goes in the case. I loooove this feature as I often remove needle tips and set them aside when a pattern calls for changing needle sizes. As for knitting with them....I'm in love with that, too. I've knit with Addi Turbo, Addi Turbo Lace, Knit Picks Nickel Plated, Knit Picks Harmony, and Clover Bamboo needles. Hiya Hiya Sharps are far and above my favorite needles. They're very lightweight with a pointy tip comparable to Addi Turbo Lace and Knit Picks Nickel Plated needles and they also have a coating on them that creates a very very tiny bit of drag. Many knitters like the coating on Addi Turbo Lace needles but I've found that it feels a bit too sticky even when knitting lace and I've heard that the Turbo Lace needles can react badly to some peoples' hands. The Hiya Hiya joins are really smooth and I've not had any problems with the tips and cables coming apart or unscrewing while I'm knitting and these bad boys have been in constant use since I purchased them. My Harmony Interchangeable needles from Knit Picks have unscrewed from their joins even after using the "key" to tighten them and the cables have pulled out of their joins so they're unusable - so unusable that they've been out of rotation and considered my "back up needles" for over a year now. I think that about covers it - I've used these needles for everything from knitting laceweight and lace patterns to plain stockinette in the round and I look forward to using them every time I cast on a new project. One caveat, I purchased my set for $85 which is a bit spendy but far less than the Addi Click Sets and just slightly more than the Knit Picks Nickel Plated Interchangeables. I'd spend the extra money on the Hiya Hiya set simply because I think the quality is much higher than the Knit Picks needles. So yeah, two big thumbs up for Hiya Hiya Sharp Interchangeable Needles. I'm waiting rather impatiently to see if they'll come out with some fixed circular sharps in smaller sock needle sizes since I'll snap them up tout suite.
Questions? Comments? I'm hoping to do more reviews in the future since I've definitely tried a lot of yarns, notions, and techniques. Anything you'd like to see?