KnitPicks New Foursquare Needles Review
I tend to have strong opinions about needles, so when I saw that KnitPicks had developed a new style with squared off sides called Foursquare, I had to give it a try.
Then, I saw this somewhat off-putting note:
NOTE: Foursquare needles can be sized with our standard View Sizer, so a size 6 Foursquare needle will fit the same hole as a size 6 round needle. Your knitted gauge with Foursquare needles may vary from the same size round needle.
Eek! What does that mean? How different? As there were no reviews, the only way to find out was to try. And I figured I should share those results with you, dear reader!
As a self-described yarn addict, I couldn't help but also check out one of their newer yarns, Capra DK (I am also a total sucker for the free shipping if your order is over $50). So I got size 6 in both the regular rounded Majestic fixed circulars and the new Foursquare fixed circulars to do a couple of gauge swatches for you!
And now to cast-on! I did 20 stitches on size 6 US (4.0mm) needles with KnitPicks Capra DK for 12 rows, with a basic bind-off. For one swatch, I used the regular Majestic 16" #6 needles, and for the other I used the new Foursquare 16" #6 needles. Also, for reference, I tied a little pink bit of pink yarn on the Foursquare swatch so we wouldn't mix the two up!
Initial reactions: For both sets of needles, I was very impressed by how smoothly and quietly they knit. I don't really mind a little clacking when I'm using metal needles (my go-to). Buuuut, in certain public situations when I can't be alone with my cat watching TV, it is appreciated to have needles that don't alert everyone of each stitch. They feel so smooth--much smoother than any of the other wooden needles I've used. Maybe I'll be come a convert to the Majestic line!
Also, the Capra DK is very nice on the hands. My hands were very excited after making a number of acrylic pussyhats on huge needles. This came as a very welcome break!
The results: Pretty darn close! I couldn't find a discernible difference in gauge. After a light blocking (simply soaked and laid flat to dry, no coaxing involved), I got a gauge of 5 sts/inch and 7 rows per inch. They appear ever so slightly different, but as far as I can tell, that's just from me being human! I mean...there probably is a difference since they are slightly different shapes. But at least with the way I knit, it's not really noticeable or nearly as bad as I had feared!
Additional thoughts on Foursquare needles:
- Pro: I almost always use a long-tail cast-on with my needles held double. With these squared-off needles it was nice and easy to hold the needles stacked to this. A big plus in my book!
- Pro: I like how the squared off needles feel in my hand. A little easier to grip onto.
- Neutral: They are perhaps a little less smooth to knit with? I'm a bit of a speeder if I can be. At initial test, these might slow me down a bit, as the little bit of edges catch the needle a little. Update: after knitting a full hat with the Foursquare, I really didn't notice this issue after I stopped trying to fixate on what makes these needles different from regular round needles.