I wrote a blog post when I received my Dyakcraft Darn Pretty 3.5" Winter Sky set and it's been a pretty popular post, so I thought I'd write another one about my 5" Rosewood Set. I'm not exactly sure why I never wrote a post about them...
Anyway, the condensed version of how I found the needdles is that I stumbled upon the needles while on Ravelry and was sold pretty quickly. Initially I ordered a set in Sunrise, but after seeing the Rosewoods, I switched my order and added on a 3.5" Winter Sky set. Interestingly, I received the Winter Sky set first and then my Rosewood set a couple of months after.
I didn't fall in love with the needles right away. I thought they were a bit over hyped, to be honest. They seemed to have a bit more 'drag' compared to the metal needles I had been using. However, after a couple of projects (and months), the needles seemed to get a bit slicker. Not as slick as Addis, but that wasn't truly enjoyable for me either. I had knit a Color Affection shawl with Addis and it was kind of hard to wrangle the slippery size 6 needles and fingering weight yarn. So I did want something with a bit of drag, but not too much.
Now a year-ish later, they are my favorite needles. I'm sad when a project calls for needles smaller than 4. The set goes up to 10.5, but I rarely knit with anything that large. I never understood when people said the wood was warm until
now. The wood is light and very easy to knit with...they hold the heat
from your hands nicely without getting sweaty.
Since I've been using the needles for awhile, I feel like I can add more beyond, 'the needles are so pretty!'. Most people seem to wonder about the sharpness, joins, and cables. Preferences surrounding knitting needles (and tools) are so personal, that it's hard to definitively say whether something is 'good' or 'bad'. What works for me may not work for others, so I'll just give you my take on these needles.
Sharpness // Both my sets are 'lace tips', so sharper than the 'regular' tips DyakCraft offers. I like sharp needles so that made the choice easy. I typically knit socks with Hiya Hiya Sharps or ChiaoGoo 2.0 mm needles, so pointy is my thing. The DyakCraft 'lace tips' are perfect for me. I haven't had any problems with splitty yarn or lace knitting. Although the 'lace tips' don't appear too incredibly pointy at first glance, apparently the long, smooth taper makes the difference. I just appreciate that they don't hurt my finger tips.
Joins // I am picky about my joins. I'll just put that out there. I hate the joins on Addis, especially the smaller sizes. ChiaoGoo and Hiya Hiya Sharps pass my test. I don't have any problems with the DyakCraft joins besides the fact that they advertise them as 'swiveling', when the cable just moves up and down in the ferrule. Other than that, I find them smooth to knit with. The yarn rarely snags and when it does, it's because I've pulled an end stitch (typically with magic loop) too tight.
Cables // Yes, I magic loop with these cables. Some think they aren't flexible enough and while they aren't as flexible as other brands, I don't have any issues with them. I have noticed that the cables changed a bit in between my two sets. The first cables I received are a bit stiffer. The cables with the second set, as well as the custom cables I ordered, are more flexible. My suspicions were confirmed when I realized that the newer cables have more of a pink tint and are in fact different. I only noticed when my cable was sitting on top of some white fabric, otherwise the color is not noticeable.
The needles do come with a handmade case, which I thought was pretty cool. It's not my favorite fabric, but it keeps the needles safe. On one of my cases, the strings are too short to wrap completely around the case and secure the ends, so I added a pin back button and wrap the ends around that. Also, I don't keep the cables or the stops in the case even though there are pockets for both. I didn't want to fold the cables up like that and the stops made it too bulky. I keep them in a separate zippered pouch. Just a note: I don't really take my entire set out in public so I don't know how secure the needles really are in the provided case. At some point I would like to make my own case that holds both sets, but I can't settle on a design and it would cut into my knitting time!
While I was waiting for my needles, I frequented the DyakCraft Ravelry board. One of the major complaints surrounding the company is their customer service. They are a bit slow to respond to emails and updates are few and far between, so patience is a truly a virtue when dealing with this company. That being said, my interactions with them were mostly great. They responded to my order request and change promptly, but when I asked about my ship date the estimate was overconfident. As an excited customer I'd rather have a conservative estimate and be pleasantly surprised rather than let down when my needles don't ship. Oh, and they are slower to respond to emails so a phone call is always your best bet. As someone who expects great customer service if I am going to give you my money, this would not stop me from purchasing more of their needles in the future. They are a small business overwhelmed with orders so I try to be understanding. It's hard to make it, especially when they let you pay when your needles are ready rather than in advance (if you prefer).
However, when dealing with a product deficiency they are incredibly responsive and helpful. Like I said, I don't knit with large sizes very often so it was a couple of months before I noticed a nick in one of my size 10.5 needles. I sent them an email with a picture and was told it was a lamination error, it shouldn't have made it out of the workshop, and a replacement would be sent to me with no need to send the faulty needles back. At that point I ordered a set of 2.00 mm DPNs and asked them to ship everything together, even if it took longer. About 2 weeks later, everything was on it's way to me. They truly are a good company and I really appreciated them making it right so quickly.
Although I love love love my DyakCraft Darn Pretty sets, I'm constantly thinking about selling my 3.5" set because I much prefer the 5" needles, but after knitting a couple of hats, the ability to create 16" circulars has kept them in my possession. Plus Courtney likes to use my needles, so it's nice to have two of every size. Just a heads up to think about the length that truly makes sense for your knitting.
I know it's kind of cruel to write about these great needles when they are unavailable to order (a fire destroyed their wood supplier), but they do offer aluminum and stainless steel needles as well. I am tempted by their Heavy Metals, an interchangeable set the goes down to 2.0 mm!