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Sarah E. White

What Happened to My Needles: A Clean Break

By October 20, 2010

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Last week when I was working on my tutorial for knitting two socks at once on two circular needles, I had a bit of a mishap. I was sitting on the couch, happily knitting my socks while the baby girl played on the floor in front of me. She's highly attracted to knitting and yarn, though, so she didn't stay away for long.

broken needleMy broken Knit Picks needle, Sarah E. White.

She came over and tried to get my knitting by pulling on one of the circular needle cables, which didn't have the effect she intended or the one I expected: one of the needle tips broke in half.

This was a Knit Picks Zephyr interchangeable knitting needle. I'd never had any problems with the needles before, and even though I saw it I still find it hard to believe that such a thing happened with so little pressure being applied (my girl is strong, but she's only 13 months old!).

Has anyone else experienced a similar knitting needle mishap? What kind of needles were you using and what happened?


October 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm
(1) Potter Beth says:

Wow! The worst I’ve done is sat on a long needle by accident, and bending it a bit. I’ve never heard of one snapping like this, either!

October 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm
(2) Denise says:

I had two odd experiences with needle failure, both concerning socks. One was that the cable simply pulled loose from the needle so I was unable to continue. Another was I forgot to put my knitting away one evening. The next morning I found the cable chewed in two and Thomas, my cat, smiling. Thank goodness he didn’t chew the sock, too.

October 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm
(3) Donna says:

I have to say that I’ve never had that happen & can’t imagine how it did! I would think that the entire tip was one piece & am surprised to find out otherwise! I have had the little screw thing on the end come off the cable on my Zephyr interchangeables (it stayed connected to the tip – I was not happy – that is why I am not crazy about the Zephyr interchangeables) but not had any problems with the smaller tips (the smaller sizes that are not available in the interchangeables.) Denise – I had a cat once that loved to find my 16″ nylon circs & carry them around in his mouth 0 a very funny sight but unfortunately he left snags on the cable which is not good for yarn. If anyone has any idea about how to get rid of them, I’d love to hear. I really love those nylon needles & they haven’t been made for at least 20 years!

October 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm
(4) ojacq says:

I accidently bent one when it was in my bag!!!!!!

October 21, 2010 at 9:38 am
(5) Barbara says:

I have the harmony wood set and I was knitting a sock and the needle split in half down the middle, i was not putting pressure or being overly rough on it in my opinion, I also had the needle come unglued from the metal base on 3 of my needles and had to have those replaced as well!

October 21, 2010 at 11:12 am
(6) Beaglemom says:

I have had my Harmony Wood set for quite a while now, and many have come loose from the metal base. It’s scarey when they slip out in the middle of knitting. I had the first few replaced, but at this point, I’ve just given up as a lesson learned.

October 21, 2010 at 1:24 pm
(7) lee says:

I also have the harmony Wood set and I had one slip out, was able to rerieve and keep knitting with a straight in the same size until I could put some super glue in the base and put the needle back in. Wanted to make sure the super glue was dried!

October 22, 2010 at 10:37 am
(8) Leslie says:

I’ve had all the mishaps mentioned above with my KnitPicks needles. I was just knitting with a zephyr set a couple of months ago – nothing unusual at all – when one snapped. Here on the dry side of the Rockies I find my harmonies falling out of their sockets quite regularly – superglue seems to be a good fix for that, along with a coating of clear nail polish around the join, which always seems rough after I’ve glued the tip in. One harmony tip has broken on me. I still love them, but I find I have to stick with the metal tips.

October 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm
(9) sarah says:

I’ve had several Knit Picks Harmony circulars (size 0) break – mostly from accidentally sitting or leaning on them, but one broke when I gave it a good tug to tighten up the stitches. I’ve recently switched to their metal needles but haven’t been using them long enough to judge; however I do like knitting with them even more than the Harmony.
No problems with my Harmony interchangeables so far.

October 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm
(10) mousepotato says:

I’ve bent an Addi Turbo (no, have no clue how, suspects are a small child and a rocking chair combination), and one of the now deceased cats had an affinity for chewing on my Brittanys. I have had cables part company with needle tips too, mostly with inexpensive needles, though, one reason I’ll spend the money on Addis and Inox for the most part (no, I can’t see spending all that money on Signatures–not that they aren’t on my wish list . It does happen, though, in all products. Poor quality control, metal fatigue, material fatigue in general. I’d say let KnitPicks know (send the tip back to them) and ask for a replacement.

October 25, 2010 at 10:28 pm
(11) AZTinker says:

I have not had any problems with the zephers or the harmony needles, but I have a friend who had a problem with one of the harmony needles.. she called Knit Picks and they replaces no questions.

November 7, 2010 at 8:40 pm
(12) itmom says:

I broke an acrylic needle bought at a Hobby store, a new brand, I don’t remember the name. It was a size 5 I was using to get 5 stitches/inch on a child’s sweater in the round. I knitted maybe 2 rounds when it snapped. I was going to take it back but didn’t. I just don’t get any brand of plastic anymore. I haven’t invested in the wood circulars. Probably won’t now. I do like the straight wood ones I have. But use mostly metal circulars.

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