I was recently asked to write a review on Denise 2 Go knitting needles. I’ve never been asked to do a product review before, so I was pretty excited to take them for a spin (pun intended) and share my thoughts on them. I chose to try the small set, which includes US sizes 5-10, a 4mm crochet hook, three cables in different lengths (14″, 16″ and 19″), end buttons and an extender which allows you to join two cables together, in case you need a longer cable. The medium set includes sizes 10.5-15. There is also a crochet hook set available.
Upon opening the box, I was surprised by how small the set of needles was. These needles are marketed as being portable and “petite”, and even if you carry a small purse, you could certainly toss the whole set of needles in and run out the door, prepared for any knitting emergency! I’ve never had a knitting emergency, but the small size of the set means it is perfect for travel. The set is lightweight, and weighs in at only 70 grams (about 2.5 ounces).
The needles are made of plastic, so again, they’d be great for travel. I don’t fly often, but I always limit myself to wooden needles for travel, because my stainless steel circulars are expensive to replace, and I’d hate to see my needles confiscated at security.
The small set includes US sizes 5-10 (3.75-6mm), which are the most common sizes. I personally use a size 4 needle quite frequently, so would have liked to see them in this set, but it is not a deal breaker for most people.
The needles fit snugly into the pockets, so that they don’t fall out easily if you turn the case upside down. Even when open, the case is small, and holds all of the essentials. The pocket beside the cable pocket only contains the end buttons and cable connector, so you could easily put stitch markers or a small pair of embroidery scissors in that pocket.
The needles are quite short, at a mere 4″ in length. I thought that the short length might make them challenging to knit with, but it didn’t, because of the thickness of the cable. The sizes are stamped into the plastic on each needle, making finding the size you need simple. There’s a groove at the base of each needle, to give you some grip when you attach them to the cables. There’s a hole in the connector, which is helpful if you use lifelines in your knitting.
The connector is very effective. Rather than being threaded like my last two sets of interchangeable needles, the Denise 2 Go set has a plastic connector on the cable that you insert into the needle and twist slightly to lock. I’ve had issues in the past with threaded needles coming unscrewed, and the connection on these needles is nice and secure, which is fantastic. You don’t need a cable key to connect the needles to the cables, and there is no key included with the set.
The Denise needles are reasonably pointy, with smooth tips. The needles themselves are quite smooth, considering that they’re made of plastic. They are pleasantly slippery, enough to allow the stitches to slide easily, but not so slippery that dropped stitches become an issue. The needle on the left is a size 5 stainless steel needle, from the set I use for all of my knitting. The needle on the right is the same size, from the Denise 2 Go set. You can see that the Denise needle is not as sharp and pointy as the steel needle, but it does have a nice, smooth point. There are no snags or rough spots on these needles.
When testing these needles, I did find that they weren’t sharp enough for tricky decreases (ie: purl three stitches together through the back loop, and knit three together) or knitting nupps, but they perform well for most decreases.
There are three cords, measuring 14″, 16″ and 19″, as well as an extender and two end buttons in the event that you need to take the needles off the cable for another project, or you need to use the cable as a stitch holder.
The cords are quite thick, and a bit stiff, so they are not suitable for magic loop knitting. Because of the stiffness of the cords, they do tend to hold their shape out of the case. I didn’t find that this interfered with knitting with them, and in any case, a bit of heat will straighten them out if needed. I found that running them under hot tap water was sufficient to get the bends out of the cable.
The joins on the cables look like they would catch your yarn as you knit, but they are surprisingly smooth.
A nice bonus is that the set includes a 4mm crochet hook. I always forget to bring a crochet hook with me when I travel, and sometimes I do need one. The crochet hook also can be attached to the cable.
The cotton fabric case is small, and seems well-constructed. The light colours of the case make it easy to find in your purse or knitting bag.
I knit these two swatches in bulky weight acrylic/wool blend yarn on size 9 needles. The swatch on the left was knit on the Denise needles, and the swatch on the right was knit on my stainless steel needles. The gauge on the Denise needles is 21 stitches and 14 rows = 4″ (left). The gauge on my stainless steel needles is 20.5 stitches and 13.5 rows = 4″ (right). I expected the gauge on the Denise needles to be looser than on my steel needles, so I was pleasantly surprised by how close the gauge was. I know the swatch on the right (with a tighter gauge) looks larger, but that’s because I knit a couple of extra rows.
To do a fair review, I decided to knit a couple of projects with the needles, with a variety of different types of yarn. The first was a Grandmother’s Favourite dishcloth, made with cotton yarn. Cotton yarn typically hurts my hands, because I’m a tight knitter, but these needles made knitting with cotton comfortable. I whipped up the dishcloth in under two hours. I managed to get two dishcloths out of this ball of yarn, knit on size 7 needles.
My second project was a New Bittersweet Cowl. I chose this project because it incorporates lace, so I would have to work yarn overs and decreases. I decided to knit this project using Berroco Ultra Alpaca, which is a 50/50 wool and alpaca blend. My Ravelry project page is here. Again, I had no issues with decreases on this project. The cable is thicker than I’m used to, so it felt a little unwieldy for the first few rows, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I found knitting this project quite enjoyable on these needles, and I’m happy with the finished cowl.
Both of these projects were done with reasonably thick yarn, and the needles were great. I decided to really torture test them, and pulled out some laceweight yarn. Unfortunately, there’s no project for this, because I got three rows in and discovered that laceweight yarn gets hung up on the join, and will not slide down onto the cable. This surprised me, because the needles performed so well and I had no issues with the joins while knitting with other yarns. I tested with Knit Picks Palette (a wool fingering weight yarn), and had no problem. I wouldn’t necessarily want to tackle a lace project on these needles anyway, because they’re not quite pointy enough for lace knitting.
For many of us, knitting is a very personal hobby, and it affects many of us emotionally. Some people knit because they find it soothing, so having quality tools makes all the difference in the world. I enjoyed working with these needles, and would definitely use them for future projects. The small size of the case is fantastic for travel, so I’d bring these with me on future adventures, especially if I’m flying. They don’t replace my stainless steel needles, but they’re a great set for most projects, comfortable to knit with, and they’re a good value.
You can purchase your own set of Denise 2 Go needles here.
- Small size
- Plastic is great for travel
- Tips are reasonably pointy
- Good variety of sizes and cable lengths in the set
- Most yarn weights do not catch on the join (I tested with laceweight, fingering, worsted and bulky)
- Good for knitting in the round or flat
- Comes with a crochet hook
- Easy joins that do not come loose
- Sturdy cables
- Made in USA
- Compatible with other Denise interchangeable needles
- Not suitable for Magic Loop
- Needles are not pointy enough for more complicated decreases (ie: purling more than two stitches together), or making nupps.
- Laceweight yarn gets hung up on join
- Feminine colours (not all knitters like pastel colours)
- Cables retain their bent shape when they come out of the case, but are easily straightened using heat (ie: blowdryer, sitting in the sun, running under hot water, etc.)
- No size 4 needles in the set (I frequently use this size, but not everyone does, so it may not be a big deal to you)