The SmartStix knitting needles from Knit Pro

We discovered Knit Pro’s new product line “SmartStix” at h+h cologne this year. This line includes DPNs, fixed circular needles and interchangeable tips and cords that are marked in 2 cm-intervals. In this blog post I am going to show you what these are good for.

The SmartStix series features DPNs and fixed circulars between 2-8 mm and interchangeable tips between 3-8 mm thickness. At first sight you will notice the eyecatching striped look: These colored stripes are 2 cm-long marks that have been lasered in; even the cables have are marked. The interchangeable needle tips have different colors depending on their size, the color of the fixed circulars is determined by cable length.

The needles are made from aluminum and the tips are neither too sharp not too blunt – I would compare them to the Zing needles from Knit Pro. The transition between needle tip and cable is smooth, but still not as even and perfect as in ChiaoGoo’s or HiyaHiya’s needles.

The theory of the SmartStix

SMART – these letters stand for:

S – Save time
M – Measure stuff
A – Assess gauge
R – Reduce clutter
T – Track progress

This describes very well what the SmartStix are supposed to be used for: as a measuring tape, ruler and gauge swatch measurer, so you don’t need separate tools.

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You can quickly read off your gauge from your swatch…

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or track your knitting progress, lengthwise and widthwise…

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A tip when using the interchangeable SmartStix: One of the needle tips has cm-marks printed onto it, and even the cables have one cm-mark on each side. For example, on the 80 cm-cable you can read off “14 cm” on one side and “68 cm” on the other. When screwing tips and cables together, you want to make sure to always attach the cable side with the lower number to the needle that has the cm-marks printed onto it. This way you can use the full needle as a ruler or even measuring tape around your head, stomach or foot, and the numbers are placed correctly.

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Our opinion

The concept behind the SmartStix needles is great and we support the idea of using less and decluttering your tools. And yes, the SmartStix can be used as a replacement for rulers or measuring tapes in order to quickly track your knitting progress. However, we do not recommend using them for measuring your gauge: First of all, reading off the exact measurement can be difficult particularly when using yarns that have similar colors as the needle and cable marks, like you can see here with dark yarn:

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Secondly, your exact gauge is crucial for certain projects like tops or sweaters that need to fit perfectly, and we do prefer using a real gauge measuring tool or a seperate ruler for this.

For all other projects though that don’t require exact measuring and where you just want to be able to get a rough estimate on length or width, the SmartStix are a great choice – particularly when you are travelling and have limited storage options. And iIf you already own Knit Pro interchangeable needles, you can combine the SmartStix products with them since all Knit Pro interchangeable needles and cables are compatible with each other 😉