Neko Bamboo Flex Needles Review

Disclaimer: This product was given to me for the purpose of reviewing them. I did not pay for the product. All opinions in this article are mine and I have not received any form of payment or compensation other than the needles. The links in this article are not affiliate links, I don’t benefit in any way if you click them.

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Recently, I was gifted a set of Neko Bamboo Flex Needles from Neko. I’ve previously tried their Neko curved DPNs, so I’m going to start by saying that the Bamboo Flex Needles are a completely different knitting experience than the curved DPNs, so whether your opinion of the plastic curved DPNs is good or bad, I recommend trying the Bamboo Flex Needles before forming an opinion.  

How Do They Work?

Bamboo Flex DPNs are a set of 3 needles with bamboo tips and a flexible plastic cable between the tips, quite similar to the Addi Flexi-Flips. These needles are designed specifically for working small circumference in the round (think: socks, mitts, baby hats, baby sleeves). The stitches are divided between 2 needles and the third needle is used for knitting. These needles aim to combine the benefits of working with DPNs: short needles and no long cables, with the benefits of working with magic loop: only 2 needles with stitches, less frequent and less fiddly needle changes.  

The bamboo flex needles and the package they arrived in

The bamboo flex needles and the package they arrived in

I used these needles to work a sock with unique heel construction and after using them for 8-10 hours, here’s what I learned:

What I Like

  • The bamboo feels lovely! I don’t know why, but for the past 2 years or so, I’ve gravitated to metal needles and I’d forgotten how warm bamboo needles are and how gentle they are on the hands.  

  • According to their website, the bamboo and plastic used in these needles is eco-friendly and the plastic is fully recyclable.

  • The cables are colour coded so you know what size they are. I love this feature and hope it becomes an industry standard. If your needles become intermingled (it happens to all of us), you won’t have to use a needle gauge to put the sets back together.  

  • These are great cable needles when you’re in a pinch. I had another project with cables on the go while I was testing these needles and I found myself reaching for the bamboo flex needle more than once when I was working cables and it did a great job. (I’ve since learned that Neko actually makes cable needles).  

  • They’re very portable and the curved shape and sticky cable means that stitches won’t fall off the needles when you’re not using them and while they’re in transit.  

  • The joins are super-smooth. The joins are so smooth that it’s difficult to distinguish a seam where they are attached. No snagging stitches. Not once.

What Could Be Improved

  • Like their plastic curved DPNs, the bamboo flex needles are not available in quarter sizes. This is a problem for me because I usually use 2.25 mm (US 1) needles when I knit socks. I reliably get a gauge of 8 stitches per round in stockinette. I wasn’t able to get gauge with the 2.5 mm (US 1.5) needles they sent me. To compensate, I went down a circumference size on the sock I was making, but this is a deal breaker for me because I’m set in my ways and like a reliable gauge.

  • The tips could be sharper. I wouldn’t use these tips for lace or cabling without a needle.

  • The cable is ‘sticky’ which is great if you are a knitter who tends to drop stitches, but it means frequently stopping to help move the stitches along the cable toward the tip of the needle. I found this frustrating, as it interrupted my flow, slowing me down.

  • If you lose a needle, the remaining 2 needles aren’t particularly useful anymore (except they make great cable needles). This method of working in the round requires 3 needles. Unless you have multiple sets and can sub a spare needle in when necessary.  

In Summary

Compared to Neko’s plastic curved DPNs, I really prefer the bamboo flex needles. The quality of the needles is great, the bamboo feels therapeutic and the joins are smooth. To add them to my regular needle rotation, I’d need a wider range of available sizes, a less ‘sticky’ cable and sharper tips.

Have you tried the new bamboo flex needles by Neko? What do you think?


A Review Of Addi Flexi Flips (addiCraSyTrio)

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Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money.  This product was not given to me for the purposes of review.  All opinions in this article are mine and I have not received any form of payment or compensation.  The links in this article are not affiliate links, I don’t benefit in any way if you click them.  

When I first heard about Addi Flexi Flips (I’m told my European friends know them as Addi CraSyTrio) I wanted to try them.  I have an innate *need* to try all things related to sock knitting.  I immediately (in September) ordered them from a local LYS and waited patiently for them to arrive from Germany.  They arrived last week!

What Are They?

These needles come in a package of 3 with a long test-tube-style hard plastic case.  They are a cross between DPNs and circular needles:  the 3.5 inch/9 centimetre metal tips are connected by a short 1 inch/2.5 centimetre cord between them for a total needle length of 8 inches/20 centimetres, measured tip to tip.  The idea is to cast your stitches onto 2 needles and use the 3rd needle to work the sts.  

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First Impression

Addi needles have a reputation for being high quality, and these needles are priced accordingly.  This set of needles set me back $32CAD (for perspective, I could purchase 6 sets of 2.25mm nickel 32 inch fixed circs from Knitpicks for the same amount of money).   

The tips are reminiscent of my other Addi needles: the cords are flexible, and the joins are smooth to the touch.  The information included with the needles explains that each needle has 2 different tips: one tip is the Addi Turbo tip and the other is the sharper Addi Rocket tip.  To be honest, I have trouble differentiating the tips and I have to poke my finger with both tips to determine which end is the sharper of the two.

Casting On

When knitting small circumference in the round, I use either magic loop or 4 DPNs (depending on which needles are available to me at the time).  I love and use both methods equally.  That being said, using these needles felt like knitting with DPNs, but less fiddly.  The quality is great, and the joins are super smooth.  I was able to adapt to them very quickly and I’m really enjoying knitting with them.  I haven’t turned a heel or worked a toe with them yet, but I don’t anticipate having any needle-related issues with either.

My Addi Flexi Flips in action...

My Addi Flexi Flips in action...

Bottom Line

Pros: high quality, choice of 2 tips with each needle, these would make great cable needles, they are easy to adapt to and would be ideal if you like magic loop but don’t like the cord, or if you like DPNs but wish you could use fewer needles.  

Cons: premium priced, the tips are difficult to distinguish from each other, the needle size is printed on the needle tip in silver which is really difficult to read, knitting socks two-at-a-time would not be possible with these needles.  

I would recommend this needles if:

  • You like to try all the things

  • Like DPNs but wish you could use fewer needles

  • Like Magic loop but dislike the excess cord

  • Like 2 circular needles but dislike the excess cord

I would not recommend these needles if:

  • You want to knit socks two-at-a-time

  • You want a more affordable needle

Have you used Addi Flexi Flips?  What do you think?