Sandy at the Yarn Haven e-mailed me yesterday to let me know the Addi lace needles were in. Needless to say I dashed right out and bought 2 sets-- sizes 4 & 5. I switched over to the lace needles on my Shhh! It's a Secret shawl and knit about 4 rows this morning. These needles are definitely different from anything else I own, but here's what I think so far:
1. The golden brass color of the needles is great for knitting with light colored lace yarns. I can actually see the yarn, even in less than ideal lighting, which is a very good thing.
2. The needles aren't as slick as the Turbos or the Knitpicks circs, but they are more slippery than plastics or bamboos. It's a little different from the turbos, which I adore, but I adjust quickly and am satisfied that these are slick enough that I won't go crazy shoving stitches back and forth.
3. The tips are the pointiest things I ever seen--even sharper than the new KnitPicks needles. The taper is totally smooth and gradual enough that there are no humps or bumps to contend with. Here again, these new needles win first prize in my experience.
4. The cable is super flexible, with absolutely no memory or curves to fight with. This cable doesn't have the wire core that the Turbos have and I don't think I would want a heavy, bulky sweater hanging off of it, but then I'm knitting lace so that's not an issue. This cable is at least as good as the KnitPicks, possibly better. I need more time to declare a winner, if there is a winner in this aspect as they are both really good.
I found it so much easier to knit multiple stitches together or lift a stitch to pass over with the Lace needles. Because of the super sharp tip and long taper, you don't end up distorting the stitch in order to manipulate the yarn. While I'm knitting with a very springy wool right now so it's not as big an issue, I think this feature will be a big plus when knitting with fibers such as silk, cotton, or alpaca which don't have the give that wool does.
I have to give the Addi Lace Needles a big 2 thumbs up. If I were a rich woman I would buy them all and make them my needle of choice for all my fine knitting. As it is, I will probably stick to my original plan, which is to use the KnitPicks for sizes 1-3 and the Addi Lace for sizes 4 & up. I don't have the size 1 KnitPicks needles yet and I may give in and buy Addis when I come to a project that requires that small size, or if I finally learn to magic loop my socks :-)
My favorable experience with the Lace needles lessens my motivation to buy the KnitPicks Options, esp. in light of the numerous reports of difficulties folks seem to have with the Options sets. From what I can surmise, the Options tend to be fiddly, requiring frequent tightening with this little dohicky to keep them from falling apart. I don't see myself paying close enough attention to such things while I have a WIP OTN. Nope, an all-in-one-piece circular seems like a better choice for the way I knit. Knit on!