I admit it. I was skeptical. I've been a big, big fan of German-made Addi circular needles for more than a decade: first the Addi Turbos, and now the Addi Lace Tips. I like the Naturas, too, when I'm working with especially fine or slippery yarns. I love the finish, the smoothness of the joins, the flexibility of the current cables, the lifetime guarantee. No, they're not cheap. But with a tiny bit of care, they're lifetime tools, and totally worth the investment, to me.
So when we got in a big box full of Hiya Hiya needles from China, I figured they'd be okay, but I was quite sure they'd be no competition for my beloved Addis. I was wrong.
I'm making a simple pair of toe-up socks (from the delightful Malabrigo Sock yarn, see the picture, above) on two 24-inch US size 1 Hiya Hiya circulars. The needle tips are nicely pointy. The needle bodies are very lightweight and five inches long, which makes them really comfortable for me to hold. The surface finish is not as glossy as the Addi Turbos—more like matte stainless steel flatware than highly polished silver; and the surface has a little bit of grip, much like the Addi Lace Tips. The joins are very smooth, with not a bit of snagging on my fine sock yarn. The cables are flexible, but not so soft that they fall perpendicular to the needle (this is good; too soft a cable and you're more likely to have the cable break at the join). These needles aren't quite as beautifully made as my Addis, and they don't come with a lifetime guarantee. But my sock is zooming along, and I'm a happy knitter.
A 24-inch U.S. size 1 circular costs $9.50. That means I can have two (for knitting in the round on two circulars, my preferred sock method), for $19. That's a great deal. Having the Hiya Hiya needles in the shop means we can offer our customers a good quality needle option at a very budget-friendly price. For lots of us, that's important these days. I'm really glad to know that I can recommend these needles to our customers without reservation.