Clover’s Takumi needles are the leading bamboo knitting needle, made from carefully selected bamboo heartwood and polished smooth with a rounded tip. Clover Takumi needles are available in straight, double-pointed, fixed circular and interchangeable circular needles.
The fixed circular needles have clear nylon cables that join directly to the bamboo needle, while the interchangeable set has metal joins that screw together without the help of a cable key — one less thing to keep track off. As will all screw-in joins, they can come disconnected over time, so be sure to check your joins periodically. The cables are somewhat less flexible than other brands, but can be softened with a hot water bath — be sure to keep the bamboo needles dry.
Like all bamboo needles, Clover Takumis are lighter and more flexible than other needle materials and smaller sizes are prone to breakage under stress or careless use. Bamboo needles offer more grip, making them suitable for slicker yarns like silk, and less desirable for wools, angora, and other grabby yarns, or projects with a lot of force on the needles such as patterns with tight lacework or decreases. Knitters whose gauge tends to be too tight may benefit from the extra grab of a bamboo needle.
Compared to other high-end bamboo needles, the Clover tips are more blunt, preventing new knitters from splitting the yarn by accident, though offering less precision in detail work. Blunt tips are also preferred by knitters who frequently push on the tips to slide needles down the neck of the needle, or when working with a loosely-twisted yarn. Knitting with bamboo needles will be slower than metal needles, but are great to learn on.
If you’re looking for a solid workhorse bamboo needle, Japanese-manufactured Clover needles are a classic, high-quality hoice available at nearly any yarn store or craft supply retailer.