In recent years, there's been such an amazing selection of new, innovative things for knitters and crocheters! I never had a chance to try them yet, but I remember the knitting needles that light up (are they still around?) being all the rage for a bit. I suppose I do knit in low light situations more than I even realized! Late night knitting and crocheting is such a little luxury when the house is so quiet and you just want to do "one more row"!
Does it work well for us knitters? Read on for my thoughts. . .
It's called the "Beam N Read". I received 3 versions, 1 with 3 leds (the one you see at the left here), another brighter one with 6 leds, and a special 3 led one with magnifier attachments.
They all come nicely packaged in shrink wrapped VHS-sized or slightly larger boxes. Yes, the packaging looks like something you'd find in a hardware store display more than in a yarn shop, but that's because it's not specifically for knitting or crocheting.
It's really being sold as an all-purpose light that can be used for reading, walking, for emergencies, while commuting, and working in any kind of low-light situation. It's hands-free feauture does lend itself quite well to knitting and crocheting or any other kind of needlework or crafting.
Here's how it works. You hang it around your neck and you can angle the light beam down in front of you. The neck strap adjusts very easily by just sliding the little adjusters along the cord. It's really nice and simple. No on or off button. Laying the light beam flat will automatically turn the light off, angling it will turn it on.
It's powered with 4 AA batteries, which is convenient, although it does add a bit of weight to your neck. They say the battery life should be at least 120 hours, which sounds great!
It uses low entery LED bulbs, which won't burn out.
The 3 led light is decent enough light for basic knitting or crocheting, but I would go with the 6 led version if I was doing any detailed work, like lace or any other special techniques that required me to see the stitches more clearly.
The magnifier attachments are nifty on the magnifier model - they come in 2X, 4X, and 6X power levels. They are simply plastic magnifying plates that attach to the light easily and vary in magnification depending on what you need. Great for those of us that are needing a little help seeing smaller stitches and don't like reading glasses. Plus, they come in nice protective pouches so they won't get scratched if sitting in your knitting or crochet bag.
I did have to fiddle with the strap and placement of the light on my chest to get it to angle correctly. I tend to knit with my arms up a bit, not actually in my lap (like the knitter in their photo here), so the light could only angle up enough if I made the strap quite short. This would not be an issue if you were working at a table or really did knit or crochet lower on your lap. It's farily adjustable, so it should work for most people with some fiddling.
So, this light is a great idea! A nice thing to have in your knitting or crochet bag if you do often knit or crochet in the dark and don't wish to turn on the lamp (and disturb a sleeping DH, for example).
It's not perfect, but I don't like the reading lights that my DH has used for my nightime knitting either. The one he wears on his ear like a bluetooth runs out of batteries (special, harder to get and pricier types) too fast and everytime he looks up at me or turns his head my way, I get blinded by the beam. His other reading lights are not hands-free for knitting or crochet since they must all clip to the book cover. So, this Beam N Read is the best option I've seen.
Beam N Reads retail for around $13 to $25 and are sold by the company at http://www.readinglight.com.
** Want your own Beam N Read for your night-time knitting or crocheting habit!? **
I'm giving away the 6 led version. All you night knitters and crocheters, please leave a comment on this blog post to enter this giveaway! Please leave your comment by March 21st, 9pm PST. One lucky random commenter will be chosen. One comment per person, please.
*** March 25th Winner Chosen! ***
Congrats to Bonnie, who left her comment on March 9, 2010 and was randomly chosen from the 124 comment entries!
Bonnie has won the 6 LED Beam 'N Read Light.