circular needles- cord length vs. entire length??

Hi everyone, this is a super basic question, but I am getting ready to knit my first hat and the materials call for needles with a 16" long cord ( I ordered the needles online and the cord itself is not 16" long, but the needles combined with the cord measure 16". I had also ordered 16" circular needles with a different size needle and it is the same thing- the cord itself is not 16" long but the needles + cord measure 16". So is that how circular needles are supposed to be?? Or did I get the wrong thing?


Circular needles are measured from tip to tip. The pattern says a 16" cable? Or does it say a 16" needle?

Yes, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. When a pattern calls for a certain length circular needles, it means the overall length of cable + needles.
I think it’s because there are a wide variety of circular needles, whether fixed or interchangeable tips, that are inconsistent in the lengths of the tips. For example, to get a 29" circular that uses 4"-long interchangeable tips would require a 21" cable. But if the set has 3"-long tips, it would require a 23" cable to get the same 29" circular.

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thank you! as I said the pattern calls for a knitting needle with a 16" cord, which would make me think the cord itself needs to be 16", but then there is a section for online supply purchases and the suggested needles to purchase are 16" needles… which would mean the cord itself is not 16" total, so I’m confused.

It needs to be measured tip to tip. I’m not sure why your pattern says it that way. If you’re going to a needle for a hat and you’re not using magic loop or DPN then you need a 16" needle measured tip to tip.

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