Interchangeable needles

I’m doing a hat for my Dad, sort of fair-isle inspired. Lots of swapping two colours anyway. DPNs were driving me crazy at the turn-arounds.

I’d really like to start building a set of interchangeable needles, BUT:

  1. I dont have £70 to spare for a full set
  2. I dont want to commit to a set if I might find I hate them
  3. Some manufacturers I rejected because they just dont exist in the right sizes for future projects
  4. NOBODY had the right size needle with the right cable in stock.
    Aaaaarrrggggh :hair:

So, I ended up taking a pair of scissors and some sticky tape to one of my too-long circular needles.
It might turn out to be a snag-fest, but at least its the right length :teehee:

Google for Knitpro, there’s a couple UK online shops that carry them. You can buy a starter set with a cord or two and a few tips that shouldn’t set you back too much. These are the same needles sold in the US as Knitpicks. The cords are very flexible and the tips come in either metal, wood or acrylic and you can mix and match them too.

Glad you worked out a basic solution for yourself, but too bad you didn’t ask first. I’d have suggested that it was the perfect opportunity to learn Magic Loop or travelling loop, instead of cutting the cable. Oh well.

As for being unsure about interchangeables, I felt the same way about a year ago. I didn’t want to spend the money on Options without trying them, so I ordered one set of tips with an extra-long cable that didn’t come in the set. Once I knew I loved it, I ordered the set.

Did you get the wood ones or the metal?

I’ve now taken the plunge and ordered one cable and one set each of wood and metal KnitPro, in 4.5mm.

I’ll look into Magic Loop tho, sounds interesting.

When I was first learning the Magic Loop Method I heard about KnitPicks and Addis as the only two companies that produced long flexible cables. The needles need to be 100 cm or 40 inches in length for most projects. Since I was purchasing them for socks, I bought the Options (metal) fixed circulars in US size 0 or 2.00 mm, US size 1 or 2.5mm. I also purchased the Harmony (wooden) fixed circulars in US size 2 or 2.75mm and US size 3 or 3.25mm. They were okay. The wooden ones have very sharp points and the yarn wouldn’t slip well off the needles. I was constantly pushing the yarn off with my index finger. After a short time, the tip of my index finger was sore which limited my knitting time. KnitPicks does not offer fixed circulars from sizes US 4 to 11 or 3.5mm to 8mm. I didn’t want interchangeables at the time because I was concerned about the joins.

I was looking for some very small needles sizes 000000 (6-0) or 0.7mm to 00 or 1.75mm because I wanted to knit socks and I knew that I knit loosely. The only company that I found that carried those sizes in the fixed longer flexible cables was HiyaHiya. I bought sizes US 4 or 3.5mm, 5 or 3.75mm and 6 or 4.0mm in the 40 inch or 100 cm length just to see if I liked them.

I fell in love with the needles. The needles are made of stainless steel and the yarn glided off the needles with ease. I didn’t have to push the yarn off with my index finger. I now have the smaller interchangeable set which goes form size US 2 or 2.75mm to US 8 or 5.0mm. I use them exclusively now. They come cables in four lengths that make the total length of the circular needles 1) 16 to 18 inches or 40cm to 46cm, 2) 24 to 26 inches or 60cm to 66 cm, 3) 32 to 34 inches or 80cm to 86 cm and 4) 40 to 42 inches or 100 to 106 cm. They also have an additional cable that can be purchased which makes the circular needles 152 cm to 158 cm.

The reason for the difference in length is that they come in 4 in (10 cm) or 5 in (10.3 cm) tips. I chose the longer tips.

The HiyaHiya needles are great.


You did the right thing by getting both. You really can’t tell if you prefer one over the other by what others say you have to test them yourself. I prefer Options Nickel Plated, but I have considered getting a set of the Harmonys, too. There are a few times when I prefer wood. I have the Denise needles and don’t care for them…the cord is too fat and not as flexible.

Do yourself a favor and get some of that grippy shelf liner or similar. Cut a piece and use it when putting the needle on the cable. Gripping the needle with it really, really helps tighten and loosen it so it doesn’t come untwisted.

I have one set of Harmony needle tips mixed in with my Options…and I don’t feel they are stable. The joint is a bit worrisome as it feels a little loose. I like the options for the fact that they are all one piece from tip to joint.

I have a set of Boye interchangeable needles.

I’ve heard that some people complain about them, but I don’t see why. I love mine.

They come pretty cheap on sites like Ebay and Amazon, I think.

It’s the cable/cord. If you’ve never used anything else you won’t know the difference, but if you try the Options/Harmonies or Addis you’ll see what we mean. It’s a world of difference!

They’re fine for regular knitting, but the trouble comes in when you want to magic loop or do half a loop, then they’re a bit stiff, though I can usually manage with mine.

For me…it is about the paint wearing off of them. Every pair of Boyes I have used have ended up feeling like you are knitting on rusty nails!

And I do agree with the cord issue. A little stiff!

Yeah the finish wears off on mine but they’re still smooth, not rough and don’t snag the yarn.

I consider the finish wearing off a sign they are well used and well loved! :slight_smile:

it seems like amazon saves the world, these days… I can get the knitpros there even from here in Germany. And the price for the deluxe set is not so bad…
now I think, I will want to get the metal tips.
and I think, I will - eventually - need a set of the crochet hooks… I can not get tunesian needles with cable here, as I find out… so that would be another great advantage for that set.

Interesting, the knitpros are made in Germany (or through a distributor in Germany) and there’s several online shops that sell them.

prove: I live in the relative countryside… I have not seen them in any of my shops. But then I will go and investigate that.
My husband is planning a birthday gift for October now, so I have time to find out what I want / need / could wish for.

It isn’t so much the finish being scratched that bothers me…and no…it doesn’t snag the yarn…but the nails on a chalk board feel when they rub together while knitting…cringe

I did investigate some… the distributor / inventor of Knitpro seems to be German and Swiss companies.

German forums are partially disregarding them as “import product” because they seem to be made in India and elsewhere. I do not mind the produticion place at all. But the talks go in ways of “no good quality and so on”…

so, well… I might buy them anyways since you all mostly seem fond of them. well… now my husband has a great idea for a gift and I am hanging here in mid air and want to buy them right now… that is pretty mean!

I think I want the metal tips. The rosewood is not SO much my thing on the crochet hook I have… bamboo I might like a lot… (but did not find it there)

well, I know how this adventure ends: first you get the set, and then later, you buy single sizes, and then you take another material and yet another… in the end you have all of all… but good tools are half the craft so I go ahead!

Hm. I’d heard people that fussed about yarn snagging on the places where they connect to the needle. Is that what you mean? I haven’t had that problem. Then again, I have the hand strength to get them screwed together nice and snug.

I’ve tried several just plain ‘ol one-piece circulars. None of the others I’ve tried seems any better or worse. Then again, I’ve never been the type to want the really high quality tools for anything. My philosophy is one of "does it fail to work consistently? Am I afraid I’ll break it because it’s flimsy or cheap? Does something about it actually impede me doin’ what I’m doin’? No? Great!"

But that’s just me, and I’m far from a professional. I can see how someone with more fine-tuned knitting might want more fine-tuned tools.

Oh, and my Boye set was a gift. I am NOT looking a gift horse in the mouth! :present:

Danielle, I’m not saying you should change anything if you’re happy with what you’ve got. If you are happy with them then that’s all that matters. :thumbsup:

I’ve used Boye, Denise, Addi and Options so I’m just commenting from my [I]own[/I] experience and that of many other people which you know about because you commented on it. What I’ve heard most is people complaining about is the thickness and inflexibility of the cable. I felt the same way about the Denise cable. After I used Addi and then the Options with their thin flexible cables there was no turning back for me. No needles are perfect so we knit with what works for us. :hug: