What about interchangeable needles?

I’ve never blogged before, so here goes.
I’m interested in interchangeable needles. I’ve never used them; I read a few reviews, but I’d like to know if they are worth the investment? Should I just stick with my circular needles in a few useful sizes, or should I consider investing in Boye? Denise? Dreamz? Or other??

Last year I bought a bamboo set of circular needles, and the plastic cords break off, so it was a very bad investment- --but cheap!

The Blog Forum is only for blog threads. I’ve moved this post to General Knitting since this is just a general question. If you want to start and actual blog thread please feel free to do so though.

If you do a search for “interchangeable needles” you’ll see bunches of threads. I’d guess the vast majority of people find interchangeable needles not only a worthy investment, but nearly indispensable. I have the equivalent of at least 2 or 3 sets myself.

I suggest if you are considering them to not just buy any set though. They vary in price and quality, etc. So I suggest trying as many different kinds as you can. I don’t recommend the type you tried, but for a different reason. The plastic cables tend to be stiff and don’t lend themselves to some types of knitting. There are cables that are soft and flexible which are a vast improvement. You don’t need to spend a ton of money though. My needles are Knitpicks Options nickel plated because I prefer metal. Knitpicks also has 2 different wood options as well as a plastic needle option, but all have a soft flexible cable.

I suggest trying the Try-it set and see what you think of the different types.

While you’re on the site you can check out the prices. This brand is by no means the only ones out there, but they have excellent customer service if you have any problems.

I’ve been knitting just over a month now. I did invest in a set of Chaigoo stainless interchangeable needles and I’m so glad I did.

I initially purchased the CG stainless circular set that wasn’t interchangeable, now the CG’s have a braided cable connecting the needles, after about 2 weeks of use the cable broke ([B]not from a faulty product but from user misuse[/B], just want to get that stated). So I decided to invest in a set of the interchangeables. If I’m going to be hard on circs I figured it’s best economically to replace a $3 cable than a $10 set of needles when I break them.

So far it’s been wonderful, I paid $80 for a small set, comes with needles sized 2 - 8, and 3 differing lengths of cable, 14" 24" or 26" maybe 32" (I’m hazy on exact sizes) and I believe the largest is 42". Don’t quote me on those cable lengths. Short of it is you would end up paying $10 a piece for 21 needles that is essentially in that set.

Well worth the investment in my opinion. I can also add extras should I need them and did end up picking up a few extra sets of the 14" cables.

Hi garichmond!
Do you recall the brand of needle you bought? I think brands really do matter in knitting. The quality and features can differ quite a lot from brand to brand.
Sorry that you had that experience.
I’m saving up for a KA brand set, so I can’t yet comment on their quality but they have excellent reviews. Personally, I always rely on reviews, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea. Paradise Fibers is one online yarn shop that has reviews and sells sets in different price ranges. I have also heard good things about Knitpicks needles but you might want to try one of their single circulars first to make sure you like the tips on them and the cord since the interchangeables use the same. Well, that might be a good strategy for any brand. :slight_smile:

I am fairly new to knitting as well and wanted to try the interchangeable needles too. Buying the fixed circular needles one set at a time is just too expensive. I didn’t want to make a huge investment so I bought the Boye Needlecraft set, it was about $65 at Michale’s but you can print a 40% off coupon on their site so that helps. My problem is that the needles are very straight and longer than the fixed circular needles. So, for smaller projects like baby hats and socks I can’t use them. My size 8 needles with cable are 16" total length, the equivalent needles and cable from the set actually come out close to 20". Very frustrating, so I wound up buying a bulk set of DPN’s which I am pretty clumsy with so far. I would steer clear of this set if you want to do smaller diameter projects like hats & socks.
Good luck, and I’m hoping to find some advice on this for my own good.

Yes, buying all the fixed needles in each length and size can get very expensive. But if you don’t use a large number of sizes, the 24 and 32" lengths in the sizes you use most probably won’t cost a lot even getting individual needles. I won’t buy an interchangeable set because I have no use for needles under size 8 (9 really, but sometimes I use 8s) so half the set would be a waste of money for me.

This is a problem. There are sets that are geared more towards the smaller or larger sizes though; as well as sets that have “flex” cables. KA isn’t the only brand to feature these add-ons. I think Knitter’s Pride and KnitPicks do as well.
For small diameter, you can get dpn kits also. Some of them seem economical to me.

I have a set of Denise needles, as well as KnitPicks Options in Harmony wood, Zephyr acrylic, and the original nickel plated. I love them all for different reasons, and use them for every project, save for sock knitting. I use my 40" size 0 and size 1 Knitpicks fixed circulars for that application.

I haven’t taken the plunge on interchangeables yet ([I]yet[/I]) but my girlfriend swears by her Dreamz. She got the regular and bulky sets and rarely uses anything else anymore. I have a set of Boye’s that was passed from person to person (to person) and is probably as old as the concept of interchangeable needles. I mpstly use them as stitch holders (at which they excel because I can knit them right off the holder).

While looking for interchangeable needles recently, I came across these “multiwood” ones made by Boye, which I had not seen before: http://www.amazon.com/Boye-Multiwood-Interchangeable-Knitting-36-Piece/dp/B007QNW7B4/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1360606855&sr=8-8&keywords=interchangeable+knitting+needles

Don’t know much about them and where you’d get different cable lengths, but thought I would mention them as yet another option (as if we don’t have enough)! Perhaps they might be more readily available in stores than some of the other options mentioned above.

Yes, these are pretty new, came out within the last 6 months I think. The cords are a lot more flexible than the Needlemaster set.

I bought both of the Dreamz interchangable sets this last month and just love them! I had most of the fixed circular needles in older brands (decades old) and new bamboo circulars, but I had a love hate relationship with them. Seemed like no matter what the pattern needle gauge called for I ended up using 3 sizes larger.

Finally went to LYS and got the newer fixed Dreamz in a size to try and got a few others in different metals. I absolutely loved the Dreamz wood needles and found if the pattern suggests a size 7…I am usually able to knit to gauge with the same size 7. I was amazed that changing type of needle could make such a difference.

SOOOO I went and bought the longer needle set as well as the short needle set that comes only with 16’’ diameter.

I found that if I want to do socks with 2 circular needles that I can use the short and the long needles because the long cords fit the short needles too. I plan to get the bulky add-on soon, but doubt I will use that much.

I loved the Dreamz so much I just bought fixed 40-47in 0,1,2,3…so I now have all the sizes I might need in the Dreamz…and I have all my older circulars that I can give away to my granddaughter as her knitting skills get better, since she isn’t fond of my Dreamz needles for some reason. She prefers bamboo and acrylic oddly enough.

Good luck picking out needles. It is much cheaper to buy a set than individual, unless you know that you can’t use most of the sizes because of how tight or loose you knit.

The [I]only[/I] thing I find bothersome about the Dreamz wood needles (and it’s a small problem) is that they color code them by size. Not that this is bad in itself, but it can make things a little hard to see if the color of the needle is close to the color of the yarn. I bought some 10.5s (dark brown) and then wound up using them on a mostly dark brown yarn. My girlfriend was making some mittens for a friend in a mostly red colorway that almost exactly matched the red they used to denote… whatever size that was she was using… 7 or 8 I think. That said, my stainless Hiya Hiya’s a as reflective as a mirror, so then it really doesn’t matter what color the yarn is – the reflection is going to match it. That’s one thing I can usually count on with my bamboo needles; they’re going to contrast with the yarn I’m using most of the time.

It’s a little thing, but worth mentioning. Other than that I have NO complaints with either brand.

Good to know about the Dreamz needles, Mojo. Thanks for mentioning it!

It’s a small thing, but if your eyes are like mine it can be a challenge sometimes. In good light I didn’t have too much trouble with it… and honestly if that’s the worst problem I have with a project, I call it a win!

The Boye set looks like they did what WEBs did and is now selling the same product as Knit Picks with a few cosmetic differences. I wonder, are the pieces interchangeable as are WEBs and KP pieces. Hmmmm.

I don’t think they are, someone on a ravelry tools forum said they were compatible with the Boye metal interchangeables. I think.

I bought the Boye interchangeables, but like them so little that I have since purchased 3 sets of Addi Turbos in 16", 24", 32" lengths, and one set of Addi Lace in 47", and love them. I also have the Denise interchangeables, which are well priced and pleasant to use, but have limited applications. I can’t see myself using them for magic loop, but the cords work with interchangeable crochet hooks to use in knitting/tunisian crochet in the round combination.

I just got some tunisian hooks to go with my KP Options for picking up stitches.

Yeah not a fan of the Boye interchangeable needles. As GG says the cable looks like it belongs in a weed wacker.:lol: I also have Denise and they are okay, but the cable is too thick for me. Addis are nice, but a little blunt for me. I’ve heard good things about Addi Sharps, but they are to pricey for my budget. Glad you like them! I’ll stick to Knitpicks Options or Hiya Hiya.