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View Full Version : What about interchangeable needles??


garichmond
02-05-2013, 12:34 AM
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!

Jan in CA
02-05-2013, 12:44 AM
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.
http://www.knitpicks.com/needles/TRY_IT_Needle_Set__D90589.html

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.

dudeKnit
02-05-2013, 10:55 AM
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 (not from a faulty product but from user misuse, 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.

Rie
02-05-2013, 08:48 PM
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!

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 (http://www.paradisefibers.com/knitting-crocheting-supplies/knitting-needles/interchangable-knitting-needle-sets.html) 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. :)

RosieoinIdaho
02-05-2013, 09:01 PM
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.
Rose
:knitting:

suzeeq
02-05-2013, 09:13 PM
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.

Rie
02-05-2013, 11:58 PM
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.
Rose
:knitting:

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" (http://www.paradisefibers.com/ka-exchangeable-circular-needle-cords-w-ends-for-switch.html) 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 (http://www.knitpicks.com/needles/Double_Pointed_Knitting_Needles__L300303.html) also. Some of them seem economical to me.

MrsJacks
02-07-2013, 01:09 AM
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.

mojo11
02-11-2013, 01:24 PM
I haven't taken the plunge on interchangeables yet (yet) 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).

Antares
02-11-2013, 02:22 PM
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.

suzeeq
02-11-2013, 02:30 PM
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.

tangrene
02-11-2013, 04:11 PM
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.

mojo11
02-11-2013, 04:25 PM
I bought both of the Dreamz interchangable sets this last month and just love them!

The only 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.

Antares
02-11-2013, 04:49 PM
Good to know about the Dreamz needles, Mojo. Thanks for mentioning it!

mojo11
02-11-2013, 04:59 PM
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!

GrumpyGramma
02-11-2013, 05:39 PM
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.

suzeeq
02-11-2013, 05:51 PM
I don't think they are, someone on a ravelry tools forum said they were compatible with the Boye metal interchangeables. I think.

Fergablu2
02-12-2013, 06:00 PM
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.

GrumpyGramma
02-12-2013, 06:16 PM
I just got some tunisian hooks to go with my KP Options for picking up stitches.

Jan in CA
02-12-2013, 06:38 PM
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.

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.

jinxnit55
03-10-2013, 06:47 PM
I am relatively new to knitting, and started out with bamboo needles. I liked them, but they were cheaply made and the tips got blunt. The cables were OK on some, and impossible on others, even after I soaked them in very hot water. I figured they wouldn't hold up over time, either way.

I wound up getting some Harmony wood interchangeable needles and cables from Knit Picks and I love them. They have a nice "heft:" not too light and not too heavy. The stitches glide easily over the joins. If I had known I would like them so much, I would've sprung for the full set, but also realize that I will probably use just several sizes, mainly. I did just order a 16 inch cable as an afterthought because I make a lot of hats so far.
This is a good pick for me because I don't like metal needles. The Harmony is a multi-colored wood, and the thin cables are purple (sort of fun). Good luck finding the right needles!

jinxnit55
03-10-2013, 06:50 PM
Off topic: is your jersey a reference to Spinal Tap?

Jan in CA
03-10-2013, 07:36 PM
I wound up getting some Harmony wood interchangeable needles and cables from Knit Picks and I love them. They have a nice "heft:" not too light and not too heavy. The stitches glide easily over the joins. If I had known I would like them so much, I would've sprung for the full set, but also realize that I will probably use just several sizes, mainly. I did just order a 16 inch cable as an afterthought because I make a lot of hats so far.
This is a good pick for me because I don't like metal needles. The Harmony is a multi-colored wood, and the thin cables are purple (sort of fun). Good luck finding the right needles!

Yes, they are awesome needles. The color bugs me a little with multicolored yarns so I will order the set of KP Sunstruck needles which are the same as Harmony in a beautiful blond wood. For now I'm happy with my few Harmony and Sunstruck and my full sets of nickel plated though.

BTW... As a new knitter...never say never. :teehee: At some point in time you will probably want to have a full set of sizes. I have used all of mine. I prefer 6-8 and i have multiples of those, but it's nice to have the others if I need them.

I bought the 16" and now they rarely get used. Having to switch to another method for decreases is unnecessary with magic loop. I use that method for pretty much all circular knitting except very small diameter knitting.

jinxnit55
03-11-2013, 11:47 PM
Ha! I know that eventually I will use Magic Loop for most things, but I am "inching" toward it... I have to say that I am feeling triumphant after finishing a hat with DPNs! I was feeling intimidated by DPNs but so many hat patterns use them that I finally attempted it. It was EASY!

That said, I will try the Magic Loop pretty soon. I have sort of used it, but only did "half a loop." My pea-brain is still not completely wrapped around the 2 loop method, but that will come as a natural consequence of experimenting.

And thanks for the tip about the sunstruck needle tips, because they sound even better! i can envision using the colored tips w/ light colored yarns and the dark yarns with the blond ones!

salmonmac
03-12-2013, 05:38 AM
Trying all of these techniques is the best way to find out which you prefer and for which patterns. They're all useful to know. I like dpns myself but single loop or magic loop come in handy too.

Paulaque
03-12-2013, 06:21 PM
I have the bamboo cheapies with the plastic tubing between them, and I adore them. First, you can buy tubing at the auto parts store and make your needles as long or short as you wish. Second, if the plastic tubing comes off, just put it back on, if you are going to be working with it for a while, doing a lot of tugging, etc. I just glue the tip on with hot glue, and it is solid. Then when I want to "undo" it, I dip it in boiling water for two seconds, and pull them back off.

ABC's Mom
03-12-2013, 07:56 PM
I recently invested in an Addi Lace Shorts set. I love them. Wasn't sure about the short needles at first, but like the shorter needle length for smaller projects. I also like the lace in Addi better then the Turbo for most projects as they have a sharper point then the Turbos. The set I got has 5 sizes of cords and 8 sets of needles. The only drawback with these is they don't come in the smaller sizes. I've not needed anything so far that isn't in the set but may need to look into that in the future.