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Old 10-28-2007, 09:34 PM   #1
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Interchangeable needle sets...
I'm thinking of starting to get the pieces for an interchangeable set (I can't afford to buy the whole set but I can afford a couple of cords and some points). I can't stand plastic/resin needles so I don't want to get the Denise set. I'm allergic to nickel, though, so I'm worried that the metal KPO needles will irritate my skin - has anyone with metal allergies tried them? My concern with the wooden ones is that I knit pretty tight and sometimes my stitches snag on my wooden and bamboo dpns.
My other option is Boyle, as I have found some of these in my local Hobby Lobby and I don't like ordering things online so they have the advantage of being something I can get locally and affordably, but I have heard complaints about the cables being stiff and that the tips come unscrewed. I use regular Boyle cable needles at the moment so I'm guessing stiffness would be comparable? And since they are metal needles and the same company as most of my needles, I'm guessing they would be familiar to knit with except the coming unscrewed part.
Does anyone have any advice for me?
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:28 AM   #2
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I have a very mild metal allergy, but it only affects the earrings I wear. I have the nickel-plated KP Options, and have not experienced any skin irritation from the nickel. Maybe just buy 1 pair of KP Options needle points and a cable and see how the metal affects you? As a long-term investment, I think you'd be happier with the KP Options rather than the Boyle.

Alternatively, I wonder if the wood KP Harmony needles would be slicker than the other woods you have tried. If they should develop a splinter or roughness, I feel sure that KP would replace them for you.

Maybe try ordering 1 cable, 1 pair metal points, and 1 pair wood points from KnitPicks to give yourself a chance at the best combination for you?
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:48 AM   #3
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I have the Boye, and you are correct that the cable thickness/stiffness is comparable to the regular needles. The only advantage there is that you generally store the cables flat, so you don't have to dip them in boiling water before using them!

The tips of the Boye interchangeables seems sharper (in a good way, IMO) than my regular Boyes, however, my regular Boyes were handed down from my mom - she got them in the 70s. I can't say how much she used them though. She tends to knit like crazy for a year or two, then not knit again for 5-10 years.

One of my size 9 tips unscrewed the first time I used them, and it bent the rim a little, which makes it catch a little (I have read here that I can file this down, but it hasn't bothered me enough to motivate me to try). Since then, I am OCD about checking, checking, checking to make sure they are properly tightened. Occasionally when I check, I will find one needs to be re-tightened, which makes me nervous enough to continue to obsessively check.

I would love to get the Options to compare, but can't justify having two sets at the moment (I am spending myself out of house and home on Malabrigo!), and since you are allergic, sounds like those are out for you.

I am not sure how useful I would find the needles w/o the whole set. In your position, I might try to save up to buy the kit all at once at a later time (maybe with a JoAnn 50% off coupon? They come out about once a month, or so I am told).

Last edited by bip : 10-29-2007 at 09:52 AM. Reason: needed spaces between paragraphs
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:06 AM   #4
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I like the idea of test driving both kinds of the knitpicks. I test drove the options before I bought them. Then I saved for the set (got them as a gift before I could save). I would say get them in your favorite/most used needle size so that if you pick one of them you will have more of that size.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:07 AM   #5
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I have a few tips and a couple cables of Boyes and only one tip seems to come unscrewed enough to be annoying. The others are fine. Look in the Buy/Sell/Swap board, someone's selling a set for $35/
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:43 AM   #6
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i had another thought...i know you're curious to try the way the set works, but if you're concerned with cost, a slightly less expensive way to go could be to buy just one fixed circular options needle. i can't personally imagine using anything but the options needles. and as another slightly tighter than normal knitter, i'm not a huge fan of the harmonies (though i REALLY wanted to be), as apparently i just need the slickness of the metal. they're so pretty and fun though!

good luck with whatever you decide!

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Old 10-29-2007, 10:49 AM   #7
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You could also buy one set of the interchangable tips and cords of the Options too.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:53 AM   #8
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IMHO - the Boye needles work just fine. That said, I do not knit lace or sweaters. I have never had trouble with them unscrewing or being too stiff. In fact, I just bough my second set of interchangeables at Tuesday Morning for $25. I store my cords in the case they come in - so they are flat, never coiled up. I cannot afford the Denise or KPO and do not care for the wooden ones I bought.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:19 PM   #9
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I have 2 Boye sets. I love them! I know these sets can get quite expensive, so do what I did.... get them at 50% off!!!! Go to I believe I get a 50% coupon from them every month. That way your $70 set only ends up costing you $35 (+/-). I've had mine for about a year now and I can't say that I've had any problems with them at all. I love how I can make a cable needle as long or as short as I need to. the plus side of having 2 sets, especially when sock knitting, you can use 2 circ. instead of 4-6 dpns. Anyway, just thought I'd send you in JoAnn's direction. Sign up for the free newsletters and you'll start seeing all the discount coupons.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:51 PM   #10
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The Boye set is also available at Hobby Lobby, who has 40% off coupons every other week or so. Every couple months they have 40-50% off all needles, including the set.
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