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Old 06-11-2009, 02:56 PM   #1
AngieLanigan
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Knit Picks Options cable length/Magic Loop
So, I've been wanting a 2nd set of interchangable needles for a while now. I currently have a set of Boye Needlemasters which I've been very happy with. I tend to have several projects going at once, and would also like to be able to keep my Boye set in my knitting bag for easy travel (love their handy compact case for that!). I thought about getting a 2nd set of Boye's, since I can find them so inexpensively on ebay.

But... I have an engagement session next weekend (I do photography part-time) and figured why not give another brand a try since I'll have a bit of extra cash. After tons of research, I think I've decided on the KnitPicks Options set (I really love Boye's pointy metal tips and hate working with wood/bamboo needles).

Now I'll finally get to my question LOL The kit comes with 24" and 32" cables. How is the 32" cable for doing Magic Loop? Should I add a set of the 40" cables (or even longer?) to my order? I don't do a lot of large projects (ie adult sweaters, blankets, etc), and I'll still have my Boye's where I can connect several of their cables together if needed... that just doesn't work for ML. ML is doable with their 26" cable, but kind of awkward.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 06-11-2009, 03:41 PM   #2
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For What it is Worth...

I don't have many circular needles:

One Boye Aluminum Circular fixed size 8 (5.00 mm) in 16" (40.64 cm) length. Nicely pointy, smooth as silk, and cord slightly thick and fairly stiff.

One Options Nickel Plated Fixed Circular size 2 (3.00 mm) in 24" (60.96 cm) length. Nicely pointy, smooth as silk, and cord is nicely thin and flexible.

One Susan Bates Silverado Circular size 7 (4.50 mm) in 32" (81.28 cm) length. Slightly blunt, slightly textured, a bit grippy, and cord is nicely thin and flexible but join is slightly snaggy.

I currently have a project on each. I wouldn't give any of them away but I'm sure I wouldn't try ML on the Boye even if it were long enough (>24" or > 61 cm).

I know that the length determines the minimum size in the round work you can do with them unless you use ML. I believe I could make a sweater for me (46" chest) on my size 7 with 32" but I couldn't use the the 16" size 8 for my sleeves because it would be to stiff and too short for ML.

Would you be doing blankets? What else might need the 40 inch cords?
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:24 PM   #3
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I personally like to use the 40" cable when doing Magic Loop because then I know there isn't going to be any added tension on the stitches. I guess that the 32" would probably yield the same results, but I don't have any first hand experience. I'll have to try it on the next pair of socks I do.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:26 PM   #4
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I have yarn stashed for a blanket at some point, but no immediate plans to make it. Too many other projects calling my name first

I'm wondering, I guess, whether the 32" Options cord is sufficient for most Magic Looping (is that a correct verb tense? LOL), or whether I should have a 40" in my arsenal for doing ML with?
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ladyjessica View Post
I personally like to use the 40" cable when doing Magic Loop because then I know there isn't going to be any added tension on the stitches. I guess that the 32" would probably yield the same results, but I don't have any first hand experience. I'll have to try it on the next pair of socks I do.

Hope this helps.
Me too. I just started with ML, and the cable isn't too short or too long.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:35 PM   #6
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I think 32" would be fine for ML projects up to adult hat sizes. And if that's too short for an adult size, you can do the single loop with it.
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Old 06-12-2009, 12:31 AM   #7
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When I got my set I added 40".
When I ordered again I added another 24" and a 47". When I order again I'll be adding another 32" and 40".

Between knitting, stitch holders and ML I don't think I could have too many 24", 32" and 40".
I've used both 32" and 40" for ML. I think it's a matter of personal preference, do you want a shorter loop that's tighter or a longer loose loop that has more to pull through?
It also matters how big of a circle you're doing. I like DPNs for small stuff. I use ML for necklines (40") and to get top down arms started (32") because of the bulky sweater catching the DPNs.

Other than knitting flat I haven't had much use for the 47", I like a lot of extra cable when knitting flat so the piece goes side to side instead of partially around and partially back around. If I get the 60" it will probably be purely out of OCD and a driving need to "collect them all".
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike View Post
When I got my set I added 40".
I did this too.

Originally Posted by Mike View Post
Other than knitting flat I haven't had much use for the 47", I like a lot of extra cable when knitting flat so the piece goes side to side instead of partially around and partially back around. If I get the 60" it will probably be purely out of OCD and a driving need to "collect them all".
I've been thinking about ordering the 47" for two at a time socks, so I find this observation interesting. I think I need another cable (don't we always? ) but maybe another 40" is the way to go. At the moment my 40" cables are being used for a blanket and an ML baby hat so unless I finish one of those I need another cable to try out socks.

I'm comfortable doing one little hat on the 40" which is why I thought maybe I should have the 47" for trying two-at-a-time sport weight socks.

What was the question again?

I'm a magic loop beginner; I started on the 32" cable but I thought it could be a little longer -- I kept losing my loops. I like having extra cable to pull out when I'm working and I especially like the extra cable for when I'm storing my WIPs.

YMMV. They don't cost too much and you might find out later that you're glad you have them! However, if you can do ML with 26", then 32" is may be plenty enough for you.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:13 PM   #9
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I love my KnitPicks Options. I have ordered (over a year or so) many additional cables - 24 & 40's mostly. I find 40in cables great for most magic loop. The only reason I need to go up in length is if I am doing 2 matched sides of a project at the same time (2 wings of a shawl, 2 sleeves of a sweater), or mobius, perhaps, but that would be better served on a 60" cable...maybe. It's good to have the options available and the price is great!
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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Thanks so much for all the opinions, everyone! I think I just might order a 40". The price is good, and I have a feeling I'll get some use out of it.
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