Hi, my name is Margot and I’m addicted to knitting needles. I have have a full range of straights and double points. I have over 60 circular needles. Plus I have 4 sets of interchangeable needles. I don’t feel guilty about it. Today I’m going to talk to you about my interchangeable needle sets. While I have my primary go-to set, I love them all equally and for different reasons… like they’re my children! I’m such a knitting nerd. Let’s get down to business.
An Addi Natura Click Set was my first set of interchangeable needles. At this point I insisted on using Addis all the time because, let’s face it, they are awesome. The cords are super flexible and the join between the needle and cable is absolutely seamless. I still felt most comfortable working with bamboo, which has a little more friction than other needle types. Being a loose knitter, bamboo helped me stay in control of my stitches more than metal. I loved the tidy package that includes everything I needed, with needle sizes ranging from US4 to US11 (no 10.5 though!) cable lengths of 24”, 32” and 40” and a connector cord. For a long time, this set did it all for me.
Then my need for speed took over. I bought myself the Addi Click Set in the Long Lace tips. I’m always a fast knitter but I can soar with these babies! I love their uncompromisingly pointy tips. I also found that, after years of being a loose knitter, the metal needles helped me tighten up. I will say, that in my early years, I couldn’t get tight enough on metal knitters, but as the way I knit finessed my ability to tighten my stitches did. The metal set has all the same goods as the Natura set, just with those slick needle tips. This set is my current go-to, and the one I use most frequently. However, some fibers still call for bamboo. I’ll never give up my original Natura set! You’d think that’d be enough, right?
It wasn’t enough.
When we decided we were going to carry Loopy Mango’s Big Cotton, I decided I needed their Three Musketeers Interchangeable Needle Set. I play with Loopy Mango often enough. Astonishingly, I don’t have a huge supply of needles for super bulky yarn, so adding in this set into my collection made a lot of sense. The Three Musketeers Set is $48. It comes with needle tips in sizes US15, US17 and US19, and cord lengths of 20”, 24” and 32”. Doing the math, this makes for 9 combinations and that makes each needle about $5.50. Sounds like a deal to me! Plus, I love these needles. The cables are incredibly flexible and pliable, and are great for working sleeves in the round (as is or using magic loop). The plastic needle reminds me of Lykke needles in terms of overall stickiness, which means that they are smooth without being slick and your stitches aren’t going to slip off them easily. The join is very simple, although I found some cables needed a little “warming up” (ie I needed to fiddle with them again to make them easy to join and separate). All in all, I think these needles are much easier on my hands than the other needles for super bulky yarns. Considering how much I knit, this matters!
It still wasn’t enough.
I’ve been wanting the Lykke Short Tip Interchangeable Needle Set for a while. It’s been on my “I should buy that” list for a while, and I finally did. Why did I wait so long? First of all, Lykke needles are universally loved. Their birch wood tips are smooth but not slick and the cords are fairly flexible. The needle size is also etched onto the needle so that it won’t ever rub off. They hold up beautifully, with their needle tips staying smooth and hard after intensive use. I wanted the short tip set for a couple reasons. I’m a big-time hat knitter, and I love that this set gives me a fairly full range of needles (US3 to US10.5) with a 16” cable. I also love seamless sweater construction, and I love how those short tips make their way through yoke shaping when you join sleeves to the body. I’m currently working on Tenchi, a brioche-like cowl pattern using two colors of Madeline Tosh Vintage, and I am using 3 different sizes of needles. I’m taking the entire set of needles on the go with me, because it’s small enough that it doesn’t weigh me down at all!
Addis, Loopy Mango and Lykke all have different methods of joining the cables to the needle. While I find the Addi ClickIt method to be most seamless, the screw-in with the Lykke and the twist-and-click method for the Loopy set are both simple and user friendly.
For your first interchangeable needle set, I think the Lykke long tip set is the best bang for your buck. At $125, you get needle tips ranging from US4 to US17 (that’s 12 sizes) and 5 cords in three lengths. That’s a lot of needles and a great investment for any enthusiastic knitter. Wood needles tend to be easier for newer knitters to use, and these needles are in the Goldilocks zone: not too sticky and not too smooth… they are just right.
There’s a lot of variety when it comes to knitting needles – even the interchangeable set. There’s something out there that’s right for you. Ultimately, I love having these sets because they are a more organized means of keeping my needles together. Even though I apparently don’t have the ability to discriminate about which is a favorite for me, I hope this little recap will help you make an informed decision when you’re ready to invest in your first set!