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Old 10-05-2015, 02:15 PM   #1
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Interchangeable Knitting Needles - Help!
I did a search on the forum and couldn't really find answers to my questions, so I thought I'd give it a shot with a new post.

I've been knitting for about a year or two, I've crocheted for years and started quilting at 22. I'd say I'm an advanced beginner. I can do cables, read most patterns and I've even started on my first sweater.

Now that I have a handle on knitting, I really want to invest in a set of interchangeable knitting needles because I pretty much exclusively knit on circulars and I'm going crazy trying to buy all the right sizes and lengths.

I really love the addi circulars, mostly for the clicking mechanism because I'm afraid I twist my needles too much for the screw-in cables, and I really like the short lace needles. The only problem is that they don't seem to carry the short lace needles in any size larger than US 8? I did some searching but wasn't able to find any larger.

My other issue is, I tend to use bulkier yarns, and I don't knit socks or anything with really fine yarn. Of course, I might in the future, but right now I really never use anything lower than a size US 7. I saw some needle kits, like the Novas, where I can opt to buy a larger set that has the thicker needles I tend to use, it starts at like a US 7. But then I've read that people aren't crazy about the Novas and that the nickle plating scrapes off easily. Or maybe that's the Karbonz?

I know from my research that this ultimately boils down to personal preference, but I'm hoping someone can offer advice on this? It's totally overwhelming! I can't keep all the brands straight and what they offer. I know I want/need the following:

- A wide range of needle sizes, preferably up to US 15
- A shorter needle tip, but I'm open to longer
- The ability to use a 16" cable because I knit a lot of hats/cowls (I read about some brands that had a 16" cable, but it doesn't let the tips of the needles actually meet?)
- Really secure locking system that can withstand my sloppy knitting
- ability to buy my first set with larger needle sizes (preferably including US 10, 11, 13)

I'm hoping that someone with more experience using these sets can identify some brands that fit the bill, and then I can go from there.
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Old Yesterday, 09:31 AM   #2
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For reference, I have the Knitter's Pride Dreamz set, which I love.

I doubt you're going to find a cable set that comes with the bigger sizes. I got my big ones - 13, 15, 17 - in a set on their own, but I still had to buy the 10.5 and 11 separately to fill in the gap with the regular set. Those sizes didn't come in any kind of set.

I also doubt you're going to find bigger needles in shorter sizes, at least in interchangeables. I have fixed circulars in 10.5 and 11 in 16" length with a shorter needle precisely because I couldn't get them short in interchangeables. I make a lot of hats, and starting with the size 10, the bigger needles are longer than the smaller needles, so they're useless with the 16" cable. It is quite awkward to work with a short needle in a big size, but not impossible. (My other option would have been to do magic loop using a long cable or - uggh - use DPNs for the whole hat, but I got the fixed ones cheap at DNBY, and they filled the gap nicely.)

I generally don't have a problem with the joins on my needles (which are screwed on), and I don't use the tightening tool that often. It's not that difficult to learn just how much to tighten, although I admit a clicking mechanism would be nice! (Turns out I have more of a problem with the join of the cable to the ferrule. I apparently pull the cable as I pull my work around and on longer cables with heavier weights, that has a tendency to pull it apart. Thank goodness Webs just replaces no questions asked!)

And you're right, it very much comes down to personal preference. Test drive what you can. And whatever you get, make sure you get extra cables in the lengths you use most. I have several 16" cables because there's always one in a sleeve, one in a hat, a couple being used as stitch holders, a couple falling into the sofa cushions ... .
Check out my original patterns at Stay Toasty on Ravelry
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