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Needle Kits

DeannaS's picture

So, my folks want Xmas ideas for me, and I'm considering asking for one of the knitting needle kits - the short needles that will attach to either circular cords or straight cords to make various size needles. Has anyone ever used these? I'm still at the point where I so don't have all the various size needles yet. But, I'm starting to acquire more sizes, so I'm at the "do it now or forget it" stage.

Here's an example of one of the kits:
http://www.kelsea.ca/boye_needlemaster_large.htm

Any thoughts? Feedback? Are they worth it, or should I just ask for a few needle sizes that I don't have yet?

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

Elisabeth's picture

(post #29274, reply #1 of 12)

What a good idea to make a kit! I haven't knitted in a million years but looking at the kit I hear the voice in my head saying - what if I want to work on more than one project at a time? But maybe there are enought lengths of cord. I wonder how the cord stays in the needle ends? I like the kit idea but my vote goes to the individual sizes instead.

mrswolff's picture

(post #29274, reply #2 of 12)

Hi there,

I agree with Elizabeth, the idea sounds good but only if you A: like working with circular needles, and B: like using needles made from those materials. I have put together my own kits with either all wood or all bamboo needles (my preferred materials) and made some very pretty cases from silk dupioni scraps. You have much more control of your preferences that way. If you sew, there are directions for making your own cases on DIY.com, if you don't you could check out lanternmoon.com and several other sites. You might want to take a look at some of the artisan needles available now too. So many gorgeous options out there like the ones on both lanternmoon.com and knitknack.com. My feeling is that if we are going to put our heart and soul into any creative efforts, our tools ought to make us just as happy as the finished products.

Having been a knitter and sewer since I was about 5 or 6, it is really exciting that people are becoming interested in this art again. Which ever direction you go with your needles, Keep Knitting!!!!! :)

DeannaS's picture

(post #29274, reply #3 of 12)

Thanks for the feedback from both you and Elisabeth. The more I think about it, the more I think that you two are correct.

I've only actually knitted with the cheapo metal needles. Maybe I'll ask for some of the bamboo ones for Xmas.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

dana's picture

(post #29274, reply #4 of 12)

Go to knittinghelp.com they have a forum that discusses those boye needles as well as the diane needles which are the same but plastic. keep knitting

Jean's picture

(post #29274, reply #5 of 12)

Hey, Deanna!  I have had a set of these Boye needles for years (30 +) and I just love them.  They've held up extremely well considering the use and abuse they've suffered. I used them less after I got my knitting machines, but they come out for any hand knitting I still do. Right now I'm making sweaters for 18" dolls to donate for sale to the school bazaar. Each one takes about a skein, so they go quickly. What fun. DH and I  loved meeting you and yours at the Midwestfest!! So glad we were able to come.

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


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DeannaS's picture

(post #29274, reply #7 of 12)

Thanks for the info. It was great to meet you, too. I'm trying to rapidly finish a little wrap around sweater for a friend who's about to give birth. Good thing I'm doing the 3-6 month size, cause I don't think I'm going to finish it in time for giving it to her right when she delivers. Oops!

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

customsewer's picture

(post #29274, reply #9 of 12)

Hello --


I had a set of the attach points to circular needles that I used a lot 25+ years ago -- I made an Aran sweater with them. I still have the set, in its glorious orange & brown vinyl case -- just don't have time to knit until someday when I retire.


But if I were to resume hand knitting I would use regular straight needles. The cables get kinks in them. The part of the row that is sitting out on the cable part tends to have some or all stitches stretch to a size that is different from the knitting tips.


Until you have filled out your complete set of standard needles, it is a convenience to be sure you've got every size, when messing around doing swatches for testing guage.


Carol in Denver

DeannaS's picture

(post #29274, reply #6 of 12)

Cool - thanks - I'll check that out.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

KathiM's picture

(post #29274, reply #8 of 12)

I use the bamboo needles and love them.  I wouldnt go back to the metal ones.

zuwena's picture

(post #29274, reply #10 of 12)

I agree with all of the comments that have gone before. I got a set of the original needles in plastic when they first came out about 30 years ago. Most of the points have held up nicely. I've made many things and enjoyed having the variety available. One problem, however, was that the plastic tips on one or another broke. On the other hand, if you are going to be serious about this for the long haul, there is nothing like a set of real bamboo or other wooden needles. They are just glorious to create with. Happy knitting.

crashnquilt's picture

(post #29274, reply #11 of 12)

I had a Needlemaster set at one time.  I think I lost it during a move at one time.  I went to look for it and never found it.  So, I went to a yarn shop and bought a different set of circular needles.  I recall seeing the Needlemaster there at the time but thinking that "Professional quality" needles would be nicer, I shelled out bigger bucks for a complete set.  If I had it to do over again, I'd go back to the Needlemaster set. 


If you follow the instructions, the cables do not come unscrewed during knitting.  Regarding getting "kinks" in the cables is an easy fix.  Just dunk them into a pan of very hot water.  I get the water to a medium simmer, dunk the cable in and right back out then wipe with a paper towel.  The cable is straight and remains that way.  When you are finished, you can roll it right back up and put it away.  I saw that little trick on Knitty Gritty. 


The new Needlemater is really great because it comes with different cable lengths.  When I had mine it came with just one cable and the others had to be ordered.  You can get additional cables for the needles if you feel you need them.


I have always worked with circular needles.  Your work actuall sets in your lap while knitting and that takes the weight of the project off of your hands and wrists.  Also, I never loose the other needle when I set the project aside. 


Good luck!

Kilroywashere's picture

(post #29274, reply #12 of 12)

After wearing the tips off of my bamboo circular needles (why does anyone bother with straight needles?  You can't take them on planes, you stab yourself with them, and you can't just drop your knitting then pick it right back up in mid-row like you can with circulars!)  I bought a complete set of the Denise plastic needle kit.  While I still prefer the feel of the bamboo, these don't seem to wear the tips off (at least not yet).