Water, water every where, Nor any drop to drink

I should really read “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” someday. I use that line often enough.

I keep thinking of things I want to write about, but then the baby runs out of the room, or the washing machine needs to be emptied, or a mote of dust floats by and catches my . . . where was I?

A long, long time ago (I can still remember how the music used to make me smile) (see what I mean? I just can’t keep my mind on one thing), I wrote something about interchangeable needles, and wondering about people’s opinions of the different sets out there. I’ve had an opportunity to try a few for myself now, and compare them.

I, myself, have a Boye Needlemaster set. I know this one gets a lot of ridicule from some people (I think for some people they just aren’t trendy enough, after all, you can get them at JoAnn’s), but there are a lot of things I like about it. For one thing, the smallest tips are 2s (they go up to 15s). Most other sets seem to start around 4s or 5s. And the tips are nice and pointy. I find I have less and less tolerance for blunt tips as I get older. They also have a nice variety of cable lengths, starting at 16″, I think.

I do have a couple of problems with this set. One is that the cables aren’t terrifically flexible. Doing something like Magic Loop, or Cat Bordhi’s Moebius cast-on is . . . not impossible, but not easy. Also, I’m very good at over-tightening them, so that the ends on some of my tips are a little flanged. I have learned, though, that I can actually tighten them enough just by hand. As long as I don’t use the little pin-thingy, I can’t over-tighten them, and they no longer get that flange.

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to use both KnitPicks Options, and Denise Interchangeables.

The Options are nice. I’ve used both the nickel-plated and the Harmony wood tips. The cables are as thin and flexible as everyone gushes about them being. And although the shortest is only 24″, the longest is a whopping 60″, perfect for Cat Bordhi’s Moebius projects (I like those, if’n you can’t tell). The tips are at least as sharp as the Boye’s. Hand tightening does not seem to be enough for them, which brings up the threat of over-tightening, and damaging the ends. The other problem I’ve noticed with them is that the cables pop out sometimes (this has happened to me with their fixed circulars, also). I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that KP will replace them when that happens, but that doesn’t do you much good if you’re in the middle of something. I managed to push the cables back in most of the way, which is okay, but then there’s a dip at the join, and the stitches don’t move as smoothly over it. Still, the cables are awesome otherwise, and the finish on the nickel-plated tips is really nice. I’ve decided I don’t much care for wooden needles in general, but the Harmony tips are very nice as they go.

I shouldn’t really say that I’ve worked with the Denise set, because I’ve only used one set of tips and one cable. A friend asked me if I could finish a project for her, and that’s the needles she was using. These are definitely not for me. I don’t care for wooden tips. I don’t like plastic tips (or acrylic, nylon, etc.), and these seem very blunt to me besides. And the cables are huge, and not so flexible. They are available in a really wide range of lengths, though, from 5″ to 58″.

I’m going to stick with my Boye’s for now. But I have to figure out some way to try HiyaHiya’s, Addi Clicks, and I know there are others I can’t think of.


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