I have a thing for interchangeable knitting needles – especially when they look so very pretty as the Marblz do. I also enjoy knitting with the Symfonie Dreamz from Knitter’s Pride, specifically when I knit with cotton or linen.
There are things you can do with an interchangeable knitting needle set that you cannot with your regular fixed circulars. Today I have a few pointers in that direction, maybe you’ll even find something that you did not know before or never thought about.
First of all though, when attaching your interchangeables, please always use whatever little implement is included in the package to securely tighten them. The Kntter’s Pride sets have a little key that needs to be inserted in a hole in the cable which gives you a better grip when screwing on the needle, thus making it tighter. The Hiya Hiya kits include two little rubber pieces, one to hold the cord, the other to hold the needle with – again, to provide better grip and a tighter fit. Addi clicks do not need to be screwed and tightened so there is no gadget included, however, you want to make sure the cable actually clicks into position, and thus cannot detach itself.
I do not want to go on about how to generally use an interchangeable set, you know that it is possible to attach cords of different lengths, etc etc. What I am rather going to talk about is the stuff you do not think about at first, but will work nicely using your interchangeable kit.
There are a lot of useful things included in a kit – if not included, you often can buy them in addition. End caps, for example, are very useful. I never worry if I have the right size in use or not, if I do an want to start something else with the same size, I just detach the needles and screw on the end caps to make the cord into a stitch holder for my work in progress. To not forget which needle size you used, there are little tags with the needle size you can include on the cord, just to be sure!
You probably already know that when you knit a cardigan or sweater top down you can try it on during knitting. That’s really great – especially when you are indecisive about the length and need help to decide. I usually use a 32′ neelde to knit sweaters, which is too short to try on a sweater – in that case I just unscrew a needle, attach the cord extender, screw on another cord and an end cap or the needle with a needle stopper. This way I can securely try on my knitting on the go and see how much I yet have to knit.
I also like to use the shorter cables as stitch holder for the sleeves, since I prefer malleable holders to the metal rigid ones for sleeves. Don’t get me wrong, these have their uses and I do have quite a few of them, but for sleeves I prefer the cords.
Did you know that you can make two sets of the same size with just one pair of tips? When knitting in the round you always knit with the needle in your right hand. While we usually have the same size on the left hand needle, you can totally get away with using a tip a size smaller. This way you can knit two projects at the same time – only in the round though!! It does not work for flat knitting, because then we use both needles alternately. You can also knit very small circumferenes, instead of using double pointed needles, use the two circulars.
There are projects out there that ask to knit one row with a big needle and the next one with a much smaller one. Just attach the adequate size to your cable and go – no need to swith needles every row.
One thing you want to keep in mind in regard of interchangeable kits: keep them organized! I keep a good number of the keys to tighten the cords on a amall key ring as not to loose them, but have one or two in my notions case that I usually carry to work and one in my notions box in the living room. It is best to place the tips and cords back into the needle case when you are done with your project, otherwise you can loose track of where the needles are – and you might need the cord for another project. (No worries, if you need extra cords, you can buy them separately.)
Interchangeables are also the perfect travel companion. You always have a variety of needle sizes on hand contained in a neat little package.
What’s not to love?
Happy Knitting, as ever!