Interchangeable circulars

Detachable circularI went into Morris & Sons’ in Sydney to buy some 6.5mm circulars to finish the neck and arm bands for the ‘Ultra Vest’. I explained that I wasn’t sure what length cable I should get and the shop assistant reached for the Knit Pro interchangeable circulars.

The cables come in 40cm, 60cm, and 80cm. The tips come in laminated birch (pictured above), bamboo, ‘metal’, and acrylic. The shop assistant raved about them and said everyone who works at Morris & Sons knit with them. With such a recommendation, I decided to give them a try too: I bought all 3 lengths cables, 1 set of 3.75mm and 1 set of 6.5mm laminated birch (Symfonie).

The key of interchangeable circular needles is the joint that needs to be seamless so as not to catch. The Knit Pro‘s metal joints seem to do that. The cables come with a metal wire key that you insert into a tiny hole in end of the tips to tighten the joint. Each cable also come with two terminating ‘buttons’ that screw onto to the ends to be used as stitch holders. The advantage of that is, of course, when you come to pick up these stitches on the holder, you simply replace one of the buttons with a needle tip and then start knitting (rather than having to transfer the stitches back onto a needle).

Detachable circular

Detachable circular

I then ordered some Knit Pro bamboo tips (pictured below) for another project to see what they are like. The laminated birch are okay but can be a little ‘sticky’. I have grown to prefer quality bamboo. For circulars, I think both these bamboo tips are better than the standard Addi Click as the surface of the needle has more grip so the stitches don’t slip and slide, but are not as ‘sticky’ as the laminated birch. (Having said that I still prefer the Japanese made Tulip bamboo needles for smoothness with grip.)

A Vest for Albie May

Up till now, I have always used fixed circulars because I had only seen interchangeable sold as sets and they just seem like too much investment. Being able to get cables and tips separately as I need them feels less like a commitment, although I am sure it doesn’t work out cheaper. I notice that Addi also has a range of interchangeable bamboo tips and Morris & Sons now also offer Tulip Interchangeables too.

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2 comments
  1. eleanor11 said:

    I can’t see the bamboo tips on the knitpro website. Is symfonie just the type of wood, or a brand? Presumably you need to buy into one system – the one you have looks like there is a nice smooth transition between the cable and the needle tips – Blacksheepwools only have lantern moon and these are expensive and don’t seem to have a good transition from cable to needle.

    • novice_knitter said:

      Yes, unfortunately the interchangeables are not interchangeable between different makes/ brands/ systems. Both Addi and Knit Pro offer a range of tips including ‘metal’, bamboo, so, I guess, offering more options within a single system. ‘Symfonie’ is the ‘model’ or style made out of laminated birch and some say in ‘attractive colours’, which isn’t to my taste personally. You can find Knit Pro bamboo tips at Yay for Yarn. They have a basic range including ‘Symfonie’, ‘Nova’ and so on. Morris & Sons has a fuller range but slightly pricier.

      I have no problem with the transition between cable and needle on the Knit Pro – something the shop assistant really impressed upon me at Morris & Sons. I see on their website that the cables also come in 100cm, 120cm, and 152mm. I also see that they also have cable connectors to join cables together.

      The cables are about 5AUD and needle tips range from around 8 to 20AUD depending on diameters. The bamboo tips are slightly dearer. (I bought my bamboo tips form Yay for Yarn, they are cheaper and are based in Queensland.)

      I am really into the Tulip bamboo needles and I notice Morris & Sons sell the needle tips but strangely enough not the cables(!) I will go and investigate next time I am there.

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