The first time I ever used an interchangeable circular needle, it was in a class situation. For reasons I no longer recall, the kind woman next to me loaned me one of hers, quickly showing me how to use the little turnkey to attach the tips to the cord as she slid it all towards me. “Stick this little key through the holes in the end of the cord, and that way you can hang onto it better as you’re screwing on the tip.” And ta da, instant tutorial! That’s how you use interchangeable needles with threaded cords and tips.
I never quite realized this isn’t knowledge we’re born with — that it had been handed down to me — until we started selling the breathtaking Lykke interchangeable needle sets and getting emails from customers having trouble attaching tips to cords. Since sets don’t include instructions for whatever reason, I thought I’d take a minute to go over the contents of the Lykke set:
- Needle tips, of course
- An assortment of cords in varying lengths, which you can combine with whichever size tips you’re using to make exactly the size and length of needle you need in any given situation
- Keys, turnkeys, doohickeys, whatever they’re technically called — as noted above, you insert one through the holes in the end of the cord anytime you’re screwing or unscrewing components, giving you leverage and torque (There are four in case you lose any. I always keep at least one in my stitch marker pouch)
- Connectors, those tiny little silver tubes, which allow you to daisy-chain cords together to make even longer cords
- And stoppers, for when you need to leave live stitches on a cord (i.e. as a stitch holder) while using the needle tips elsewhere — just unscrew the needle tip (again, using the key for stability) and screw on the stopper
It’s natural and desirable for the threading to be tight — you want a nice solid join — and with every set I’ve had, I’ve found it’s sometimes necessary to back off and start again (like screwing a lid on a jar and having it very slightly crooked) or flip a cord around and try a needle on the other end. The key should facilitate getting everything screwed together nice and tight and smooth. That said, if you find you have a needle or cord that simply won’t cooperate, even when following these instructions, get in touch with Lykke and they’ll be happy to help!
We have Lykke sets in the shop right now, but I also want to let you know we have individual circs coming very soon! If you’re not quite ready to invest.
I’ve been using the key incorrectly for years. I had no idea until you provided the visual, thanks!
My comment is more general. I have followed your blog for a long time. I appreciate very much the high quality of the products you sell. It is obvious that you take great care in selecting your items. I’ve bought several products from your shop and have never once been disappointed in the quality. I consider your quality your trademark! ….oh, and I’m looking forward to using my set of Lykke needles I just ordered!
This looks exciting, I want to try… I’m a beginner.what are the needles made of?
These are birch.
I keep one of those keys on my key chain. Just in case, you know :)
One thing I love about my Addi interchangeables is that they make a firm join without needing a key. And I can typically hand tighten Hiya Hiyas firmly enough too. But I think the tips come before the join method, in terms of choosing needles (though the join does affect how they are to knit with as well).
Oh and something nice about that hole for the key is that you can thread a lifeline through it.
OMG that is brilliant! I’m getting ready to start a fussy brioche pattern and I’m so glad you mentioned that!
Oh I’m so glad! I debated adding another post when I’d just posted and I thought, if this tip helps one person, it’s worth it! Good luck with your project!
^ I think the Lykke needles are sooo beautiful but I have to admit I’m kind of a devotee when it comes to my Addi Clicks. So. Dang. Easy!
I love my Hiya Hiyas. Are they interchangeable with the Lyykes? Now that would be very, very cool.
The Lykke needles are beautiful and I have ordered a set. If a set of shorts is added to the line let me know!
My interchangeables don’t use the hole and key system and I usually just tighten them by hand, but if they need a bit of extra oomph, gripping them with a fat rubber band while twisting does the job admirably. I expect it works on the Lykkes as well, should you find yourself without the key!
Are the needle lengths offered with the set the only cord lengths available? Are there smaller ones for hat knitting?
I just bought these and love them but wondering if you can buy a 16 inch cord separately? That would really make this kit great. Thanks!
I’m so glad you’re loving them, thank you! A short cord really requires shorter tips. We do have fixed circs now available in the 16″ length, and there are shorter tip/cord sets in the works for sometime later this year.
I agree; a 16″ cord would make this set perfect.
I own a small set of interchangeables (no brand) and I’ve found that on occasion the joint between needle and cable gets slightly unscrewed because of the motion of knitting, which causes the stitches to get caught. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this with a nicer set of interchangeables like the lykkes or addis?
Has anyone used these for Magic Loop knitting? I have Addi clicks and there’s just enough of a bump at the joins that–for me, at least–it can catch on the stitches as I’m passing them back and forth across. So if these were even smoother at the join, I’d be even more excited. :-)
Hi Karen I just discovered your site and it is so inspiring and beautiful! I am interested to buy the Lykke drift wood interchangeable needles but I also want to get the a 16inches cord to make hats with my set. Can the 16inches cord in your website( http://www.fringesupplyco.com/product/lykke-driftwood-circular-needles) be inserted in the needles from the Lykke set? Thanks! Charisma
Hi, Charisma. To make a 16-inch needle really requires a shorter tip. They are working one short-tip sets, and we hope to have them sometime this summer, but in the meantime we do have 16″ fixed circs: http://www.fringesupplyco.com/product/lykke-driftwood-circular-needles
Thanks a bunch Karen!
Completely different track… Just received my Lykke set, yay! Beautiful feel to the smooth wood, just a pleasure to handle, but my question is: for measuring the length, as in the pattern I’m about to swatch specifies 40″ circular needles, measured from needle tip to tip, or the length of the cord without the tips? Two tips are 10″ combined, which is a significant difference in measurement. Thank you, must break off as my new needles are calling.
I’ve only tried my new set twice – both times I gave up because the needles keep falling off the cable! Help! What am I doing wrong?
Hi, Diane — are you using the little key as described above?
I just added a set of Lykke needles to my collection. They are beautiful but I’m confused about to how to use the connectors that came with the set. It seems as if a piece is missing.
Hi, Kathleen. You should be able to just screw a cord into each end of the connector to link two cords together. You’ll need to put one key in each part in order to be able to screw them together.
THE CONNECTORS MAKE LONGER CORDS!!!! Oh my holy everything I had no idea what those were for and this just changes everything. I love the smaller needles as I have child-sized hands, but the cords they come with are shorter. So glad I found this!
They are handy!
I too, ordered a set of the Lykke circulars and since there were no instructions, I had no idea what the connectors or stoppers were for. I went to Google and got my answers here! Thank you for spelling it out for all of us! It’s genius once you understand the function of those two things!