My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Oh, Hiya!

I’m happily knitting along on my sock.


Interesting to read of others’ experiences with the Knitpicks circulars. Some of you have the same experience as I, with loose joins and breaks, some of you have had no problems.

Several of you asked about the cables on the Hiya Hiya needles — are they as flexible as the Knitpicks? I don’t think they are — they seem a little stiffer to me. But they are flexible enough for me, and that’s all that matters, at least from my point of view.

I also find them pointy enough. I don’t see much difference in pointyness between these and the Knitpicks, at least in the 2mm size I usually use for socks. The pointyness may differ in larger sizes, but I’ve only got them in small sizes.


The Hiya Hiya is on the left — you can see it is slightly less pointy.

In answer to a question from the comments, with fingering weight sock yarn I usually use a size 0 (2mm) needle and get 8 sts/12 rows to the inch.

I’m intrigued by the new Kollage square needles, but unfortunately the shortest cable length that the circulars come in is 24″. I find that on a 24″ circular, the needle length is uncomfortably long for me to use knitting socks. On a 16″ circular (on my Hiya Hiyas), the actual needle length is 3.3″ and I find that to be perfect for knitting a small circumference item, like a sock. When I try to knit a sock on two 24″ circulars, I find the needle length uncomfortably long. The needle length on a 24″ circular is usually about 5″ long — that’s a big difference.

Is this just me? Am I being speshul? πŸ˜‰

Lucy sez:


Momma kept me up too late last night!


  1. Susanna de Beer says:

    Nice looking sock, very cool pattern and color, love it. πŸ™‚

  2. I knit my socks on two 24 inch circulars. Sometimes two at a time so in that case the 24 inches helps, but over all that is my prefered length. ANy chance any time soon we can get a sneak peek of your sock book? I don’t think being pregnant with was this hard, but then again my memory could be foggy as that was 8 years ago.

  3. Lucy! You should tell your Momma to go to bed earlier!!! πŸ™‚ Tom, the cat I had before my sweet little Sissela, used to tell me when it was time to go to sleep… he run away to the bedroom, came back and looked at me and said: Come on, Momma!!!!

  4. How do the Knit Picks and Hiya Hiya needles compare to Addi Turbo circulars? That is what I use and I don’t have an LYS where I can look at Hiya Hiya needles before purchasing. I usually use two 24-inch circs for my socks.

  5. I use two 24″ circs too – I want the needle tips to flop down out of the way when I’m not using that particular circ. I’m with ChristyH – any way to get a sneak peak at your new book?

  6. The cable material was the one big positive for the Knit Picks needles as far as I’m concerned. If I could have Addis tips and Knit Picks cables, I’d be a happy little camper. Although the new cables on Addis are pretty flexible.

    Timmie Bs last blog post..A trip to the farm

  7. The knitpicks tips are ALMOST pointy enough for me. I don’t think that I’ll be satisfied with the pointiness until they are sharp enough to pierce skin πŸ˜‰ And the flexiblity of knitpicks is also very important to me…I’m willing to put up with a bit of pull at the join for flex and pointiness! I guess it all depends on what bits matter most to you!

    I also prefer longer tips…my hands cramp up with needles shorter than the typical 24″ circ lengths.

  8. I haven’t figured out what size needles I like or am comfortable with yet. Only way to find out is to actually knit some socks which I still shy away from even though I WANT to learn in the worst way.

    Aunt Kathys last blog post..Monday- Contest Day #23- Make Room For The Bag Lady

  9. Rather than using them, I returned the Knitpicks needles because they seemed cheaply made; point proven, apparently. I use two 20″ cable, size 0 circular Addi Turbos, for knitting socks. The cable seems very flexible to me, and I am pleased with the result. The 20-inchers have a shorter needle than the 24-inchers, and are easier to manipulate.

  10. I have both Knitpicks Harmony circulars and Addi Lace Turbos in sock sizes (US0 and US1). I prefer 24″ so that the needles not in use hang down out of the way. Both the Lace Turbos and the Knitpicks are nice and pointy and as someone else said, the newer Addi cables (the blue ones) are a bit more flexible than they were in the past.

    At the LYS where I work, a rep left us a pair of the Kollage square-needle circs to try out. They are interesting. I have to say that the cable on them is THE most flexible of anything I’ve seen on the market. On a 24″ circular, it was easy to do magic loop over a small number of stitches. Both the Addis and Knitpicks needles would be hard-pressed to accomplish that. The join on the Kollages, however, isn’t completely smooth and with fine sock yarn, I think it might bother me a lot.

    Also, we found that the gauge on attained with the Kollage needles was looser than on Addis. Of course, your mileage may vary. And, if you’re usually a tight knitter, the Kollage needles may be very helpful.

    It remains to be seen whether the Kollage needles catch on or are just a short-term novelty. πŸ™‚

    Cindy (maxfun)s last blog post..The money shot

  11. I was very excited about the Kollage Square Needles. I LOVE the double-points. However, when I tried to knit worsted yarn on a #6, 24″ needle, I found the joins to be kind of rough, and the cable really wasn’t stiff enough for me to move the stitches along. Often, when I tried to push sts from cable up on the needle, the cable would fold itself over.

    I feel really disappointed becasue I really love the feel of the square needles in my hands, and I like a cable that doesn’t curl; but I need it to have some more body.

    Is this just me, or has anybody else had this problem? I would really love some feedback on this. If this problem is corrected, I would knit with nothing else!

    Hey Lucy, you are looking particularly regal today. Your momma is making up to you for the butt-shot…

  12. I agree, the cable on the Kollage square needles is the most flexible I’ve ever felt. . . I had some trouble magic-looping on them. Other than that, I like the feel of the square needles, it seemed a bit more comfortable for my hands.

    angelas last blog post..Fleeting thought

  13. You ask if you’re being speshul, and the answer is “nope!”

    We figure out what we like, and we’re paying for it, so choose the tools you like best! I’m still a dpn kinda gal, myself. I get more thrill from favorite tools than I do from stashing yarn. I’m kinda strange that way.

    pdxknitteratis last blog post..Ebony and Ivory…

  14. I used the Kollage square straight needles to knit a scarf a couple of weeks ago, since they are supposed to be easier on the hands and I have trouble with my fingers. I really didn’t notice any difference on my hands but they were fun anyway.

  15. I agree you are not being splech. I appreciate your honesty and as someone who has the same problem with the Knit Picks “loosening” or whatever after a few socks – I am interested in your needle reviews. I was a steadfast double point needle girl, but once I got the 16″ 2 circular method I haven’t went back to double points.

  16. I haven’t found the Addis as flexible as I’d hoped, but I haven’t tried their new cord. I just saw an ad for an Addi interchangeable points set. It’ll be interesting to hear how that is. I don’t know what it costs. I think they must have lost a lot of sales to Knit Picks.

  17. NewJerseyLaura says:

    Love your new sock! And thank you for hiya hiya tips. I agree about the 16″ being the perfect length.

  18. I like this new sock too, and in such a pretty springy green.

    I have only tried susan bates and addi circulars for socks. I do magic loop, so I want a bit more cord….I prefer a more flexible cord. I haven’t tried the knitpicks, as I am skeptical of things coming loose…..that would aggrivate me beyond repair!

    shellys last blog post..Girls do what girls do

  19. I’ve used lots of KnitPicks circs to knit socks but have just about decided that I prefer a 40″ Addi Lace circular to do the Magic Loop technique instead. The KP needles are okay most of the time – I really like the changeable tip sets, but the tiny needles do sometimes get rasty joins. Overall, the higher cost of Addis is offset by only buying one set for Magic Loop. The Addi Lace needles give me a pointy tip. TaDa!

    Tuna wishes for Lucy! Peace & quiet wishes for Mama!

  20. Signature needles is doing a survey right now, and asked about the length of the needle vs the cable length. The things you don;t think about till you are faced with them! I have always used DPNs. Lucy is beautiful this Winter!

  21. I really like the Addi lace circs. Flexible cable and pointy.

    I know there are some people out there that love the old Susan Bates all plastic needles and go around buying them up at yard sales. I’ve got a few in my collection, but I dislike the points. They’re almost OK in larger sizes, but the smaller ones are not to my liking. I keep thinking that they should come up with a way to have an all-plastic needle with a very flexible cable, and a metal reinforced, pointy tip. I think the Pony Pearls used a metal reinforcement in their smaller sizes.

    I also seem to remember some really old circs my mother had that had some sort of metal coil for the cable? I don’t have any of these, but if you could get the coil to not snag the yarn (like an omega necklace?), that would seem to be the way to have pointy tips along with flexibility and durability in the cable.

  22. Danielle from SW MO says:

    I use 24 in KP Circs for Magic Loop and for 2 circ knitting, it seems to be the most comfortable length for me. The cable is flexible enough for me to do this and *crosses fingers* I havent had the fixed circs come loose yet. I am waiting for the Addi Interchangeable to come out and if it is in my budget I plan to get it as well as some Hiya Hiya sock sircs to try them out.

  23. Just a postscript to the perfume recommendations. The composition of Angel by Thierry Mugler is:
    β€’ Top notes of bergamot and jasmine.
    β€’ Middle notes of red berries, dewberry, and honey.
    β€’ Base notes of patchouli, vanilla, coumarine, chocolate, and caramel.

    Mugler’s Innocent (good for warmer weather):
    Mischievous fragrance blending notes of honey, fresh almond, exotic fruits, and musk.

    Angelunas last blog post..Of Blooms and Kittens and an STR Rooster

  24. I can comment on the pointiness issue. For the larger sizes they are MUCH flatter (not as pointy as knitpicks or Inox). I was dissapointed with this fact however, now for the larger sizes I just go for my Inox grays. πŸ™‚

    Tammys last blog post..Teaching Continued

  25. Me, too, Wendy, on the 16″ vs 24″ circs. So we must BOTH be speshul!

    Knitnanas last blog post..Things to Knit, Bags to Sew, Cats to Enjoy…Anny’s to Celebrate!

  26. The cable on the Kollage is too flexible for me. I struggled to get the stitches on the needle from the cable using magic loop. Addi Lace are what I am collecting to replace Knit Picks.

  27. I have some of the original issue hiya hiya and found the needle was a bit long for the 20 inch needles. I had problems working comfortably. But the 24 inch was perfect.
    I have a pair of the new Addi 2.25 circs. They are perfect. The blue cord is very flexable and the needles not too pointy. Impaling points are one of my no nos. I love the new Addi cords.
    I ordered and returned two of the new Addi Lace 2.25mm both had burrs on the tip of the needle and tarnish spots. Hard to believe of Addi
    My fav are the new Addi blue cords, Hiya Hiya and INOX. KPs too pointy for me. Plus the falling apart issues.

  28. Hiya πŸ™‚
    Lookin’ at all your purty socks is makin’ me want to try again. But I’m allergic to wool. I figured I’d come to the expert to ask – what do you recommend for sock yarn for those of us who are allergic? Cotton? Arcylic? IS there even such a sock yarn??

    mias last blog title.

  29. I enjoy your brand of speshul! Keep up the good work in that department! πŸ˜‰

    I am an extremely tight knitter, and so my circs endure a lot when I knit on them. I’ve been utilizing the knitpicks for quite some time, and although I like the pointiness of them, I am in complete agreement that their downfall is the cord. The ones I am currently using are looking a bit worse for wear around the join.

    I’ve gotten hands on with the Kollage needles, and I found that their tip was not very pointy, and it was a rather short tip. The cable, however is extremely soft! Aside from the non-pointiness, they felt really good in my hands, which is a plus for those of us with aches and pains.

    Megan S.s last blog post..Warning: Very Little Content

  30. I was knitting yesterday at lunch with my Knitpicks and paying close attention to how I knit as far as stress on the cables. While I knit, I do not put any stress on my cable joins because I knit with 24 inch circs. I was thinking of you and your bad luck with Knitpicks and was wondering if you were using the shorter 16 inch circ which would put stress on the joins. You answered my quesion in today’s blog. Unlike, you I find knitting with 16 inch circs way too uncomforbable due to the shorter needle. So I bet those of us who knit socks with 24 inch circs don’t have any isues with our Knitpicks because we don’t have to pull on our cables.

    Smooches to Lucy!!!

  31. I’ve had problems with the Knitpicks interchangeables coming unscrewed and had to glue them together which defeats the purpose. I love Hiya Hiyas! The cords are great with a little help. After they have been dunked into hot water for a bit they loosen up nicely.

    Katherines last blog post..Cuffed, Wound and Started

  32. Wendy, I am enjoying reading your daily blog and watching the progress you make daily on each of your gorgeous socks. HOW do you produce them so quickly? I am astonished how they grow so much daily!! I apparently knit at the same gauge as you – 8 spi on 2 mm needles – and am VERY impressed!! Especially with the complex stitch patterns you use. Do you have any tips for committing the patterns to memory as you work, or do you find that working from a chart is easier/quicker than working from text directions?

  33. I have the new addi Turbo Click set, and I ADORE them! Granted, I’m comparing it to a very old Denise set that I inherited…. I can’t use them for socks, as the needle sizes only go down to US 4. But I’m currently knitting a pair of fingerless mitts using the Magic Loop method, and I’m very pleased. The cord is flexible but not too floppy, the tip is pointy enough for lace, and I’m not catching my yarn on the join. I haven’t tried the Hiya Hiya or KP needles yet, but I do love these addis!

    Wendy, about the yarn you’re using: I have the same yarn in the same colorway marinating in my stash. Great minds think alike! πŸ™‚ What do you think of the ShibuiKnits sock yarn? I was originally going to knit your Frog Warts socks out of it, but now I’ve set it aside for a scarf. Your thoughts?

  34. It’s a constant source of enjoyment to me how different people like different things. I often find the shorter circulars to have tips that are too short for me to knit with comfortably. Whether that is just a “what you are used to” thing or a real issue for me I don’t know yet. I love learning of new needles to try out though. So I am making a mental note to check these out.

    Ronnis last blog post..Still not dead

  35. I’ve used Knit Piks needles and like the tips and the cables, but have had other problems – metal finish discoloring, interchangable tips coming unscrewed while working, and the wooden tips of the Harmonies pulling out of their metal sockets while working (beautiful wood, though!)
    I prefer a pointier tip, so I like the HiyaHiya and Inox even better than Addis. The finish on the Addi Lace needles that is designed to have a little more grip on the yarn might be good for lace knitting, but it REALLY bothered me for sock knitting.
    Susan Bates is making a decent circular in the Silverado line – flexible black cable and smooth joins. I haven’t had any break or discolor yet, so maybe this is a better “economy” needle than KnitPiks?
    BTW, I do my socks top down on magic loop, if that makes any difference.

  36. I have never really gotten into knitting socks on either 2 circulars or magic loop (with magic loop, I always forget where I am in the cycle and end up creating ‘accidental shortrows’). I love knitting with dpns and really should try some of the sock-length needles. Most of my dpns are a bit long for the # of stitches I have on the needles.

    Seanna Leas last blog post..national γƒ›γƒƒγƒˆγ‚±γƒΌγ‚­ day

  37. Nice socks!!
    I’m all for the 16″ circulars. Every size should come in 16″, AND they should have 16″ flexibles too…… πŸ™‚

    Danieles last blog post..New Babies and Baby Knitting….

  38. I don’t knit socks with circs, but I do use KnitPicks options. I have occasionally gotten a cable from them that has had the problem you describe. Knitpicks will send you a replacement within one year of purchase, because that is how long their warranty covers the needles. They have never given me problems about the replacements, either.

  39. I have not had any problems whatsoever with the KnitPicks circs, but I also use a much longer cable join than you so I imagine that with a shorter cable there’s going to be more strain.

    And as to how they compare with addis, I think the material’s slickness is about the same and I find the only difference is really in the pointiness. I prefer KnitPicks needles far and above everything else though because they’re cheap and decent and if I lose one I don’t kick myself for losing so much money.

    I do have to say with the KnitPicks metal needles, though, that the big ones are awfully heavy for me. I have the options interchangeables and it just hurts my hands to knit with anything bigger than a 5 or 6 US. I want to get the wooden ones to help with that.

    Bronwyns last blog post..GAH!

  40. I love this design. I can’t wait for this to be available.
    Just out of curiousity though, when you design a sock, do you make both or just the one you display on your site?

  41. I love the green and the pattern, very pretty!

    So, I saw a show that featured Ragdoll cats. They said the Ragdoll can weigh up to 35 pounds! I was wondering if Lucy was this big? I didn’t think so, but perhaps photos are deceiving?

  42. Alice in Richmond says:

    About the Kollage needles. I had the same problem as Wendy. I LOVED the needles but the cable was far too thin and flexible to move the stitches from the cable to the needle. It was annoying to say the least. I found that I could not use them for knitting socks on 2 circs and resorted to my addis.

    I have never used Knitpicks or HiyaHiya but I love addis and Inox.

    Hi Lucy!

  43. I have a pair of the square circulars and didn’t care for them. I thought that the cable was too flexible, so flexible that the yarn would bend it over the needle at the join that get caught.

    Sandys last blog post..Mobile phone blogging

  44. TorchSinger says:

    You’re speeshul! πŸ™‚ I prefer the longer needles and find the short ones a little too short for me to hold comfortably while knitting socks (I knit Continential, don’t know if that makes a difference).

    Regarding the square needles, a friend bought them and reports that the cable is just toooooo floppy for her and she had trouble moving the stitches on them.

  45. Of course you’re speshul! But we’re all different, too. For example, I can’t STAND to knit socks with 16″ circs. I happily use 24″. Haven’t tried 20″, but if the needles are shorter, I probably won’t like them. But hey, we all get our socks in the end, and hopefully enjoy the process. And that’s the point, right? I’ll look forward to hearing how you like the 20″.

    Sandra Ds last blog post..Green, Green

  46. I tried the square needles. I loved the needles themselves, but the cables are too flexible for me. I usually knit using the Magic Loop technique, which requires me to push the stitches back onto the needles. For that the cable needs to have enough body to push the stitches along it, too. Can’t do it with the super-soft cable on the square needles. Might be a problem for people who want to knit back and forth on a circ, too.

  47. A lurker jumping into the needle discussion because someone mentioned Susan Bates old old needles !!!! All one piece – no pesky join – lovely pointy tips – so hard to find…. They are the 1 st needle I reach for when starting a project.
    They are called Silkon finish (I think ) a soft grey colour & very smooth. Later on they changed them slightly & they weren’t quite so good & didn’t last as well. I’ve had mine 10 – 15 yrs.
    Any one who has or finds any of them I will gladly buy them, any size any length !!

  48. I’ve used KnitPicks Harmony (wood) straights and circulars for socks and have a different problem with them. The tips splinter. It is very very annoying especially with the circulars.
    I would love to try Grafton Fiber’s Darn Pretty Needles but they only come in 5″ lengths which are uncomfortably short for me.

  49. Lori Bollinger says:

    Just a quick comment about the Kollage square needles. I am a dpn kinda girl, so I got a set of the square dpns and OMG, I am never, ever, never going back to my old needles. I can’t wait to try the circs for sweaters and such.

  50. I agree with the comment about the short needle size. I like the 20″ cables because the needle is still short, but the is just a little more play in the cable length.

    Funny how picky we get about our tools.

    Elysbeths last blog post..March to the Finish