My current work in progress:

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


Sock Needles


In the comments Dorothy asked:

I was looking at your sock and was wondering what length of circular do you use. I am using a 26″ well two of them from knit picks and I am not quite sure I like the length. For comfortable knitting I need the needle part to be at least 4.5 to 5 inches long. Any thoughts to help me along?

When I first switched to two circulars, I used Knitpicks needles in the 16″ length. Those worked pretty well for me, apart from one thing — the needles didn’t last long. After one or two pairs of socks, the joins lost their integrity, and I’d have to toss the needles out and get a new pair. The Knitpicks needles are dirt cheap, though, so this wasn’t too big an issue.

But I decided I’d be happier knitting my socks on slightly longer needles. I took a look at my 24″ Addi turbo needles and started a pair on them. Big mistake for me! The needle portion of those circulars is longer than the 16″: 5″ compared to a scant 3.5″ for the 16″ long circulars. Unlike Dorothy, I like the needle portion of the circular to be shorter.

But I found a good compromise for myself — Addi turbos in the 20″ length. They have the shorter needle portions like the 16-inchers, but an ootch more cord.

My one regret? Addi Lace needles apparently do not come in the 20″ length. They come in 16 or 24. 🙁

Dorothy, I’m not sure if you are wanting a longer or shorter cord on your needles, but if you are thinking shorter, I’m afraid you are out of luck! The shorter cords have the shorter needles.

Eye Candy!

Claudia recently put up for sale in the online Wollmeise shop some “grab-bags” of one-off colors. I bought one (sight unseen) and it arrived today. Check out these babies:


These colors could not be more perfect! Yum!

Meanwhile, Lucy pauses in her play with her Plague Rat to tidy up.



  1. someday I will get my hands on some of that yarn – Those colors are very pretty!
    .-= shell´s last blog ..Hand Dyed Superwash Merino Roving "Snapdragons" Colorway (USD $15.00) =-.

  2. What an amazing collection of fall colors…what do you have in mind????

  3. I’ve sworn off of Knit Picks needles due to constantly breaking cables at the joint. Yeah I know they’ll send replacements but not worth the aggravation. I’m a huge Addis fan and will be buying the Click set as soon as they’re available. I already have sock size Addis.

  4. The colors are stunning! What are those puppies going to grow up to become?
    .-= betzi´s last blog ..The Trouble with Color =-.

  5. I’m jealous of your Wollmeise.

    Plague rat, heh! Don’t let those fleas bite, Lucy!
    .-= Lorette´s last blog ..Playing With Photos =-.

  6. OMG!!!! What beautiful fall colors. I also like the Addi 20″ circulars. I found them in an out of the way shop, on sale, thought they were 24″. Got home and looked again and said “da”, started using them and realized how much I like that length.

  7. Wendy, Could you put up a link to Claudia’s Wollmeise shop? You hit the jackpot with the colors in your grab-bag. They’re gorgeous!!!!

  8. Great WM colors – which bag was it?

  9. Seconding the love for 20″. I like the short needle length, but prefer that little bit of extra cable. In fact, I recently splurged and ordered a whole caboodle of 20″ hiyahiyas.
    .-= Elysbeth´s last blog ..The Project that almost didn’t live =-.

  10. I meant to add that I like the Hiya Hiya circs, at least for magic loop. Good joins, flexible cords, and reasonably priced.

  11. Never mind the link for me, I found it. Thanks anyway. 😉

  12. Gorgeous yarns!!! I can’t wait to see what you do with them!

    All of my circs for socks are the 16 inch length but the Addi Lace & KP Harmonys make me happiest. I am waiting (im)patiently for Signature circs…
    .-= Knitnana´s last blog ..National Capital Cat Show 2009 in Review =-.

  13. How in the world do you know when Claudia is going to update her on-line shop? I always find out just a little too late! I have yet to see any stock on her site at all, and I’ve been looking for more than a year!!

  14. I just sat on my favorite set of dpns for socks the other day. They are all bent now, my lys is over 3 hours away! I wil just have to make an online order I guess but only one set of needles is hardly worth an order. Darn I will have to buy some yarn too.

  15. I knit socks on double pointed needles. Can you recommend a good book (one of yours?) to learn how to knit socks on circulars?



  16. OOOooooo Yummy Yarn, I wants it all, my precious….
    .-= Sarah O G´s last blog ..A long overdue update, maybe I’ll have some knitting for the next one…. =-.

  17. Thanks so much for all the input and for your advise. I LOVE knitting on my Signature double points at 5″ long. I decided to try circs because I am reading your book and working on some of your socks. The problem with the Knitpicks needles is the joint. It just seems rough to me and weak. I will try the addis and the hiyahiahs. Thanks a bunch. Oh I love those colours you got. I have said up until 3 am for up dates and still miss out. 🙁

  18. I can’t wait to see what you do with those lovely colors!
    .-= pmoys´s last blog ..Yarn Diet =-.

  19. Love the colors! Bright and cheerful. Got any plans for them?

  20. The Wollmeise looks yummy!
    How do you store your needles? Do you keep them in the original Addi bags and sizes together? I’m just beginning to have enough needles that I need to determine a better way to keep them organized.

  21. I tried using Addi circs, and I was fairly satisfied until I tried the KP Harmony wood circs. Now I won’t even look at an Addi. I have not had any problems with the joins or the needles being too short or too long. But I do like a long cord. I prefer a 40″ length when making socks, but I am using a single circular, not two of them. I have rather large hands and need the longer cords to knit comfortably.

    Yummy yarns. The colors are so vibrant!
    .-= Sandie´s last blog ..2009 PA Endless Mtns. Fiber Festival =-.

  22. I guess I’m alone with my 24″ knitpicks (nickel) – I’ve had them for about 2 yrs and after countless socks the joins are still good. Unlike the 16″ circs, the needle length is standard, not short. I have big hands, so those shorties are uncomfortable for me.

  23. I’m having some serious Wollmeise envy…
    .-= Carolyn M. Ensminger´s last blog ..A New Start… =-.

  24. I use the Magic Loop method using a 32″ needle. KnitPicks are my #1 choice, even though those joins don’t last. As you said, the cost is reasonable so I don’t mind replacing them on a regular basis. I like the longer needle simply because it’s easier to manipulate with my arthritic hands which is also why I don’t use dpns any longer. Knitting is supposed to be fun, not painful.
    .-= Jill´s last blog ..Behind in knitting =-.

  25. what is your trick to score Wollmeise??? I’m not a Wollmeise virgin but I’ve never been able to score from TLE or Wollmeise shop – – I’ve bought 2 skeins for wonderful Ravelry folks.

  26. That is definite eye candy…. gorgeous colours!

  27. The variety of needle lengths/cord lengths is actually one of the reasons I went back to dpns after trying magic loop. Well, that and I kept forgetting which one was my front needle/back needle. Whoops!
    .-= Seanna Lea´s last blog ..sitting in the dark =-.

  28. Gorgeous colors of the yarn! WM is one of the few dyers I think I’d consider buying sight unseen. I saw the grab bags up, but had just bought some from TLE and knew I couldn’t afford more.
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Monday, Monday =-.

  29. Claudia is amazing – the picture just jumped out at me & yelled Wollmeise. Mmmm. Perfect colours.
    .-= Natalie´s last blog ..Chrysler Crown pattern almost ready to go, with a chance to win lovely shawl pins =-.

  30. I got one of those bags as well. Isn’t it gorgeous?

  31. How does one find the “online Wollmeise shop”?

  32. NewJerseyLaura says:

    OMG – the Wollmeise colors are beautiful! What a lucky grab bag 🙂

  33. LOVE your grab bag! I can never get enough orange or green and Claudia is the queen of color, imho.
    .-= Michele In Maine´s last blog ..Custom listing for rsknits =-.

  34. fairytalefrog says:

    I love the Wollmeise! I’m going to Germany in November and am *fingers crossed* hoping to get to the brick and mortar store – the excitement!

  35. Heh, Wendy, reading the above reminded me of what I put in a comment on your blog the very day you first came ‘out’ as knitting with two circs. So I had to go back and look for it. Yep, June 28, 2007. There was a poll as to favorite length of circ for sock knitting:

    “I wanted to comment that I voted for “Other” above because my favorite length is 20 inches. But that only comes in Addi Turbos (they’re not making Addi Laces in it yet, as far as I can tell), and of course the Turbos have a blunter point which make sock or lace knitting slower/more annoying. I only have really liked the cable and join on Addis and KnitPicks classics — both have soft, flexible cables and great joins. (Inox aren’t bad by me either, but the cables are a little stiffer from my perspective, other than the tiny Inox.) But I have found most 16″ needle TIPS, the business ends so to speak, to be shorter than I find comfortable to hold for prolonged knitting. That being said, I have not ordered any KP 16″ circs because of MY prejudice against this length — so may have to overcome that and give it a try!! Each mfr is different, and KP are such a good deal for the money — or for any money, I do really like their circs. But in general, the shorter the length, the faster you can whip the needle around! And the less they dangle and tangle.”

    Heh. Well, since then, I have bought a number of 16 inch KPs. Seems to me the quality was better at first, actually, I’ve definitely had more bad joins in later purchases. But I’ve apparently gotten used to holding shorter needle tips too. Otherwise, everything I wrote then, I still feel — and sounds like you would endorse to some degree! It was rather amusing, reading that flashback.
    .-= Cathy-Cate´s last blog ..Quick Fun, Lots of Pictures =-.

  36. Wendy-thanks for posting the Tower O’ Needles. It gave me some good ideas. I would be interested to know how you store your yarn? I need help.