The Best Circular Needles For Magic Loop

Ready to try Magic Loop? Here’s what you’ll need to get started.red tool setJust kidding.

You really only need one piece of equipment to start learning Magic Loop: a 40– to 47-inch-long circular needle in a medium size, say, US size 7 or 8.

You’ll also need about 50 yards of worsted-weight yarn, but you probably have some already.

If you’re ready to jump into learning Magic Loop, watch the basic Magic Loop tutorial here.

Let’s say you don’t already own a circular needle for Magic Loop and you need to buy one.

47 inches is best length of circular needle to buy for Magic Loop, as you will be able to use this length for any project, including two-at-a-time, which I promise you will want to try as soon as you get the hang of this technique.

36 inches is the shortest length of needle that can be used for Magic Loop, so if you already have this length at home, that’s fine, but if you are buying new needles, the longer, the better.

Shopping Locally For Circular Needles? Look For Addi Lace

You have a few choices when shopping for needles. Common brands you will find at your local yarn store will be Clover bamboo needles for about $9.00 and Addi Turbo and Lace needles for about $14.00.

Clover Bamboo Needles

Clover bamboo circular needles

Clover needles are made from bamboo and feel "safe"

You can also find Clover circulars at Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics, but I don’t really recommend them.

You may be used to knitting on bamboo needles, but bamboo circulars can have an inflexible cable and a rough join, the place where the cable is connected to the needle tips, causing snags and frustration as you try to move your knitting along.

If you like the security of a bamboo needle (bamboo needles are less slippery than the metal Addi Turbos), I recommend you try a pair of Addi Lace needles, which cost about $14.

Addi Lace Needles

Addi Turbo Lace needles

Addi Lace needles are pointy and have a "grabby" coating

Addi Lace needles have a slightly rougher surface than the super-slick Addi Turbos, and they also have a pointier tip. This means more dexterity while you are knitting, and the ability to knit complicated stitches with ease. Ask any LYS employee and they will rave about Addi Lace.

Addi Turbo Needles

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the techniques, Addi Turbos, also about $14, are a great choice for making quick progress on your projects. They have a blunt tip and a smooth finish, helping you speed along like a Knitting Superstar.

Watch my tutorial on using your fingers to hep you to prevent the stitches from popping off your needles as you whiz along, and watch my video on how to fix a dropped stitch in case one does.

Addi Turbo circular needles

I love Addi Turbo needles because they let you knit so fast

Addi Click Interchangeable Needles

Addi also has a fun option, called Addi Click, a set of interchangeable needles and cables. With one purchase, you’ll have most of the needles for Magic Loop you’ll ever need. You can buy other cables and needle-tips separately.

As of this writing, the Clicks are only available in the Turbo style, but they are working hard on a Lace version. The set of Addi Clicks is pricey, but compared to buying each needle individually, it’s a steal.

>>blog update: as of March 2012, Addi Clicks are available in Lace<<

A set of Addi Turbo clicks

Addi Turbo Clicks come with interchangeable tips in sizes 4-15

Shopping Online? Try Knit Picks, Hiya Hiya, or Signature Needles

Knit Picks Interchangeable Needles

Knit Picks, an online knit shop, has a popular and inexpensive set of interchangeable circular needles for Magic Loop as well. They come in wood ($85) and metal ($70), and the gorgeous multicolored wooden ones have a nice sharp point similar to the Addi Lace.

The cables are very flexible (and purple!), and the price is around the lowest available for this type of product. I know quite a few knitters who have been really happy to get this set as a gift.

Knit Picks Harmony interchangeable needle set

Many knitters love these needles - a few have said that the joins loosen over time.

HiyaHiya Needles

HiyaHiya Needles have also been attracting a lot of attention (and this blog post was updated to reflect that). They are reportedly inexpensive and have nice, flexible cables. Read some KNITFreedom reader reviews of the HiyaHiya needles here.

Signature Needles

This list wouldn’t be complete without the cream of the crop, Signature Needle Arts, the finest knitting tools money can buy.

Made in a factory that machines airline parts, these precision aluminum needles have long, tapered points without being painfully sharp, and silky-smooth joins.

But at $40 per pair of needles, these are a real splurge. Good thing they have a wishlist on their site!

signature needles close up

Signature Needles are the cream of the crop - I recommend the "Stiletto Tip"

Easy Choice: 47″ Addi Lace Needles From Your LYS

If you want me to pick the best needles for Magic Loop for you, support your LYS and buy a pair of 47? Addi Lace in size 7.

For $14, you can start your Magic Loop project with a needle that you’ll continue to use for years.

Join The Discussion

Obviously I’ve only just touched on your options here – this post originally was intended to provide some easy guidelines for shopping.

Since I posted it, the number of options has grown, and many readers have contributed their own opinions. Read the latest comments on KNITFreedom Forum: What Are Your Favorite Needles For Magic Loop And Why?

Keep Reading

If you liked this review of the best circular needles for Magic Loop, let me know by leaving a comment!

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About Liat Gat

Liat is the founder and video knitting expert at KNITFreedom. If you liked this article, you'll love the tips you learn from her FREE video newsletter. Get it now by subscribing here.
This entry was posted in Magic Loop, Product Recommendations and Tips and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to The Best Circular Needles For Magic Loop

  1. kareena says:

    I would like to add information about HiyaHiya needles. They have smooth joins and flexible cables which make them great for the Magic Loop method. I have been using them for almost a year. I use them exclusively. They have interchangeable needles along with fixed circulars. They feel great in my hands. They start at 000000 (6-0) and have size 1.5 needles to maximize the ability to make the items being knit match the gauge of the pattern.

    Kareena

    • liatmgat says:

      Kareena,
      Thank you so much for leaving this comment! I had never heard about HiyaHiya needles and they look great! Addis only start at size 4, so the fact that the HiyaHiyas come in such small sizes is fantastic. A set of needles size 2-8 is $67.50 at kyarns.com . Thanks for sharing!

      • Rich Hurley says:

        Sorry Liat. I just checked and the price has increased to $79.90. I went with the Knit Picks Options instead. I can’t wait to get them and start learning Magic Loop. :-D

  2. Donna Shelby says:

    I have been knitting with the Magic Loop method for at least five years and use it for anything knit in the round. I want to echo the thumbs-up for the HiyaHiya needles, my favorite (and since I collect knitting needles, I have many brands and types). Although I love the Addi Natura (bamboo) needles, I prefer the HiyaHiya (stainless steel) to the Addi Turbo needles because they have a”softer”finish and do not produce the glare of the Turbos (also a problem for me with the Signature needles), a real pain for my eyes. I have many of the HiyaHiya fixed circulars as well as the interchangeables, because …

    When I knit two socks at once, they are always on two different circular needles, as I find knitting two at once on just one needle hinders the portability I love about knitting socks.

    So glad I discovered this amazing site!

  3. Pingback: Top Five Knitting Questions of 2010

  4. Gwen says:

    I recently purchased some ChiaGoo Red Lace circs and am very impressed. The cable is plastic coated wire cable and totally behaves. The connection is so smooth I don’t have to do anything to get the stitches to slide up on the needle. And they are pointy. Perfect for socks. Just some to add to your list.

  5. meg says:

    I’ve done Magic Loop on Susan Bates Silvalume 29″ circular needles with no problems. I’ve used size 4 and 7 for a child’s top-down sweater project.

    Some of the members of my knitting group say they love their Knitpiks – until they break, which apparently happens often. The company does replace them, but that doesn’t help when one is working on a complicated or large project and suddenly there’s a mass of dropped stitches in one’s lap.

    So, please don’t make knitters believe they must buy expensive circular needles – many of us don’t have unlimited budgets and can get by quite nicely with less expensive equipment.

    • Vonna says:

      I’ve also done Magic Loop on Susan Bates 29″ circular needles. So I completely agree.

      • Liat Gat says:

        Vonna, Meg had a good point and I’m glad to know the Susan Bates needles work well for you too. I hope I didn’t come across as wanting people to buy expensive needles! Maybe I did, a bit. For the record, I only buy fixed Addi turbos and lace needles. I get Signatures as gifts occasionally, from my best friend. I haven’t been able to try Knit Picks, Hiya Hiyas, or the Susan Bates sets, so comments like yours are really helpful. :)

    • Liat Gat says:

      Meg, that’s a great point. Thank you! I definitely don’t want people to spend money unnecessarily on expensive needles. I’m glad to know that the Susan Bates needles work well for you and Vonna.

    • Jan says:

      I’ve never had much luck with Susan Bates circulars. Every one I’ve owned I’ve managed to snap one needle off the cable. I have large hands and tend to manhandle my needles, though, so your mileage may vary. All my smaller needles (size 3 and down) tend to be curved after I’ve used them. Fortunately, my husband got me a set of Addi Clicks for my birthday. Later, about 2 years ago, I bought myself a set of Knit Picks interchangeables. I love both sets and have never had one break. Yet.:) I love the join on the Addis. You click them together properly and they’re not coming apart, but the cables seem a bit stiff, to me. Most of mine have kinks in them. The Knit Picks have more flexible cables, but you have to pay attention to the join so it doesn’t come apart. This doesn’t happen very often and usually the yarn starts catching and lets me know when they need to be tightened. Also, the little hole for the tightening key, is a great way for running a (string) lifeline. Just my humble opinion.

  6. Carljean says:

    New to sock knitting of any kind. I’m looking forward to Magic Loop. My delimma is the needle. Can you get by on one size or do you need more to get started? Right at the moment I can’t afford a whole set.

    • Liat Gat says:

      I know what you mean. You can start with just one size of needle – I recommend a size 7, since you can knit a lot of projects with that size. You definitely don’t need to get a whole set while you are just learning.

  7. Lola Lea says:

    I have been disappointed in the quality of the Signature needles. I bought 4 circular needles (## 6,7,8 and9) and on two of them the cable broke from the needle. That is a 50% failure rate. A little hard to take on an item as pricey as these. To their credit, the company promptly replaced the faulty needles but the breakage was still an annoyance one should not encounter in a quality product.

    Congratulations on the revised site. It is wonderful.

    • Liat Gat says:

      Lola, thanks so much for telling us about what happened with your Signature needles. That’s information that can help everyone who is trying to decide whether to spend the money. I will say this – I’ve never had a pair of Addi turbos break- ever.

    • Linda says:

      I just received my Signature circular knitting needles and I too suffered from a broken cable from the bottom of the needle. I just go the needles yesterday, 1/26/2013, and picked up the project this morning 1/27/2013 and snap goes the cable. Thank goodness I have my Addi’s, but what a huge disappointment on the Signatures. Totally shocked that this happened. I bought the 4″ needle length maybe I need the longer ones so that won’t happen. Any suggestions?

  8. Cindy says:

    Liat, the new site is amazing! I am loving this new redesign as I used to dig through multiple posts to look for something :)

    I wanted to add that I bought the Addi Natura clicks and they are a dream to work with! I used to be a fan of the Clover bamboo circs, but the joins would snag sometimes. After purchasing the Addi bamboo circs, I can definitely say that the joins are smooth (something every knitter wants). I have successfully completed a möbius cowl on my Addi Natura Clicks and would recommend them to anyone!

    • Liat Gat says:

      Hi Cindy,

      I’m so happy you like the site redesign! I’m still open to any feedback you have as you explore the site and the old posts.

      Thank you for commenting and letting us know about the Addi Natura Clicks – I cannot possibly test and review every type of needles out there, so feedback from readers is so helpful. This sounds like another great option for knitters!

  9. Knitting Nana says:

    I too love the ChiaGoo needles. I first learned about them from the LYS where I took a class on Magic Loop. The ChiaGoo Red needles have a nice point, and I have not had one break. I purchased two, size 7 for the class, and size 1 for socks, since I knit fairly loosely and use size 1s for socks of fingering yarn. The only needles I have had break were not broken doing Magic Loop, but working on projects where the number of stitches required circulars. Once, I was on vacation when my needle broke, and after looking at the yarn stores in the area I ended up getting a new needle from Patternworks via Fedex so I could continue to work on the sweater. The shipping cost more than the needle.

    • Liat Gat says:

      It makes such a difference to have the right needles, doesn’t it? I can’t blame you for paying the extra shipping to make sure you could work on your project. :) I probably would have done the same thing!

  10. Liat Gat says:

    A note from me about interchangeables and cables that swivel:

    I personally have never bought an interchangeable needle set. I had a full set of 47-inch Addis before the interchangeables really got popular, so I’ve never needed to buy interchangeables.

    I have used my friend Brittany’s Addi Clicks, and I actually don’t like them, because the needle part is too short for me to use very comfortably. My friend Julia likes her Knit Picks Harmony needles – the cable is really flexible, at least, and if you like pointy tips, you might like those. I don’t think they swivel.

    There is a way to stop the loops of cable from curling up in your face and bugging you. Maybe it will stop you from having to buy a new set…

  11. Julianne says:

    I was given a second-hand Signature needle that had been donated to my local Boys and Girls Club. I didn’t recognize the logo but was very impressed with the quality and ease of the circular… and now I know why! I appreciated the needle already, but knowing the price makes me value it more.

    I have a set of Knitter’s Pride Dreamz interchangeables, and I’ve been very happy with them.

  12. Sue says:

    Hi Liat,

    Can you buy Addi Lace at a local yarn shop, like AC Moore, Michaels, Joanne Fabrics, I haven’t been able to locate any. Thank You, your videos are amazing!

  13. Jeannine says:

    The Addi Clic Lace needle tips are longer and great for lace projects. The Addi Clic regular set works really well for hats and cowls. I admit to being a needle snob as I have some arthritis in my thumbs and can only knit with the sharper needles such as Addi, Knit Picks, also like the Addi bamboo. Very nice quality needles. Only if f I have nothing else on hand will I try to knit with the Susan Bates, just find them way too heavy.

  14. Hello, Maybe someone can help me with my circular needle problem. I have very large hands and when I hold circular needles the stiff part is not long enough for my grip. The side of my hand just has the thin part to hold. This does not feel secure and I feel that I am going to lose stitches. I knit using the continental method instead of the american. I believe that in the American style you are pretty much holding onto the needle ends whereas that is not case with the continental style. Any ideas or suggestions, please?

  15. Maili says:

    OMG! I read this article and immediately and excitedly ordered a pair of Addi Lace 47″, which arrived yesterday. This morning I sat down with the intention of relaxing on my day off, and learning the Magic Loop technique while knitting a simple neck warmer. Aside from breaks to eat I have been working on this from 9am to now 8pm and still don’t have ONE ROW DONE! The 47″ cable flips all over the place–I’ve tried blow drying it to smooth it down, yet now it’s skewed in places, and no more straighter for the effort. I got a few rows donw earlier before noticing that the middle, where one loop of the cable pulls out, was twisted, so I ripped the whole thing out to start again. After recasting on I had to lay the whole thing on the table with sewing weights to keep the cables from popping up everywhere to make sure the stitches were not twisted. I got a bit along, and noticed it was twisted AGAIN! 9 hours of work and still NOT ONE ROW! I’m usually able to get the hang of things pretty quickly, and truly enjoy learning new things, but this “magic” loop has made for a very frustrating day, not to mention the waste in money and time. Beware, newbies!

  16. HFPS says:

    I’d like to throw Kollage Squares into the mix.
    Kollage has two Square Circular Needle lines: K-Kable(original) and Firm. They both make for Magic Loop perfection, because the cable is so pliable that it doesn’t stretch the stitches at the divide. In my experience, the K-Kable is less ‘grippy’, so sliding the stitches along the cord is easier.
    Personally, I like the copper-colored, Kollage Square ‘Originals’, but they’re not making them anymore. :-(

    • pbird says:

      I didn’t have a bit of luck with the Kollage square needle I bought. I tried and tried to make it work, but the cable was TOO soft and my stitches were impossible to move along. I am a fifty year knitter, so I should have been able to do it, but maybe with a slightly stiffer cable. I really liked the needle part being square though.

  17. Eileen says:

    There’s a new needle in town that’s both good and inexpensive IMHO. The Knitters Pride Dreamz are a dream, sharp, slick but not tStraights, and come in every kind and size of needle you could want. Straights, DPNs, circulars, interchangeable, they have them. The needles are color-coded by size, so you always know what size you are using. They are available at many an LYS, and at Webs. The set of interchangeables I got was less than $70, and have a cable key to tighten and loosen the needles and cables. The have sets of 10 and 14 inch straights with the most used sizes and also sets of DPNs, which you won’t need if you learn Magic Loop.

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