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
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 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.
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<<
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.
HiyaHiya Needles have also been attracting a lot of attention (and this blog post was updated to reflect that). They have sharp tips and flexible cables. Read some KnitFreedom reader reviews of the HiyaHiya needles here.
ChiaGoo Needles are famous for their flexible red cables, smooth joins, and inexpensive price points. Here is a link to their 5-star rated interchangeable needle set.
>> blog update May 2016: Recommendations on Signature Circulars revised <<
This list wouldn’t be complete without the famous Signature Needle Arts, widely regarded as the cream of the crop.
Made in a factory that machines airline parts, these precision aluminum needles have long, tapered points without being painfully sharp.
Signature needles are the official straight needle of KnitFreedom. However, their circular needles come in an interchangeable format only, and my readers and I have noticed a definitely not-smooth join on the cables.
At $40 per pair of needles, these are a real splurge. If a friend of yours has some, you may want to try them in person before you buy!
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?
- Related Review: Are Your Needles Pointy Enough For Your Project?
- Related Tutorial: Basic Magic Loop tutorial
If you liked this review of the best circular needles for Magic Loop, let me know by leaving a comment!