Lykke Driftwood Interchangeable Circular Needle Set

The market for interchangeable circular needles has been well-served for years by Knitter’s Pride, ChaoGoo, Denise, Addi, Signature, Tulip, Hiya Hiya, and Knitpicks Options. The sets have generally featured slick metals, beige bamboo, or bright colorful wood or plastic tips in solids, rainbow hues, or psychedelic color combinations.

We have a new player Lykkecrafts whose aesthetic tones all that down, replacing the technicolor with a minimalistic weathered grey styling that’s fittingly called Driftwood.

Wood You?

First things first: No, the needles aren’t actually made of driftwood. These needles are made of birch, a hardwood whose durability is on par with maple and a little shy of Indian rosewood in terms of density and bending strength.

It’s a fine choice for knitting needles because it allows for tip integrity (no fraying or splintering) while also still yielding ever so slightly in your hands, specifically among the smaller sizes.

The grey shading on the needles varies from tip to tip, giving the illusion of having been carefully rubbed and finished by hand. Kits come either in the grey denim case shown here or in a black faux leather case.

The wood quickly adjusts to your body temperature, and the glossy finish doesn’t complain when it’s 90 degrees in the shade and your hands start to sweat. Yarn slides smoothly, without much friction or sticking.

Inside the Kits

There are currently two Lykke Driftwood interchangeable kits available. The standard kit shown here retails for $125 and contains 5-inch tips in sizes from US 4 to US 17, along with two 24-inch and 32-inch cords, a 40-inch cord, plus keys and connectors.

A second, newer short-tip set retails for $100 and features 3.5-inch tips in sizes ranging from US 3 to US 10.5. Those kits come with four cords (two 16-inch cords, one 20-inch and one-24-inch) as well as keys and connectors.

Sizes are marked on the base of the needle in both US and metric. I’ve given several tips steady use over the past few months and those size markings have shown no signs of rubbing off. In fact, they actually appear to be etched rather than painted.

Tip comparison: KnitPicks Options (top), Lykke Driftwood (middle), Knitter’s Pride (bottom).

Tip Talk

The needles in this kit have a quite pleasant middle-of-the-road tip that’s not pointy-pointy, nor is it dull or blunt. It is well-defined for precise stitchwork without being lethal or snaggy. I was able to knit a variety of yarns by touch alone without any problems on knit and purl rows alike.

The taper is short, putting your hands closer to the action.

What’s in a Name?

These needles are made by Lykkecrafts—and it’s hard to know precisely who Lykkecrafts is. Is it just a name (the word “lykke” is is Norwegian for happiness or good luck), a new brand, or a completely new company? The Lykkecrafts Web site isn’t all that forthcoming. We just know that the needles are made in India using the same interchangeable needle mechanics and construction you’ll find in Knitter’s Pride and Knit Picks Options needles.

The Key to the Kit

If you have yet to use this kind of interchangeable kit, pay special attention to the accessories that come tucked in little plastic baggies in the side pocket. Specifically, the long slender “key”-style strand of wire with a loop at one end.

You may think you can screw the needles into the cords and knit happily ever after. But I guarantee you, and I’m speaking from experience here, you do need to use that key.

The cord is fixed at the join. Because it does not swivel, the regular motions of knitting will, after just a few rows, cause the cord to come un-twisted. I never reached the place where the cord actually came off, but it did make sliding stitches from the needle to the cord impossible.

Take that key out of its bag, insert it into the corresponding hole at the base of the needle and use it to leverage a tighter twist at the join. You’ll thank me later.

Joining the Crowd

While I’m guessing there may be some variation from needle to needle and kit to kit, my needles had decently smooth joins on all the sizes and with all the cords. Only one cord had a tiny rough spot on it that added a little more drag. Generally, stitches slid over the join with just a faint feeling of a bump and a small popping sound.

Should you encounter a tip or cord in your set that simply will not work, Lykke does offer a lifetime guarantee against manufacturer defects. If you happen to introduce the defect yourself (say, by slamming the needle in the car door), you can also purchase replacement tips and cords. This is also a nice option if, like me, you tend to use more of certain needle sizes and like to have more than one project going at once.

What’s the Deal?

If the needles are nearly identical to many others made in India, if the cord and cable mechanism are easily found elsewhere, what makes the real difference with this kit? The $125 pricetag falls in the mid-range of what’s out there, $25 less than the complete ChiaoGoo set (made in China) and $40 more than the Knitter’s Pride Dreamz set, but keep in mind that the Dreamz set has 9 tips while this one comes with 12. The Hiya Hiya bamboo set (made in China) is $83.50 for the small and large sets (small with 7 tips, large with 6). The Tulip CarryC bamboo set and Skacel Addi Turbo Click set have an SRP of $179, with the former made in Japan and the latter in Germany. Which

It comes down to the color of the needle tips. This weathered grey styling is completely new for needles, and it clearly speaks to many. I thought I’d find it a little gloomy, but I soon discovered that it actually enhanced the color and texture and beauty of whatever yarn was on the needles.

Fast Facts

Manufacturer: Lykkecrafts, distributed by Knitting Fever
Material: Birch
Needles in kit: 
Standard kit (shown here): Five-inch tips in sizes US4, US5, US6, US7, US8, US9, US10, US10.5, US11, US13, US15, US17 (3.5mm-12mm). Two 24-inch (60cm) cords, 2 32-inch (80cm) cords, and one 40-inch (100cm) cord. 2 connectors, 4 keys, 8 stoppers.
Short-tip kit: Three-and-a-half-inch tips in sizes US 3-US10.5 (3.25-6.5mm). Two 16-inch (40mm) cords, one 20-inch (50cm) cord, and one 24-inch (60cm) cord. 2 connectors, 4 keys, 8 stoppers.
Average retail price: Standard set $125, short-tip set $100
Where to buy online: Hill Country Weavers
Made in: India
Review date: 7/8/17
Source of review needles: Purchased retail from Hill Country Weavers

 

Comments

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No mention at all of the HiyaHiya Interchangeable set?
Are there others, too? I had no idea the market held so many sets.
Thanks for the review, I feel like I was there!

Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I left them out. I’ve updated the review. Thank you!

You don’t seem to have mentioned Knit Pros either?

I have a set and so far, I love them. The yarn slides easily along the entire needle, including the join.

Yes, you do need to use that key…but as an fyi…in a pinch a med size safety pin can substitute.

I wish more folks knew about Kinki Amibari needles. They are haredened waxed bamboo in US sizes 0 – 15
There are interchangeable tips available in three lengths, cords from 5 inches o to 46 inches and stops and cable joins. The company has been makin knitting needles since 1916.
I have been using KA exchangeable for about five years. Compared t my addis lacepoints, hiya hiya sharps … well there is no comparison when I think comes to comfort.

When I consider circulars and interchangeable sets, the one thing I need to know and never see mentioned is this: what material do they use for the joining piece? I’m allergic to nickel, so no matter how much I love the needle, if the joining piece is nickel, it’s a deal breaker for me. And a nickel allergy is a pretty common allergy to have (I tell people I’m allergic to cheap jewelry and small change–and that’s not a lie).

Very good point, Annie – I’ll keep this in mind when testing needles from now on.

I have these needles! If you like smooth needles, these are for you!! I love these needles!!

When tightening the needles, I used a rubber gripper like the ones you use to open jars with recalcitrant lids, to hold the needle as I tighten it with the key. Doesn’t seem like much but I’ve found it prevents the tip from inadvertently sliding around so you get a good tight join.

Me too. I have small rectangles of gripper material in all my notion bags and in my chairside knitting basket. They never come loose anymore.

I use this rubber piece from HiyaHiya https://www.hiyahiya-europe.com/interchangeable-needles-and-accessories/interchangeable-accessories/cable-connector-bundles it works with every interchangeable needle, takes no space, and it helps me grip to screw and unscrew tight, even for metal points.

I have several rubber “needle grab’rs” that measure 1 3/8″. I buy them in a sewing store and have one in each of my interchangeable needle sets just for this purpose! I use some for pulling needles through when running in ends!

I have three sets of interchangeable needles- my favorite is Knitter’s Pride Chrome Cubics- I love the square tips and the perfect cables. I hate my wooden ones- they splinter and break.

I bought a set for my birthday. I love them. I wish they were alittle more pointed but the yarn flows smoothly over the joins and there is not weight added to the yarn. I am older but I do a lot of knitting. I have 13 grandkids and 5 great grands so I get requests for things thru out the year. I really enjoy my needles. Linda

I understand knitters’ concerns for the quality of the products and wanting the “best” for the money spent on them. Yet in evaluating and deciding to purchase or not, my questions just as equally come down to these points: what kind of earth-friendly (or unfriendly) practices does the company have? And how does the company and its decision-makers really and honestly treat their labor force? I cannot bring myself to acquire cheap goods at someone else’s expense as I have seen the impacts from the crush of an employer who cares only about “maximization of profit” (aka money in the… Read more »

Since they’re made in India (“nearly identical to many others made in India”), I’m wondering if A) they’re interchangeable with those others – KnitPicks/KnitPro/Knitter’s Pride
and B) is the attachment of plastic cable to metal screw-end at all more reliable than the KnitPicks? I love my KnitPicks tips (acrylic, nickel-plated, Harmony woods), but detest their cables; I’ve lost count of how many of them have ‘failed’ (their word!)! I’m totally fed up with separating cables!

That’s my question too: are they interchangeable with Knitpicks and Knitters Pride?

Yes they are. We have KP cables and needles and the Lykke are compatible.

Thank you. I wonder if their cables are more reliable – i.e. don’t ‘fail’ (KnitPicks’ word!) – than KnitPicks’. I guess the only way to find out is to buy some of the Lykke cables, if they can be had separately from the set.

I have a couple of fixed circular Lykke needles. Like all other types, they work well for some yarns and projects but not others. I found the tips a little too blunt and a wooly handspun singles just dragged along the cord. I switched to Knitters Pride and had more fun and less frown with the project.

Thanks for this, Clara. I’ve been eager to read what you think about this set because they’re so prolific on social media!

I have had my set for several months and the are my favorite needles. I have four sets of interchangeable needles and other types of single needles but these are my favorites. Now I must buy the shorter set.

Carmen Webb (carmenq1112@icloud.com)

I bought a set a month or so ago and almost immediately fell in love… they move yarn that on other needles drag or slide to easily off with perfection . Love them

Have you ever tried and or reviewed Kollage Needles? They come in an interchangeable set also.

I started with KnitPicks interchangables many years ago, and really liked them at the time, especially the sharp points. And I do like their cables. I then went on to Addi and Knitters Pride, and I have liked both of those over the last few years. Addis are great for cotton yarn, I think. I bought some Lykke interchangables when they first came out. Of all the wooden needles that I have ever used, I think these are the absolute BEST. The points are sharp, but not too, and they feel wonderful in your hands. I am finishing a wool… Read more »
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