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.
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.
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.
Mary | July 10, 2017
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!
Clara Parkes | July 10, 2017
Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I left them out. I’ve updated the review. Thank you!
Laura | July 19, 2017
You don’t seem to have mentioned Knit Pros either?
Dianna | January 7, 2018
I realize I’m jumping in very late here, but I just stumbled into this review and thought i’d mention that KnitPro is sold under the name Knitter’s Pride in the US! Which would explain how they seem to be left out here (but aren’t really).
Clara Parkes | Author | January 8, 2018
Thank you Diana! Definitely wasn’t leaving them out, so i appreciate you jumping in here. 🙂
Janie Holley | July 10, 2017
I have a set and so far, I love them. The yarn slides easily along the entire needle, including the join.
Mary Ellen(emmyc) | July 10, 2017
Yes, you do need to use that key…but as an fyi…in a pinch a med size safety pin can substitute.
Liz ruork | July 10, 2017
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.
Caroline | October 10, 2018
I own a whole set of KA needles (in Japanese sizes), and wanted to find something in the US market that’s as great as KA, and totally am with you, nothing really competes so far.
I purchased the Lykke 3.5″ driftwood set for portability, the wood is nice, however the connection between wood and metal is not very smooth, I can feel a bit resistance when I move my yarn over the connections. Also the cords are too stiff for my liking. The stiffness just causes the cord to come undone. After working with my Lykke for a while, I just have to say, although the presentation is nice and everything, nope, it offers far less than what my KA set does.
Now I’m just looking into investing another set of KA needles.
Annie | July 10, 2017
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).
Clara Parkes | July 10, 2017
Very good point, Annie – I’ll keep this in mind when testing needles from now on.
Sally Batchelder | June 16, 2021
What are the stoppers for?
Sharon Bernard | July 10, 2017
I have these needles! If you like smooth needles, these are for you!! I love these needles!!
catspawlace | July 10, 2017
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.
Susan Crosby | July 10, 2017
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.
Amayita | July 11, 2017
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.
Elisabeth | August 23, 2017
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!
Robin | July 10, 2017
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.
Linda Spooner | July 10, 2017
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
Carla | July 10, 2017
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 top dogs’ pockets with lip-service at best and/or little consideration to the employees’ lot in life.) I would like to see product information, as has been so well explained, and an accurate spotlight on the company practices regarding the planet and its workforce. Thanks for the always thoughtful approach I read in each Knitters Review article.
Jessica-Jean | July 10, 2017
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!
Bonnie Lemons | July 13, 2017
That’s my question too: are they interchangeable with Knitpicks and Knitters Pride?
Jonathan | July 13, 2017
Yes they are. We have KP cables and needles and the Lykke are compatible.
Jessica-Jean | July 13, 2017
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.
Beverly | September 19, 2017
Just reading this as I have a set and the cable separated. I will say their customer service was excellent and true to their word. They are sending out an entire new set of cables.
Susan C | July 10, 2017
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.
Leanna | July 11, 2017
Thanks for this, Clara. I’ve been eager to read what you think about this set because they’re so prolific on social media!
Sherri | July 11, 2017
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 (email@example.com) | July 11, 2017
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
Susan Field | July 13, 2017
Have you ever tried and or reviewed Kollage Needles? They come in an interchangeable set also.
Marcia | January 21, 2018
I love the Kollage cubic needles. I use the fixed circulars and the straight 10″ for everything. The points are great and the cubic shape is easy to use. I have knitters pride interchangables, but the cable join issue drives me nuts.
Marg | July 13, 2017
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 sweater at the moment, and they have worked beautifully. The yarn slides easily but the needles are not “slippery”. The quality is just great, and I do love being able to see the size so easily. I agree with Clara that I think sizes are etched in, not printed. I have used them now for almost a year, and there is no change at all. Also, the wood has shown no wear at all. They are great needles!
Denise Elston | August 30, 2017
I just bought a set. I think the gray tones are beautiful. Haven’t tried them yet. I have addi lace set and find the short tips uncomfortable to use for any substantial amount of time, and I have rather small hands. I’m hoping these will improve my gauge row count. Taking them with me to a conference so I don’t need to carry lots of needles.
Jodi Sanders | September 3, 2017
I have always loved my KnitPicks interchangeables. Although I am quick to add that I have had mine for a very long time so my kit came with needle sizes 4-11 and a multitude of cables (24″ up to 60″). The newer sets are much leaner. I still have all my brand new students get them because they are affordable, especially for newbies. In all the years I’ve had mine, I have only had one failed cable. KnitPicks guarantees replacement.
Amanda | September 18, 2017
Would you say the standard size set would be best for a starter set and sweater projects? And that the shorter tip set better for hat and small projects? I have no idea if 5″ tip is standard. I would mainly be using these needles for sweaters.
What are the pros and cons of the 3″ tip set vs the 5″ tip set?
Excellent review by the way!
Denise | January 24, 2018
I would be interested in the pros & cons of each set myself.
Anon | March 22, 2018
The standard set would probably be best for general purposes, especially if your hands are average to larger sized. Shorter tips are usually best for things like hats, etc., where you would want to knit in the round in a smaller circumference without using the magic loop or other method. Personally, I’ve found that my average size hands get cramped using short tips because I spend half my time trying to maneuver all my fingertips on there for a grip while balancing the needle/cable/yarn, hah.
Anon | March 22, 2018
The standard set would probably be best for your purpose, especially if your hands are average to larger sized. Shorter tips are usually best for things like hats, etc., where you would want to knit in the round in a smaller circumference without using the magic loop or other method. Personally, I’ve found that my average size hands get cramped using short tips because I spend half my time trying to maneuver all my fingertips on there for a grip while balancing the needle/cable/yarn, hah.
Susan | May 28, 2018
The 5in are standard, and used with cables of at least 24in when knitting in the round. The shorter tip should be used with the 16in cable (and can be used on all cable lengths). The stress and torque the 5in needles have when used with the short cables (in the round) can break them, esp the in the finer sizes (0-5 or so) and they are very difficult to use in such a small circumference (10 inches of needle take up most of it!) If you are mainly making sweaters, I would use the 5in needle set.
jen | September 26, 2017
i’ve got interchangeable sets of addi’s, hiyahiya’s, tulips, knitter’s pride paris, and just bought the lykke’s. (yes i am a needle junkie!) These lykke needles are a dream. i love the feel of them. they might be my new favorite. they are not too slick and not too grippy.
Nick | January 10, 2018
Jen, How does the Lykke compare to your Tulips (Which I’m assuming are bamboo), i’m mostly interested in differences in slipperiness.
Laura GB | September 29, 2017
I just got the short set of Lykke needles… i love them but the cords got mixed in with other sets. I can’t seem to tell the difference, are other cords interchangeable with the Lykke needles. They seem the same as my original Knitter’s Pride. Now they do the colored cords which I like better.
Karla | September 30, 2017
I love my knit picks for the colored woods and the nice sharp points, and the warmth of the wood. But I really hate the joins. So irritating to my hands. So, I am disconcerted that that cables are all interchangeable between knit picks, knitters pride and these lykke. Are they all as poor? I had been looking at the Karbonz set for the nice sharp point and the not too slickeryness of the needles. But I love the feel of knitting on wood. That’s why Am so interested in your reviews of these Lykke. I have been searching for the best set….
Chris | July 12, 2021
I have Kinki Amibari IC and love them. However, I’d like metal needles in small sizes (I bend those 2.0mm sometimes). Are there other brands that work with KA cords? Thank you everyone.
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Linda Driscoll | May 11, 2018
Are there any interchangeables with softer cables? I like Lykke points but the cables are a bit stiff.
Susan | May 28, 2018
I think Takumi Clover interchangeables have the best cables of all, at least the 16″ and 24″ cables I have. I just wish the needles were better. For almost 2 years, I’ve been making hats using the 16″ cable on the short #6 needle, pretty much constantly. The cable is memory-free, flexible, and soft, but not so limp that it folds back on itself, as some brands of cable do. After almost 2 years, the needle was getting a bit rough, so I used some fine sandpaper on it. Even though I prefer the needles from my other sets (Knit Picks, Chiao Goo, and Lykke) I really prefer the Takumi Clover cables and find myself reaching for them whenever I make a hat. I knit loosely, in the Continental style, so perhaps that influences my opinion.
Susan | May 28, 2018
I also like the cables on my Chaio Goos (way more than the Lykkes), although they are much stiffer than the Clovers. I do not know if the cables from either of these are compatible with the tips from other brands. Another thing to consider is which tip you are using with your cables. If you have the long tips on short cables, or if you are doing Magic Loop because your cables are too long for the project, those Lykke cables will seem more awkward and stiff than if you have the short tips on short cables, or are using a more appropriate cable length. If you need a cable for Magic Loop socks, I’m not sure what to recommend, as I don’t do that, but if I did, I’d use my Clovers.
Linda | July 12, 2018
Thanks to the person who posted the information regarding use of Lykke tips on Knit Picks cords (Deborah Norville markets some wood interchangeable needles in Joanne’s Crafts…these also fit the cords and can be purchased with a 50% coupon, making them very affordable). I have sets from Addi, Denise and Knit Picks…all have issues with joins not holding or not smooth. For hats and small projects, check out Susan Bates silver circulars with the bend in the tip…They are great and inexpensive.
Those who want to soften “curly” cords…Drop the cords in about 2 inches of boiling water and watch them relax after about 10 seconds. Then remove them with tongs run under cool water. Dry them well and store them in a ziplock bag, not coiled up in the small case with the tips.
Teniesha Collins | September 15, 2018
This is the most gorgeous set I’ve ever seen!! I’m definitely missing out.
Louannie | October 22, 2018
Question – is the total length of 20″ cable for 3.5 needle tips 16.5 inches? And is the total length of 20″ cable for 5″ needle tips 15″? Assuming this is the case but wanted to check to see if you have this answer.
Mari Mazzeo | December 25, 2018
We sell Lykkes at our LYS and our customers love them. In fact, many interchangeable sets were purchased for Christmas gifts. I have a couple of the fixed needles, to try them out, and love them. From all of the wooden needle brands we’ve sold, I can say our customers have liked these the best, so far.
Susan Heierman | February 3, 2019
I am currently working on a project with the Lykke interchangeables. I love the feel of the needles, but the joins are making me crazy.
I knit in the continental style, and perhaps that’s why they keep coming unscrewed. I have to tighten the cable after every round. It makes me crazy!
Linda Driscoll | February 4, 2019
Just packed away the Lykkes after trying to manage them for more than a year. Two broken needles, another that detached from the bit that screws on to the cord and another simply doesn’t have a deep enough aperture to allow the cord to attach completely. On top of the constant loosening problem. Very disappointed.
Therese | September 1, 2019
This is a good and informative review on these needles. It is so helpful to others when someone actually bothers to write such an in-depth text on a product. I have the Lykke needle interchangeable long set, and I am very pleased with the needles. They are smooth and lightweight, and just feels good to knit with. I think they are a good choice for wood needles. I am so pleased that I just ordered the small set as well, for the smaller circumferences.
The Word Lykke means happiness, but for the expression “good luck” you have to add the word “til”: Lykke til.
Love from Therese, Norway
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