What can be accomplished with HALF-circular knitting needles?
August 31, 2004 9:18 AM   Subscribe

KnittingFilter: What can be accomplished with HALF-circular knitting needles? Apparently I didn't look closely enough at the photo on eBay, for when my circular needles arrived, I discovered each to have a (factory-installed) disk-like stopper, rather than another needle, on one end. Google turns up nothing (but I've guessed in calling them "half-circular"). Photo here.
posted by hsoltz to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (12 answers total)
They may actually be circular. Do the end buttons unscrew from the cables? Those buttons are generally used to hold your stitches.

Do you have a brand name for them?
posted by padraigin at 9:36 AM on August 31, 2004

Yeah, they look a bit like the end pieces of my Denise Interchangeables. But factory installed, you say? I guess you can use them as straights...

Can I see a link to the auction?

(PS, if anyone wants to talk about the Denises, I LOVE them. After buying a bunch of dpns, I never have to worry about buying needles again.)
posted by sugarfish at 9:47 AM on August 31, 2004

Response by poster: Two of the needle tips unscrew from the cables (too bad they're not the same size!) and the other dozen are permanently attached.

The stoppers at the end are not removable. They say "Boye", the manufacturer, and the size of the needle. Boye doesn't seem to make these anymore; they're definitely "vintage."

sugarfish, the auction was here. Admittedly, I should have looked at the photo a little closer. Please tell all about the Denise set - I love the idea, but I'm not so excited about the plastic. I like the little click of the aluminum tips...
posted by hsoltz at 9:54 AM on August 31, 2004

There is this mention of half-circular needles (the second image on the page). If you email Kathy she may be able to point you in the direction of patterns for them, or give you more info about them.
posted by iconomy at 9:57 AM on August 31, 2004

So, my understanding from my customers is the "Boye" set was a 1960's version of what I now sell as Denise Interchangables. The denise set is amazing and totally worth the 45 bucks. I sell alot of them in my shop. Maybe the ends don't come off tho - If not, just as in the Denise set, use them as easily packed/ easy to get on the plan straight needles.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 10:22 AM on August 31, 2004

My girlfriend, who knits, says that Boye actually still sells a set of interchangables -- called "Boye Needle Master." It's more expensive than the Denise Interchangables (which the GF owns and also loves), but essentially the same thing.
posted by jca at 10:31 AM on August 31, 2004

Best answer: What you call half circulars do exist as an entity other than part of an interchangeable kit. You do with them the same thing as you do with straight needles, but they're a little easier on the arm (because the weight of your work is able to drape down and rest on your legs), take up less space while allowing for more stitches (a straight needle longer than 12-14 inches would be dangerous, but half circulars work fine). My understanding is they're used mostly for afghans and other larger works that are heavy and wide.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:43 AM on August 31, 2004

Brodie -- how is the shop going? (are you selling yarn online?)

You don't get the aluminum clicks, admittedly, but the Denise are very cost-effective. I can get any size needles, from five to 15, in whatever length, circular or straight. Working with plastic tips is a bit different than aluminum or bamboo (I really notice a difference after working with DPNs) but I am totally an evangelist. (Don't work for them, just a very happy customer.)
posted by sugarfish at 10:58 AM on August 31, 2004

Exactly what jacquilynne just said, plus you don't have the awkwardness of long needles sticking straight out and poking the dog, cat, lover, etc. in the side. I use circular needles for everything, except when double pointed needles are called for.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:50 AM on August 31, 2004

The shop is going well, thanks! Right now we are not selling online, but I do see that in the future. In the mean time, I ship stuff out to people who ask .
Running a shop is a lot of fun and very challenging. Check my MeFi profile to see just how much AskMefi helped me in opening up my shop!
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 1:10 PM on August 31, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, all, for your thoughts. BrodieShadeTree, best of luck with your shop...

Now I am coveting a Boye Needle Master set, and thinking it's time to start an afghan!
posted by hsoltz at 2:51 PM on August 31, 2004

I fear I'm drifting pretty far afield from the original question, but did you know that you can actually use (two sets of) circular needles in situations where double-pointed needles are called for? The trick is illustrated here, among other places.
posted by redfoxtail at 4:24 PM on August 31, 2004

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