Are you a beginner knitter hoping to invest in your first set of tools? Are you looking for a perfect blend of affordability and quality? If that’s the case, then Boye is definitely a brand that you must know about.
Boye and their knitting needles have over 100 years of history in the U.S. The brand is known for making high quality and affordable tools for knitters and crocheters.
It has long remained popular in North America.
Some of the brands’ most popular products include (but are not limited to) straight knitting needles, circular knitting needles, double-pointed knitting needles, cable knitting needles, and sets of interchangeable knitting needles. Of course, they also make crochet tools, darning needles, and more related products.
This article will help you learn more about Boye’s products and help you find some quality knitting needles to add to your collection.
All About Boye Knitting Needles
Before we get into the specifics, let’s take an overview look of Boye and the knitting needles we’ve come to know and love:
The Boye Needle Company started manufacturing knitting needles and crochet hooks over 100 years ago, in 1906. The brand was born in the United States and is mainly popular in North America.
In 1989, Boye was sold to Simplicity Craft Group, which helped streamline its manufacturing and distribution process and popularize the brand even further.
While many love knitting needles that are made of wood or bamboo, and these really do have their advantages, not everyone likes how good of a grip these materials tend to have on yarn.
Boye knitting needles are primarily made of aluminum or plastic. Both have been classic choices for many decades (and even longer when it comes to metal needles).
Many knitters prefer these materials because they have multiple advantages.
Why Aluminum or Plastic?
Aluminum or plastic knitting needles are perfectly smooth, which means that your stitches can glide on and off the needles with ease. Wooden or bamboo knitting needles in a similar price range are not always as smooth – some even have splinters peaking out!
However, smoothness can be a pro or con, depending on who you ask. Some beginners prefer some grip on their yarn because that means they won’t accidentally drop any stitches while knitting, especially when working with naturally soft and slick yarn like rayon.
Plastic needles tend to be an in between, offering some grip on the yarn, but the needles themselves are still quite smooth.
On the other hand, experienced knitters who love speed knitting also love metal needles because the stitches can glide easily on and off the needles. This means they won’t have to spend so much time adjusting the stitches, which makes knitting much faster and more effortless.
Both materials are also generally lightweight (as long as you get hollow aluminum), which is much easier on your hands and wrists compared to heavier materials. If you tend to knit for hours while bingeing your favorite show, we highly recommend using these lightweight needles because you won’t feel as much strain on your hands and wrists.
Between the two, plastic tends to be even lighter. This is a benefit for many, but if you have trouble getting control of your needles or working with the softer plastic tip, you may prefer metal for providing the best of both worlds.
With Boye’s plastic or aluminum needles, you won’t have to worry about protecting your knitting needles against molds or rust.
If you live in a super humid area, you don’t want to have bamboo or wooden knitting needles, which can get moldy if you don’t store them properly.
Metal and plastic won’t mold. Boye’s aluminum needles, like all quality needles on the market, are finished and coated so they won’t rust.
All of these benefits come at a very affordable price. Compared to quality bamboo or wooden knitting needles, these Boye knitting needles are usually cheaper while still being of high quality.
Boye knitting needles often have very small, slightly rounded tips, which makes it easier to pick up your stitches without snagging your yarn.
If you compare Boye’s knitting needles to other brands, you will find that the tapered tip portion of Boye’s needles is longer, which means the needles are quite smooth from the tip to the handle. This design gives you more room to create your stitches, making it easier for the stitches to glide up and down the needles.
As for needle type, Boye has a good distribution of the basic knitting needle types, which we’ll get into more below.
Types of Boye Knitting Needles
Boye offers a wide range of knitting needles that are suitable for different skill levels and purposes.
No matter what your favorite needle type(s) are or what you’re looking for, you can find every basic type of knitting needle in most sizes from Boye.
Let’s look at the basic types here:
Straight knitting needles allow you to knit a flat piece by going back and forth to extend the length of a garment. Beginners usually learn their first stitches and techniques with these traditional straight knitting needles.
Boye’s straight knitting needles are usually made of aluminum (but you can find plastic knitting needles, too) and are usually a standard 10-inches long.
This is a good in-between size, fitting a fair amount of stitches on it for wider pieces without being too long to use for things like scarves or booties.
Double-Pointed Knitting Needles
When you are ready to move on to more advanced knitting techniques, you can learn knitting in the round with double-pointed knitting needles (DPNs). Knitting in the round with DPNs will help you create small tubes, which are perfect for socks, gloves, and hats.
Boye’s DPNs are usually 7 to 8 inches long (which is common) and are typically made of aluminum.
Circular Knitting Needles
Circular knitting needles come in various lengths (measured from tip to tip), but the most popular lengths are 16 inches, 24 inches, and 32 inches. Circular knitting needles allow you to knit tubes in various sizes, and they are usually employed to knit round items like hats and sweaters or very large projects, like blankets.
Boye’s circular knitting needles can be made from aluminum or plastic.
They also tend to have nylon plastic cords that connect the two straight needles. Plastic cords are also quite lightweight and durable, but they can be a bit stiff when they first come out of the box because of how they are stored and packaged.
To fix stiff cords, you simply have to place the cord in warm water (not boiling) for a few minutes to relax the cord, and then dry off your needles before knitting. This simple trick will give you a much easier time knitting!
Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles
Since circular knitting needles come in so many needle sizes and cord lengths, it is unwise for a knitter to invest in hundreds of circular knitting needles just to have all the sizes and cord lengths.
Interchangeable needles will allow you to switch out the cord to match your project’s requirements.
Boye’s interchangeable knitting needles generally come at a highly affordable price for one set, which includes all the sizes a knitter would need to make almost everything you can think of. This is surely a worthwhile investment if you are looking to enrich your collection.
If the plastic cords seem a bit stiff at first, you can use the same hot water tip we mentioned above to relax them and make them easier to use.
The Best Boye Knitting Needles
If you are convinced that Boye is the brand for you, read on to find our recommendations for some must-have knitting needles.
Remember, you can always opt for a different needle size if our recommended won’t work for your average project.
1. Boye Aluminum Knitting Needle Set, Sizes 8/9/10, 10″
If you are buying your first knitting needles ever, we highly recommend purchasing this set of knitting needles. These are sets of straight knitting needles that allow beginners to learn their first stitches and knit flat pieces by working back and forth.
The set comes with three sizes of knitting needles, size 8 (5 mm), 9 (5.25 mm), and 10 (5.75). These are three basic sizes that allow you to work with worsted weight or DK yarn (medium-sized yarn).
They’re slightly on the larger end of average (sizes 6 to 10 or so), but this is not a bad idea for beginners.
If you are a beginner, then using these sizes to learn knitting will help you see your stitches clearly and allow you to pick up and knit new stitches with ease.
Of course, even seasoned knitters enjoy straight needles. If you prefer the kind of knitting needles you grew up on, straight needles from Boye are a great idea when you’re filling in a size gap.
These straight knitting needles are 10 inches in length, which is the standard size for straight knitting needles, but some may find to be a bit cumbersome. Fortunately, the aluminum material makes these needles quite lightweight and easy to hold for an extended period of time.
2. Boye Double-Pointed Aluminum Knitting Needle 7″ Size 8, 7″
These knitting needles are amazing to help you knit hats, mittens, and socks.
These needles come in size 8 (5 mm), which allows you to work with worsted weight or DK yarn. This is a good needle size to learn with because you will be able to clearly see your stitches and spot mistakes right away.
If you are a beginner, you will find these needles quite easy to work with because of how lightweight and smooth they are.
If you are quite new to knitting in the round with DPNs, you may also benefit from using stitch stoppers to prevent dropping stitches, especially when knitting the first few rows while the stitches are still quite flimsy. Since the needles are very smooth, they may slip right out!
One advantage of DPNs is you can also use them as straight needles to knit a flat piece back and forth. If you find the standard length for straight needles a bit too long for your piece (for example, a scarf), you can use two DPNs, which are typically shorter, to work back and forth.
Just to be safe, make sure to use stitch stoppers on the end of your DPN so you won’t accidentally drop any stitches from your needles.
3. Boye 16-Inch Aluminum Circular Knitting Needles, Size 5
These circular knitting needles make learning how to knit in the round so much easier.
If you are hoping to knit some hats while practicing knitting in the round, these circular knitting needles are great additions to your collection.
These knitting needles come in size 5 (3.75 mm), but you can find bigger needle sizes with the same design. The length of the circular needles is 16 inches, which is typical for knitting hats and even sweater sleeves.
Many knitters also love using circular knitting needles for knitting flat pieces, especially for larger projects like blankets, but even for medium sized items as well.
Since the plastic cord makes the needles much lighter than normal, you can hold the same amount of stitches but with much less effort. Many consider circular needles to be more ergonomic, as they seem to keep more of the weight off of your wrists.
Circular needles are also considered more versatile, as you can use them for larger and smaller projects, flat or round, with few or no modifications.
If you’re ready for a whole set, you can also purchase this set of interchangeable knitting needles from Boye. Made of aluminum, it includes sizes 2 to 15, covering just about any yarn or project you might have!
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