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Boye Needlemaster Knitting Kit
5397 views   0 replies   Latest reply: July 28, 2009 at 1:24:44 PM

Member since:
Jul 28, 2009
Posts: 4
StitchboardMod message #1
Boye Needlemaster Knitting Kit
July 28, 2009 at 1:24:44 PM

I first found the Boye Needlemaster back in the 1980s, advertised in a knitting magazine.

I was in serious knitting lust, drool and all.  I purchased one from a yarn shop, for $85.

Fast forward to the present.  I now own two (more) of these kits.  Yes, they are undoubtedly expensive.  I bought one from a craft store with a discount coupon.  The other I purchased from a discount store, for much the same price.  (As of this writing, my original $85 Needlemaster is likely sitting in a tote full of water, many months after a devastating flood.)

The Needlemaster retails for around $75 from most craft stores.  It is quite an investment, even with a discount, but here's the thing: what you get is so much more than what you'd get if you paid for all of these items piecemeal.

You get needle sizes 2-15, 4 cables in varying sizes, 4 button stoppers (for when you want to use them as straight knitting needles instead of circulars), tools to help tighten your needles and a rubber piece to turn the needle to tighten it.  And then you get it all nicely packaged in a compact case, ready to take along wherever you want to travel.

In all of the years I've used this kit -- and that's a long time -- I have very few complaints about it.  Mostly, what I would like to see are more cables; though four are adequate, it generally leaves you with different sized needles if you're using this kit as a straight knitting kit.  I'd also like to see some larger-size needle tips made available for this set, as well.  I have had a need for a certain length circular needle, which wasn't readily available, and I'd had to improvise with the two-circular-needles trick, as the needle I needed was a size 19, much larger than what's available for the Needlemaster, even as a supplement.

The needles themselves are aluminum, smooth to the touch, in different colors for each size, so they're easy to tell apart.  Though they are smooth to the touch, I also like the sound they make when they rub against each other, a bit of a soft "zzzzz" sound, which is not at all unpleasant -- just the opposite.  It's quite soothing.

In over 20 years, floodwater-soaked Needlemasters aside, I've never had a cracked cable or a problem with a needle.  I did, however, experience difficulty with getting the stopper buttons from a newer kit properly screwed onto the end of the cable.  This may have been operator error; I honestly can't say it's the fault of the kit.  I did eventually get them on adequately for their intended purpose: to keep the stitches from falling off of the needles.  So though I was worried about the pieces falling off, they didn't.

With the exception of the above problem, I have no complaints and more suggestions about what I'd like to see for this kit than anything.  And personally, I'm not a big fan of brown (after my first home was monotonously decorated in brown paneling throughout), so I wouldn't have minded a different color available for the case, even after 25 years.  But that's not a big issue either, and I envision eventually making a nice knitted or beaded cover for it, anyway.  What the heck...maybe I'll use my Needlemaster kit to help me make that knitted cover.

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